Dog walking fitness

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!

Where next?  Find out more about the benefits of walking HERE in our technical blog post we published on the FitPro…


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