UK Dog Walking Guide: The Best Of The South East
In this post, we will be continuing our jaunt across the mainland of the UK, bringing you the most inspiring places to take your dogs for a stroll.
Today we are highlighting the superb South East, with its marvellous mixture of countryside, coastlines and lyrical landscapes, which are all waiting to be enjoyed by you and your canine companions.
Historically speaking, the South East of England was a financial and political hub in the medieval period, with much of this area being part of the Kingdom of Wessex which would eventually become what we know today as England. Winchester was even considered to be the administrative capital of England until the 13th century when London took over the reins.
As well as a rich history, this area is known for its countryside, with two major national parks being located in the South East, The New Forest and The South Downs. The River Thames also snakes its way to the sea through the South East, in a basin known as the Thames Valley. These natural habitats are oases for wildlife and as such the South East has some of the most fertile and species-rich outdoor spaces the UK has to offer.
Below we will be showing you our favourite places to get out with your dogs in the South-East. So if you live in this wondrous area or are just planning on a visit, you’ll know exactly where to take an adventure with your best friends.
If you like your walks to be water-inspired, then look no further than Cuckmere in East Sussex. The walks around this superb Sussex scenery will lead you down the Cuckmere River before it meets one of the breathtaking, chalk cliff-lined beaches that straddle this part of our coastline. With a fantastic variety of terrain and plenty of nature to marvel at, Cuckmere is a perfect place to give your furry friends an excellent escapade.
The chalk escarpment of the Chiltern Hills spans the counties of Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire and is a glorious place to spend a day, or a few, ambling with your dogs. The Chilterns are packed full of family-friendly rambles that are littered with fantastic archaeology, historical points of interest as well as some of the most spectacular scenery the South East has to offer.
Selborne Common in Hampshire is a gorgeous place to walk your dogs, with a nice variety of terrains and some amazing wildlife to be seen along the way. Nestled on the far easterly point of the Hampshire Downs, Selborne Common perfectly combines beautiful beech woodland with wildflower-filled meadows and open glades that are perfect for your dogs to have some off-the-lead time. In the Summer months, the common is also a fantastic place to see butterflies, with a whole host of resplendent varieties that will keep even the most discerning of lepidopterists happy.
Reculver Country Park in Kent is another amazing outdoor treat for those looking to exercise their dogs surrounded by some luxurious landscapes. Located on the Kent coast, Reculver is 26 hectares of rich habitats, rolling cliffs and historical treasures. The Reculver towers are one of the earliest examples of a Roman fort in England and the grounds and ruins of the adjacent monastery are open to the public year-round.
Located in Woodstock, about ten miles north of Oxford, is the majestic Blenheim Palace and its gorgeous grounds. Blenheim was built in the 18th century, is one of Britains biggest houses and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, after its inclusion in 1987. Although dogs are not permitted indie the palace itself, you’ll be sure to find a place to frolic amongst the 2000 acres of well-managed parklands. Blenheim even serves doggy ice-creams from most of their ice-cream stands so you can cool down after a hard mornings trek.
If you and your dogs like to do as some of our most famous monarchs did, then a visit to Donnington Castle might be the answer, when looking for your next adventure in Berkshire. Elizabeth I and Henry VIII are both said to have stayed in this impressive 14th-century ruin. Today the gatehouse and groundworks are still there to be explored and the surrounding countryside is perfect for a gentle stroll with your furrier friends, we would just recommend avoiding the windier days as it is pretty exposed up there!
Last but by no means least on our list of the best walks in the South East, is salubrious Surrey. Boasting some of the most expensive postcodes to buy a house it’s no wonder that Surrey also has some fabulous places to walk your dogs. Our top pick, however, is the gorgeous parkland at Gatton Park. Designed by the famous landscape gardener Capability Brown, these Edwardian gardens are packed with a plethora of outdoor delights. One can stroll through the Rock Garden and enjoy the winter snowdrops, or have a moment of peace and tranquillity in the Japanese gardens, to name but a few.
So, if you’re in the South East already or are planning on taking a trip to this delightful area of England, why not take your dogs on an amazing adventure and discover some of the gems it has to offer.
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