Further Afield

Cheshunt Country Walk includes dog agility course

It’s great because: “Equipment is available for hours of doggy fun and training, plus you can have a good walk around the River Lee Country Park. We love this park and use it mostly for when we want a doggy day trip.” “Using map OS Explorer 174 you can plot a beautiful two-hour round route from Cheshunt Station via Waltham Abbey. If driving, park in Waltham Abbey and take in the dog agility at Cheshunt.”


Be aware: “Map out your walk on your first visit, as the country park is not very well sign-posted and directions to the agility course unclear – it’s very easy to get lost. We certainly did the first and second time!” “If doing a round walk via Waltham Abbey, there is a section of road where dogs should be on lead.”


Claybury Park and Woods


Forty Hall Estate


Gunpowder Park


Gunpowder Park
It’s great because: “It’s nice and big, with a range of habitats.” “Relatively quiet even on a sunny Sunday in August.” “After rather a bland entrance, you have meadows, wild flowers, marshland – beautiful.”


Hackney Marshes

It’s great because: “The riverside walk is as interesting for me as it is for my pooch.”  “A great walk along the River Lea.”  “The car park by the Hackney Marsh Centre is free, and has a cafe and loos. The cafe/loos at the WaterWorks Centre only seem to be open at the weekends now, but the car park there is free too.”

There’s more“You can choose several different routes and types of walk and it links up to several other open spaces, and often you can have the whole place to yourself. It has the vast football fields, great for running and playing ball. On one side is the canal, which you can follow towards the Olympic Park; on the opposite side is the River Lea – you can either walk down by the river or through the wooded area where new paths have been created, which is great for sniffs and smells. You can also get to the Olympic Park via the East Marsh, it’s recently had new grass planted which is extra spongy and springy and the dogs seem to love it, and the new path up to the bridge has some great vistas and skylines. We like to run in the East Marsh then on the lead into the park, and the friendly lady in the Timber Lodge lets us in the cafe in the mornings when it’s not busy – they do excellent croissants. Nearby there are some seats looking out towards Fish Island, again there are some great views! Another walk you can do is over the marsh towards Middlesex Filter Beds nature reserve, there’s lots of bird song and it’s a very peaceful space. You can walk through, cross the canal by Millfields, then walk by the canal to Leyton/Walthamstow Marshes and do a circular route that takes you back through the WaterWorks Centre and the old golf course. From here you could cross the footbridge and into Jubilee Park. The great thing is all these areas interlink – you could do a different walk everyday of the week, crossing and overlapping!”


Be aware: “Watch out for Sunday football, runners and cyclists. I prefer to get out early, especially in the summer when the families and part-time dog walkers appear thick and fast.”  “Bins are a bit sparse, there are more by the tarmac path on the River Lea, and a couple by the benches by the canal. This is a sports area so it’s really important to pick up – we want Hackney/Lee Valley, etc., to continue to allow dogs.”


Hainault Forest


Hatfield Heath & Matching – Walk 5 from Essex: A Dog Walkers Guide


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It’s great because: “A 35-minute drive from Waltham Forest for a six mile walk in beautiful countryside. Hatfield Heath has a bakery or two where you can buy filled rolls. Matching, the half-way point, has a toilet.” ” Pick out your own walk using map OS Explorer 183.”


Be aware: “Using the route, there are some short sections of road where dogs need to be on lead.”


Hatfield House


The Manor Nature Reserve including Dagnam Park


Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Dogs on lead only

It’s great because: “Great views.”  “There are lots of different routes you can do by the canal: the Greenway walk, Victoria Park, etc., and the View Tube Cafe near the Orbit sculpture on the Greenway walk is super dog friendly and does THE best breakfasts!! The Greenway is also open 24 hours so great for after dark walks with lit up routes.”  “For those with children, the play areas are great.”  “In summer, the walk through fountain is great for cooling down your dog.”  “It links to Hackney Marshes.”


Be aware: “It is officially on lead only.”  “At weekends, particularly in the summer, it does get very busy.”

Roding Valley Meadows Nature Reserve


Trent Country Park


Victoria Park

It’s great because: “Lots of friendly dog walkers.”  “Nice things to look at – nice big paths to walk along.”


Wanstead Flats

It’s great because: “Lots of wide open space, lakes, tea hut.”  “Lovely canal-side walk and connects up to Walthamstow Marshes if you want a longer walk.”  “Lots of space and a friendly gang of regular dogwalkers.”


Be aware: “Gets very muddy in winter.”  “Unless your dog is extremely well behaved, avoid after 9 a.m. at weekends when there are lots of parkrunners and/or footballers.”  “It could use some toilets and a tea hut which is there all week, not just Saturday and Sunday.”  “Litter is a problem, especially near the football fields.”


Wanstead Park




It’s great because: “The lakes, the glade, the open space, the river, the tea hut, fellow walkers and their dogs, the peace and quiet … there is so much about this park that is beautiful and so many nooks and crannies to explore it’s like a giant secret garden.”  “The wildlife. The tea hut. The river. The woods. That it is not too packed on weekdays.”  “Managed woodland that is maintained in such a way that it looks very natural; both trails and open spaces; dogs can swim/paddle in the River Roding. Very friendly staff at the tea hut, which is great for humans and doggies alike (home-made cakes and sandwiches, ice creams, veggie hot dogs, dog biscuits!).”  “This place is great for long walks, it has a variety of different environments to walk in.”  “Wanstead Park has everything you need. Tea and toilet facilities for the humans, ponds, meadows and walking paths for dogs … and humans. The paths are about as safe as they can get since there are no immediate roads nearby. And overall, it is just a beautiful place to be.”  “Lovely ponds, beautiful bluebells in spring, lots of open space for the dog to run, the temple and a tea hut.”  “It’s fairly sprawling so give yourself time to get acquainted. Or just explore a chunk at a time. Have to say there isn’t anything that could be better!”


Be aware: “Don’t let your dog swim in the ornamental water, which is reserved for anglers and can also be difficult to climb out of. The river is better, although it seems to be generally accepted that dogs can swim in the lake by the tea hut.”  “I think some safety precautions are needed in certain areas of the park as there are places with quite a drop.”  “Try to avoid on Sundays due to lots of kids. There are not a lot of bins. One by the tea hut and one by the temple, so you will need to carry a few poo bags for double bagging.”  “Car parking is a problem but there are no restrictions in the surrounding streets.”