Autumn is both mine and Willows’ favourite time of the year. It’s the time of the year when the Lake District is at its most beautiful, with the leaves changing colour, walking and crunching through the fallen leaves on the cold crisp mornings. Sure, autumn tends to be slightly wetter than the rest of the year, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing, it means more time spent sheltering in the beautiful woodland.
As I said at the start, Willow absolutely loves autumn - she loves bouncing around the trees and running through the leaves on the ground (I think it makes her feel faster or look cooler, I’m not sure…) and I’m sure you’re dog does too. So without further ado, here are mine and Willows’ top 3 picks for autumnal walks in the Lake District:
Ashness Wood, Borrowdale
Starting the walk from the famous Ashness Bridge that has that picture postcard view of Skiddaw, the walk takes you through beautiful woodland that leads to the impressive Lodore Falls. After admiring the water cascading over the boulders, it’s time to walk up the steep singletrack up the North side of the waterfall to reach the top of the woods. While walking up here do keep your eyes peeled for red squirrels, almost every time I’m here I see one without fail. With the woods being so quiet, it is great for Willow to be able to be off the lead for the majority of the walk, where she enjoyed getting her paws wet at the bottom on the waterfall, as well as loving the steep switch backs up the path.
From the car park at the main Visitor Centre you can walk either the North or the South side of the forest (or both if you’re feeling active!) and on either side you can relish the amazing views you get through the gaps in the trees. Whinlatter is a great place for families and dogs, with a Gruffalo trail that’s perfect for the kiddies - Willow particularly likes Whinlatter because she loves a good run round with the bikes, there’s some fantastic mountain biking trails here too if adrenaline is more your thing.
This has to be mine and Willows favourite woodlands in the Lake District, you have a wonderful woodland, a stunning lake and incredible mountain views all in one place. Now, although that isn’t uncommon in the Lake District, having a place like this all to yourself is. That is what you get when you go to Lanthwaite woods, every time I’ve been I’ve barely seen another person and so is a great place to escape the sometimes busy crds of the rest of the National Park. The steep trail up is both fun and interesting for you and the dog, with stone steps and tight switch backs, it always keeps you on your toes/paws.
I hope this blog gives you some inspiration for some fun walks with your dog.