Dog owners often struggle to find great walks for their dogs in mid-Wales. Sheep dominate the hills making it unsafe to let your dog off lead, as even an apparently empty field can hold dozens of sheep taking a nap under hedges. Lower down the valleys you'll find cattle being fattened up to be served as succulent 'Welsh Beef'. And I've yet to meet a dog-walker who hasn't been frightened by curious cattle at some time.
Fantastic walks with no sheep or cattle are to be found, and Driving with Dogs is a treasure trove of forest and river walks where dogs are free to be safely off-lead. Jem and the team have tested these walks and they're perfect for a walkies stop on your journey, or as longer rambles along signed trails. All the Driving with Dogs walks are free from road-walking and have as little risk of sheep and cows as possible.
If you're happy to read an OS map there are good collections of walks in one of the many booklets published by Kittiwake publishers. They are based in Machynlleth and the routes are created by local walkers who know their areas intimately. The walks aren't specifically for dog walkers and you may encounter livestock, stiles and roads from time to time, but despite this they are ideal for holiday walks and will get you to little-known scenic gems that you may not otherwise find. You do need the OS map as well because the countryside can change very quickly and some of the booklets are over 5 years old now. Don't let that put you off, there's always a way around that new housing development or quarry!
One of my favourites is the set of walks based around the Heart of Wales railway. This is a real standard rail service and possibly the slowest route in the UK. But this is all good, as all sorts of quirks and eccentricities have developed since the service eluded Beecham's axe. The walks celebrate the railway and the huge variety of landscape you can find from the stations. Click here to get details of the booklet.
More Kittiwake books are in the DwD Bookstore for you to check out.