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11 Best Dog Walker Parks in London

11 Best Dog Walker Parks in London

Dog Walkers in London

Having a dog in the city often seems like it would be unfair. Dogs need exercise. They need to run around manically, throw themselves about, roll in puddles and otherwise behave mischievously.

However, London has a plethora of gorgeous and sizeable parks that are perfect for a doggy day trip.

And of course if you really want, there is a huge amount of space just outside of London, the Chiltern Hills for example, which certainly deserve a thorough explore.

For all you London based dog owners (or any Londoners who like a good walk), we have compiled a short list of some of our favourite parks in London, and they really aren’t that hard to get to.

Grab your HBB, pack your essentials and get going.

#1 Hyde Park – Central London

London’s most famous – and perhaps busiest – park, but dogs are welcomed here with open paws. Hyde Park is one of the Royal Parks and forms a huge rectangular green lung in the middle of central London. It is home to numerous famous landmarks which draw in millions of tourists each year, including the Serpentine Lake, Speakers’ Corner and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain.

Nearest station? Queensway, Lancaster Gate, Marble Arch (Central Line) and Knightsbridge, Hyde Park Corner (Piccadilly Line)

Find out more and plan your visit here.

#2 Victoria Park – East

Vicky Park, as it’s known to eastenders, is a social hotspot for outgoing canines and their owners alike. It’s split into two parts: The western half is landscaped with a fantastic organic lakeside café, boating lake and picnic areas in the summer, while the eastern half is more suitable for dogs and has larger expanses to run on.

Be advised to carry a doggie bag though as there’s an open-ended children’s adventure playground (dogs are not allowed) and plenty of green area given over to sport. The Kenton is an excellent local dog-friendly Norwegian pub to pause in.

Nearest station? Hackney Wick or Cambridge Heath, (Overground)

More info on Victoria Park

#3 Richmond Park – West

As the biggest enclosed space in London, there’s no shortage of spots for your dog to explore here in this National Nature Reserve.

This is London’s largest Site of Special Scientific Interest, so dog owners will need to be aware of the precious wildlife here. There are some restrictions in certain areas, and owners are advised to avoid the park during the deer rutting (September to October) and birthing (May to July) seasons to help prevent any potential problems.

Nearest station? Richmond (National Rail and District Line)

Is there a car park? Yes, there are several.

Find out more and plan your visit here.

#4 Regents Park – Central

Designed by John Nash, Regent’s Park covers 395 acres and is perhaps the most picturesque of central London’s parks with glorious flower beds and the famous Queen Mary’s rose garden with over 1000 varieties. There are plenty of places to let your pooch run free (especially on Primrose Hill) but dogs should be kept on leads in the formal gardens and sports areas.

Nearest station: Regent’s Park (Bakerloo line), Great Portland Street (Hammersmith & City, Circle & Metropolitan lines), Baker Street (Hammersmith & City, Circle, Jubilee, Metropolitan & Bakerloo lines), St John’s Wood (Jubilee line)

Plan your dog walk at Regents Park here

#5 Peckam Rye Park – South

This Victorian Park has recently been restored to its former Victorian glory with lottery money. At 113 acres, it is south east London’s biggest green zone and it has loads to offer: woodlands, a lake, formal garden and the Café on the Rye.

The arboretum is a canine-free zone but the lovely Japanese garden isn’t, and there are plenty of other trails to take: Southwark council even provides a handy trail map.

Nearest station? Denmark Hill Station (Overground)

Plan your dog walk in Peckham Rye Park here.

#6 Hampstead Heath – North

As far as views of London go, they don’t get much better than when perched atop Parliament Hill, the summit of hilly Hampstead Heath. Sometimes known as ‘kite hill’ due to its popularity among kite flyers. Spanning a huge 320 hectares (790 acres), this wildlife-rich parkland is among the biggest in London and features woodlands, vast heaths and swimming ponds, including one dedicated to dogs that enjoy a dip in the water. As you’d expect from an ancient heathland, there’s plenty of history, too – there are at least 55 historical features, monuments and archaeological sites to explore.

Nearest station? Golders Green, Hampstead or Kentish Town (Northern Line) and Hampstead Heath or Gospel Oak (London Overground).

Is there a car park? Yes, several.

Find out more and plan your visit here

#7 Battersea Park – Central

This Thames-side gem spans 200 acres with lakes, woodland areas, designated nature spots and open space. The park, which opened in 1858 on reclaimed Thames marshland, has a colourful history – including that of The Brown Dog affair. A statue of the same name was placed in the park in memory of dogs used in research experiments at the turn of the last century and was the subject of huge political controversy. The terrier figurine sits on a plinth in the park’s woodland, beside the Old English Garden.

