Dog walking in Bristol…

Life has been a bit of a roller coaster recently (which has meant I have neglected the blog – sorry!) However, one thing that has stayed consistent is that I do A LOT of dog walking. I have the guns to show for it – Gadget is a very strong and super excitable staffy who just wants to run everywhere; I don’t like to run everywhere. This is where we have issues… Anyway, I thought I would get back into blogging with a bit of a curve ball; celebrating all the fabulous green places we have right on our doorstep. It is another reason that makes Bristol so special to me; a short walk out of the city and you can be running around a beautiful big park or getting lost in the woods.

Here are a few of the places that Gadget and I have come to love since he came into my life late last year. Normal food related content will however be resumed soon, I promise.

Ashton Court

I find it absolutely incredible that this stunning location is within walking distance from where I live. 850 acres of park and woodland (I had to google that) you could wander around Ashton Court for hours. This is the perfect place for tiring out the most energetic of dogs as there are so many wide open spaces to run around and little nooks to explore. This is also a photographer’s haven with views out over Bristol and the mansion in the background. Beautiful.

Victoria Park

This is one of Gadget’s personal favourites: he immediately has a massive grin on his face! Victoria Park in Bedminster is surprisingly huge!! With the playground, football pitch and tennis club, there is a lot going on for everyone. For me, it is just a handy place to run Gadget around. 🙂

Gadget walking along with a massive stick
Underestimating his size…

Eastville Park

This one is a bit of a drive outside of the centre of Bristol, which isn’t too fun with a dog that gets car sick, but is completely worth the journey. As well as a lot of gorgeous open spaces, you can wander around the lake or if your dog likes water as much as Gadget you can let them run up and down the river to their hearts content.

Gadget running through the river
Loving the water!

Leigh Woods

Part of the National Trust, prepare to get a little muddy wandering around these beautiful woods. You can access it from near the base of the Avon Gorge (so pretty spectacular views en route), wander through one of the many routes mapped out at the entrance (just watch out for all the bikes) and come out near Clifton Suspension Bridge to take in more fabulous scenes of Bristol from by the observatory.

Gadget looking out over views of Clifton Suspension Bridge
Checking out the views

Windmill Hill Community Orchard

This is a recent find and is fairly small compared to the above. My closest park, this is my go-to place if I am feeling a bit lazy and cannot face the full walk to Victoria Park. The great thing about this little hidden gem is the giant logs in the middle that make a great obstacle course. A few jumps up and down on the logs and Gadget is quickly tiring out.

Three pictures of Gadget the staffy sitting on logs
Working on agility skills

Finally, I need to mention the Mutty Professor (great name!) who has been helping me to train Gadget to walk on the lead. Roz from the Mutty Professor has a great approach to dog training which resonated with me from the beginning. Gadget is still very much a work in progress (I am still the crazy lady trying to reason with her dog as he runs after a rogue leaf in the wind) but the reward based training has had a massive impact on his behaviour and I no longer get a daily shout out of “Who’s walking who?” They also have a great shop on West Street that I have to drag Gadget past every day. Try out the giant pig’s ears if you want to keep your dog quiet for a while. 🙂

Gadget the staffy in new harness
New harness – looking smart

Let me know if I have missed any great places for walks! And if you see someone getting wrapped up in a giant lead  in any of the above places, as a grinning staffy runs loops around her, come and say hi!

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