Bristol Post - Bristol's best dog walking spot is Clifton Down according to UK list

Posted on 27 November, 2023

Photo by Jarred Clapperton on Unsplash

Written by Daniel Smith & Robin Murray Content Editor for Bristol Post

A large open green space in Bristol has been named among the best dog walking routes in the UK.

There's no shortage of scenic places for people to walk their pooches in the UK, with the Yorkshire Dales, Hadrian’s Wall and Cheddar Gorge just a few of the most stunning examples.

And a recent survey of 2,000 dog owners found that Clifton Down in Bristol is up there with the very best, coming in at number 22 in the list of 40.

Other nearby inclusions in the round-up include the Bath Skyline Walk, Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire and Glastonbury Tor in Somerset.

Some of the preferred destinations for a dog walk were found to be beside the sea (44 per cent), with the South West being home to many top spots. Cornwall took two spots in the top five, while Devon also featured several times in the list with Doone Valley and Baggy Point.

It also emerged three in 10 owners enjoy strolls by lakes, with the Lake District’s Derwentwater taking the second spot in the top 40. The poll, commissioned by Devon-based natural pet food producer Forthglade, revealed a further 39 per cent opt for walks in a forest, while 28 per cent choose national parks.

It also found the choice of dog walk destination is heavily influenced by how safe it is for pups (46 per cent), if there’s adequate space for them to be let off a lead (29 per cent) and if it’s somewhere to connect with nature (26 per cent).

Gerard Lovell, joint managing director at Forthglade, said: “We’re lucky to have so many picturesque places in the UK to enjoy walks with dogs.

“It’s important both owners and canine companions enjoy connecting with nature and discovering new places further afield from their usual route.”

Places with free parking (22 per cent), dog friendly cafés (14 per cent) and somewhere for the dog to swim (15 per cent) are also likely to impact on where dog walkers spend the day.

The survey, commissioned by OnePoll, also found that during the pandemic, 46 per cent said dog walking helped their physical and mental health, with 24 per cent going on more strolls throughout the day.

The poll also revealed that nearly half (49 per cent) have even chosen holiday locations based on the suitability for their pup, seeking out dog-friendly accommodation (61 per cent), beaches (59 per cent) and nearby walking spaces (55 per cent).

And a quarter believe they get equally as excited for a walk as their dog, while 41 per cent admitted they wouldn’t be as fit if they didn’t have their pet.

Gerard added: “If there’s one thing that we’ve learnt this year, it’s that dogs have become even more precious to people, and are a true extension of the family. Daily walks and exercise with them hugely benefit the physical and mental wellbeing of both parties, nurturing deeper bonds between dogs and their owners.”

Top 40 most scenic dog walking routes:

1. Yorkshire Dales

2. Derwentwater, Lake District

3. Cheddar Gorge, Somerset

4. Lizard Point, Cornwall

5. Holywell beach, Cornwall

6. Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland

7. Ullswater, Cumbria

8. Glastonbury Tor, Somerset

9. Holkham Beach, Norfolk

10. The Roaches, Peak District

11. Richmond Park, London

12. The Seven Sisters, South Downs

13. Durham Coast, Durham

14. Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh

15. The Langdales, Cumbria

16. Pen y Fan, Wales

17. Rhosili Bay, South Wales

18. Doone Valley, North Devon

19. Golden Cap, Dorset

20. Cragside, Northumberland

21. Sheringham Park, Norfolk

22. Clifton Downs, Bristol

23. Tennyson Down, Isle of Wight

24. Kinmel Bay, Wales

25. Baggy Point, North Devon

26. Clent Hills, Worcestershire

27. Bath Skyline Walk, Bath

28. Hengistbury Head, Dorset

29. Hatfield Forest, Essex

30. Heaven’s Gate, Wiltshire

31. Orwell Country Park, Ipswich

32. Lyme, Cheshire

33. Blicking Estate, Norfolk

34. Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire

35. Flatford, Suffolk

36. Grantchester Meadows, Cambridge

37. Whiteford Burrows, North Gower Coast

38. Laverstock Down, Salisbury

39. Green Chain Walk, London

40. Attingham Park, Shropshire

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