Nearest station? Battersea Park (National Rail)

Is there car park? Yes

Find out more and plan your visit here.

#8 Lee Valley Park – East

This enormous 10,000 acre, 46 mile long linear park along the leafy banks of the River Lee runs from the East India Dock Basin on the River Thames in east London and up through Essex and Hertfordshire to Ware.

The park’s towpath through London takes in Walthamstow Marsh Nature Reserve, one of the few remaining pieces of the capital’s once widespread river valley grasslands. There’s also Coppermill Fields, Leyton Marsh and Tottenham Marshes, as well as plenty of reservoirs, as the park makes its way out of London. Once the park hits Waltham Cross, it opens up to the vast expanse of open spaces and lakes of the River Lee Country Park, which even has a free 500 metre dog agility course located just north of Cheshunt Railway station.

Nearest Station? There are many, it depends on where in the park you want to go.

Find out more and plan your visit here.

#9 Wimbledon Common – South West

Who wouldn’t want to romp around on Wimbledon Common, the largest expanse of heathland in London? Encompassing Putney Lower Common and Putney Heath, the conversation area covers 1,140 acres and supports a variety of wildlife, areas of mature woodland, ponds and bogland. You’ll cross paths with horse riders here as well as school children on nature trails and foragers in the autumn. If you start out from Putney, there’s a lovely walk to Wimbledon windmill with dog-friendly tea rooms to reward the foot-sore.

Nearest station? Wimbledon Park or Southfield Station (District Line)

Plan your dog walk on Wimbledon Common here

#10 Thames Path – South West

A well-trodden path by well-heeled dog owners who live locally but little known about outside the postcode. The walk offers the most pleasant, leafy views of the river, and is lined with fabulous trees which have grown huge due to the abundance of water. If you’re feeling energetic you can walk all the way from Hammersmith to Twickenham, – there are plenty of riverside pubs to stop at, several of which allow dogs on the lead.

Nearest Station? It depends where you want to start.

More info on dog walking on the Thames Path from Barnes

#11 Highgate Wood – North

A short walk from Hampstead Heath will bring you to this 70 acre ancient woodland. It’s a haven for wildlife and accessible scenic walks and, come spring, you’ll find a beautiful carpet of bluebells there. Evidence of its history dates back to prehistoric times. There are good facilities here, including a cafe, on the edges of the woodland’s central field.

Nearest train station: Highgate (Northern Line).

Is there a car park? Yes.

Find out more and plan your visit here.

What’s your favourite walk in or around London? And your favourite HBB to take with you?

We’d love to know in the comments section below.

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Enekes in Cheltenham

Enekes in Cheltenham

Enekes is one of the leading retailers for luggage and leather goods in the UK and so we are very excited that they recently started stocking Healthy Back Bags.

They have a vast range of products and brands which we slip seamlessly alongside, including the likes of Samsonite and Ted Baker.

Their team is incredibly dedicated, knowledgeable and passionate about what they do ensuring their product range is only of the highest standards.

Their store is based in the Regent Arcade in Cheltenham, where their full range can be viewed.

But they also have a comprehensive online store that’s well worth a peruse for all your luggage needs.

New Retailer

It’s always exciting to welcome a retailer into the HBB fold.

Our bags sell extremely well in a range of different stores, and its unsurprising that they do well in luggage stores. The unique shape and burst of colour that our product supplies helps them stand out whilst at the same time offering a great opportunity for retailers to do some interesting merchandising displays to draw in footfall and increase sales across their store.

We look forward to a long relationship with Enekes.

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11 Gorgeous Autumnal Walks to Take your HBB on

Autumnal walks

11 Gorgeous Autumnal Walks

Autumnal walks, whilst having a bit of a chill factor, hold some of the most beautiful landscapes of the year. The trees turn to golden browns and gorgeous reds and oranges. The air, crisp with a hint of those colder days to come.

It is then a time of year that is perfect for romping over the soft hills of the English countryside.

So, we thought we might put together a little list of walks that would be absolutely perfect to take your HBB on.

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If you like this article, or perhaps have a favourite walk to share, feel free to leave a comment in the box below.

In the South West

1. Stourhead, Wiltshire – King Alfred’s Tower walk

This 5 mile walk takes you up through beautiful woodlands to King Alfred’s Tower (open at weekends only, 12-4pm throughout October), a 160ft high folly designed for Stourhead’s owner Henry Hoare II in 1772. It is believed to mark the site where King Alfred the Great rallied his troops in 878. Don’t forget to stop and enjoy the spectacular views across the lake in the landscape garden, with the deep autumnal hues of red, russet and yellow from the surrounding trees. Take your time to soak up all the features of this masterpiece, including the tranquil garden of the South Lawn, the shaded banks running down to the lake and the Grotto, which contains a statue of a sleeping nymph.

