It’s now that time of year when the nights are drawing in and the weather is getting much wetter. Have you been looking for the best dog walk in Surrey where you won’t need to don your wellies and wade through inches of mud? Do you have a pushchair or wheelchair and find you can no longer use most of your normal dog walking routes in Surrey? We have put together the list below of some great dog walks where the trails are paved, surfaced or not so muddy so that they are easier to access for a dry dog walk and don’t leave you feeling like both you and your dog need a long hot bath at the end of the walk!
1. Box Hill
There are a number of walking trails at the top of box hill which stay on well maintained or paved paths. If you have children with you, you might want to try the Natural Play Trail which will keep your kids busy while you enjoy your stroll with the dog. Some of the trails run alongside the zig zag road so you may prefer to keep your dog on a lead if you choose one of these routes. The visitor centre (open 10am to 4pm most days) will be able to advise you on a dog walking route which would suit you best and there is a cafe too, although dogs aren’t allowed inside. Parking is free for National Trust members but there is a charge for non-members (Oct 2019: £1.50ph or £4 for 4 hours).
2. Farnham Heath
This RSPB reserve welcomes dogs but ask that they be kept on leads in some areas during February to March (due to the impact they may have on wildlife and nesting birds), so please follow the signs if you visit during this time. The reserve is free to enter although they welcome donations. There are 3 main trails available, one which takes 30 minutes, one which takes 45 minutes and one which lasts around 90 minutes.There are no stiles or steps on the trails. The short 30 minute trail is mostly surfaced although there are still some muddy parts. The medium length 45 minute trail is partly surfaced with some areas of tree roots and soft ground. The longer dog walk is a bit more challenging and also has some steep areas. If you wanted to extend any of your dog walks, you can do so on some of the bridleways and footpaths that link to the reserve – more information can be found on the RSPB website here. The reserve is very close to the dog friendly Rural Life Centre which you might also like to visit or perhaps stop in at their cafe after your (hopefully!) dry dog walk.
3. Lakeside Nature Reserve
You can find this good short dog walk just off Lakeside Road in Ash, Surrey – more information about the reserve can be found here. The entrance is quite obvious and there is a car park here too.
The paths are all well maintained with only a couple of wet and muddy and bits, although there are some narrower sections as well. The lake is a members only fishing lake, so you would need to be careful that your dog doesn’t get too close to the fishermen or eat any of their bait!
The main path goes around the outside of the lake and is quite pretty, however it is quite a short dog walk at 1.4km. Even walking slowly we got round in less than 25 minutes. You can extend your dog walk onto the Basingstoke Canal which is mostly paved, but this doesn’t loop back into the nature reserve so you would need to walk back the way you came or walk with your dog along the road.
The reserve joins the Blackwater Valley Path so you could extend your dog walk even further if you wanted to, but we haven’t done this so are unsure of the quality of the path and again you might find it difficult to form a loop.
If you have children, there are some activities that they can take part in so you can entertain them as well as the dog!! There is a play park with zip wire and mini-climbing walls, a butterfly trail and some raised pictures which kids can make a wax picture/rubbing from if you take along paper and crayons. Parking is free at GU12 5AA.
4. Horton Country Park
This country park near Epsom in Surrey has mostly paved or hard surfaced well maintained trails. There is a map on their website which details some of the sites you can see in the park and also gives you some history and details of the wildlife in the area.
You will find a great circular dog walk around the park which is around 4 miles in length, but this can be shortened to around 1.5 miles by using the path which cuts across and this is recommended in wet weather. Some parts of the path are next to an equestrian centre so be careful near here if your dog gets excited by horses. There are toilets on site and parking is free.
5. Reigate Hill
Here you can find a nice 3 mile dog walk which is mostly on surfaced paths, however there are steps on the trail so it wouldn’t be suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs. The dog walk takes in a number of historical sites along the way as well views across the surrey hills so could be considered one of the best dog walks to do on a wet day!
When we did this walk we didn’t have time to go quite so far so we followed the trail from Wray Lane Car Park past Reigate Fort and onto Colley Hill. Then we did a loop around the hill which was on grass but quite flat and not muddy and returned on the surfaced path. The bonus was that the trail for this part was all quite flat and relatively easy dog walking and would be suitable for a pushchair or wheelchair too, and you still get great views of the area. Holly really enjoyed the wide open green on Colley Hill and included some great galloping on the dog walk! On a sunnier day this would be a lovely spot for a picnic overlooking the Surrey Hills.
Parking can be found at the Wray Lane Car Park and even though this is a National Trust property parking is free at this car park. There is a cafe and toilets here too. You could also choose to park at the Margery Wood Car Park which is free for National Trust members but chargeable for non-members (Oct 2019: £1.50 per hour or £4 for 4 hours).
Do you know of other great dog walks in Surrey to take on a rainy day or when the ground is really wet? If so, please do let us know by contacting us or using the comments boxes below, we would love to hear from you!