Winter has well and truly arrived now for most of us across the UK and here in the Lake District, the fells are looking mighty fine with a good covering of snow up high. With winter here, I thought it would be great to share with you all some of my experiences of walking the dog in these amazing winter conditions.
Now, living in the Lakes does mean we have the opportunity to get up into the high fells but at this time of year we always look at the mountain forecast before we head up high. While it be lovely and calm down in the valley, up on the hills the weather can be different, not to mention it can also change from lovely blue sky to a whiteout very quickly!
After looking at the forecast I always pack the following with me for Willow: the stretchy dog lead (in case there are sheep), the dog hiking harness (which is great for the occasional tricky sections where Willow might need a lift up), poop bags, dog towel and lots of doggy biscuits (very important!)
If you have a perfect blue-sky day then we love to head up high, because the higher you go the deeper the snow, and the deeper the snow then the more fun Willow has! Just recently the deepest snow me and Willow have ever been in was up on Dale Head in the Northern Lakes this January, where Willow had to jump between the tracks already made in the snow from the other walkers ahead of us.
And what’s better than walking up a snowy hill? Running back down with her! It always puts a smile on my face seeing her run off ahead bouncing through the snow like Tigger, not only that it’s a great way to tire out a Border Collie too...
Now, while it is great to get up high to make the most of the snow, if you don’t have the time, the weather isn’t on your side or you don’t want to venture too high then if you’re up in the Lake District then I would recommend going for a walk up Wansfell, Ambleside. This is a great hill that isn’t too high, but usually keeps the snow so perfect for keeping your dog happy!
As well as heading out in the hills for walks with the dog, we have taken Willow sledging with us, running, mountain biking and I’ve even tried skiing with her in the snow. Whether you are just throwing snow balls for them or making a snow man in the garden (which Willow thinks is just one giant snow ball I’m going to throw for her!), there is so much fun to be had with your dog out in the snow!