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Montane’s Favorite Dog Hikes

Looking for hiking inspiration in the North of England? The team behind the leading outdoor brand Montane loves exploring the great outdoors by foot with their canine companions. Discover their favorite local hikes. 

Montane engineers lightweight, durable clothing and equipment that enable you to get more from your life outside. From protective waterproof jackets for men and women, to warm down jackets, high-stretch award-winning walking trousers, and durable, mountain-ready backpacks, they have all the essential gear you need to enjoy a day out in the hills.

Based in Northumberland, the Montane HQ team are lucky to have an array of incredible local walks that they love to regularly explore. Discover some of their favorite routes and how these hiking enthusiasts put Ruffwear gear to the test.

White dog wearing Ruffwear gear on a hike.

Montane’s Favorite Dog-Friendly Hikes

Cleadon Hills Nature Reserve to Seaburn and Roker beaches, Tyne and Wear | 11km circular route | George and Megan, Montane Merchandising Manager

George tested the Web Master™ Harness on one of our favorite local circular routes, and I found it perfect for this hike. The bright red color provided great visibility and the handle feature was essential for helping him over obstacles we encountered. We started at the Papershop café to grab a coffee, then headed up to Cleadon village via the public footpath so George could be off his lead. After this, we headed up through Sunniside Lane to the Cleadon Hills Nature Reserve, which is currently resident to Exmoor Ponies.

Man lifting dog with Web Master™ Harness.

You get beautiful views of the coastline up there and George loves chasing his ball. The harness in no way restricted George’s movement as he ran around. We then headed over the stiles onto the fields which lead you into Whitburn village, and then onto our favorite beach at Seaburn. George loves the water, and no matter the weather, has to go in for a dip. The route home is mostly through open fields, so it’s great for letting George run free.

Woman walking on the beach with two dogs.

We loved how lightweight but durable the Web Master™ Harness felt, and with padded chest straps, we were confident it was comfortable when lifting George by the handle. As for me, I had my trusted Duality Lite Waterproof Jacket on to keep me dry on the drizzly day on which we ventured out.

Simonside And Dove Crag, Rothbury, Northumberland | 5 Mile Circular route | Clarence and Simon, Montane Sales Support Executive 

This is one of mine and Clarence’s favorite hikes. With a mixture of forest trails, moorland, steep up hills, and rocky outcrops, this would be a great test for our new Ruffwear Hitch Hiker™ Dog Lead. The Hitch Hiker’s lengthy adjustable lead gives Clarence the freedom he needs, whilst putting my mind at ease knowing he’s secure. An added welcome bonus is that with the terrain being so varied, having both hands free is really handy.

Man using the Hitch Hiker™ Dog Lead with his dog.

Starting from the car park, you walk up through the forest. As the tree canopy opens up, the path then takes you past the sandstone formations of Little Church and Criss Cross Rock as you start to climb up through the moorland to the base of Simonside. From the base, you take a steep winding staircase on the western side up to the summit of Simonside where you’ll be greeted by spectacular views of the North Sea coastline and Cheviot Hills. We were not so fortunate with our views on such a rainy day, but luckily my combination of the Phase Nano Waterproof Jacket and Spirit Lite Waterproof Pants kept me dry as a bone all day. 

From the top of Simonside, you can loop back down through the forest to the car park, or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can follow the path along the moor to Dove Crag for some more impressive rock formations. 

Whittle Dene Ovingham via Horsely and Ovington, Northumberland I 5 Mile Circular Route I Mabel and Jess, Montane Operations Coordinator

Mabel tested out the Front Range™ Day Pack on our favorite local route through Whittle Dene via Horsely and Ovington. The weather was in our favor, providing a cool but bright and sunny day with good visibility. The Front Range™ Day Pack fit Mabel well and did not restrict her movement whilst climbing. The zip pockets were also great for storing her treats and provisions for the day. 

I wore my Montane Terra Pants which were perfect for this route, offering freedom of movement whilst rambling up the hills. We started through the farmers’ fields in Ovingham and headed into Whittle Dene Woods. This particular route includes picturesque scenes of the woodland area, with a stream running alongside the trail. Once through the woods, we headed up the fields to the top where we stopped at Horsley to enjoy the beautiful views of the valley stretching from Wylam to Riding Mill. 

Dog exploring in the Front Range™ Day Pack.

We then headed back down through the fields until we reached Ovington, a local village adjacent to Ovingham. The final stretch home took us via the stream where we stepped over the narrow stepping stones. The handle on the harness helped me support Mabel as she was a little unsteady. The Front Range™ Day Pack was a perfect piece for this walk. The three leash attachment points felt secure and safe and gave me confidence when tackling tricky points during our walk. I can't wait to use this on our future adventures!

