Southsea Westie Walk 2023

1100 – 1400 with registration form 1000 by the Coffee cup at Eastney. 



I only hope we are all fit and well and that 2023 will see us all meeting up again to celebrate the wonder of our Westies!  I admit that I haven’t been able to face organising another walk since losing my darling woofers.  It was 3 years in January that Oscar made his way to the Bridge and it will be 2 years today (14th) April since Bella had to join him.  Since losing my son, I gushed all of my maternal feelings into my woofers and have struggled with the grief of them leaving me and the aftermath of pain.  Perhaps some of you will be happy for me to share your Westies so that I may get some therapy?  

By Sunday 3rd September  when all of the Summer festivals, Moonlight walks and other charity events have mainly taken place, Southsea Common will be ready to welcome us at the finish and a ‘waggle’ (Collective word) of Westies, will descend once more onto the grass for photo opportunities, a raffle, and all manner of Westie goodies including “Bella’s Biquits” which will be for sale.   The kiddies will still be off and we will be fast heading towards the end of Summer.   Having  completed a huge application to Portsmouth Council right, it looks like, we have the go ahead!      

Wishing you all the very best until we meet again soon.

Some pictures have been added to the Gallery page.  Enjoy. x




Watch this space for more news, as it happens

How it began

How it all began

It must have been 12 years ago, the Foundation for the Study of Infant deaths (FSID) now known as The Lullaby Trust contacted asking if I would be interested in taking part in a new find raising initiative called Walk a Mile in Memory. The idea was to get sponsored to walk a mile in memory of my baby son William.

I explained that although I thought it was lovely idea, many of my friends didn’t know that I had ever had a baby let alone sponsor me to walk in mile in his memory. I was at the time the very proud parent of a gorgeous West Highland Terrier called Oscar. I remembered thinking at that very moment that the other baby I had now was him.

That evening after thinking about the earlier conversation, I reckoned that although friends would probably find it difficult to sponsor me, they would find it almost impossible not to sponsor Oscar! The idea that the dogs get sponsored and their humans just go along for the walk was the way to go. I asked around and at that time I had quite a few friends who also had a Westie or two in their family and so, with the help of 39 Westie Woofers the 1st Southsea Westie Walk took place in May 2010.

One of the original walkers was Beattie and her owner Mike Hodges. Sadly, Beattie passed away 2 years later but posthumously raised a huge amount of money for the charity. It was deemed appropriate that an award be given to Mike in memory of Beattie. The Beattie Hodges award is now presented to the Westie who raises the most money each year and they claim a heart on the shield in which their name is engraved.

Read my story in more detail…


  1. Please ensure your Westie is kept on a lead at all times during the walk, even if you think they are well- behaved.
  2. Please make sure you have a drinking water for you and your dog.
  3. Make sure that you poop scoop should your Westie decide to go anywhere along the route! Please bring plenty of bags!
  4. The dogs can only be walked by persons over 16 years of age ideally by an adult over 18. Please do not allow young children to hold the lead during the walk.
  5. To ensure public safety, we will have to walk 2 abreast in certain areas of the route. Please follow behind the leaders at a sensible distance so to avoid tangled leads etc.
  6. Please warn members of the public if your dog is unsociable (can’t imagine that!!) or the dog may dislike being petted. This will reduce the need to use the Public Liability Insurance for dog bites.
  7. If you are going to bring any young members of your family along to the walk, please make sure you know where they are at all times and please let them know that not all dogs like children.
  8. If you decide to take a picnic, bring all of that with you and ensure you take all rubbish away with you or dispose of appropriately.
  9. Last but not least I would like to thank you personally on behalf of the parents whose babies who will be saved a result of your generosity.

On behalf of the late Oscar, HRH Princess Bella and myself…we hope you enjoy the event!!


Q. How do I register my interest?
A. By completing the contact form on this site and sending it to me. I will add your email to a data list so that you can be contacted after the event…usually for me to say THANK YOU! 

Q. Can I just turn up on the day?
A. Yes of course, however you will be asked to sign in on the register and agree to allow me to use your email and contact details as a method of contacting you in the future. You will be asked for a £10 donation to the charity (via a collection bucket) so that you can join the walk. If you have managed to get people to sponsor your woofer, all is the better, the more money we collect the better!

Q. I haven’t go a Westie but can I come along with my dog anyway?
A. Yes, all support is good, but I would ask that you walk with us at the rear of the walk, so the public and other supporters can enjoy the full Westie Effect of seeing them altogether. If you do not want to join in on the walk, you can always wait for us at the finish on Southsea Common and join us for the raffle and cake buying!

Q. I have got a Westie and another breed of dog, can they come along too?
A. Yes, any member of the Westie family is welcome, but don’t be too surprised if your Westie has got a particular trot about them, when surrounded by their own kind!

Q. Once I have completed the walk, is there any transport laid on to get me back up to my car parked up at Eastney?
A. I am afraid not, but there are taxis from outside Hovertravel that will be happy to help.

Q. Is this a family event, can I bring my children along too?
A. Absolutely, it is positively encouraged to be a family event, I would only ask that no one under 16 years old walks the dog and you bring plenty of water and poop bags with you. Please read our Guidelines

Q. What is the route?
A. Starting from Eastney beach huts by the Coffee Cup, we walk along the esplanade past Southsea Parade Pier, around the back of the Pyramids Centre and the back of Castle Field along to join back up with Southsea Parade, keeping to the left-hand side. Shortly before the Hovertravel, we cross the road to the finish on Southsea Common. Please see route map.

Q. I can’t walk quite as far and my Westie is getting older, I am not sure I can do the whole walk. What can I do?
A . If you are coming by car, there are lots of parking spaces between the start and the finish and if you don’t think you can do the whole walk or you have an aging Westie, you are welcome to join us at any point between Eastney and Southsea Common. All I ask is that you make sure you give me your contact details at the finish and a donation for taking part. Please see route map.

Q. How long does the walk take to do?
A. The fast walkers are usually finished in approximately 30-40 minutes. Its always good to try and keep up with the main walkers because there is a photographer on route and at the finish and you may not get your picture taken if you lag behind. We aim to finish the walk the raffle and sell all of the cakes and other Westie bits by the latest 1.30pm. You can then make arrangements to go and lovely Sunday lunch somewhere in and around Southsea and Old Portsmouth.

I hope I have managed to answer your question, however, if you have something else to ask and you cannot find the answer please use the contact form and I will be in touch as soon as I can.


    We welcome comments and enquiries. The easiest and quickest way to get in touch is to use this contact form. However, please do not use this form for sending us unsolicited advertising material.

    Your Name (required):-

    Your Email (required):-

    Your Message:-

    Please copy the letters/numbers into the box and click "Send Message" button:-

    ABUSE:- This form is for use of our readers, supporters and contributors who wish to contact us for legitimate reasons relating to the annual Westie Walk. Using this form to send us any unsolicited advertising material is an offence under the Misuse of Computers Act, 1990. Please note that we log the IP addresses of all illegal spammers and will have no hesitation in reporting them to their ISP's.