Great Walks For Dogs & Kids Around Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire

 by Kerry Tanner for Flying With A Baby
*sponsored post by Millets.
So, let me introduce you to family T, one that is united by an unconditional love for doggies.  My girls simply love our two labradors, Bodie (aged 1, on the left) and Kite (aged 7 on the right), they are an integral part of Family T. These dogs are our world and also ensure we spend a great deal of time outside, whatever the weather.

We are lucky to live in the countryside so there are plenty of woodlands, river walks and bridleways to explore nearby. One popular walk is along parts of the Nene Way – follow the river across three counties of Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire (over 100 miles in total). Full list of our favourite walks is below.

Come rain or shine, winter or summer we’ll set off by foot (and by bike these days too) to exercise our four-legged friends and have some fun along the way. This often involves a game or two of hide and seek and collecting copious amounts of ‘special’ sticks and leaves for Mummy or Daddy to carry as little legs begin to grow weary. Who knew dogs simply can’t play hide and seek and yet they never tire of stick and ball retrieval games.
So what’s it like to own two delicious doggies and how do they impact our daily lives? From the minute we rise at 6am their wagging tails greet us at the bottom of the stairs (first golden rule in our house – no pooches upstairs!!). Whilst the girls feast on a breakfast of porridge, I take Kite and Bodie for a quick half an hour run across the nearby fields. In the Summer it is such a lovely time to start the day and see the dawn break. In the winter I’m not entirely thinking positive thoughts as I put my head torch on but I always feel better for it afterwards, ready to embrace the day.
The girls tend to feed the dogs whilst we get ready for school and invariably there are cuddles in the dog bed before we head out at 8am. If you don’t like dog hair on a navy uniform, look away now! After saying a fond farewell to the girls and depositing half a dozen bags on their pegs I set off home for some  more doggy time. Despite only having left the house for half an hour or so the welcome I receive as I push open the door always makes me smile.They never tire of showing you love and affection.  A quick cuddle in the kitchen whilst I sit on the sofa with a brew (second golden rule in our house – no dogs on sofas) – and a few tedious household chores later we ready to embark on a proper walk. This is often a really sociable part of my day as I often walk with friends or family, catching up on news whilst walking for an hour or two. Much better (and cheaper) then a gym membership!!  If I do find myself walking alone it is never long before I bump into a fellow dog walker and it’s the perfect reason to stop and exchange canine stories (third golden rule in our house – two walks a day minimum).
I am lucky enough to work part-time which means that I do get to spend a lot of time with Bodie and Kite during the week. Yes, this is a huge commitment and it does mean I do plan my days around them but I simply wouldn’t have it any other way. We are of course fortunate to have family living close by to help out when life gets a little complicated.

During the Summer months, after picking up the girls from school, we can often squeeze a quick trip to the river and let the dogs cool down in the late afternoon sun.  At this time of the year we are all adjusting to the dark nights and colder temperatures  yet Family T like nothing better than to close the curtains, light a fire and snuggle up with our furry companions. A fireplace without a couple of dogs stretched out in front of the hearth just wouldn’t seem right.

 

This time of year also brings it’s challenges in the name of mud, rain, frost, wind,yet more raining did I mention the mud?!?  Not only do you have to walk dogs in all manner of weather conditions but then there is the really unexciting task of cleaning the dogs so that the damp, muddy fields stay firmly outside. It’s quite incredible how many towels are used before they are released into my warm and dry kitchen. Not my favourite part of the doggy day care but a wet dog is a smelly dog and we try to avoid that at all costs (fourth golden rule, no muddy paws or wet coats on the carpets).
At this time of the year it’s fairly hard to fit in dog walks with the kids during a school week so Family T makes sure that the weekend is full of action packed, doggy friendly activities. It’s really important to wear suitable clothing, particularly at this time of the year. A wet dog is one thing but a cold, wet child is quite another.
Imagine my delight, when I was approached by Millets to sample some of their outdoor gear. We have spent the last few weeks walking and cycling in them and the verdict is good. Both girls, as the pictures show, wore Berghaus Callander Jackets and matching Berghaus Tyndrum fleeces. These are really useful multi seasonal outdoor clothes. The Callander jackets are a great waterproof shell, (we love the colour too) with the fleece, an extra cosy layer , easily fitting underneath. I imagine as the weather becomes warmer, the jacket alone will be perfect for April showers. My only comment would be size up because the sleeves on both the fleece and the jacket were a tad on the short side. I know the fleeces will also come in handy when we visit France for some skiing at Christmas.
I was lucky enough to try a lovely pair of Brasher Country Trekker walking boots and a Peter Storm Down Frost Jacket. I have to say, the boots were really impressive. They were lightweight, waterproof with a firm, solid grip and not a blister in sight after my first walk (12 miles without the children, I hasten to add). The jacket is insulated with duck down so it is warm with useful pockets for carrying dog leads and poo bags. It is also water repellant, I think if a heavy shower was forecast, I would probably put a light waterproof over the top.

Our favourite walks in Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire.

  • Sulehay Woods, Wansford – also great for den building, hide and seek, counting squirrels and great place in Spring (snow drops and bluebells) and Autumn (change of leaf colour)
  • Hills and Holes, Barnack – works to and from school.
  • The Nene Way – follows the river across three counties of Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire (over 100 miles in total)
  • We like a few ‘ loop walks that may include a pub’ e.g Nassington – Fotheringhay (Falcon pub)- Elton (Black Horse) or Nassington to Yarwell to Wansford (Papermills) or Nassington to Woodnewton (White Swan)
  • Fine Shades Woods- Great favourite for bikes and dogs alike
  • Wakerly Woods
  • Torpel Way (Peterborough to Stamford – 17 miles but can do bits of it with kids e.g. Helpston to Barnack to Uffington)
  • Stamford Meadows up to Easton on the Hill ( Blue Bell)
  • Rutland Water – a large lake where you can walk for miles and stop for icecream or a picnic. On colder months – seek wamth and a hot chocolate in the restaurant.

Have you any favourite walks for the whole family?

 

 

Disclosure: Kerry and her family were provided items by Millets to try, in return for honest feedback. 

 

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