Dog toys for power chewers!

Meet Mackie, our power chewer! Meet Mackiev2 Looks like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth!  Just so you know, he has jaws of steel and likes to exercise them regularly!

When he can’t find anything to chew, he starts looking for trouble……

So, I’m on a mission to find dog toys that he can’t destroy in 5 minutes flat! I will share with you what I have found so far, but believe me, there aren’t many dog toys that are “Mackie proof”……

  1. Zogoflex Jive: This is the heaviest most dense ball that I have ever seen! It is made from a product called Zogoflex, and it is advertised as being really tough!  I can vouch for this, as Mackie has had one of these for 3 months now, and he has only just started to damage the outside of the ball. It’s still got loads of life yet. Be warned however, it really hurts if they drop it on your toes!!!

2.  Nylabone – all flavours! Now these are brilliant! They don’t last forever, as the dog chews them so much, they eventually shrink in size and become quite dangerous, but you will know when this starts to happen, and you should remove it from the dog immediately.  That said, they come in all different flavours and the dogs love them. The only warning….. be careful not to accidentally stand on a vigorously chewed Nylabone in your bare feet – it hurts like hell!!

3. Kong Extreme dog chew – I don’t think the makers of Kong Extreme chews had met Mackie when they designed this one!  I have put this at the bottom of my list, purely because it is the only toy that has been completely destroyed by Mackie…. It did take him a while however, so we did get our monies worth, but he was eventually able to bite the top off the cone shaped chew and needless to say, that one ended up in the bin!  Most dogs, I think would still get hours of fun from this dog toy, and I will still get Mackie another one, because it pays to have a bit of toy variety around the house…


Friendly facebook!

Facebook page shotI recently read a post from Tissington Nursery (of the plant variety not the child variety!) that they are dog friendly. It’s great to hear from businesses in this way. Anyhow, I opened the debate in Facebook and asked where else was dog friendly, that you wouldn’t necessarily expect to be.  Here are the results, some of which might surprise you!

Church Inn – Chelmorton – dog friendly and lovely staff. They have indoor and outdoor seating and serve food too.

Lathkil Hotel (recommended by Hillsway bungalow –  dog friendly accommodation in Youlgreave)

Heights of Abraham – Matlock – where dogs are allowed in the cable cars. However they are not allowed in the caves or cafe, but there is outdoor seating and some nice walks nearby.

Crich Tramway museum – dogs can ride on the trams and you are positively encouraged not to leave your dog in the car.

The National Stone centre – according to one of our readers, there is a museum and shop. It is right next to the High Peak trail, so there are lovely walks nearby.

Peak Cavern – Castleton

Bagshaw Hall Sleep Lodge – Bakewell

Fat Face ( Ashbourne & Bakewell)

Orvis (Bakewell)

Gratton Grange – another dog friendly place to stay…..


If anyone knows of anymore please do leave us a message on Facebook and we can share. This post was really popular and was shared to nearly 600 people!



September events

Big walkiesAugust is drawing to a close with the bank holiday weekend almost upon us.  There are still loads of great dog friendly events that you can attend:

Bank Holiday weekend beer festival at Hope

A regular event for us, the Old Hall Hotel at Hope always manages to pull off a great day out. There are usually a number of fantastic local real ales to try and often some live music too!  For those “designated drivers” there is a tea room alongside the Old Hall Hotel, which always has a bowl of water for your four legged friend.  There is always a welcome in the Old Hall Hotel pub and dogs are welcome in here too.

Taddington Well Dressing  – 22nd – 29th August 2015

Various locations in the village

11am – 4pm

Hope Show – 31st August 2015

Hope Show is one of the major summer shows in Derbyshire and the Peak District giving an opportunity for large crowds of those who enjoy farming and the countryside to meet & celebrate the year just gone.  It is held every August Bank Holiday Monday with the Sheep Dog trials lasting into Tuesday.

The show includes a wide range of displays, classes and competitions including the Sheepdog trials, Show Jumping, Heavy & Light Horses Showing, Poultry, Cattle and Sheep, including Rare Breeds, Gundogs, Vintage Cars and Motorbikes, Vintage Tractors and Engines, Horticulture, Crafts and lots more.

Alongside these activates there is loads for the children to see & do and plenty of opportunities for everyone to refresh themselves, with the many local food stalls which Hope Show prides itself on.

