About us Blogs SWLT Top 10 Dog Walks Explore the lakes of the South West by foot and paw; venture along miles of footpaths, and take a moment to appreciate the peaceful beauty of water, woodland and forestry. Download maps of walks around our sites and begin your adventure! Afterwards, refuel by visiting one of our dog-friendly cafes. Burrator Burrator Reservoir is located on the edge of Dartmoor National Park. With dramatic tors, open moorland, historic settlements and a Nature Reserve, Burrator is a picturesque location for a walk. The arboretum is a great place to walk your dog; the area is contained within a fence, preventing livestock from roaming about. Dogs can run off the lead (outside of bird nesting season), as long as they are kept under close control. The area is mostly accessible; there are level gravel paths and a boardwalk. If you fall into the category of the more adventurous dog walker, you can exit from the back of the arboretum and join the track up to Cuckoo Rock and Sheepstor. This walk can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the tracks you choose to take. The looped path to the left of the entrance is 1.5 km in length. There is a free car park at the arboretum, with an interpretation board and donations post at the entrance. Alternatively, pay a visit to the dog exercise area, which is an old forestry block. Situated 600 yards north-east of the Discovery Centre (opposite Lowery Moor), it has been planted with native broadleaf saplings. The area is fenced off with tall deer fencing, restricting access for livestock and deer. Your dog can run free and explore the many paths within this area, with no risk of frightening livestock or entering the water. The dog exercise area can be accessed from the road, or from both the east and west sides via pedestrian access gates. If you join the footpath at the Discovery Centre, you can walk along the path and join the dog exercise area with ease, joining the rest of the inner footpath around the reservoir. Please remember, however, that dogs must be kept on a lead on the inner footpath and out of the water at all times. The round-reservoir walk takes around 2 hours depending on your pace, and is approximately 4.5 miles long. Roadford Lake Roadford Lake is situated within the beautiful Wolf Valley, close to the Devon and Cornwall border. Surrounded by a variety of natural habits (Culm Grasslands, woodlands, old pastures and orchards), Roadford offers a great day out for dog walkers. Explore our nature trails with your four-legged friend; visitors of all ages and abilities will enjoy the network of footpaths which access different areas of the lake. There are numerous walks at Roadford, ranging from a short stroll to a 13 mile hike. A wheelchair accessible route involves walking to the sundial and then on to Gaddacombe, where there is a bird hide. Loop back to the café through the forestry plantation. The Coombepark Walk is 2.5m/4km, and should take about 50 minutes. We do ask that dogs are kept under control on leads, so as not to disturb the wildlife. Roadford Lake Café is open all year round and serves locally sourced food, in front of a stunning backdrop. Dogs are very welcome; there is a doggy paw wash area, so dogs can enter the café (on leads) with mud-free paws and enjoy a well-deserved tasty treat! There is also an enclosed dog exercise area in the main car park where dogs can run around off-lead. Across the water, there is a dog-friendly campsite, and Rover can even accompany you onto the water as long as he is wearing a doggy life jacket and doesn’t jump in! Argal Argal Reservoir is located on the outskirts of Penryn in Cornwall. A fantastic dog walk is the Argal round-lake walk. This 2km circular lake trail passes through woodland and meadows, and provides great views of the lake, Mabe church and the wider landscape. Look out for bluebells in spring, and bird life in winter. The route can even link up to longer walks in the surrounding area on public footpaths and through College Lake woods down to Penryn. Make a stop at Wild Vibes Argal, a dog-friendly café offering fresh water dog bowls and free dog treats. There is an outside tap for those muddy paws, and a dog exercise field where you can let your dogs off the lead. A recent addition is the local business Praise and Paw, offering dog obedience and etiquette training on site. This month, we are jointly developing an enclosed area of the dog exercise field; Praise and Paw will use this for training, but it will also be available to book as a private space for nervous or less sociable dogs. Wimbleball Wimbleball Lake is nestled in a 530 acre site within the rolling hills of Exmoor National Park. With miles of walking and cycling trails winding around the site, this is the perfect spot for dog walkers on Exmoor – whether you are looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging walk. There is a short, linear walk to the dam (1.3m/2.1km), which should take about 30 minutes. Return on the same route, for a 3 mile walk. For the more adventurous walker, there is the challenging 9 mile/14.5km hike around the lake perimeter: ‘The Lakeside Round Walk’. This should take roughly 3 hours. Both start from the on-site café car park. Again, dogs must be kept on leads. There is an enclosed dog exercise