Best dog walks near you

Dalmatian on the leash walking along a country footpath with its owner

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One thing lockdown taught us, is an appreciation for nature and being in the great outdoors. Dog walking is an excellent way to stay fit and explore areas on our doorstep. Many of us have been looking for new routes to take with our dogs – whether you’re from London, the West Country or Yorkshire, our list is sure to excite the dog walker in you.

North

Gibsons mill Hebbden bridge West Yorkshire uk

Hardcastle Crags, Yorkshire

Thankfully restrictions are lifting and the National Trust has opened more than 135 gardens and parks once more. For those of you in the Yorkshire area, head to Hardcastle Crags, a stunning woodland with 15 miles of footpaths you and your dog can get lost in. Explore bubbling streams and rushing waterfalls, before discovering Gibson Mill – a dog-friendly visitor centre that details the 200-year history of the area. Before you go, make sure your dog is protected from fleas and ticks. Ticks are a nuisance and are often found on long blades of grass or hiding in wooded areas.

South

A view of a city and forest from the top of Parliament Hill

Hampstead Heath, London

Living in the big city can have its advantages, but finding decent dog walks is always touch-and-go. Whether you’ve always been a Londoner or have moved there recently, “dog walks near me” is likely to be a regular feature in your Google search history. Well, an incredible dog friendly nature reserve – breathtaking views, included – has been right on your doorstep this entire time. Take a break from the hustle and bustle and head just North West of the centre to the beautiful Primrose Hill.

Reigate Hill and Gatton park, Surrey

If you’re a sucker for a dog friendly national trust walk, here’s another one for you and your canine companion. Alike our London choice, Reigate Hill boasts spectacular views as well as the perfect picnic spots: a dog walk and a fun-filled family outing all wrapped up in one. Be careful when letting your dog walk off lead, however – their nose is likely to pick up the sweet scent of blossom and run off into the distance to explore. It’s a good idea to have a Halti lead on hand to prevent them from getting up to too much mischief.

Cotswold Water Park, Cotswolds

For those of you in the South West – be it Bristol, Gloucester, or even Oxford – we’ve found the perfect countryside walk near you. You can kiss steep hills goodbye, as all 40 square miles are completely flat. You heard us, 40 square miles! River trails, canal tow paths, woodland walks, flower-filled meadows… you name it, the Cotswold Water Park has it. If there was ever an excuse to try out those dog walking apps, eh? It’s worth noting that, despite the park’s name, it’s advised to keep your dog away from the lakes to avoid impacting the local wildlife. Worried about poisonous plants or flowers? Read our guide to keep your dog safe.

East

Thorndon Country Park in Brentwood, England 2017

Thorndon Country Park, Essex

Not too far from Chelmsford – a 25 minute drive, at most – you’ll find Thorndon Country Park. Whether you’re up for a tranquil dog walk through the woodlands or you’re in more of a barbecue and kite flying mood, there’s something for everybody amongst its 500 acres. Even better still, Thordon North holds the infamous Gruffalo trail. You can expect a fantastic day out for kids of all sizes (that includes you, too!), but make sure that your dog stays by your side. Try a retractable dog lead or an Ezydog harness to keep them under control.

West

Welsh beach at sunset taken from the surrounding cliffs

Rhossili, Gower

Whether you’re a local or thinking about a staycation, Rhossili is one of the best beaches in the UK for dogs and owners alike. Not only is there a three-mile stretch of beach (that welcomes dogs all year round), there’s an adventurous trail you can take all the way to Worm’s Head – the most westerly point of the Gower peninsula. Begin walking along the cliff top, then scramble across the rocky tidal causeway, finally hike up to the summit of the Worm’s Head. Your dog will love the variety, clambering over different rocky sections and taking a dip in rock pools. Be careful though, don’t get caught by the tide!

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