Oh so glorious to be out in the June sunshine with happy dog Walpole dancing along at my feet, flowers, blossom, birdsong and acres of green grass. I’ve discovered the special pleasure of walking my dog in the grounds of an historic house. Here are 10 dog friendly places we love, that you and your furry friend will enjoy as well.
Tatton Park, Cheshire is a good place to start, their excellent downloadable dog guidelines will set you up for good behaviour around wildlife, cyclists and children and there are 1000 acres of parkland to explore. You’ll need a well behaved dog at Woburn Abbey if you want to spot any of the 9 species of deer including the rare Pere David deer for which the ancient Deer Park at Woburn is famous. Dogs on leads of course, particularly at this time of year.
There are deer at Grimsthorpe Castle in Rutland, though you’ll be lucky to see them on the wonderful walk along Lord Willoughby’s old railway line through the park. You’ll need to watch out for red deer at Blair Castle in Perthshire, as well as the peacocks near the house, but if you are adventurous there are fabulous trails through the estate of a mile or up to 10 miles. Less wild but still fun for dogs is the woodland trail at Glamis Castle in Angus where you can enjoy the route over the burn and into the Pinetum, where you might even spot a red squirrel.
At exactly the other end of the country, Port Eliot in Cornwall is famously dog friendly, the resident family whippet Roo even writes an occasional blog and the Grade 1 parkland and café are open to dog walkers until the end of June. Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire is perhaps the only place you can take your dog round the house with you on Bank Holidays and through the summer school holidays. They welcome about 350 dogs a year, who all know how to behave and also love the arboretum, lakes and tree trail.
The Arboretum at Castle Howard is highlighted on a whole range of dog walking blogs as a great place for 2.5 miles of gambolling through the woods ending with a cup of tea in the café. If you take your dog into the main Castle grounds, you might even be lucky enough to be given a free bone at the Farm Shop – this certainly brought a wag to Walpole’s day – and they are generous with water bowls.
English Heritage places are thoughtful about providing water for dogs too, we recommend Wrest Park where the woodland walks are at their best at this time of year. Or try National Trust places. For intellectual or politically minded dogs (though Walpole enjoyed it anyway), follow the downloadable dog walking trail at Stowe Landscape Gardens for 1.6 or 2.6 miles along the path of Ancient Virtue or to the Fane of Pastoral Poetry.
So follow our lead, pack a poo bag and set off for an historic landscape this year for a dog walk with a difference.
Don’t forget to tweet us pics of you and your pooch!