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on 7th January 2011

Shear Water - Longleat Estate, Wiltshire


This is a forest of varying walks for all levels of walker. From an amble through the forest sticking to the well maintained paths or trekking across the forest floor up some fairly challenging hills and cuttings. Alternatively you may choose simply to walk around the lake watching the ducks and other birds on the water.


Shear Water
Clay Street
United Kingdom

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Toilets AvailableFood AvailableDisabled Access AvailableCharged ParkingKids Activities UnavailableCampervan Access Unavailable

Other Facilities

This is a private fishing lake, contact Longleat estate for more details about fishing. Near to Shear Water there is a pub and at the main entrance there is a cafe serving hot and cold drinks and food during busy times.


Shear Water dog walks

There are three car parks associated with the lake and forest. The main car park by the main gate (50p), the car park after you have driven around the lake (£1) and Nocketts Wood Car Park on the other side of the forest. 

There aren't any set walks as such, however, from the entrance into the forest at Sheerwater there are signs to Nockett Wood and from there back to the forest. However, while a fair size of forest it isn't huge. And the tarmac paths tend to follow in a pattern around the forest. 
I have said the walk is suitable for the disabled or unstable on their feet, this is only applicable to walking around the lake and not in the forest, there are areas where there aren't tarmac paths. 
This forest is very well managed and therefore the trees are not on top of each other, making it a great place for dogs to explore on and off the lead. 
Please be aware there are deer in the forest and there are signs telling dog walkers in parts of the forest to keep their dogs on the lead. You also need to check your dog for ticks after being in the forest. This is a very clean walk and a lot of families and walkers without dogs use it. Clean up after your dog. And if your dog is excitable make sure they are controlled as there could be people who don't like dogs just out of sight. 
A dog whistle is a good tool especially in a forest, if you and your dog should become separated you can indicate to your dog where you are and hopefully be reunited very quickly. Beware this forest has a heavy cover and it can get darker on the forest floor quite some time before sunset, therefore if you don't know the forest make sure you have plenty of clear daylight in case you spend longer in there than you anticipated!


See directions from your postcode


With nearly 200 walks from the Driving with Dogs website, this handy little book is an ideal guide to the best dog-friendly pubs and dog walks within 5 miles of UK motorway exits.

Like the website walks, you'll also find information about campervan access, disabled facilities, kids' activities, safe parking places, sat-nav codes and written route directions too.

Walking the Dog: Motorway Walks for dogs and drivers is available from the RAC shop (link URL http://www.racshop.co.uk/rac-books.html) and all the usual online bookstores such as amazon.

If your local bookstore doesn't have a copy in stock, you can order by quoting the ISBN number: 978-1-845841-02-7

Amazon link: Walking the Dog - Motorway walks for drivers and dogs

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