Get a map of the walking trail here

Autumnal walks
Credit: Marilyn Peddle https://www.flickr.com/photos/marilynjane/4546584778

2. Castle Drogo, Devon – Teign Gorge walk

This is one of the most famous walks on Dartmoor. The route takes you past the imposing bulk of Castle Drogo – which was the last castle to be built in England, these areas are rich in history, with incredible views and abundant wildlife.

Then there is Fingle Bridge, a popular focal point for budding photographers, and the perfect spot for a game of Poohsticks in the river Teign. The return journey follows the river’s path through dense oak woodland where the foliage turns to vibrant shades of yellow and orange. If you look up you might just catch a glimpse of the castle above the trees.

Get a map of the walking trail here.

Credit: WyrdLight.com

3. Kingston Lacy, Dorset – Beech Avenue and Droves walk

This 3.8 mile walk takes you round the beautiful network of droves, along the stunning 1835 Beech Avenue and back along the outskirts of the Kingston Lacy parkland. The Avenue began life in 1835 when William John Bankes planted 731 trees along the side of the newly built road. The tree canopy now forms a beautiful tunnel of russet colour during the autumn months. The National Trust is now working to conserve this stunning visual landmark by replacing lost beeches with hornbeam trees, which also provide beautiful autumn colour, but are more suited to the British climate.

Get a map of the walking trail here

4. Brownsea Island, Dorset – Rich Reds of Brownsea walk

Brownsea’s unspoiled landscape provides a peaceful haven for visitors seeking a bit of autumn colour. From sweet chestnuts and beeches to hazel trees and scarlet oaks from North America, there are a whole range of bright hues to enjoy. Even the local wildlife adds to the vibrant atmosphere with migrant redstarts and the local population of red squirrels as the stars of the show. This easy walk will take you round the island to enjoy all the delights of the season with sweeping coastal views thrown in for good measure.

Get a map of the walking trail here

5. Heddon Valley, North Devon – Heddon Valley to Woody Bay walk

Nestled on the West Exmoor coast it’s easy to see why the Heddon Valley was a favourite with the Romantic poets. In autumn the path through the valley is full of vibrant yellow gorse, which scents the air with the smell of coconuts all the way down to the sea at Heddon’s Mouth. There are also plenty of walking routes higher up, including an historic 19th-century carriageway and part of the South West Coast Path, which run across some of England’s most dramatic coastal cliffs. Those prepared to brave the challenging terrain will be rewarded with stunning coastal views across the Bristol Channel to Wales.

Get a map of the walking trail here

Photo © Basher Eyre (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Near London and the South East

6. Winkworth Arboretum, Surrey – Winkworth to Oakhurst walk

During the autumn months the splendour of Winkworth Arboretum really comes to life with rich, blazing colour from the Japanese, American and Norwegian maples. This 2.5 mile walk weaves its way through the woodland to the top of Hydon’s Ball, where you can enjoy spectacular views across the Surrey landscape. From here the route carries on to the charming village of Hambledon where you will discover Oakhurst Cottage, a delightful 16th-century labourer’s home which has remained largely unchanged for the past hundred years or more.

Get a map of the walking trail here

7. Emmetts Garden, Kent – Weardale walk

This beautiful circular walk links Emmetts Garden and Chartwell (formerly home to Winston Churchill), passing through the woodland areas of Toys Hill and Hosey Common. Emmetts garden has a beautiful display of autumn colour due to its variety of exotic trees and shrubs, all surrounded by acres of wild native woodland. Keep an eye out for the Acers and Katsura Toffa trees, and see if you can smell the latter filling the air with a sweet toffee scent.

Get a map of the walking trail here

Photo © Oast House Archive (cc-by-sa/2.0)

8. Devil’s Dyke, West Sussex – Saddlescombe Farm and Newtimber walk

Only five miles north of Brighton, Devil’s Dyke is full of stunning vistas – including a panorama which the Romantic painter John Constable described as ‘the grandest view in the world’. From a working farm nestled among rolling hills to the remains of Iron Age ramparts and old chalk pits, there is plenty to see in this landscape. A colourful habitat all year round, in September the hill-barrows at Newtimber become even more vibrant when the flowers transform the hillside into a beautiful carpet of purple.

