We’ve included maps and directions for some of our favourite walks. We’ve focussed on relaxing walks away from roads.
I’ve checked out all the walks personally, and ruled out anything with lethal livestock or unscalable stiles. I try to point out potential hazards like fetid pits in which your dog might take a bath, places with a risk of random sheep, possible overconfident chickens, and all the other things I can think of. I’ll also point out if you can get an ice cream or a pint of beer en route.
All the walks are pretty stress-free either without a dog or with an average dog who is reasonably agile over stiles or small enough to wriggle under. If there are sheep, they are contained in obvious fields rather than popping up randomly. I try to avoid cows as much as possible. (Obviously the location of cows can change, but I try to point out anywhere that they might be.)
My advice on cows is to avoid them if you have a dog with you and there isn’t a really easy way to get out of the field if they come at you. They can be genuinely dangerous if you have a dog. If you’re determined to go through and they look calm, keep the dog on a lead initially. If they come over in a reasonably non threatening way, I keep the dog on the lead and wave my arm as if doing aerobics (not directed at the cows, but getting in the way of the cows if they try to come close.) If they get really aggressive, I let the dog go and get the hell out over the nearest fence or wall. Luckily my dog and I are both good at wall climbing!
I think there are already plenty of walks available for the intrepid adventurer who’s happy to walk 15 miles and doesn’t mind if some of it is on the A6. I’ve concentrated on shorter walks that are fun and stress-free, and near our cottages. They can be linked together to make longer walks, or you can walk to the start points rather than drive.