Issue 86

Discovering Pet Friendly Britain – Best Dog Walks in Pembrokeshire

Exploring with your dog can be a lot of fun. Finding the best places to visit and take in the sights, and scents, can be a great way to get active and keep fit in the company of your four legged friend.

As we continue our series finding the best pockets of the UK to visit and explore with your dog, sponsored by Direct Line Pet Insurance, this month we visit the expansive dog friendly Stackpole Estate in Pembrokeshire.

The Estate's History

Dating back to the Norman age, the Stackpole estate has passed through three familes (the de Stackpoles, the Vernons and the Stanleys) by marriage, before the Stanleys's agents the Lorts bought it in the 17th century.

Briefly besieged during the English Civil War, Roger Lort (Gilbert's grandfather who occupied at the time) had to hide in a cave in the cliffs. The Cambells built the early Georgian mansion of Stackpole Court in the Palladian style in the 1730s on the site of the earlier fortified house.

A view of the estate's Eight Arch Bridge, taken by Ed Webster

In 1777 Sir John Campbell II inherited the estate and began landscaping work on a grand scale. The valley, which once housed grazing cattle, later transformed into a lake and as part of a designed landscape, thousands of trees were planted. Sir Joseph Banks, who founded the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew heard of the transformation and sent exotic plants to enhances changes taking place.

Photo Credit: Rose Davies

Today the Estate spans a breathtaking stretch of coastline with sandy beaches, wooded valleys and lily ponds. It's designed landscape, which work began on in 1777 is still a key focus for the Esate, now boasting both a listed designed landscape and an internationally important nature reserve.

Follow footpaths from Stackpole Court, a grand mansion demolished before the National Trust owned this area, through to exotic plantings in Lodge Park before taking a stroll through the woodland area further upstream.

Photo Credit: joysaphine

The now famous beautiful Bosherston Lakes were created 200 years ago to provide a backdrop to Stackpole Court and are home to a variety of wildlife including otters, water birds and dragonflies.

Dogs are welcomed across the Estate, but around the lakes, coastal grassland and Stackpole Warren, dogs should be kept on leads due to livestock grazing.

The Estate boasts much to do. With exhibitor centres, a Boat house (an adapted bird hide near the Eight Arch Bridge), a tea room, various activities and much to explore, but if you've still got juice in the tank after all of that, you can head to the dog friendly Broadhaven South beach, which borders the estate.

How to find the Stackford Estate

Located in Stackpole, six miles outside of Pembroke, Pembrokeshire. Get directions online here or find out much more about the Estate at


Direct Line Pet Insurance has recently released its new Walkies app in the Apple App Store. The GPS-enabled app has been created especially for dog owners, allowing them to record and share their favourite walking routes online and via social media channels. Owners can add any number of dogs to a ‘pack’, with the option to record each dog’s walks separately as well as group walks.

Once recorded, users can post maps of their walks to Facebook and Twitter, or share PDF reports of their ‘Top Walks’ via email and print. The app also features a list of Top Walks from across the UK, providing users with a near limitless bank of routes to choose from. Alongside the Walkies app, Direct Line is running the ‘Fit Fred’ campaign which follows the journey of Fred, an overweight Golden Retriever, as he embarks on his weight loss journey over the next six months -

Prit Powar, head of pet insurance at Direct Line said: “The Walkies app provides a simple and social way for owners to share their walks with friends and track their dogs’ fitness over time. At Direct Line, we are committed to helping owners keep their pets healthy and we believe the Walkies app will appeal to dog lovers across the country. Both the Walkies app and the Fit Fred campaign aim to promote a healthy lifestyle and to encourage dog owners to try new routes and share their progress with family and friends. We look forward to seeing how Fred progresses over the next six months.”

Next month we discover somewhere new, but please do get involved and share your favourite places to visit on by commenting below – we'd love to hear from you and where your dog loves to visit!






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