Country Walking -
With or Without Your Dog

Enjoy your Country Walks - with or without your pet.

Why not make country walking a pleasant ‘green’ way of taking a break from your usual routine?

Walking will not only save you money, but is also likely to improve your figure and your health. It is also a good time for reflection and clearing your brain.

If you are fortunate enough to live within in striking distance of some rural walks, so much the better.

If you are not a regular walker and are feeling a trifle 'rusty' the following tips may be of help to you when
you try your first country walk.

Read on before setting out for the first time.

Before starting on any of your walks, always make sure you are wearing suitable, comfortable shoes. Obvious really, but is amazing how many folk ignore this simple tip. Seemingly comfortable shoes can become very uncomfortable after 30 minutes continuous walking.

1. On your first walk limit the distance you walk to just 15 minutes 'out' time. With the return journey you will have achieved 30 minutes walking time. Always remember to take the time of your return walk into the estimations of how far you and your dog can walk. Of course, always take a supply of dog poo bags with you - just in case.

If your dog is elderly, remember a dog does not realise that he has to have the energy to get home.

2. If you feel you need a more gentle start, limit your 'out' time to 10 minutes, making the total walk 20 minutes.

3. Stay at your chosen time for a few days until you feel confident about lengthening your country walking. Then add an additional 5 minutes to the 'out' time as and when you think fit. Think of it as both a mental and physical challenge.

4. Gradually increase your times until you achieve a total walking time of one hour. After this you may feel you would like to tackle some of the challenges below.

5. Essentials when on longer stretches of country walking.

Plan your route bearing in mind that it takes the average walker about an hour to walk 2.5 miles.

  • Always take your mobile phone with you. It is a tempting thought to leave it at home and be 'free', but you never know when technology will be needed should you get into difficulties.
  • Take some spare clothing with you. A sunny day can unexpectedly turn into a rainy one without much prior notice. A kagool rolled up with a spare pair of socks is light and takes up very little space in your rucksack.
  • Take some high energy food with you such as a chocolate bar or glucose sweets.
Take a map with you even if you think you know the route.

Avoiding the average spend of £130 for taking a family of four to a theme park (information from Which), we give you some alternative free ideas to enjoy a ‘green day out.

If you do wish to spend money scroll down to an idea that may well give you a good day out, but at a price. The next few ideas are 'free'.

If you are a dog owner, we have pages on Dog Owning Tips, and Dogs and Saving Money that will be of interest to you.

Have you thought of a day spent on country walks in company with Ramblers? If you would like to walk in a group The Ramblers Association offers loads of possibilities.

People looking for quiet, pleasant country walking and perhaps preferring their own company with possibly that of a dog, could do well to follow the good advice set out above - Tips 1 - 5.

You can always set up your own Ramblers Group. All you will need is a pair of comfortable walking boots, possible some refreshments, the company of a good dog and possibly a friend or two, and away you go. Good weather would not be amiss!

It is possible to take your dog with you as you walk on the The North York Moors National Park. It's a great place whatever time of year Here you will enjoy stunning moorland a spectacular coast plus ancient woodland and historic sites. Remember to always keep your dog on a short lead when in fields with livestock.

Cows with young heifers can be exceedingly unpredictable when guarding their young. Avoid any such confrontations.

Several beaches in Cornwall are 'dog friendly'. A list can be found here

On the other hand, if you live in a city you may need to take advantage of local parks or areas on the edge of the town where you live.

If you have money to spend on perhaps a family treat, Cornwall's Eden Project is a suitably green day out at which to appreciate the full bio-diversity of our planet while the kids have fun around the trails and play areas. Admission is £15 for adults and £5 for children (under-fives free) if bookings are made on-line, but groups can get a discount by booking in advance at And if you nominate your admission as a gift through the Gift Aid scheme, it entitles you to free entry for a year.

Although there are normally many coaches in the car park, the Eden Project is so large, there is plenty of room to move around and see the numerous exhibits.

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In addition, the Ice Rink is open during the winter season - late October to late February - and a 40 minute skating ‘slot’ costs an additional £5.00 including skate hire.

All prices correct at time or writing, but liable to change.

Country Walks - The Joys and Perils

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When we lived in southern California (US) my family loved to go walking in the hills above our house. Each child got to pick what they wanted to carry …

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