The best dog-friendly hikes to explore this summer in the UK

Wednesday 05th May 2021 |

Over the past week, Google searches for ‘dog walks’ and ‘dog friendly’ have peaked in interest as owners attempt to find new and exciting places to walk their pet pooches.

From long stretches of sand to big open green spaces, there is a never-ending list of dog-friendly locations all over the UK that are sure to excite both dog and owner.

Experts from have put together a list of the top 10 most dog-friendly routes in the UK, from walks with spectacular views to hidden gems that will surprise you. Before you head off on your tail-wagging adventure, please make sure to check the government guidelines on how far you can travel.

Best dog-friendly hikes – Derwent Water, Lake District

Those living near the Lake District are truly spoilt for choice regarding dog-friendly locations in the local area. Derwent Water is a national park and one of the best locations for those who enjoy stunning scenery. Starting in the small town of Keswick and stretching around Derwent Water, this 8-mile walk provides a leisurely stroll for you and your dog, allowing you the time to take in the wildlife that surrounds you. With many shallow-water edges, this walk is great for those dogs that love a bit of a paddle at any time of year.

dog-friendly hikes

Image: Geo-tag Derwent Water via Instagram @lakedistrictlivingg

Best dog-friendly hikes – Black Park, Slough 

Known as a famous filming location for TV and film productions, Black Park covers 500 acres of woodland in Slough, South Buckinghamshire. With wide footpaths and a large lake, this park is an excellent option for dogs that love exploring on off-lead walks. The gorgeous location has grown in popularity over the last few weeks, with many dog owners searching for ‘black park’ so they can explore the woodlands with their pet whilst also getting a sneak peek at any productions that may be taking place nearby.

dog-friendly hikes

Image: Geo-tag Black Park via Instagram/ @happysnapper66

Best dog-friendly hikes – Robin Hoods Bay, Yorkshire

If you fancy dipping into the legendary history of Robin Hood, why not visit the stunning coast of Robin Hood’s Bay in Yorkshire. As an old fishing village, there are plenty of dog-friendly spots to explore with your pooch, including spectacular views from the top of the village, a three-mile walk across the sandy beaches, and soaring cliffs that look out to sea. Walk along the ‘cinder track’- the disused Scarbrough line, or enjoy a 7-mile walk over to Whitby along the cliffs – there is a little pocket of history at every turn. 

dog-friendly hikes

Image: Geo-tag Robin Hood’s Bay via Instagram / @_gargett_

Best dog-friendly hikes – Epping Forest, London

If you live near the big smoke and often find it hard to find a quiet place to walk your dog, Epping Forest in London could be the answer. Located just outside of the city, the forest covers an enormous 6000 acres of woodland. If you’re looking to get away from the bustling city life, you can explore the ancient Copped Hall Mansion with a 5-mile scenic walk. There’s something for both you and your dog to enjoy in Epping Forest. 

dog-friendly hikes

Image: Geo-tag Epping Forest via Instagram / @belindajanemoss

Best dog-friendly hikes – Hadrians Wall, Northumberland 

It can take up to a week for fit walkers to walk the entire length of 84-Mile Hadrian’s Wall. But don’t worry, there are plenty of shorter walks around the area that are great for you and your dog. Why not follow the 5-mile stroll that starts at Roman Fort, Homesteads, and takes you right past Sycamore Gap that was famously used as part of Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. Set among the gorgeous Northumbrian landscapes, the wall is still impressive today and captures the importance of the Roman Empire. 

dog-friendly hikes

Image: Geo-tag Hadrians Wall via Instagram / @lifeoflhotse

Best dog-friendly hikes – Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire

Are you looking for a new place in the midlands for you and your furry friend? Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire is a dog-friendly National Trust property rich with history. Imagine yourself walking alongside the brave men who fought in the Great War when exploring the Clumber Estate, or take in the two beautiful habitats surrounding it, including the woodland’s depths and the glistening Clumber Lake. Throw a ball or go for a swim; Clumber Park has miles of paths for both you and your dog to enjoy.

Image: Geo-tag Clumber Park via Instagram / @cockapood

Best dog-friendly hikes – Doone Valley Circuit, North Devon 

Made famous by RD Blackmore in his novel Lorna Doone, Doone Valley has a stunning 5-and-a-half mile walk that spans across grassy moors, a picturesque valley, and a bubbly meandering river. Although the hike can seem strenuous at times, it is perfect for pets. On the edge of the valley sits the strange but beautiful Doone Village, with traces of stone walls that are thought to date back to the twelfth century and are some of the most preserved in all of the South West. If you are looking for a bit of culture from your dog walk, Doone Valley Circuit is perfect.

dog-friendly hikes

Image: Geo-tag Doone Valley Circuit via Instagram/ @threegomadonexmoor

Three Cliffs Bay, Wales 

There are plenty of beautiful beaches and national parks to explore in Wales, but one of the best ones to visit with your dog is Three Cliffs Bay. With a spectacular shoreline of dunes, salt marshes, and beaches, Three Cliffs Bay is perfect for your fluffy companion all year round. Be sure to visit at low tide and remember to pack some waterproof shoes, and you will be rewarded with some spectacular views across Wales.

Image: Geo-tag Three Cliffs Bay via Instagram / @covy_the_lurcher

Whitsand Bay, Cornwall 

Cornwall is known for its breathtaking landscapes and picturesque beaches. If you are located in the southeast of England, why not take your dog and walk along a picture-perfect route to Whitsand Bay? It is the perfect walk for both dog owners and their pets to enjoy stunning coastal views. 

Image: Geo-Tag Whitsand bay via Instagram/ @the_old_sunday_school

Castle Fraser, Aberdeenshire

If you have always wanted to explore a fairytale castle, consider a dog walk around Castle Fraser. Located in Aberdeenshire, this castle dates back to the 1450s. Home to the Fraser family for over 400 years, the castle is filled with family portraits and mementoes that each tell a story. As part of a Scotland National Trust property, the park is filled with wildlife and big open spaces, perfect for your dog to run around and explore while you soak up the history.

dog-friendly hikes

Image: Castle Fraser / @castlefrasernts

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