John Martin Way Heritage Trail, Northumberland | 13 Mile Circular Route | Oti and Fran, Montane Digital Marketing Manager 

Despite being born and bred in Northumberland, I still love seeking out new walking trails in this vast and naturally diverse county. The circular John Martin trail is one I've had on my radar for some time, primarily because it connects together some of my favorite woodland walking trails, packaging them in a satisfying circular loop. The walk was created to visit places associated with a local artist, John Martin, who was born in Haydon Bridge (the start and end point of the walk) in the 18th Century. It’s not hard to see how his epic paintings were inspired by the stunning scenery you will encounter en route. There are several signs along the way so you can find out more about the artist, if interested.

Woman holding her dog on a hike.

With my energetic whippet/spaniel mix, Oti, now old enough to tackle a lengthier route, it was time to finally take on the John Martin adventure. Starting in Haydon Bridge village, we set off with blue skies, daffodils, and lambs greeting us as we strolled along quiet country lanes and rolling farmers fields. One of the big highlights of this circular loop is heading into the ancient woodlands of Allen Banks, home to a tranquil tarn (perfect for a tea and biscuits pit stop) and picturesque riverside walking. Spring and summer are a lovely time to explore this area, but Allen Banks really comes into its own during the autumn months when the leaves are all starting to turn and the toadstools come out, making these woodlands even more spellbinding. 

The great views continue as you head up through Staward Gorge, believed to have inspired John Martin’s ‘The Bard’ painting. From here, you face a cheeky incline to the literal high point of the route, which boasts sweeping panoramic vistas through the treetops out over the Northumberland countryside. Once you have navigated this woodland section, you head back up into more rolling farmers fields before making your way over to the impressive Langley Castle. The final stretch is through more fields and woodland back into Haydon Bridge. 

Oti’s brightly colored Hi & Light™ Harness not only helped her easily stand out in the woods, but it also dried fast after she had a refreshing dip in the river. As for myself, I had my trusted Terra Stretch Lite walking pants and Fireball Lite insulated jacket to keep me at the right temperature on this crisp spring walk. 

Blencathra, Lake District | 7 Mile circular route | Affy and Hannah, Montane Sell Through Team Manager

I’ve had Affy for nearly 6 years. She was rescued off the streets of Greece and joined me in my flat in South Wales. As soon as I first met her, I knew she’d be a running dog — she’s half setter and running is in her bones. I’d already been hiking, climbing, and wild camping for the previous few years, but getting Affy was my gateway into trail running. We were lucky enough to have beautiful, lightly trodden Welsh trails right on our doorstep, but since moving up North just over a year ago, this loop around Blencathra has become one of our favorites. It has everything — steep, calf-burning climbs, beautiful vistas, the option to add in Sharp Edge if you’re feeling brave, and a warm pub that does excellent chips at the end.

Woman petting her dog.

Starting from Scales car park, the trail climbs steadily upwards towards Scale Fell — a small foothill just to the east of Blencathra. Most hikers head straight up this path towards the summit, missing what I believe to be the most scenic part of this hike. Instead, when you reach the Scale Fell junction, keep going straight along a flatter, undulating trail that runs parallel to Scale Fell. This gorgeous bit of trail winds you around to Scales Tarn, which is shallow and warm enough in the summer for a quick dip. From here you can choose to go up Sharp edge to your right or the less exposed trail to your left (which is what I opt for when I’m running with Affy).

Then you crest the summit — the south face of Blencathra is very exposed, giving you the feeling that the rest of the lake district is at your feet. Keswick lies to your right and the hum of the A66 disappears when you’re this high. If you’d like to make this a shorter loop, you can turn around and go back the way you came; but if you’d like to make it a bit longer, continue west towards Keswick, along the top of Blencathra. After about 2 kilometres, about a third of the way down the switchback trail, you’ll reach a junction on your left hand side — take this to lead you back down to the trail that runs along the base of Blencathra. Loop back around and head east back towards Scales Carpark. Finish at the White Horse Inn for some excellent chips and a cold beer — or a warm Mulled Wine if you’re heading up in the winter.

Close up of Front Range™ Day Pack.

The tops are very exposed, so even in the summer, you’ll need to take an extra layer with you just in case it’s blustery. My favorite layer is the Montane Fireball Lite. You can add a waterproof over the top for extra protection in the wet, or just wear it on its own for a bit of extra warmth and protection. It’s an air-permeable piece, meaning you won’t get too sweaty if you’re working hard — perfect for the shoulder seasons.

Eager to get exploring?

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