area just above the sailing club, and dog washing facilities are available at the campsite. If you would like your furry friend to join you in some watersports activities, they are allowed on the kayaks and canoes, as long as they do not enter the water. Wistlandpound Reservoir Wistlandpound, located on the edge of Exmoor National Park, is a haven for wildlife and boasts wheelchair and pushchair accessible woodland walks. There are two main paths that wind around the perimeter of the lake and through the deep alpine green spruce plantations. The lower path is an easy, flat and very accessible route, but dogs must be kept on leads. The upper path takes you through Forestry Commission land and is slightly less even underfoot (and sometimes muddy), but it remains flat. Dogs do not have to be on leads on this path; however, they must be kept under control. Please note that there are no facilities at this lake, so be sure to bring along a picnic! Stithians Located a few miles from the A30, Stithians is the largest inland water in West Cornwall. There is a network of paths around the lake for peaceful or more active walks. There is a great dog walk from the café to the imposing Stithians dam. Why not see if you can spot some birds from the hide there? Take care: the route does involve a section of country lanes. There is a longer 4.8 mile circular route that runs adjacent to the lake through meadows, wet woodland and heathland; however, a long section of this includes a road, which may not be as doggy-friendly. Café Lake Central is the perfect place to relax with your dog. Fresh water is always available and our furry visitors have even previously been offered prosciutto…but the doggy treat tin may be preferable! Siblyback Siblyback Lake offers a beautiful 3.2 mile circuit for walking, running, cycling or birdwatching. Surrounded by the striking backdrop of Bodmin Moor, the area lies within the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The round lake walk runs from the main car park and is approximately 3.2 miles/ 5km in length. The path runs adjacent to the lake, and passes through woodlands and by the impressive Siblyback Dam. This trail is suitable for pushchairs, wheelchairs and bicycles, and boasts a range of habitats typical of the moorland environment. Tamar Upper and Lower Tamar Lakes are steeped in industrial history and rich in flora and fauna. Way-marked walks follow the shorelines of the two lakes. The circular route around the lake is approximately 2.8 miles (4.5km) (starting from the car park) and provides a great route for a lakeside walk. Together with 1 South West, SWLT have worked hard to achieve a level path around the entire lake. It is now possible for anyone on foot, bikes or mobility scooters to comfortably enjoy the stunning views and wildlife around the lake. Recharge at the dog-friendly Frog Hopper café – the perfect destination for families with little froglets (and doglets). Longham Lakes Located close to the idyllic town of Ferndown in Dorset, Longham Lakes offer a beautiful setting for a walk. Our four-legged friends are very welcome to walk around the lakes. A walk around the outside of both lakes is approximately 1.5 miles and provides good exercise for both us and our dogs. In order to protect wildlife, dogs must be on leads at all times; this is especially important during the bird nesting season and to ensure that they do not enter the water. Several dog bins are located around the site and we actively encourage owners to use them. Wheal Martyn Set within 26 acres of woodland, Wheal Martyn’s grounds offer the unique opportunity to explore beautiful trails with your dog, while discovering Cornwall’s china clay mining history. A particularly dog-friendly trail is the half-mile nature trail, which passes through the grounds of two china clay works. Look out for man-made buildings, wild animals and mature rhododendrons which disguise the signs of clay extraction. By following the path, you’ll discover the atmospheric Gomm Engine House and Viewing Point. Follow the trail up to the working pit, where children can enjoy running across small bridges over the stream. Stay on the circular route up to Pit View, where huge machines resemble children’s toys in the context of the sheer size of the pit. There are plenty of canine drink stops and even kennels at the café, if a tasty treat takes your fancy. There is also an opportunity to branch off onto the off-road clay trails, through which you can explore the scenic clay county, including Cornwall’s coastline, heathland, nature reserves, stunning turquoise dams, towering clay tips, woodland and mining villages. Be our top dog! Enjoy your walks and adventures this autumn, and become our top dog! Help to keep our lakes a place for all to enjoy – our lakes are dog friendly and offer the perfect spots for dog walking, but please take the time to follow our dog code: -Lead by example: Lakes are great spaces for your dog to enjoy. Please keep your dog on a lead at all times. -Share this space: Not all visitors and wildlife enjoy your dog’s effect. Please make sure your dog doesn’t spoil the enjoyment of others. -Keep our lakes clean: Please bag and dispose of your dog’s waste responsibly. -No doggy paddling: Keep your dog out of the water and away from fishermen.