After a month of Christmas celebrations and roast dinners, it is all to easy to stay inside with the comfort of a warm fire but getting a walk into your routine once or twice a day will help to keep you fit without needing to hit the gym. Depending on the breed of your dog, they all require different amounts of walking to maintain a healthy weight. Alongside a healthy diet, the correct amount of exercise will help to regulate their weight. Getting some exercise in each day will also make a positive impact on your mental health and wellbeing and will allow you to be more motivated and less anxious in your day-to-day life.
Put the phone on silent and focus on your dog for the entirety of your walk, watching them run around getting up to mischief. Your dog will find your engagement more exciting and you will enjoy living in the present moment. Always bring a phone with you just in case there is an emergency or if you are walking in the evening.
The fresh air will do yourself and your dog a world of good. Heading to a space free of cars and lower pollution levels such as Dartmoor will not only smell much more pleasant but it will also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and respiratory diseases like asthma. Although Plymouth is an ocean city surrounded by green open spaces, back in 2018, Plymouth was actually classed as one of the UK’s most polluted cities. With this in mind, it is important to escape the city regularly and give yourself and your dog a breath of fresh air.
Fortunately, we are very blessed to have an abundance of stunning walks right on our doorstep with low pollution levels and space for your furry friend to run around, complete with a paw-friendly pub to end the walk.
Arrive at Bovisand car park and join the South West Coast Path heading down past the holiday chalets and up towards the next cove. Enjoy picturesque views of the sea and the countryside as you take a gentle stroll along the trodden path. After 30 minutes of walking, you will arrive at Heybrook Bay, a stunning natural beach nestled into the South Hams coastline.
You can either choose to turn back around, stay for a paddle, carry on further down the coast path or enjoy a hot drink and some grub at the Eddystone Inn. The Eddystone Inn is a charming village gastropub, complete with a log burner fire. Enjoy panoramic sea views sat on the terrace in the summer months or cosy up next to the roaring fire after a brisk walk. The bar area is dog friendly.
If the 30-minute walk there didn’t work up an appetite, head back along the South West Coast path back to Bovisand car park and then take the 5-minute drive to The Mussell Inn. The dog-friendly pub hosts a delicious food menu and a wide range of drinks to satisfy your tastebuds. The country décor feels a far cry from the bustling city centre.
With a choice of three different walks to try out, there is something for the whole family at Buckland Abbey. Located beside the River Tavy, the 700-year-old, Grade I listed house boasts 20,000 acres of stunning gardens and
The routes are as follows; yellow, red and blue which increase in difficulty and length.
The yellow route is a short 10–15-minute walk, suitable for wheelchair users and pushchairs and ideal for elderly dogs who just need some fresh air.
The red route is a 45-minute trek around the picturesque countryside, through woodlands and fields. Walking boots or wellies are a must for this walk, especially after a heavy downpour.
The blue route is the most challenging walk of the three, taking 1.30hrs and taking you into the depths of the woodlands and overlooking The River Tavy. Walking boots are essential.
Your four-legged friends are welcome in all three of the walks but they ask for you to keep them on a lead. There are no doggy poo bins on the grounds therefore they suggest either ‘Sticking it and flicking it’ into the hedgerow or pick it up and dispose of it at home.
In need of a refreshment after the walk? Head to the restaurant for a delicious hot chocolate and to dry off those muddy paws.
An easy walk, perfect for those winter days when your usual walks get too muddy. With surfaced paths and lanes between Totnes and Darington and no styles or steep hills, this walk is perfect for the long-distance walkers.
Begin by strolling through Totnes and follow the route to finally end up in Dartmouth. You can find the details for the walk here: www.visitdartmoor.co.uk/the-middle-dart-valley-walk
Bellever Forest is a must-see for anyone who loves a picturesque country walk with mossy woodlands and babbling brooks.
There are two trails to follow at Bellever, both similar distances that begin at the car park. To read the guided walks in detail, please visit www.visitdartmoor.co.uk/bellever-forest
Although a lot of the walks involves tracks, this is Dartmoor so it’s always good to wear a suitable pair of walking boots as you never quite know how boggy it’s going to be.
In the summer months, Bellever Forest is a great destination to have a picnic next to the river. You can even enjoy a little paddle in the water to cool off and wash off those muddy paws.
A peaceful lake, lots of picnic areas, wildlife to spot on route and toilets in the paid car park. Dogs are allowed off the lead here but ask for them to stay out of the lake for the welfare of the wildlife. This gorgeous spot can become very popular in the warmer months but in the colder months, it’s an ideal spot to come for a walk with flat paths and tranquil waters.
After your walk, why not take the 10-minute drive up to Ilsington’s local pub for some delicious food from the bistro pub, The Carpenters Arms. They are a dog-friendly pub and offer home-cooked and homemade traditional pub food nestled in Dartmoor National Park.
Hop on the Cremyll ferry or take a drive in the car to Maker Church car park. Make sure you bring some suitable walking boots as it can be muddy in the winter months with some steep inclines and steps. This moderate circular walk will take you around the perimeter of the Mount Edgcumbe estate with fantastic views of the Plymouth sound and surrounding coastline. You will also come across eighteenth-century follies, fountains and shelters along the path.
This route follows the South West Coast Path which is of course, open all year round. In the warmer months, you could stop by at the mid-sixteenth century house and have a tour of its formal gardens and even have a spot of lunch in their tea-room!
To download a step-by-step guide of this walk, head to: https://www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/walksdb/135/
So, what are you waiting for? Wrap up warm, put the walking boots on, grab the dog lead and start exploring some more of what Devon has to offer!