Foolow Well Dressing – Sunday 6th September 2015  – 10.30am – 4.30pm

Two, both on the Village Green:

  • 1. Main Well Dressing
  • 2. Children’s Well Dressing

How to get there

Foolow is located about 1km north of the A623 Baslow to Chapel-en-le-Frith road at Housley; about 3km west of Eyam.

CAR: you may be able to find a parking space on the village green, although it is closed during the festivities on the Saturday afternoon. Failing this, try along the Housley road; there is a layby just outside the village.


Refreshments served daily in the village hall.

Clownes Well Dressing

This ancient custom is unique to Derbyshire and is the art of making pictures from natural materials. Clowne is a place of springs and the villagers have revived well dressing to mark this. The theme this year is the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. Well Location Outside Wilkinson’s store, Mill Green Way (S43 4LJ)

Please Note – 9am till 7.00pm

Chatsworth Country Show – 4th – 6th September 2015

A fantastic country show with plenty to see for all the family.  For those with culinary prowess there are some great chefs including Mary Berry (from the Great British Bake Off) and John Torode from Masterchef fame.

The Essex Dog display team is in attendance this year, along with dog agility. There are also gun dog displays and plenty of stalls and attractions to wander around. There are always hundreds of dogs in attendance and there are plenty of water stops for your four legged friend around the show ground.

Big walkies – RSPCA Chesterfield – Sunday 6th September 2015

Calling all dog lovers and their dogs, from the playful puppies to the golden oldies. Big Walkies is coming for you!

Big Walkies is the RSPCA’s own series of sponsored dog walks. This isn’t an everyday walk, this is the Best. Walk. Ever. Say goodbye to the familiar and treat your pet to more trees, more fun, and more reasons to slobber. Your dog will make lots of new doggy friends, and you can make human ones too. Together you and your new friends can have fun and help the RSPCA to protect more animals from cruelty and neglect. Every dog shall have his day!

It only costs £10 for one dog, and £5 for any additional pooches. All humans can come along free!

Lathkill Beer Festival – Friday 11th and Saturday 12th September 2015

The first ever beer festival with 17 real ales and real ciders. For those non beer drinkers there are a good selection of wines and spirits. This is a dog friendly pub near Bakewell.

Sat Nav DE45 1JE

Hartington Wakes sports and Country Show – 13th September

High Fields Hall Bank, Hartington SK17 0AT

There’s so much to do and see at our show  Archery, Blood Hounds –  Parade, Bouncy Castle, Cattle Show Classes, Chase the Bunny,  Climbing Wall,  Craft Stalls,  Donkey Rides, Driving Classes,  Children’s Fun Fair, Food, Fun Dog Show, Grand Parade, Gymkhana, Handicrafts, ‘Have a go’ Flyball, Heavy Horse Showing, Horse showing, Indoor Market, Parade of the Poppy Queen, Peter Hallam with his dog and ducks, Puissance, Sheep Show Classes, Show Jumping, Supreme Champion of Champions! Class for best overall animal of the day, Trade stands & Vintage tractors!

Woofs and Wellies – Sunday 13th September 2015

Woofs and Wellies is everyone’s favourite sponsored dog walk!

The fundraising event has been especially put together for our four-legged friends, with a great chance for you and man’s best friend to walk around the stunning Linacre reservoirs, all for your local hospice.

The walk is taking place on Sunday 13th September at 10am. At the end of the walk, your dog will receive a very special medal of their own, which they can wear with pride.

Register for £5 to take a walk with man’s best friend. Refreshments will be available, both for dogs and their owners, plus all dog will receive a doggy bag!

Please be a responsible dog owner and keep your dogs on leads at all times and remember to bring poo bags!

To register, please visit here

Hayfield Country Show 19th – 20th September 2015

Childrens entertainers, birds of prey, sheep dog trials, fell race, crafts, local food, pet tent, dog agility, gun dog displays.

Another great day out.

Derbyshire Well Dressings – a doggie day out!

tissington-well-dressing-thursday-029Derbyshire is famous for it’s age-old tradition of Well Dressing. Over 80 towns and villages decorate their wells with natural materials, such as plants, flowers, bark and other natural ingredients. These are all artistically arranged to produce fantastic works of art, that are displayed by the wells. There is often a theme to the well dressing, anything from biblical stories to special celebrations.

