Dog walking is one of the most enjoyable and simplest ways of keeping fit during the Summer months.

It improves cardiovascular fitness, helps lower blood pressure, strengthen muscles and bones (built up by walking regularly), and helps reduce stress. A regular walk is vitally important for your pet’s health too.

So, with so many aesthetically stunning and historical walks in Sunderland and the surrounding area, why not treat yourself and your four-legged friend to a few summer time walks over the coming months?

We’ve pulled together our top ten walks for you to check out…

 

Herrington Country Park

This super large park, at the foot of Penshaw Monument, boasts a number of cycling and walking paths and is home to a host of interesting environmental sculptures.

The park also has a boating lake, a nature pond and a sculpture trail. It is ideal for a family dog walk.

Also of interest is Penshaw Monument, just to the north of the park, which we’ll come to further down the list.

 

Tunstall Hills

The Tunstall Hills are an area of open land on the southern edge of Sunderland, close to the former Ryhope Colliery.

It’s a popular site for dog walkers and ramblers from across the region, with regular guided walks organised every year, led by expert enthusiasts in botany, birds, geology and local history.

The main access to Tunstall Hills is off Leechmere Road, Sunderland. Free parking is available at the changing room car park.

 

Barnes Park

Barnes Park boasts wonderful walks, play areas, bowling greens, tennis courts and a café and is a great day out for all of the family.

The largest of the city’s urban parks, it stretches just under 2 miles in length. It also features a Victorian style bandstand and a cannon situated near to the West End bowling greens which was dredged from the River Wear.

 

Roker and Seaburn beaches

The blue flag-rated beaches at Roker and Seaburn are great for Summer time dog walks.

The promenade is home to a host of independent coffee shops, fish and chip shops and arcades and is also home to Roker Pier. The pier stretches a whopping 2,000 ft and boasts stunning views of the Sunderland coastline.

 

Backhouse Park

Backhouse Park is in the suburb of Ashbrooke in Sunderland. It is a natural arboretum with a large variety of trees.

Renowned for its magnificient bulb display in early spring the park is overlooked by University of Sunderland’s Name Art College.

It also has a playpark for kids and roadside parking near the main entrance at Ashbrooke.

 

Penshaw Monument 

Get some fresh air and take in the stunning views from this 70-foot high monument, at the top of Penshaw Hill.

The monument, built in 1844, is a half-size replica of the Temple of Hephaestus in Athens and can be seen from miles around.

It’s one of Sunderland’s most loved landmarks and even appears on the badge of Sunderland Association Football Club.

 

Sunderland Marina

You’ll need to keep your dog on a lead for this one but the Marina is still a cracking place for a brisk walk.

The marina is home to hundreds of boats and is less than a mile away from the National Glass Centre, which is one of the region’s premier cultural attractions.

It’s a shorter walk than most of the others on the list but it presents a great opportunity to take in some sea air whilst keeping your pooch sand-free!

 

James Steel Park

James Steel Park is named in honour of the man who was Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear between 1974 and 1984.

It is built on a former industrial site that was previously dominated by chemical works, quarries, shipyards and coal mines.

The park now forms an important wildlife habitat along the River Wear corridor and is a popular spot for dog walkers.

 

Hylton Castle

The 14th century Hylton Castle resides in an area of parkland called Hylton Dene, on the north side of the city.

The dene is a local nature reserve and is dominated by mature woodlands. Part of the woodland is designated Ancient Semi-Natural woodland.

In the days of the Hylton family this woodland would have been managed by the family to provide wild boar and venison.

Today, however, it is a firm favourite among dog walkers looking to grab some fresh air in one of the city’s most natural parks.

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