Emma Thompson, owner of Saffron SuperDogs knows a thing or two about dog walking. As the go to lady in Saffron Walden, Essex, for dog walks and training, she shares with us her best dog walks in the East of England…
The best dog walks in East Anglia
Starting local; one of my top walks is in the small village called Debden, near Saffron Walden. Starting at the picturesque church (handily there is a small carpark) you follow the route round in a big circle. Walk over the big lake and up to the forest, which is beautiful all year round but does get muddy in the winter so make sure you have wellies handy and a towel for the dog!
Following the open fields, you come across some chocolate box cottages. The path then takes you along a woodland path beside a river; perfect for dogs to cool off in the summer. This then takes you back to the church. It is about an hour long and suitable for all ages/fitness levels. There are plenty of places to stop and admire the scenery. Once back at the car you can drive 5 minutes to Debden barns where you can get a fantastic lunch.
Another lovely walk is in Elmdon. You can park along the main road, which is very quiet, then walk up across the cricket pitch and to the woods. You can walk through the ancient forest and you’ll come out in Chrishall, handily there is a great little pub called The Red Cow perfect for a spot of lunch.
You can then walk back the way you came or go the long way through the most beautiful racehorse stud farm, the playful foals follow you along the fence lines. You come out back on the cricket pitch in Elmdon. This is a great walk and can be shortened or lengthened depending on time and fitness levels.
Dog-friendly walks in Norfolk
Further afield there are some of the most beautiful coastlines; Holkham in Norfolk is one of the main dog beaches. Starting with a big car park (pay and display) you walk down to the beach through the pine forest. The beach is massive and all sand!
You can walk for miles in either direction. I like to walk along the sea front and then come back along the sand dunes and pine forests. You can stop any where for a rest/swim and turn around wherever you like. It really is a dog’s paradise – everyone is off lead and there’s lots of playtime to be had. At the top of the car park is a fabulous pub; The Victoria. Stop by for amazing roast dinners on a cold winters day!
Dog walks in Suffolk
A second beach walk, Suffolk this time. Starting in Dunwich at the big car park, you walk along the beautiful pebble beach, which is dog friendly all year round. If you’re lucky you may catch a sight of seals bobbing about.
After about four miles you come to Walberswick; a beautiful seaside town. There are a number of pubs and lots of amazing fish and chips to stop for a bite to eat. You can then walk back along the beach or through the forests and the marches on the other side of the sand dunes. This is a very long, all day walk but can be cut down if you can get someone to meet you at Walberswick or turn around whenever you like.
Forest dog walks
Finally, a perfect family and dog day out is Hatfield Forest in Essex, which has ample parking and lots of places to stop for a picnic. There is also a café and tables half way round next to the duck filled lake. There are lots of different routes you can take, open meadows and magical forests, perfect for exploring. The whole area is very dog-friendly and can be taken at your own pace and length. Find out more info at https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hatfield-forest