It’s always wonderful to find a really great dog walk almost on your very doorstop. We discovered the village of Heath just on the outskirts of Wakefield to be one such gem, and just 15 minutes away from home.

On arrival there is an ample carpark, with notice board showing some walking routes if you choose not to go already prepared. We downloaded the walk from the Wakefield City Council website and we were set. We chose the longer 2 hour walk, and after a little difficulty locating the stile at the beginning we were away. The village itself and the large common that it’s based around is like something out of a Dickensian novel, just beautiful. I promise you will have house envy from the beginning.

At the time of visiting for us (Nov 17) we were almost straight in to a field of maize which towered over us. It was such fun following the path through this and the dogs loved it.

One of the great things about this walk is that the dogs can be off lead 90% of the time, which is becoming increasingly more difficult. Any farmland we crossed was laid to crop rather than grazing land, but always be responsible around livestock and wildlife and keep your dog under close control.

The walk takes you across farmland initially, then dogs back on lead for a very short 5 minutes by the side of a busy road and then back off lead for almost the full duration of the walk. Part of the walk joins the Trans Pennine Trail Bridleway, lovely wide off the beaten track walking, we didn’t see another soul for the duration of our walk on a blue-skied Sunday.

Other things of note are the village stocks at Kirkthorpe, and you will pass some really atmospheric cemeteries. See Wakefield historical society to read about the graves linked to the Benedictines and their links to Heath and the surrounding area.

With the scent of wood smoke in the air, and your furry friends hopefully muddy but tired out, Heath also boasts a rather handsome pub, the Kings Arms right on the common. Sadly it was closed for refurbishment when we visited but it’s dog friendly which in this location and after a great walk, what could be better! Suggest booking to avoid disappointment.

All in all, a great way to spend a couple of hours with your furry friends, highly recommended.

Overall score 92%

http://thekingsarmsheath.co.uk/PubDining.aspx
Further reading from the Wakefield Historical society of the history of the Benedictines in Heath.
http://www.wakefieldhistoricalsoc.org.uk/PDFs/The%20Benedictines%20at%20Heath.pdf
Links to further information from Wakefield Council’s website.
http://www.wakefield.gov.uk/Documents/sports-leisure/cycling-walking/heath-common-three-long-walks.pdf

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