Monday, 22 August 2011

Shropshire: A Dog Walker's Guide

Shropshire: A Dog Walker's Guide is a new book by author and dog owner Judy Smith.

 It is published by Countryside Books in paperback and costs £7.99.

The book is a godsend for people who either live in Shropshire or are planning a holiday in the county. "I know from my own experiences," points out the author, "that it's hard to be sure once you are off your home patch, where you can walk safely with your dog without the frustration of getting lost, finding your route blocked with impassible stiles or encountering busy roads. I have put together this collection of dog-friendly walks so that others can discover Shropshire's wonderful countryside without these frustrations."

The book contains 20 circular routes, all designed to have maximum off-lead time with minimum exposure to roads and with varying lengths from two to seven miles. Each of the walks has a host of information from the distance, the terrain, what types of livestock you are likely to encounter, the number and types of stiles you will be faced with, and even the contact details of the nearest veterinary surgery.

Besides the clear and numbered route instructions, each section also includes a matching numbered map, details of how to get to the start of the walk and places of interest on each of the routes. It also lists suitable cafes and pubs that are dog friendly.

Walks covered include some of the most beautiful parts of Shropshire such as The Long Mynd, Grinshill, Brown Clee, the unmissable Llangollen Canal at Ellesmere and Grindley  Brook, where you will be able to see the canal boats. Watch out for the dogs who live on the boats, most are friendly but care should be taken. 

There's the mysterious stones at Mitchell's fold, the open grasslands at Stapeley Hill, Wenlock Edge, ancient woodlands like the Wyre Forest and Mortimer Forest and the Wrekin Hill, technically a mountain, but a very small one!

You can also visit the Ironbridge Gorge with the Hay Incline Plane, Bedlam Furnaces and the Blists Hill Victorian Town, the ramparts atthe Iron Age fort at Bury Ditches, the ruins of Haughmod Abbey and the impressive Llanymynech Heritage Area. Each chapter also includes suggestions on other dog friendly walks in the immediate area.

The book is well written and well researched, it contains useful general guidance to dog walkers and is nicely illustrated with photographs and the maps.

Judy Smith knows Shropshire well. he lives in the beautiful Welsh town of Llangollen, just seven miles over the border. She is the author of several books on walking and travel, including Kiddiwalks in Shropshire.

The book is available from all good bookshops and Internet retailers (just use the Amazon search box on That's Books) and some garden centres.

The ISBN Number is 978 1 84674 235 4

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