Pawesome winter walkies on the Path

The clocks have gone back and the weather is turning colder, but even so, many of us are dreaming of weekend beach-time. It’s the time of year when dog owners and their four-legged friends can access beaches, and with that comes a plethora of winter coastal walkies to be enjoyed. We caught up with our furry volunteer, Rudy the SWCP Ambassadog (@cornishrudy on Instagram), and his owner Laura to find out which routes they love best…

Coast Path Ambassadog Rudy on the lead. Photo by Laura Philpott.

Rudy was absolutely thrilled to become this year’s South West Coast Path Ambassadog and we celebrated by adventuring along his favourite section of the SWCP between Zennor and St Ives. This section is a challenge, with rock clambering in places and varying terrain, but makes for a great day trip, with dog and human friendly things to stop and experience along the way.

You can join the Coast Path from various points, but Rudy likes to start in Zennor and make his way along to the The Carracks. This gets the most challenging rock clambering part completed first. Along this stretch, we like to pause at Zennor Head and take in the stunning views. It is quite close to the edge in places though, so Rudy is always kept on a short lead. There is, however, good access to a small cove in one section where he enjoys some freedom to run and a swim in the sea.

Gurnards Head from Zennor Head. Photo by Ted Forman.

The Carracks is a beautiful mid-point to stop at. The name comes from “carrek”, meaning ‘rock’ in Cornish, which highlights the focal points of the scenery very well. For a slightly shorter walk there is an option of turning in land here and heading back to Zennor. If you’re in it for the long haul, keep following the SWCP towards St Ives.

This section is easier than the first with flatter terrain, but continues to provide dazzling views. Rudy loves to spot the boats moving around this part of the coast doing short day trips from St Ives. He secretly wishes he could swim that fast!

When you reach St Ives there are plenty of dog friendly places to eat and drink – you can even find dog ice-cream! There are many gorgeous beaches that Rudy likes to explore, and with most dog bans lifted by September or October, it’s the perfect time to check them out.

St Ives beach. Photo by Gillian Thomas.

There is a nice easy return route inland, which offers a change in scenery and terrain. It is easy-to-follow, across the countryside and farmland, with excellent wildlife waiting to be spotted. Rudy, being an athletic dog, likes jumping over the styles. This can be problematic however, due to him being much quicker than me, which does tend to provide some laughs to others who join us on our walks. There can be lots of cattle in some of the fields here so we find that it helps to pause slightly before walking past to ensure Rudy is calm first. Once you’ve made it back to Zennor there is a choice of pubs and cafes to reward yourself in!

Follow in Rudy’s pawprints with one of our free walks on this beautiful stretch of Coast Path:

Or find a dog walk on your local part of the Trail here.

Staying safe with your dog, a little reminder:

The Coast Path is a great place for a dog with lots of exciting smells and things that they would love to chase. Sadly however, we hear of many incidences where dogs go too close to the edge, or chase something over a cliff. That’s why it’s really important to keep your dog on a lead. To find out more about staying safe on the Path and get advice about walking your dog near livestock and other people, visit www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/dogs – happy walking!

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