The gorgeous Gloucestershire countryside is brimming with places to walk your dog – from short woodland strolls for pooches with little legs to brisk hikes on the hills and across the fields for the most energetic pets.
Please only travel a short distance within your local area to exercise your dog, and remember to follow all current guidelines and maintain social distancing at these locations.
Well-loved by locals, the Forest of Dean is a fantastic place to explore with four-legged friends. From getting their paws muddy on a rainy day to paddling on a summer scorcher, there’s plenty for pets, as well as families and solo adventurers, to enjoy.
With endless trails through the ancient woodland and scenic spots with space to play fetch, dogs are welcome at popular sites including Symonds Yat Rock, Cannop Ponds and family-favourite Beechenhurst – which currently remain open for people and their pooches to exercise once-per-day, if they live locally.
For more information, visit forestryengland.uk.
Combining beautiful lakeside views and pristine woodland surroundings, Mallards Pike is a great spot for a picturesque dog walk, whatever the season. And during the third national lockdown, the site will remain open for locals and their furry friends to exercise once-per-day.
Curious pooches will love following the scents of woodland wildlife along the site’s several walking trails, while there’s a designated swimming area for adventurous dogs to take a dip.
Ramble along the Sculpture Trail in the Forest of Dean with your dog – for fresh air, exercise and a bit of alfresco culture, with 16 fascinating sculptures to discover along the way.
The Beechenhurst site is currently open for local people to exercise once-per-day, with Beechenhurst Café serving takeaway drinks and refreshments only.
Expect nothing short of incredible views over the Stroud Valley and Severn Estuary when walking on Rodborough Common.
Dogs and their owners can enjoy anything from a one-mile loop to a longer route through the nearby Cotswold villages, with plenty of open space for energetic pooches to bound through the grass.
Open fields and well-trodden paths make The Severn Ham an ideal spot for a leisurely walk with dogs of all sizes. The flat stroll has plenty to keep both people and pets occupied, with chances to see beautiful wildlife and impressive views of the Malvern Hills in the distance.
Remember to maintain social distancing when accessing The Severn Ham from the footbridge in Tewkesbury.
Just over the Worcestershire border, dogs and their owners can enjoy a lung-busting walk up to Broadway Tower, the second highest point in the Cotswolds with stunning views over the countryside.
With a circular route starting in Broadway, walkers and their furry companions can head to the top of the hill and soak up the scenery, before heading back down to the quintessential Cotswold village.
Renowned for its impressive mountain biking trails, Cranham Woods is also a great spot for walks that will get tails wagging.
Wander through the Beech woodland, past Cooper’s Hill, the famous site of Gloucestershire’s annual Cheese Rolling event and back through the trees – with plenty of squirrels to chase and scents to track along the way.
Spanning 42 square miles and encompassing over 100 lakes, Cotswold Water Park is home to many great circular walks for walkers and their furry friends to enjoy, with the car parks remaining open for local visitors during the third lockdown.
Dogs will love exploring the variety of landscapes, from canal tow paths to spacious meadows – although it is recommended that they are kept away from the lakes so as not to disturb the wildlife.
Forming part of the Cotswold Way, which stretches 100 miles from Bath into Gloucestershire, Coaley Peak boasts beautiful views across the River Severn, with walkers able to see as far as south Wales on a clear day.
There’s plenty of open space for lively dogs to play fetch, wild flower meadows to stroll through, and even picnic spots to enjoy in the warmer months.
With masses of space to roam around and meet other four-legged companions, Cheltenham’s Pittville Park is a great place to spend quality time with your beloved
There’s even dog-friendly ice cream available to take away from the cafés – with sweet treats and hot drinks for humans, too.
Keeping your pooch on a lead, discover the beautiful woodland walk that loops around Sudeley Castle and its impressive grounds. Taking in forestry, hills and villages, the walk begins from Abbey Terrace in Winchcombe.
Although dogs aren’t allowed inside Sudeley Castle and Gardens itself, it’s well worth a return trip without your four-legged friends.
Dogs and their owners can lap up the beautiful 250 acres of rolling countryside at Robinswood Hill in Gloucester, with wrap-around views of the county and beyond from the summit.
With multiple waymarked trails and plenty of wildlife to look out for, it’s a top choice for getting out in the fresh air with four-legged friends. As a bonus, there’s free parking, too.
One of Gloucestershire’s best dog-friendly attractions, Painswick Rococo Garden welcomes well-behaved pooches for walkies around its enchanting grounds, as long as they are kept on a lead. Dogs can also visit the onsite shop and café, where there’s always a fresh bowl of water to drink from.
Please note, when Painswick Rococo Garden is open, visitor numbers are restricted and tickets must be booked online in advance.
Stratford Park offers 56 acres for dogs to exercise in, complete with a scenic lake and an arboretum to explore.
Also great for family days out, the Stroud park is a popular spot for picnics in warmer months, with a play area to keep the little ones entertained while your pooch blows off some steam.
A trek to the top of Cleeve Hill, the highest point in Gloucestershire, is enough to wear out any energetic dog, and rewards walkers with incredible views over Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and beyond.
With intersecting footpaths to follow, the site offers different routes for owners to explore with their furry companions, with the chance to get on the Cotswold Way, too.
For more information about this hot list’s sponsor, visit forestryengland.uk.
By Annabel Lammas
Tuesday 09 March 2021
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