The Lake District

Distance: 5.4 miles

Any dog currently feeling slipper-guilt (I know, they're so chewable, so hard to resist) may like to indulge their owner with the Grasmere to Rydal walk. This route presents the opportunity to visit the graves of William Wordsworth and his family at Grasmere's St Oswald's Church (humans like that kind of thing), not to mention the chance to look at some yew trees planted by the poet himself. Owners with more food-based interests (like mine, luckily) will enjoy the variety of shops and pubs in Grasmere.

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Begin your route next to the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop, going through the lych gate and walking south, towards the church.
The path will take you to the third grave on your left; follow this church path alongside the river Rothay, leaving the churchyard and turning left. Take Stock Lane until you come out on the main A591, crossing the road at the roundabout (make sure your owner's careful, they can be just as bad as those blasted cats when it comes to road-crossing). When safely across, go along the lane opposite, passing the Wordsworth Trust building, the Jerwood Centre, Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum.
Carry on past Dove Cottage until you reach How Top Farm. Take in all the new smells then carry on along the road that's marked ‘Path to Rydal' until you reach two cottages and the path ends. Carry on straight ahead (this means ignoring the path that veers off to the right, regardless of how interesting it smells down there) and go through three gates. You'll see a stone seat.
Follow the pathway and keep your eyes peeled for the interesting birds that nest in the Nab Scar crags below the path. If your owner starts getting all excited, they've probably seen a buzzard or a peregrine falcon, but don't worry, they still prefer you.
Lead your owner on until you come to a T-junction, where you'll need to go right, past Rydal Mount and Gardens. The road drops down quite steeply here, so take a moment to watch your owner doing a silly half-run half-walk. Turn down the first left you come to, going round behind Rydal Hall. You'll pass a teashop here so now's a good time to look hungry.
Go through the gate at the end of the driveway, turning left and going down another steep hill. Have a go at doing that silly walk yourself.
Soon, a church gate will appear on the right, so why not liven things up for your owner by getting in the way while he or she tries to open it?
Scamper through the churchyard and into a field. This isn't just any field, however: Dora's Field was planted full of daffodils in honour of Dorothy “Dora” Wordsworth by her brother, William Wordsworth, after she died of tuberculosis.
Head back to the steep hill and turn right, going down it. You'll come to the A591, which you should cross before turning left and walking a short way beside the A591.
Coming up is Pelter Bridge. Cross this and lead your owner up the tarmacked lane, passing a small car park, and some houses. Be sure to wind up any dogs in windows or gardens by telling them how great it is to be outside. Loudly.
This lane will soon become a coarse path snaking through woodland and out into open land. Stay on the lane until it forks, taking the left hand path. Trot along for a good half mile, letting your owner enjoy views over Rydal Water. I often wonder if my owner is imagining swimming in it, stick in mouth as I am. I'm fairly sure she is.
You'll come to a merging of footpaths, take the one in the middle which leads you up on a ledge between Grasmere and Loughrigg Fell. Carry on down Loughrigg Terrace, taking a right which leads you down to the lake.
Time for that stick and swim combo I mentioned earlier. See if your owner joins in, but I don't recommend a friendly nudge of encouragement, especially while she's leaning over to feel the water temperature. Oops.
Walk left beside the lake, going through a gate and making sure the lake shore stays on your right.
When you reach the road it's time to give up that stick no matter how attached you've become - he's a goner and he'll only slow you down. Take a right and follow Red Bank Road for three-quarters of a mile. This will bring you all the way back to the village of Grasmere.
Find cottages in Grasmere View the Cartmel walk Back to the start

Note to owners: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of these walks, they are for planning purposes only. Sykes cottages can't be held responsible for changes to routes as a result of construction projects, weather, or any other events which may cause conditions to differ from walk directions. We recommend getting a copy of the relevant Ordnance Survey Landranger map to assist in route planning and navigation.

Images: Grasmere and Rydal Water courtesy of Peer Lawther, Loughrigg Fell courtesy of Purple sea donkey, The Grasmere gingerbread shop courtesy of Brian Clift, Nab Scar seen from Rydal courtesy of Andrew Bowden