Get a map of the walking trail here

9. Wicken Fen Nature Reserve, Cambridgeshire – Wicken Fen Boardwalk trail

Wicken Fen may not have any woodland, but it’s still possible to see stunning autumn colour on a walk around the reserve. In September the sedge turns an amazing russet colour, which becomes golden in the evenings as the setting sun illuminates the leaves. During the Second World War Dig for Victory campaign, the war office turned the fen into arable land. Restoration of the area is now being carried out, and every visit you make to Wicken Fen helps the National Trust to care for the plants and wildlife that have made a home here.

Get a map of the walking trail here

Credit: Andrew Stawarz https://www.flickr.com/photos/stawarz/4318620433

In the Midlands

10. Attingham Park, Shropshire – A Light Autumnal Walk

Explore the changing colours of the deer park with a walk taking in views over the open landscape to the river, and of the orange-gold trees that mark the start of the woodland. Kids will love crunching leaves underfoot or trying to catch them as they fall from the trees. Keen-eyed adventurers might also be able to spot some of the resident fallow deer herd camouflaged among the brown bracken and ferns.

Get a map of the walking trail here

James Humphreys - SalopianJames (CC BY-SA 3.0)

11. Belton House, Lincolnshire – Belton Park Walk

Autumn reds, yellows and golden browns can be found all over Belton, from the adventure playground and parkland, to the tranquil views overlooking the boating lakes. The magical misty mornings and crisp, clear days of autumn are an ideal time to enjoy the wonderful succession of changing colours. As you explore the estate on this walk, you can rustle your way through fallen leaves and enjoy the gorgeous golds and yellows of the lime trees along the cobbled drive. Closer to the house, rich ruby and russet creepers clad the honey-coloured walls of the West Courtyard, where the sharp but sweet aroma of ripening quinces lingers on the air.

Get a map of the walking trail here

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7 Amazing London Walks

Seven Amazing London Walks

You don’t have to travel to the Yorkshire Dales, or the Brecon Beacons for a nice walk.

Sometimes you simply don’t have time to take the weekend to get out of the city. If you live in London, there are loads of great walking routes, from abandoned railway lines to some of the biggest parks you can find inside a city.

Whilst a walk in the city won’t give you the raw savage beauty of the cornish coast or the stunning views over rolling hills that you might find on the South Downs it does offer views, forestry, cityscapes, parks and a rich, full history.

So, for all of you who can’t get out of the city, grab your HBB, pack it with all your essentials, and have an explore of one of these walks we’ve shortlisted for you!

Don’t have a Healthy Back Bag yet? Shop Now

1) The Capital Ring

The Capital Ring Walk offers you the chance to see some of London’s finest scenery. Divided into 15, easy-to-walk sections, it covers 78 miles (126KM) of open space, nature reserves, Sites of Specific Scientific Interest and more.

Find out more and download maps

2) Green Chain Walk

Stretching from the River Thames to Nunhead Cemetery, the Green Chain Walk spans the fields, parks and woodlands across 50 miles of the area. Split into 11, easy-to-follow sections, this guide allows you to explore as much, or as little as you like, at your leisure.

Find out more and download maps

3) Jubilee Greenway

The most recent addition to the Walk London routes, the Jubilee Greenway is 60km long – one km for each year of the Queen’s reign, to link together all the major Games sites.

Find out more and download maps

Our Bags are great for walking with. The clever design makes your bag feel lighter, and the clever pocketing means no more rummaging around lost at the bottom of your bag.

Don’t just belive us though!

“I actually use this bag for dog walking, it has a pocket for me to put a bottle of water, the bag itself holds an ice-cream tub that i give the dogs water in. The side pockets are great for storing dog treats and poop bags and i have room for my keys, a spare lead, somewhere to put my purse/phone etc too. It might be small but it has been so useful and it’s even weather resistant so if it rains the things inside don’t get drenched!”

– Emily

“Just wanted to say I’ve now recieved my two HBBs and am loving them! Now able to walk with both arms free, love the clever deisgn… and how it can be easily opened while wearing. Thanks!”

– Sylvia

Get yours here

4) Jubilee Walkway

The Jubilee Walkway may only be 15 miles long but it contains some of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Find out more and download maps

5) Lea Valley Walkway

The Lea Valley Walk follows the route along the Lee Navigation towpath, from Waltham Abbey to the Thames at Limehouse Basin.

Find out more and download maps

6) The London Loop

Taking the London LOOP is a great way to get to know London better. Made up of 24, mostly flat or gently sloping sections, its combination of beautiful open spaces like Hainault Forest Country Park and Bushy Park, historic buildings (Hall Place and Black Jack’s Lock & Mill), makes this an enjoyable walk.

Find out more and download maps

7) Thames Path

Stretching from the lost floodplains of Richmond to the Dickensian stretches of the eastern marshes, the Thames Path offers walkers lots to see and do.

Find out more and download maps