The problem in Chester is not trying to find somewhere to walk your pooch but having to choose from one of the amazing places that the area has to offer.
So, I decided to spend bank holiday weekend dragging my humans, by a leash, to some of my favourite walks in and around Chester.
First, let me tell you about myself before we dive, nose first into my walk … wait, I can’t say that, or I’ll be off and there will be no introductions!
My name is Wilma and I was rescued from the Dogs Trust in Rode, Shrewsbury in February 2017. If you have seen me on Instagram you might be wondering why my handle says “wilmanotthewestie”? Well, it started when my humans were told I was a westie cross when they decided they wanted to give me my forever home. However, I continued to grow, and they began to wonder what my breed actually was. What other breeds could I possibly be crossed with? My humans decided they wanted to find out, so I had a simple DNA test and low and behold turns out I didn’t even have any westie in me after all. I was, in fact, four crossed with four different breeds. Half Alaskan Malamute, a quarter Staffordshire Bull terrier, and the rest made up with Akita & Bichon Frise. What a unique concoction! SO that’s where the #4Dogz comes from. So that’s me. Now…. Walkies…
Friday evening… home time. Time to go to the pub? Not tonight. Well not yet anyway. Caldy Valley is where we’re starting. Just outside the city centre by Sainsbury’s, there is a 12-hectare green corridor running from Rowton Moor almost to the River Dee in Huntington. This is perfect for a short walk with a small dog or you can even get a few laps in if you fancy a peaceful walk to tire out your humans. There is parking for up to 10 cars in a little car park on Chester Road, but you can also join the walk via several access points; Chester Road, Huntington and from housing estates surrounding the nature park.
There is a winding brook that flows through the park and sometimes a kingfisher or two can be seen fishing there. There is a small children’s play area and some green space for when I get a chance to play a game of fetch. If by now your humans are still not too tired and need a longer walk, you can always make your way towards the city to Sandy Lane Aquapark. You will often find other dogs with their humans here and is a good place to make friends. If your humans need a rest, there are benches along the side of the River Dee where you can enjoy with great views of the meadows and maybe get a glimpse of the Lady Diana or Mark Twain boat making their evening journey downstream with party goers having lots of fun without their dogs?! If your human, then needs some refreshments and maybe a bite to eat why not make your way up Sandy Lane to The Mount Inn. They are very happy for me to take my humans for some refreshments whilst I relax and enjoy the views which speak for themselves, so give it a go.
Saturday morning… what are your humans doing today? Are they going to watch the footy with the lads or shopping with the girls? Well, my humans are taking me on a trip up to Helsby Hill. This will be my first time here, so I am very excited. There was parking available on Alvanley Road, Helsby WA6 9PU and it was free. We took a steep walk up to the hill and the ground is quite uneven so make sure your humans have suitable footwear.
The great thing about Helsby hill is that its suitable for short dog walks or if your humans are feeling energetic you can take them around the hilltop of Helsby. After a short walk uphill, we were greeted with some of the most spectacular views of Cheshire and the Mersey Estuary. The newly erected wind turbines don’t ruin the view they hypnotise you into a sense of calm even with the busy motorway in clear view. Be warned! It was quite a windy day that made my humans feel a little unsteady and even felt like you could be swept away at any minute.
Once we had enjoyed the views my humans weren’t very tired so they decided to continue to walk through-the-forest experience rather than along the hilltop. This is where your humans need suitable shoes because my human did not, and he found himself face first in the mud. Luckily it wasn’t a wet day, or the walk could have been cut very short. If your humans are still feeling energetic they may also choose to continue their walk around the hilltop and enjoy the amazing countryside or even take the path down back to the road and through the village to the car park. As this was our first time to Helsby Hill we opted to take the path back through the forest and back to the car. We will be going back to explore some more for sure.
Sunday…. Whilst most are thinking about what meat to have with the Sunday Dinner or if the sun is out just enough to warrant firing up the BBQ, my humans thought they would take me for another adventure. Loggerheads is today’s destination. Set, in the foothills of Moel Famau, a few miles outside of Mold it is a country park that was once used for lead mining. My humans paid £2 to park but it can be up to £4 depending on how long you stay. Make sure your humans give plenty of time as they can get carried away making your way through the beautiful wooded river valley.
If your humans need some energy before their walk or need a little break post-adventure there is a Café and gift shop located at the beginning of the trail along with some examples of its industrial heritage.
As you approach the trail you are greeted by a cliff face that looks awfully high. If your humans are feeling energetic and want to walk to the top they turn right as you cross over the River Alyn. Fancy a peaceful walk along the old watercourse built to carry water for the mining operations? Turn left. My humans decided to turn right. After a short walk, you are met with lots of steps, at first, I thought they’re never going to end and that my humans had made a mistake turning right, but then we arrived at the top and before you know it you’re deep in the forest. Be sure to follow the trail as much as possible as there are lots of newer paths that have been created over the years that my humans thought was tad uneven, we found that out the hard way! So, look for the most obvious paths and after about 20 minutes or so you will reach the cliff face.
The views were most fabulous. Be sure to keep an eye out for the peak of Moel Famau. My humans spotted it and this is now going to be one of our of walks over the coming weeks. Continuing on, you find yourself weaving through the Welsh woodland heading down towards the river where you can get really close to flowing water and if your human allows you can have a little splash around or even a game of fetch, which is my favourite. Now time to get back sniffing and rummaging through the forest. Continue along the path and you will soon be greeted by the sound of barking coming from Alyn Boarding kennels and catteries.
My humans weren’t fooled by the ever-disappearing path as you are coming onto the driveway of Alyn Boarding kennels and catteries and decided to investigate further. They did think it was best to put my lead back on as they couldn’t see what was on the other side, but there was no need to worry the trail continues in around 300 yards and the best is yet to come. The pathway now has a ditch for me to run up and down whilst my human keeps an eye on me from a higher level. However, watch out as there is a bridge where I can neither confirm or deny that there is a troll living under there! My humans noticed a sign for “Devil’s Gorge” let’s investigate! It wasn’t too far away and it’s quite spectacular. First, you get a bird’s eye view over the Gorge that highlights just how deep is and if your humans aren’t too tired you can continue on and you will find you can explore the dark caves. Make sure your humans are wrapped up warm though as the temperature takes a drop and it can get a bit chilly but quite an experience, so make sure you give it a go.
Once your humans decide they have had enough exercise they can choose to go make their way back along the trail where they can rehydrate and get a scone at the café. They even have special bowls of water for me. My humans decided to make their way back along the river back to the visitor centre as they had brought supplies with them. We arrived back at the car just in time as we had so many things to explore. However, they did treat me to an ice cream which is my favourite thing. What a great way to end the best bank holiday weekend.
We made our way home, it’s time for a bath, dinner and bed. My humans must be exhausted!
If you like the sound of our walks you can check out my YouTube Channel to watch my adventures in Loggerheads and Helsby Hill. Videos are coming soon… We have also filmed a couple of our other walks around Cheshire so take a look. Don’t forget you can follow me on Instagram.