Cumbria’s Living Heritage has put together a guide of all the best walking trails in and around the new UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Lake District. With walking distances and step counts for each trail, you can plan out the perfect excursion for you and your ‘good boy’ to tackle.
Jeanette Edgar and her friend Anna, with border terrier Mollie in tow, have recently taken on Dalemain Loop trail. “It was really nice,” says Jeanette. “We did it about a month ago and were really fortunate with the weather. We’re not massive hikers but my friend has the dog, Mollie, so whenever we meet up it’s always for a dog walk. We try and find places where we can start and end up with a cup of coffee.”
The walks vary in distance and offer the perfect chance to unwind – whatever your history with long walks.
“We’re both walkers with a small w! I used to do a lot of big hikes so I welcome the opportunity to get out and do this sort of thing,” continues Jeanette. “We were out for about two hours; a nice walk and a gossip. Three girls out for the day.
“The terrain was really interesting. Although it’s a marked route, you still feel like you’re being quite adventurous. It’s not just an easy road; you go through the countryside and along the river in this case.”
While the fitness aspect of the walk is great, it’s also a perfect chance to de-stress. Jeanette relishes the opportunity to clear her head when walking. Being in and among nature, as well as being active, has a really positive effect on her. “Even more than being fit though, it’s about fresh air and brain clearing. I always find that if I can get a walk in at some point during the day, then I’ll come back with a clearer head. When you’ve got the dog with you, it grounds you as well. It gets you talking to other people; it’s very sociable.”
The variety of walks lets you take in historic houses, gardens, museums and other heritage attractions on more than 20 different trails in the Lake District National Park. There’s even a guide so that you can see how much exercise your four-legged friend needs to get each day, which is taken from the PDSA:
20 minutes (+indoor play) Pug, Lhasa Apso, Shih Tzu, Bichon Frise
20-40 minutes Yorkshire Terrier, Miniature Dachsund, English Bulldog
40-60 minutes Miniature/Toy Poodles, Miniature Schnauzer, Great Dane,
Cocker Spaniel, Shetland Sheepdog, Cairn Terrier, King Charles Spaniel
60-80 minutes Whippet, West Highland Terrier, Tibetan Terrier,
Bassett Hound, Dogue de Bordeaux
80-100 minutes Golden Retriever, Siberian Husky
100-120 minutes Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Border Terrier
2 hours+ Border Collie, Boxer, Dalmatian, English Springer Spaniel,
German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, Rottweiler, Weimaraner
Here’s a list of the trail distances and steps, walking at a 3mph pace, compiled by Cumbria’s Living Heritage group:
Location Dog walk Distance Steps (at 3mph pace)
Grizedale Tarn Trail 3.5m/5.5km 7,875
Grizedale Bogle Crag Trail 2.5m/4km 5,625
Grizedale High Bowkershead Trail 4m/6.5km 9,000
Grizedale Millwood Trail 0.7m/1km 1,575
Grizedale Ridding Wood Trail 1m/1.5km 2,250
Whinlatter Comb Beck Trail 1.75m/2.8km 3,938
Whinlatter Heavy Sides 1.5m/2.5km 3,375
Hutton-in-the-Forest Woodland Walk 1m/1.6km 2,250
Muncaster Terrace Walk 0.5m/0.8km 1,125
Muncaster All paths 6m/9.7km 13,500
Lowther Castle &
Gardens Famous Dogs Trail 1.5m/2.5km 3,375
NT Sizergh Sizergh Fell Walk 1.9m/3km 4,275
NT Sizergh Church Fell Walk 2.1m/3.5km 4,725
NT Sizergh Park End Moss 2.8m/4.5km 6,300
NT Acorn Bank Temple Sowerby Walk 3.2m/5.1km 7,200
NT Allan Bank Woodland Walk 0.7m/1.1km 1,575
NT Steam Yacht Monk Coniston to
Gondola Tarn How 3.5-5m/5.65km 7,875–11,250
NT Steam Yacht Brantwood to
Gondola Parkamoor Trail 6m/9.6km 13,500
Brantwood Gardens & Hillside Walk 2m/3.2km 4,500
Mirehouse Lakeside Walk 2m/3.2km 4,500
Dalemain Dacre Walk 1m/1.6km 2,250
Dalemain Dalemain Loop 5m/8km 11,250
You love your dog; the way they look up at you, tongue hanging out one side of their mouth – pure, unadulterated joy whenever you get the lead out of the cupboard. But even before that, just putting on a pair of shoes can get their tail wagging.
Next time you’re in the north west, show them the love in return. Take in the World Heritage Site and combine fitness with treating your dog to their favourite thing in the world.
Just remember to tag us in any pictures – we do love dogs!