In January, the Aviemore Sled Dog Rally takes place. Dogs race in teams of two to eight over a forest course. First held back in the mid 1980s, today the event in Aviemore is the largest husky race in the UK, with a barking 1,000 dogs and 200 teams - that's an awful lot of woof power. Alaskan malamutes, samoyeds, Greenland dog and Canadian Eskimo dogs usually take part in the event and could reach up to speeds of 20 mph.
The Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain organises the race, which is a growing sport in the UK. If you want to give it a go yourself, the good news is that there's an opportunity to try husky rides in Gloucestershire & in Aviemore itself.
Here are some husky experiences in the UK - plus some husky dog-sledding holidays, if you'd like to go further afield! IntotheBlue list a couple of husky gift experiences for the husky lover in your life, in Sussex (near Horsham), Wales and in Lancashire.
Husky Rides, Sussex £120.00 Sussex Available from Into the Blue Enjoy the thrill of having a pack of fun-loving huskies pulling you along on a sledge through the nature trail at this farm centre near Horsham in West Sussex. The huskies here adore running together, so they often howl with delight as they know they are about to go a run. Your'll pass other farm residents on your way - llamas, cows, sheep, even Kasper the donkey! Your hosts Rob and Christine are both dedicated and experienced Siberian husky mushers and handlers. You will be introduced to the dogs, shown how the sledge works and then taken off for a 25 minute husky ride taking in the Sussex countryside as you go. After your ride you'll be invited to watch a fascinating short film on husky racing, where the dogs are at their competitive best! Click here for more information
Husky Experience, Lancashire £99 Lancashire Available from Into the Blue Meet and greet the Siberian huskies. Find out all about the equipment, mushing commands and mushing safety - all safety equipment is provided, including helmets. There's a short talk about the history of the Husky and their background as sled dogs in freezing places such as Siberia - then you'll learn more about dry land mushing in Lancashire. And you'll head your own team for a ride through the 250 acre Ribble Valley. Allow 2 hours for this experience - you'll have about one hour on the rig. Mush over to Into the Blue here for more information.
Husky Mushing ,Wales from £85 for one Head to North Wales for your Husky Experience! Come face to face with this loveable family of husky dogs - there's plenty of time for cuddles! Get your sturdy footwear on, and head for a rig ride (about 25 minutes ride) around the woodland tracks of Wales. There's a Welcome, an introduction and a safety briefing plus instruction on how to ride the rig. Snacks and hot drinks are provided. You need to allow about 2 hours on site for this experience with around 25 minutes on the rig. This experience can also be combined with a falconry session, from £120 for one person. Go to Into the Blue for more info and to buy this experience.
Sleddog experience in Aviemore, Scotland £84.00 This would make a great winter activity (it runs from November to March) - a two to three hour experience takes place in the area of Aviemore in Scotland. Start with a video and talk in a traditional grass roofed log cabin. You will enjoy hands-on time with the sleddogs, followed by a nip of whisky or a hot drink. You experience ends with a remote forest trip with 12 very special sleddogs, lasting approximately one hour. Click here for more info from Activity Superstore. Please note the medical notes Activity Superstore provide before you buy this experience
Hiking with huskies holiday in Finland From £694 A week to spend in a wilderness hotel with guided husky trekking tours and a visit to huskies' home. Hikers have their "own" husky and you'll have the huskytrekking gear. Accommodation is in a lake-side hotel, and on the last evening, the huskies invite you to spend it at their home. Hiking with the huskies is more intensive than normal hill walking - the dogs are very keen to explore the surroundings, so you need to be fit. Go to Responsible Travel for more information.