I hope you’ve been enjoying the beautiful weather we’ve been having. My very pale skin hasn’t loved it so much! This week has been exciting because we’ve had our first Adventure Day since Coronavirus began. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about – let me explain! Every few months, or sooner if the weather stays like this, we like to take a group of our dogs on an Adventure Day. This can be anywhere that’s exciting and fun. We’ve been to the Monsal Trail, Hardwick Hall Estate and today I want to share our adventure in Dovedale. Usually we’re gone for the whole day, splashing in rivers or saying hello to sheep (no sheep have ever been harmed on our adventures, we’re very friendly!)
This time I wanted to keep numbers to a minimum, for obvious reasons, so we had a lovely group of five; George, Phoebe, Bella, Sirus and teeny tiny Kaiser. With all the dogs in the car, Sam and I headed for the Peak District. We arrived at around 10.30am on Tuesday morning to amazing sunshine and because I’m so organised, I’d forgotten to put sun cream on. Idiot move number one! I didn’t realise it was going to be so warm! The walk actually started in Alstonefield and then it drops down into Dovedale and the finale is a huge, steep hill back out of the valley and into the car park, but more on that later.
Now Sam lives in the centre of Nottingham so she doesn't venture out into the countryside very often. The first corner we come to, we walk round and there are sheep and baby lambs in the field opposite. “Aww, sheep!” cries Sam. It was like we’d gone to White Post Farm! I’d
already dropped my jacket by this point – idiot move number two! We carried on through the village and to the first gate through the fields and towards the valley. When Ben and I came to risk assess this with Maggie a couple of weeks prior there were no animals in sight. As soon as Sam and I get there with five dogs there are cows completely covering the gate. You might be surprised to hear that I’m not a huge livestock fan. Dogs I’m fine with as I understand there behaviours a little better than a cow! However I was the leader of this expedition so I had to put on my brave face – yes Sam I was pooping myself a little bit...
Bella and I went through first and the majority of the cows had the courtesy to move for us, apart from one. There was one, black cow who was very curious about the dogs we had with us. SO as Sam and I helped the dogs through the kissing gate and made sure the rest of them weren’t coursing havoc this cow was getting closer and closer. Eventually it joined the others, but for a second there I thought it was going to join the walk with us!
So we carried on through the fields and into the valley where the path turns from dirt to slate stones. The only dogs we had off lead this time were Bella and Kaiser. I was a little apprehensive about Kaiser and the sheep because sometimes he likes to play with four legged creatures and I wasn’t sure whether this excluded sheep. It didn’t for George and Sirus so they had to stay with us! Kaiser however just wanted to stick with Bella who was clearly the leader of the pack for the day. The path onto the slate stones gets a little slippy, so I had George and Sam had Sirus. These two boys are very playful so we thought having one each would be the safest way to tackle this without either of us getting pulled over. Wrong! I also had Phoebe attached to my lead belt. She’s an older Cocker Spaniel who sometimes lets her nose run away with her. SO the combined effort of George and Phoebe sent me sliding down the hill. Idiot move number three! I’m doing well here.
As we ventured through before the dreaded up-hill ascent, we were happy to find a river. As we came into Dovedale we had a mile of walking along side the river bank. On a hot day like it was, the dogs very much appreciated a dip in the water. Especially Bella! Bella’s love for water reaches no bounds and she would spend her entire day in her paddling pool if you let her. So giving her a river to play in with her ball was paradise for our little Springador! At one point we were having a little break next to the water. George, Phoebe and Sirus were having a paddle while Kaiser was having a rest with Sam and a bowl of water. “Where’s Bella? I haven’t seen her in a little while” I said and Sam immediately points behind me and says “she’s just coming now.” I turn around thinking that Bella is running down the river bank when in fact she’s floating down the river towards us like she’s on the rapids at Centre Parcs. Silly Bella!
Finally came the steep ascent out of the valley and back to the car! We had to stop multiple times. I blamed Phoebe, but actually it was for me to have a rest. It was tough. Usually Maggie will come with us on Adventure Days but this hill was far too much for her last time and Ben had to carry her up!
All in all it was a lovely Adventure Day with some splashing and just a few injuries...
Until next time keep your tails wagging,