Now, I don’t want to be biased but…
Oh My God
This Bilberry Woods is by far the best dog walking area so far. Don’t get me wrong, there are some cons but they will come much later on.
This walk is level for much of the way but does have stiles and rough ground in some of the areas I walked so ideally not for disable people (wheelchairs). From personal experience (and obviously lack of judgement by myself) Stout/Hiking or wellingtons would be advisable footwear. I went in normal trainers and although I completed the walk… I did have to find ways to slither round mud and some other types of obstacles.
Cattle Grids and Warning signs -which leads me to point out that there are livestock roaming around in some places so dogs to be kept on leashes in areas that provide signs or are capable of seeing them from stupidly long distances where you can’t see them i.e my sight hound: the greyhound.
Bilberry Woods, as in the name, is largely a wooded walk which skirts the medieval castle parkland and private Hawarden Estate. There are multiple ways of entering the woods but Obi and I entered it through lovely gates attached to the old castle wall that curves around the entire wooded land still. Crossing over a beautiful stream you find yourself near the ruined corn mill. If you follow the long straight track to a beautiful cherry orchard farm (I must note there are places dogs cannot go because of locked gates and cattle grids which don’t have alternative access points e.g like the cherry orchard but you are able to spot it from high views, that being said there could of been other ways around I didn’t find).
Now, where to park? This is probably the best bit: they provided a FREE parking area ‘Public Car Park, Tinkersdale’ which you can park for however long whilst walking your ‘furiendly’ buddy exploring all the wonderful areas and views the woods have to offer.
Now, unfortunately, even the best places have ‘cons’ about them. Firstly, dog bins. I think this will always be a major concern when exploring new areas- the amount of dog poo bins which we can discard of used bags is lacking around the area. Meaning if your dog goes halfway through the walk or even 5 minutes into the walk… you will be carrying the bags with you through thick and thin during the walk.
This being said, the amount of dogs Obi and I ventured across (A LOT) it was remarkable to only find one siting of someone who didn’t pick their dogs mess up. Which was nice to see that people respected these beautiful woodland walks.
Another bad thing is the cattle grid. I know they are necessary but with Obi being a greyhound he can’t fit under the provided ‘dog accessible’ holes next to the stiles meaning that we couldn’t go some places which was actually a real shame. They do have gates near some cattle grids or stiles that you could walk through but when we tried we found that some you could open and others had a combination padlock on them with a massive chain that might as well read ‘BIG DOGS STAY OUT’
BUT, with these negatives being taken into consideration I think its an okay sacrifice for the amount of walking route options available and places to explore. Not only that the surround scenery is absolutely breath-taking.
There are loads of places which you could take the kids and dogs, lay down a picnic blanket and have a peaceful lunch taking in the sun-rays and views. As long as you take the rubbish with you when you leave.
I think dog walkers would absolutely enjoy this place just like Obi and myself did.
Rating: Obi couldn’t of been happier to explore this Wag-tastic place. He was smiling with his tongue lazily plopped out of his mouth from word ‘Go’ to the very end where he was like a stubborn toddler and didn’t want to leave through the castle gate walls. Obi couldn’t give any less that ‘5/5 Wagging tails’