The well dressing celebrations often last for a few days and are often incorporated into Carnival weeks and other special events.

This offers a lovely opportunity to add some interest to your everyday dog walks. Why not incorporate a dog walk around one of the towns or villages that is taking part in the well dressings. There are often dog friendly pubs and tea shops nearby, so you can really make a day of it.

For a complete list of well dressing dates for 2015 click here






Dog Walks in the Peak District – with no stiles!

Tilly at Surprise ViewThe lovely people at Wet Nose Publishing Ltd have sent me a couple of books perfectly suited for the dog walker. They are Countryside Dog Walks in the Peak District – South (White Peak area) and also one for the Peak District – North.

  • They are beautifully illustrated books (with lots of lovely photographs) – if only the Peak District was this sunny all the time!!
  • There are 20 walks contained in each book, which range from Easy to Challenging. Each individual walk gives a summary of the distance, what grade e.g. easy, medium or challenging and how long it is estimated to take, pretty useful if you are time restrained.
  • The walk descriptions helpfully tell you if you are likely to encounter sheep and cattle, which is very useful if you have a dog which is likely to react to either. There are useful little maps which indicate the direction that the walks will take, although I would still have a copy of an Ordnance Survey map or similar on your phone, just in case you take a wrong turn!
  • The only thing I would say, is that the book advertises itself as “20 graded walks with no stiles” – yet there is a squeezer stile in Walk 14 Over Haddon (Peak District South) which is particularly narrow. Whilst these are not the tradional wooden stiles that you climb over, they are worse, certainly for larger dogs, as they are two pieces of solid stone that you have to squeeze through. Quite often there is no other way around!  That said, the walk description does warn you of the stiles right at the start, so you won’t get caught out.
  • These books are a great accompaniment to a holiday in the Peak District with your dog.

12 things to do with your dog in the Peaks

Here’s some ideas for what to do today with your dog!

1. Take a walk in Grinlow Woods, Buxton, where your dog can run around the woodlands and burn off some energy. Later you can visit the Pooles Cavern coffee shop, which is a dog friendly cafe, and have a nice warm drink – with your dog by your side. Please note that the cavern itself is not dog friendly, but you are more than welcome to walk through into the coffee shop and enjoy refreshments for you and your dog!

2. Explore the Monsal Trail, and discover one of the many dog friendly pubs nearby. Check our Dogs Welcome in the Peak District guide for more details of which pubs are dog friendly.

3. Visit Bakewell on a Monday, and walk around the market. You can follow this with a drink at a dog friendly cafe or one of the dog friendly pubs in Bakewell. Check our Dog Friendly Bakewell guide for more information.

4. Make a trip to Monyash and take a walk down Lathkill Dale, or try our Monyash Meander walk in our Dog Friendly Bakewell guide. You can finish your day with a visit to the Old Smithy tearooms, who welcome dogs.

5. Visit Monsal Head and walk down into Monsal Dale. Your dog will enjoy running free in Monsal Dale. You can enjoy a drink or a meal in The Stables Bar, back up at Monsal Head, when you’ve both tired from all the fresh air and exercise.

6. Go and see the Crich Tramway Museum. Dogs are welcome to enjoy a ride on a tram. Please check their website for opening times, there are sometimes restrictions on services during the winter months.

7. Enjoy a walk from the picturesque Ashford in the Water and enjoy either a dog friendly cafe or a dog friendly pub. Check our Dog Friendly Bakewell guide for more details.

8. Spend an afternoon wandering around Chatsworth House grounds, you will be pleased to know they allow dogs in the Gardens as long as they are on a lead.

9. Travel to the Eastern Moors near to Sheffield and experience the open spaces of the moors and heather. Enjoy a National Trust walk and stop off at The Grouse inn, which is dog friendly. You can eat with your dog in the conservatory area at the back (limited seating) or there are several benches and tables outside.

10. Visit Black Rocks at Cromford and enjoy a varied walk with your dog through woodlands and open spaces. There are way marked trails, but also plenty of footpaths for those with a local map.

