Are you stuck in a rut doing the same old dog walks?
Written by Karen Rhodes at Suffolk Dog Services
Why not pack up the whole family at the weekend and give your dog a real treat while soaking up some of the delights our region has to offer? So you don’t have to spend time planning, here’s a handy list of 10 walking routes in East Anglia.
- Lavenham: Bridge Street Road, Lavenham CO10 9QT
Start from the church, head towards Portland Lane, turning left at Park Road. Pick up the lane where the walk begins following the stunning disused Lavenham to Long Melford railway line. Struggling to motivate the children? Tell them Harry Potters house is at the end and see if they can guess which one it is as you head back up the high street.
- Thetford Forest: Thetford Road, Brandon IP27 0AF
The walks all start at High Lodge varying from pine trees to heathland. However busy the car park seems, the area is so vast it’s still nice and quiet as you go off and explore. On return there’s taps and dog bowls to provide fresh water for your weary pooch. Be prepared to carry your poo bags as there are no bins once you get going.
- Dunstable Downs: Dunstable Road, Whipsnade LU6 2GY
Set high on the Chiltons, Dunstable Downs is an amazing area to take it in some of the region’s most spectacular views. There are a number of walks starting from the visitors centre, some being quite steep so pack your hiking boots and some treats for your dog.
- Baylham: Chalk Hill Lane, Great Blakenhan IP6 0NA
Follow Chalk Hill Lane until you reach signs for the Baylham and beyond trail which will take you on a beautiful, quite countryside circular walk. Some of the walk is on the road but it’s so quiet you needn’t worry about too much traffic, only the odd horse rider.
- Rendlesham Forest: Tangham IP12 3NF
Just a short distance outside Woodbridge, probably the most dog friendly town in the region, Rendlesham has a variety of walking trails. I would recommend walking your dog around the trail which takes its name from the famous 1980 Rendlesham UFO incident. The well sign posted walking trails cross over cycling trails in places so you do need to take care if your dog loves to chase.
- Cranfield: Lodge Road, Cranfield, Bedford MK43 0BD
A true local treasure set in a quiet location away from the main roads. The walk is located off Lodge Road taking you through tree lined hard standing paths which look down towards Marston Thrift. There’s been lots of trees planted recently and two ponds providing a nice spot to sit and take in the tranquillity before tackling the hill on the return journey.
- Walberswick: Ferry Road, Walberswick IP18 6UA
If you’re a fan of sandy beaches and crabbing this is the walk for you. The best news is that on Walberswick beach, dogs are permitted all year round. Spend the day on the sandy dunes or take your dog to nature reserve. The car park is conveniently situated right on the beach and the costal path is clearly marked.
- Dedham: Dedham Road CO7 6DH
Away from the popular tourist destination of the Mill, amble around the Essex Way walk which through picturesque fields of Dedham Vale and the Stour Valley. There are horses in some of the fields so make sure your dog is ok with them. It’s easy to see why Constable loved this part of the region so much.
- Shingle Street: Woodbridge IP12 3BE
This dog walk is a hidden gem which you wouldn’t necessarily know about unless you live locally. Shingle Street as the name would suggest is a shingle beach which benefits from being dog friendly all year round. Get there early to nab the best parking spot close to the beach. A word of caution though, allowing your dog to swim in the sea is not recommended as there are strong undercurrents.
- Stoke Hammond: Leighton Road, Milton Keynes MK17 9DD
The final walk is a canal route starting from the Three locks pub which is dog friendly of course. You have two options, walk towards Stoke Hammond in one direction or head towards Lindslade. Both are equally beautiful walks and are busy with canal boats throughout the year.
As chosen by Dragons Den Star and entrepreneur Theo Paphitis, Karen is the owner of award-winning Suffolk Dog Services. She provides rural adventure walks specialising in high energy working dog breeds. Taking them away from their usual surroundings and treating them to amazing experiences.
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