Today we picked up our exploration of The River Ouse from Old Stratford. As you can see from the pictures this is a really dog friendly walk. You’ve got the river on one side (great for cooling your dogs off in these hot months) and fields on the other. With a well maintained path, and no roads nearby, walking here with your dog is just a joy.
We did a wide loop from Old Stratford and followed the river right the way around till we reached the old Mill. At this point it was dog on the lead as we crossed the fields which are full of cattle at the moment. As you first cross the fields there is no path and in wetter months you would definitely want wellies or waterproof walking shoes as it gets pretty swampy; however, on a hot May day my little shoes stood up to the job.
If you veer towards the left (away from the river) you will come across a little path again – it’s straight as you like and leads you to the canal. If you take a right you will meet up with the Grand Union canal (at the t-junction left takes you to Cosgrove and right to Wolverton). We usually go left and walk along the disused canal; there are wide dips where the water used to be and with plenty of wildlife dotting about your dog will be kept entertained throughout. A word of warning: sometimes there are sheep in the fields and you may not see them until it’s too late. Because of this I usually keep Grizzle on lead for the final stretch of the walk, but that’s really not an issue in my opinion – by the time you get to this point you will have been walking for a good hour and twenty minutes, your dog will no doubt have swam plenty and be ready for a gentle stroll next to you.
Near the end of the walk you will need to put your dog on a lead (if you haven’t before) because to join up to the starting point you will be close to a very busy road. You’ll hear cars well in advance though so if your dog is a plodder then just listen out and you’ll be fine.
In total the walk took 1 hour and 30 minutes. We walked a slow pace which allowed for plenty of swimming and chewing sticks.