In this blog I’m going to be talking about the dog walks, dog-friendly pubs and some of the other places we encountered in Kintyre and Northumbria.
The top of Kintyre, Scotland
This is a beautiful part of the country and the views are absolutely stunning. There are so many opportunities for walking although you do need to be aware of livestock in places. There are a
number of Forestry Commission sites, Knapdale in particular, which are great for off-lead walks.
The Crinan Canal is a beautiful place to visit. We drove to Crinan and walked along the canal for a few miles, turned back and then ate lunch at the Crinan Hotel. Dogs were welcome in the bar and the food was lovely. The scenery from the Canal is beautiful and there was lots for Millie to explore. It runs alongside a sea loch and when the tide is out lots of birds, usual and unusual, can be seen on the flats – there is a hide beside the towpath looking
out across the flats. The canal is nine miles long and provides a route between the
Inner Hebrides and the River Clyde for sea-going vessels so is wider than some canals. As a result you can see some lovely boats moored in Crinan or sailing along the canal. It really is a beautiful place to walk.
A day trip to the island of Gigha is worth it. Leave the car at the tiny ferry port and cross as a foot passenger (it’s pretty cheap). It’s probably worth having a map. We didn’t and ended up just walking along the main road and popping down to
any beach we could find – they were all tiny but the water looked like the Caribbean and was a
beautiful turquoise. We had lunch in the Gigha Hotel, lovely food and very welcoming of dogs.
Tarbert is a lovely little town. There are a couple of dog-friendly pubs – although we didn’t find anything noteworthy – and a fish and chip shop. There is also a castle above the town and this leads on to a short walk or can be extended to a long walk to Skipness Castle.
I love to go to the coast in winter. It’s so dark, dull and dreary in the city that the light of all that sea and sky really cheers me up. The beaches in Northumbria are A-MAZ-ING! All along that coast there is beach after beach which is long, wide and covered in golden sand. Of course it can get extremely windy but that’s part of the fun of going in winter, to blow all the cobwebs away. Bamburgh is a particularly lovely place to stop for a walk, with its stunning castle and pretty village. Walking along beneath the castle takes you to a path which leads down through the dunes to the beach. The castle looks even more impressive from the beach and you can really see how impenetrable it would have been.
We stayed in a cottage in Warkworth, down the coast from Bamburgh, a couple of times in winter 2015/16 and loved it. The village is lovely and again there is a castle, albeit on a smaller scale than Bamburgh. There is a lovely walk along the river – it’s not very long but can be extended away from the river or you can just use it as an alternative (off-lead) route to the village.
The beach is roughly a 10 minute walk from the village although there is a car park closer to the beach if you prefer. Again it’s an amazing beach and we particularly like it here. In the village there are dog friendly pubs – we really like the Masons Arms; the food is lovely and they are very welcoming of dogs. There is also a cafe called Bertram’s which allows dogs – we didn’t find it particularly welcoming to dogs or humans but the food was good and it was a good option for eating during the day. (On a personal note, there is a Patisserie and Chocolatier and the pastries are the most delicious I’ve ever had!)
Have you read my recent blog ‘A guide to dog-friendly trips: Leeds and Malham‘? Why not check it out now?
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