Many people have made New Year’s resolutions to do more exercise in 2018, and get fitter in doing so. I am one of these people, but I am also one of the many people who finds it difficult to maintain a good exercise regime because of my work. However, we all get at least one day off a week (I’d hope), and there are few better ways to spend a day off than spending quality time with your dog and going for a dog walk.
North East Dog Walks
The North East of England is a goldmine for beautiful dog-walking destinations, and there are so many gorgeous places to go where you can exercise your pooch, and get those steps in yourself. Here are some of the places my family and I love to take our cockapoo, Lottie:
Tynemouth Longsands and King Edward’s Bay
The long stretch of golden sand that borders the charming seaside town of Tynemouth in North Tyneside, has long been recognised for achieving the Blue Flag award for its cleanliness and beauty. This bay, stretching over a mile long, is a popular destination not just for surfers and sun-bathers (when we’re lucky enough to get any sun at all), but for dog-walkers! The beach is closed to dogs in the summer months, but thankfully our canine friends are welcome back at this part of the coastline in autumn. This beach is fantastic as you can break up your walk with a stop off at one of the cafes or restaurants on the beach itself! Choose from Crusoe’s, The View or pop along to the bay next door for deck chairs, seafood and prosecco at Riley’s Fish Shack. Never fear, they’re all dog-friendly!
Weetslade Country Park
Over towards Wideopen lies a former colliery site which has been transformed into an active dog’s heaven! Weetslade consists of over one hundred acres of grassland, woodland and wetlands to be enjoyed by you and your dogs – the National Wildlife Trust works hard to maintain the mining past of Weetslade, but also its worth as an area of special wildlife interest, and a country park to be enjoyed by all. Take your furry friend up to the top of the hill at Weetslade, and you will both enjoy views of the Seaton Burn, the sea, the Cheviots and Newcastle itself. Lottie, like many other dogs, absolutely loves her walks at Weetslade because there is just so much open space for her to run around in! Beware, your dog will come back from Weetslade sufficiently muddier than when they arrived!
If you have read any of my other blog posts, I cannot say enough wonderful things about Northumberland and its stunning coastline! Ever since Lottie the cockapoo joined our family four years ago, we have enjoyed discovering new parts of Northumberland and the fantastic beaches there even more. Why not enjoy the peacefulness of the sandy slopes at Cresswell, where very often you will be the only dog walker around? This is a family favourite with us because my Grandma was evacuated to Cresswell, and it’s so interesting to hear the stories she tells from this time. The walk from Embleton to Craster is truly spectacular on a bright day, with lots varying terrain for your dog to enjoy, and beautiful sights such as the 14th century Dunstanburgh Castle for you to enjoy yourself. Stop off at The Jolly Fisherman in Craster for a pint and the best crab chowder going!
Rising Sun Country Park
Rising Sun is a countryside haven in the middle of a busy urban/residential area between Benton and Wallsend, and it is a fantastic place to exercise your dog. There are twisting and turning pathways, large open spaces and meadows, and plenty of woodland for your dog to sniff and run around to their heart’s content! The Rising Sun Country Park website offers suggested walking routes and trails for you to select, depending on how long you want to spend walking with your pooch. Each trail will take you around the many places of interest in the park, whether it be the wildlife hideaways and viewing points, the Organic Farm, or one of the numerous ponds around the site. Whichever trail you choose, ensure you stop off at the lovely Rising Sun Country Park Café for a coffee and light lunch. As you may remember from my post dedicated to the Country Park, the café staff are largely adults with learning difficulties, who always give a warm welcome to you and your dog. Water bowls are provided for dogs, who are permitted to rest from all that walking by the outside tables and picnic benches at the café.