11. If you fancy a woodland walk, check out dog walk section at the top of the page.

A day out in Buxton with your dog

Tilly waiting to board the Buxton Tram

Tilly waiting to board the Buxton Tram

If you are looking for a nice day out with your dog, then you need look no further than Buxton.  With a host of dog friendly pubs and local attractions there is something for everyone, including the Buxton Tram affectionately known as “The Wonder of the Peak”.
Superb Scenic Walks
If you want to blow those cobwebs away then Buxton has a host of wonderful dog friendly walks on hand.
Goyt Valley – located in the Peak District National Park this area combines picturesque valley, moorland, river and reservoir scenery to offer to truly mind blowing scenery.  With a variety of different trails to follow, some short, some long there really is something for everyone, including a flat trail if needed.  It is an ideal area for dogs although it is important you read all the necessary safety signs as there can be ground nesting birds during the months of March to July.  Dogs are always welcome though, so bring a ball and a picnic and have a lovely day out!
Solomon’s Temple – an old Victorian viewing temple located at the top of Grin Low in Buxton County Park provides a stunning platform to view the surrounding Peak District landscape and the bubbling town of Buxton below.  A fantastic walk provides a good way to tire even the most energetic of pooches (and owners) out.
Where to eat and drink
Nothing works up the appetite like a good walk along the hills and the rush of fresh air.  If you decide not to pack a picnic then you might want to think about finding somewhere you and your pack can settle down for a tasty treat.
Luckily Buxton affords many dog friendly pubs both in and around the area.
The Church Inn at Chelmorton – an undisputed unspoilt corner of England situated opposite the village Church, this pub offers traditional pub fare (with produce sourced locally wherever possible) and a happy hearth for your four legged friend to curl up on during those colder days.
The Old Tap House – renowned for its craft beer this gem of a pub serves an amazing choice of ales as well as a selection of home cooked meals (including a good range of vegetarian options).
The Courtyard in Buxton –this wine and coffee bar is well known locally for its charming and cosy setting with sharing platters and tapas boards to fight over!
Barabellas – situated in the town centre this British cuisine restaurant offers a warm welcome to your favourite pooch (but sorry, the kids will have to stay outside due to licensing laws).  Excellent food in a relaxed atmosphere.

Road trip to Dark Peak District

Tilly on the Sett Valley Trail

Tilly on the Sett Valley Trail

Last week, I needed to go to Manchester for a quick business trip. Since I didn’t want to leave Tilly at home, I decided to find some dog walks along the way.

Travelling from Buxton, I followed the A6 to Chapel en le Frith and then turned off the dual carriageway and carried on along the A624 to Hayfield (eventually leading to Glossop). My first dog walk began at Hayfield, where I parked up and walked along the Sett Valley trail, which is a 2.5 cycle and bridleway trail which links Hayfield to New Mills.

View from Sett Valley Trail

View from Sett Valley Trail

It is a linear walk which follows a former railway line through countryside with some lovely views of reservoirs and hillside views. The first section of the path leads to Birch Vale where you need to cross a relatively busy road to continue along the Sett Valley trail. I continued along this path for a little longer and met quite a few fellow dog walkers along the way.

It is useful to know that there are lots of footpaths which lead off the Sett Valley trail and I noticed that you could walk up to Lantern Pike, however a copy of the The Peak District: Dark Peak Area (OS Explorer Map) would prove very useful if you wanted to develop a circular walk of your own.Sett Valley trail signs

Tilly and I were out for about an hour and a quarter and enjoyed a lovely linear walk.

Having arrived back at the car, it was time for a quick breakfast for Tilly and a comfort stop for me. There are toilets in the pay and display car park, which are very welcome on a  road trip!

I continued on to Manchester and spent a couple of hours working, whilst Tilly had a well deserved snooze in the car. Our journey back was via Glossop and our destination was Torside reservoir and the Longendale Trail. From Glossop you follow the B6105 towards the A628.

Views of reservoir from Torside

Views of reservoir from Torside

The Longendale trail is another path which is used by both walkers and cyclists but has beautiful views of reservoirs and dramatic hillsides. There is a good visitors car park at Torside which also has toilets. Whilst the car park is pay and display, you can use your Peak District visitors car park pass if you have one.

You can choose to walk in either direction along the trail, the Woodhead tunnel is at one end, whilst Hadfield is signposted in the other direction. Either one will allow to give your dog a good stretch of his/hers legs…….

