One Man And His Dog and Countryfile presenter Matt Baker has always been a dog lover, he was the proud owner of a Border Collie named Meg, who joined Baker on Blue Peter from 2000 onwards. We watched as she demonstrated her sheepdog skills and delivered a litter of puppies. Recently Baker introduced us to his new black Labrador, named Annie, on Countryfile. As part of his regular jaunts to the scenic parts of the UK he’s got to experience some of the best dog walking destinations the country has to offer, and spoke to us about his favourite places to take long walks with his four-legged friend.
1. The beaches of the northeast
Between Newcastle and Norwich, there’s a stretch of idyllic coastline, with sandy beaches, backed by cliffs and adorned with cute harbours and historic sites like Bamburgh Castle.
Matt Baker says: “There’s hardly ever anybody on the beaches and your dog will love feeling the power of the North Sea.”
2. The Chiltern Hills
Set in southeast England, near Oxford, this area spans from the Thames Valley to the ancient city of St. Albans. The Chilterns have 200 miles of canals to explore and 40 miles of beautiful rolling hills.
Matt Baker says: “With lots of hamlets like pitstops, you’re never far from a good pint and a bowl of water for the dog.”
3. Malvern Hills
Set in Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, the dramatic Malvern Hills are a often described as a ‘miniature mountain range’. This rambler’s paradise is filled with woods, 3,000 acres of raw countryside and stunning views.
Matt Baker says: “Its a quirky mountain range with breathtaking views all around. You’ll appreciate these more than the dog but your four-legged companion will be shattered when they get back to the car.”
Moors, waterfalls, green valleys and rare flora (including orchids) can be found in this idyllic Derbyshire spot. Activities in the area include walking, country pub hopping, potholing and climbing. Matt Baker says: “Twenty minutes from Sheffield and you’re in the middle of nowhere. Plus with it’s huge boulders there are great photo opportunities, if you can get your dog to sit still long enough.