Co-founder of PetsPyjamas, Denise Elphick and her Norfolk Terriers, Pet Inspectors Rufus and Heidi share their favourite dog walks as featured in Town & Country Magazine…
I love Richmond Park. One of my favourite walks is to park at Roehampton Gate and walk along the path to Richmond Gate. I then walk out of the park and down the hill to Petersham Nurseries to stop off for a welcome coffee and homemade cake. Rufus and Heidi always manage to get a few delicious crumbs. Petersham Nurseries is the most stylish place in the world and it’s pet-friendly! After coffee we walk back up the hill through Richmond Gate and back to Roehampton Gate. It’s about a two hour excursion but is heavenly.
For a shorter walk we start off from the house in Fulham (near Parsons Green) and walk along the Kings Road towards Chelsea. Rufus always wants to veer off towards the vets for a treat but after a fifteen minute walk, we arrive at Megan’s delicatessen. They have a pet-friendly garden at the back, full of gorgeous flowers and fairy lights. There are always lots of dogs there and quite frequently we see Sybil, a Norfolk terrier puppy, and they all have a play. Then back home again; it’s a good half an hour walk.
I work in Shoreditch in East London and I quite often take Rufus and Heidi with me. We walk from our offices in Leonard Street to Old Street and stop off for lunch at Look Mum No Hands, a pet-friendly restaurant that always give us a warm welcome. For such an urban environment there are plenty of dogs on patrol. Another good stop off point is The Book Club.
Sometimes we meet up with my friend Jo and her Labradoodle, Bertie, in Highgate and take a shady walk through Highgate Woods. It’s a leisurely 20 to 30 minute stroll and there is a lovely large playing field, which is ideal for ball-throwing. Once you have all tired yourself out, you can sit down to a welcome cup of tea in the cafe in the middle of the woods.
For a lovely walk by the river we set off from Fulham, cross Putney Bridge and walk along the tow path to Hammersmith Bridge. It’s a lovely shady walk populated by a few boat houses and is very peaceful and charming. We sometimes stop at a little park along the way where there is the sweetest cafe. We go over Hammersmith Bridge and then along the north side of the river, sometimes stopping off at The Crabtree pub. It’s about a two hour walk.
We are also in the middle of the Capital Ring walk – a 78 mile loop around London which can be done in 15 one-day walks. It’s great to discover new areas and our walks have taken us to Wimbledon, Highgate, Harrow-on-the-Hill, Crystal Palace, Brentford. We try to complete a different section each weekend.
We love holidaying in Walberswick in Suffolk and stay with a friend who has a cottage on the village green. The dogs love playing on the beach and chasing after a frisbee. A lovely walk is from Walberswick along the beach to Dunwich. It takes about an hour each way and there’s a fabulous fish and chip shop for lunch when you arrive.
There’s a lovely pub in Hurley called The Olde Bell. We often go for Sunday lunch and then afterwards we walk over the bridge along the river. It’s only a 40 minute drive from London but so easy to get to, and so gorgeous when you do.