Dorset Dog Friendly Walks at Historic Locations: Part 1
by Carol Milner // September 2017
Dorset Dog Friendly Walks at Historic Locations:
Coach Carol and her dog Sweep want to tell you about their most favourite walk in Dorset. Kingston Lacy is National Trust property just north of Wimborne on the B3082 heading towards Blandford Forum. The property belonged to the Bankes family who also owned a massive estate containing Corfe Castle and Studland (a fabulous dog friendly sandy beach to the west of Poole Harbour). The house itself has an incredible selection of paintings and beautiful furniture, and at Christmas they decorate the main house with fabulous Victorian Style Christmas trees. But mostly we go just for the fantastic inner park dog walk!
In total the estate comprises 8,500 acres and includes the wonderful Badbury Rings, an Iron Age hill fort. The National Trust have produced a nice little map for the inner estate showing all the dog friendly paths. It’s dogs on lead but it provides a great opportunity for training while you walk, for example, loose lead walking practice, random sits and downs!
The walk starts just at the junction for the shop and café – go straight on at this junction and follow the signs. It starts along a nice wide grass path (there is also a poo bin here) which enters woodland, you then follow around the outer edge of the formal gardens, with some gorgeous views of the house. Half way around the walk is an entrance out of the park to the old kitchen gardens where there is a fabulous little shed café that serves great cakes and coffee.
After the kitchen garden, you can re-enter the wooded path which takes you into the more formal gardens and the Hyde Collection (a collection of rhododendrons, azalea and camelia). Then we arrive at Sweep’s favourite part of the walk, the cedar avenue. This part is so wide and grassy with a fantastic view towards Kingston Lacy House. There is a nice bit of shade under the trees to sit and have a picnic, or to give your dogs a breather, and the grass is lush and comfortable!
You then get to go back along the front of the house and back towards the shop (and café ;-))
Sweep enjoys this walk so much, there are lots of smells and we meet some nice polite dogs. As Sweep is a little nervous we can avoid dog-dog interactions because dogs are on lead. And I get an added bonus of having the option to café at the start, in the middle and at the end.
Check out Part 2 here
As you can see from the picture above, Sweep loves the walk at Kingston Lacy and even more the training practice we do while I eat cake!
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