As a dog owner, there’s nothing better than exploring the great outdoors with your furry friend by your side. The UK boasts a wide variety of fabulous dog-friendly walks, from scenic coastal paths to breathtaking countryside trails you and your best four-legged friend will love. Here, we’ve compiled a list of what we consider the 10 best dog-friendly walks in the UK, including some of our own favourite dog walks along the South Downs and the Cotswolds Way, perfect for you and your canine companion to enjoy together – and guaranteed to get tails wagging.
1. Pembrokeshire Coast Path, Wales
Address: Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Llanion Park, Pembroke Dock SA72 6DY
The Pembrokeshire Coast Path in Wales offers an impressive 186-mile stretch of dog-friendly walking, encompassing some of the most stunning coastal landscapes in the UK with spectacular views. The path passes through picturesque towns and villages, historic sites, and beautiful sandy beaches, providing plenty of scenic views and the chance for your dog to stretch their legs and explore. Be sure to check local beach restrictions during peak seasons, as some areas may require dogs to be kept on a lead.
2. The South Downs Way, England
Address: South Downs National Park, Midhurst, West Sussex, GU29 9DH
The South Downs Way is a 100-mile long trail that stretches South West, from Winchester to Eastbourne, offering dog-friendly walking through the picturesque South Downs National Park. This beautiful route takes in rolling hills, woodland, and chalk grasslands, providing a diverse landscape for your dog to enjoy. With plenty of dog-friendly pubs and cafes along the way, you and your canine companion can take breaks and refuel as you journey through this stunning region.
3. The West Highland Way, Scotland
Address: Milngavie, Glasgow G62 8BX
The West Highland Way is a popular long-distance walking route in Scotland, stretching 96 miles from Milngavie near Glasgow to Fort William. This dog-friendly walk takes in some of Scotland’s most breathtaking landscapes, including the shores of Loch Lomond, the dramatic Rannoch Moor, and the stunning Glencoe Valley. With well-defined paths and plenty of opportunities for off-lead exploration scenic dog walks, the West Highland Way is a fantastic choice for a walking adventure with your dog.
4. The Cotswold Way, England
Address: Cotswolds National Landscape, Fosse Way, Northleach, Cheltenham, GL54 3JH
The Cotswold Way is a 102-mile-long walking route that takes in the most beautiful scenery and rolling countryside of the Cotswolds. This dog-friendly trail offers a diverse range of landscapes, from ancient woodlands to historic market towns and picturesque villages. With plenty of dog-friendly accommodation options along the way, a dog walk on the Cotswold Way is an excellent choice for a walking holiday with your four-legged friend.
5. The Norfolk Coast Path, England
Address: Cromer, Norfolk, NR27 9HX
The Norfolk Coast Path is a 62.5-mile-long trail that stretches along the beautiful North Norfolk coastline. This dog-friendly walk offers a mix of stunning views, sandy beaches, salt marshes, and charming coastal villages for you and your dog to explore. With dog-friendly accommodations and eateries along the route, you can enjoy a leisurely walking holiday with your furry friend in tow.
6. The Peak District National Park, England
Address: Peak District National Park Authority, Aldern House, Baslow Road, Bakewell DE45 1AE
The Peak District National Park offers a wide variety of dog-friendly walks, ranging from gentle strolls to challenging hikes. With its beautiful moorlands, rugged hills, and picturesque dales, the Peak District is a fantastic destination for a walking holiday with your favourite dog too. Popular trails include the Monsal Trail, the Tissington Trail, and the Limestone Way.
7. The Lake District National Park, England
Address: Lake District National Park Authority, Murley Moss, Oxenholme Road, Kendal LA9 7RL
The Lake District National Park is a paradise for both dog owners and walkers, with its stunning lakes, dramatic fells, and picturesque valleys. There are numerous dog-friendly walks to choose from, catering to all fitness levels and abilities. A popular option is the walk around Derwentwater, a 10-mile loop that takes in breathtaking lake views and tranquil woodland areas. Other highlights include the trails around Coniston Water, Grasmere, and Ullswater, all of which provide unforgettable experiences for both you and your dog.
8. The Northumberland Coast Path, England
Address: Northumberland Coast Path, Seahouses, Northumberland NE68 7SY
The Northumberland Coast Pathis a 62-mile-long walking route that showcases the incredible beauty of Northumberland’s coastline that all the family will love. This dog-friendly trail takes in unspoilt sandy beaches, dramatic coastal castles, and charming fishing villages. The path offers a mix of off-lead and on-lead walking, with some areas requiring dogs to be kept on a lead during the nesting season. Highlights of the route include Bamburgh Castle, Holy Island, and the iconic ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle.
9. The Gower Peninsula, Wales
Address: Gower Peninsula, Swansea, Wales SA3 1DE
The Gower Peninsula in Wales is a stunning Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, offering a range of dog-friendly walks to suit all abilities. With its beautiful beaches, rugged cliffs, and picturesque countryside, the Gower Peninsula is a fantastic destination for a dog-friendly walking holiday. Some popular dog walks around in the area include the Gower Coast Path, the walk from Rhossili Bay to Worm’s Head, and the Three Cliffs Bay Circular Walk.
10. The New Forest National Park, England
Address: New Forest National Park Authority, Lymington Town Hall, Avenue Road, Lymington SO41 9ZG
The New Forest National Park in southern England is a haven for dog walkers, with its vast expanses of open heathland, ancient woodlands, and picturesque villages. There are numerous dog-friendly walking routes to choose from, with many allowing off-lead exploration. Some popular walks in the New Forest include the circular route around Lyndhurst, the walk from Beaulieu to Buckler’s Hard, and the Ashurst to Matley Wood Walk.
These 10 best dog-friendly walks in the UK offer a fantastic range of landscapes and experiences for you and your canine companion to enjoy. With beautiful coastal paths, stunning countryside trails, and breathtaking national parks, you’ll be spoilt for choice when planning your next dog-friendly walking adventure. Happy exploring!
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