Sep 13, 2022
DOG WALKING IN YORKSHIRE: YOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE
No matter where you find yourself in glorious Yorkshire, there are endless options when it comes to dog-friendly walks. Yorkshire is known for its vast natural areas including the Dales and the Moors, as well as breath-taking coastlines, forests, and parks, many of which are perfect for dogs. In fact, it’s one of the many reasons the team at TOG24 love Yorkshire as much as we do - after all, who can resist a place with great hikes, walks, pubs, cafes, and campsites that welcome our four-legged friends along for the adventure?
Whether you already live in Yorkshire and have recently welcomed a dog into your family, are an existing dog owner looking for some new ideas and inspiration, or are visiting Yorkshire with your dog on holiday, today’s guide is designed to help you find some fantastic routes. Needless to say, this short list is just a snippet of the dog walks Yorkshire has to offer. Each corner of the county is packed with short and long dog-friendly walks for families and individuals to explore.
Today’s list includes a variety of walks featuring woodlands, hills, beaches, cities, and scenic routes, all of which offer something extra special in their own right. Remember, when your planning a walk think carefully about what you might need to take along with you. Waterproof jackets are strongly advised, especially in he wilder and more remote areas where a sudden change in weather (not unknown in Yorkshire) could leave you exposed. Good quality walking boots will keep your feet warm and dry and perhaps even more importantly give you some much needed foot support on tougher terrain. In autumn and winter, baselayers and thermals can give you some much needed warmth without weighing you down too much.
Dog Walks: North Yorkshire
Yorkshire Dales National Park
With the majority of the Yorkshire Dales National Park nestled in the north of Yorkshire, we consider this one of the best spots for dog walking in the region. This vast nature reserve has a plethora of short and long walks including the Pennine way, the Dales Way, and the breath-taking Coast-to-Coast walk.
Naturally, the Yorkshire Dales National Park is a haven for wildlife and livestock, so it is important that off-lead walking is done responsibly with a well-trained dog. However, even on the lead, dogs are bound to love the amazing variety of walks in this beautiful area of Yorkshire. If you’re in need of respite or refreshments, you’ll also find a host of dog-friendly cafes, pubs, and shops along the way.
The Nidd Gorge
Perfect for those who like to combine cultural sights, architecture and nature, the Nidd Gorge via Knaresborough and Harrogate has to be one of the best dog walks North Yorkshire has to offer.
This circular walk is a manageable 1.7 miles long, with five woodlands to explore along with stunning views of the River Nidd. You’ll also have chance to nip into historic spa towns packed with history, great architecture, and plenty of dog-friendly establishments when a welcomed break is needed.
As it attracts thousands of locals and tourists with dogs every year, it’s no surprise that Dalby Forest made our list. With beautiful views across its 8000+ acres and a variety of easy and moderate trails, it’s the perfect place for some time in nature with your pooch.
And as it’s extremely bike friendly, Dalby Forest is also ideal for anyone who loves to cycle or mountain bike with their four-legged friend along for the ride. As with many nature reserves and parks, this forest is home to plenty of wildlife that is vulnerable to curious and excitable dogs. So, if you’re still working on recall, it may be best to keep your dog on a lead so you and your pet can explore worry-free.
Dog Walks: West Yorkshire
Located just south of Marsden, the Wessenden Valley offers a fantastic variety of easy and moderate dog walking routes. You’ll find shorter circular walks such as Wessenden Circular as well as the hilly Wessenden Valley Walk. The Wessenden Head walk is packed with scenic rolling hills, livestock, and plenty of natural sights to enjoy.
With striking waterfalls along many of the routes, the Wessenden Valley is a great place for dogs to roam before jumping in for a cool down or swim. Promising a varied landscape and seemingly endless trails, this gem in West Yorkshire is best for experienced walkers who can plan out their route and tackle some challenging inclines with their furry friend.
Bordering West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester, Marsden Moor is an easy-access haven for walkers, hikers, wildlife, and of course dogs.
This ancient moor surrounds the historic city of Marsden and features stunning views of reservoirs, sprawling hills and valleys, as well as a plethora of wildlife. And if you’re visiting West Yorkshire seeking a combination of nature and culture, Marsden hosts several well-known festivals and events including Marsden Cuckoo Day and The Marsden Jazz Festival.
Hardcastle Crags - Hebden Bridge
This circular walk offers amazing views of the Pennine Valley along with stunning waterfalls and archaeological sites (including the historic Gibson Mill), plus plenty of nature too.
Considered a moderate to challenging route, it’s a great choice if you’re looking for a full day out with plenty of places to stop and relax along the way. It’s also one of the busier areas of West Yorkshire, meaning you’re likely to meet plenty of fellow walkers, hikers, and other dogs. And as it’s on the doorstep of Hebden Bridge, you can enjoy the many pubs, cafes, and local attractions after your walk.
Tips for Dog Walks in Yorkshire
While much of Yorkshire’s woodlands, coastal walks, and nature reserves are dog-friendly, it’s important to always have a lead on-hand in case you meet any wildlife. If your dog is prone to chasing or even approaching animals and livestock, it’s best to take a safer route rather than walking right past the animals, even if only through other nearby fields and trails. After all, you’re likely to find a wide-open space for your four-legged friend around just about every corner in Yorkshire.
As part of being a responsible dog owner, it’s also vital that you clean up after your pup so other families and dogs can enjoy all that Yorkshire has to offer without worry.
Happy dog walking!