Oscar's Adventures in the Peak District

by Rebecca Watkins

As soon as we mention the words ‘van’ or ‘car’, my spaniel Oscar immediately knows he is going on an adventure. He will sit by the front door waiting, until we finally give in and let him jump on the back seat. He will whine when we put the indicator on, as he gets an inkling that we are nearly there.

On the Monsal Trail

Oscar the black spaniel sits on the leafy bank of the river at Chee DaleOscar loves the Monsal Trail. In summer, he likes to splash in the puddles in the tunnels, and in the autumn, he likes to jump and rustle around in the leaves.

Although the actual trail is relatively flat, he loves to explore the banks. When he was a puppy, we had to limit how much time he was allowed to climb, otherwise he would come home like an overtired baby — restless and stroppy.

On the right: A little detour off the trail to the river at Chee Dale through to Wye Dale.

On the High Peak Trail - Minninglow

Oscar has only done this walk a few times, but when he did, he was particularly intrigued by the cows and sheep. He likes to sit and watch them, but isn’t too keen when they come close to him — he likes his personal space.

This path is relatively flat, walking between the drystone walls, with great views over the peak district. Every now and then, Oscar will stop and jump up at the wall to have a look over, just to make sure he isn’t missing out on anything.

Oscar the spaniel walks the High Peak Trail through Minninglow Oscar pops his head up over a drystone wall in the Peak District

To Chatsworth

Oscar stands amongst the leaves at Chatsworth Estate in the Peak DistrictWe have taken Oscar to Chatsworth a few times and each time he is intrigued by the sheep and other wildlife there. We do have to keep him on a lead there; however, I think there is a higher chance of a sheep chasing him than him chasing a sheep.

Nonetheless, he enjoys pottering through the grounds and having a dip in the river to cool off. His favourite animal is a squirrel and there are often quite a few running around the grounds. He likes to think he is fast enough to chase them, but his short, little legs say otherwise.

Oscar in the foreground of the purple heather on the way to Surprise ViewUp Surprise View and down to Padley Gorge

This time of year, there is an abundance of purple heather spread across the landscape. Oscar loves to walk through it, sticking his head in every bush and sniffing every inch of the ground.

Padley Gorge at the bottom of Surprise View is one of Oscar’s favourite paddling spots. He doesn’t like to fully submerge himself in the water, but loves a paddle and the occasional lie-down in the river. He likes to run up and down the banks, and walk on and between the big stones.

Keeping track of Oscar

You may notice in some of the photos he has a GPS tracker on his harness. This is because he loves to chase squirrels and birds in the woods, running through the bushes and trees. He would honestly spend hours in there trying to find them. So if he ever gets lost, this will make it a lot easier to find him again.

Now time for a long, peaceful snooze, ready for the next adventure.

Oscar sleeps off his adventures on the sofa.

Originally published 12/10/22

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