Finally after a long day on the road we headed home via Glossop and then Chapel before heading down the A6 back to Buxton.


Visiting Glossop with your dog

Longendale trail

Part of the Longendale Trail

Glossop is a relatively unexplored haven for dog owners. The market town is tucked away in the north west of the National Park, just 15 miles from Manchester, and is known as the “gateway to the Peak District.”  Not only is Glossop a picturesque town to enjoy a stroll around, it is also a great place from which to explore the foothills of the Pennines.

When it comes to dog walks, Glossop has a huge number of possibilities. From the five-mile circuit around Digley Reservoir or the treks around Torside Reservoir and Ladybower Reservoir, where getting wet is a distinct possibility for most dogs, to countryside walks high above the town, Glossop has an array of options.

For the more genteel, a meander through Manor Park or Howard Park is as good as you’ll find, or take a leisurely stroll on the walk from Broadbottom to Hadfield stations, Glossop to Broadbottom stations or Hadfield to Glossop stations (the choice is yours!). Alternatively, take a walk along Harehills Park and its riverside footpath.

For something more vigorous and energy consuming, from Little Hayfield take a walk to Cowan Edge, a huge cliff side which once formed part of a quarry. Once at the top, you’ll get stunning views over Glossop and of Bleaklow. Also from you Little Hayfield dog friendly paths lead to Rowarth that are well worth exploring.

From Old Glossop, there is an equally challenging dog walk up to the top of Bleaklow Mountain. Start from the top of Shepley Street and head up to the top for some spectacular views.

The Longendale trail which follows the former Woodhead railway line is also worth a visit. It is popular with families and cyclists and is a relatively smooth flat path which you can access at Hadfield, Torside Reservoir or the Woodhead tunnel.

After all of that, you and your dog will have well and truly earned a drink or something to eat and Glossop has plenty of pubs and cages which are dog friendly.

Commercial Inn on Manor Park Road, the Queens Arms in Shepley Street, the Grouse Inn on Chunal Road and the Pear Tree on Hadfield Road are just some of the pubs where your dog will be as warmly as welcomed as you are, while outside of the town the dog friendly pubs include the Snake Pass Inn in Ladybower and the Pack Horse and the Sportsman in Hayfield.

Enjoying the Peak District with your dog

Tilly in the Goyt Valley

Tilly in the Goyt Valley

The Peak District is an ideal place to visit with your dog, it has glorious views from up high, picturesque villages and attractions galore with many places to explore for both man and dog.

The towns of Ashbourne, Bakewell, Buxton and Matlock offer central points from which you can head out to see the attractions of the Peak District and the Hope Valley – all with an abundance of dog friendly cafes and pubs too to ensure you don’t go hungry or thirsty.

Among the must-do walks you’ll find in the Peak District are The Monyash Meander following the Limestone Way, through the tunnels of Wye Dale on the Monsal Trail, the Bakewell Loop which offers spectacular views of the town, the Cromford and The High Peak Incline close to Matlock and Black Rocks in Cromford.

There are also an abundance of woodland walks and National Trust walks that you simply won’t get through in one visit to the Peak District. Why not take a stroll through Hardwick Hall or Kedleston Hall, where dogs are well thought of and catered for, or head east towards Sheffield for several beautiful woodland walks.

The Peak District isn’t just about the walks though, because you’ll find that your dog is welcome at some many of the attractions.

The Peak Rails heritage line runs between Rowsley and Matlock on part of the old Midland Railway line which ran between Manchester and London St Pancras and dogs are welcome on the train.

Dog Friendly steam trains

Dog Friendly steam trains

Pets are also welcome on the trams at the Crich Tramway museum near Matlock, where there is also woodland and sculpture trails to enjoy. Dogs can also take a ride on the Buxton Tram, a converted milk float known as “The Wonder of the Peak” which tours this lovely town.

Tilly waiting to board the Buxton Tram

Tilly waiting to board the Buxton Tram

In Buxton, Poole’s Cavern is well worth walking around – although dogs are not permitted due to safety reasons. They are, however, allowed in Treak Cliff Cavern in Castleton with the cavern thought to be the only place in the world where Blue John stone naturally occurs.

You will find that the Peak District has so many things to see and do and a day or week in the Peak District will leave you and your pets wondering just how long it will be until you return to the national park.