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May 20, 2020

30 fantastic dog walking spots in North & West Yorkshire and beyond

Wondering where to take your furry friend for some fun and exercise in North or West Yorkshire?

At Hound Ville, we love taking our energetic pooches on adventures. What better excuse is there to get outside and experience our beautiful county?

If you’re new to the area or just want to try somewhere different, here are 30 fantastic dog walking spots in North and West Yorkshire and beyond.  

North Yorkshire

1. North Yorkshire Moors

The North Yorkshire Moors National Park covers an area of over 550 square miles, meaning there are plenty of routes for you and your pooch to explore together. Try Newtondale for a lovely six-mile woodland loop, the White Rose Way which runs from Leeds to Scarborough, or just enjoy exploring the many trails on offer in this beautiful part of the world.

2. Aysgarth Falls

You might recognise these falls from the 1991 Hollywood movie, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, but they’ve been attracting tourists for over 200 years. Aysgarth Falls are part of the River Ure, and you can easily spend a day here enjoying the dramatic scenery and meandering through the surrounding villages.

3. Nidd Gorge

Start your walk in the gorgeous town of Knaresborough and wander along the River Nidd, taking in stunning views of Nidd Gorge, the Nidd Valley, and the viaduct. There are plenty of off-lead spots for your pup, and they can even take time out for a refreshing swim in the quieter parts of the river.

4. Washburn Valley Reservoirs

Owned by Yorkshire Water, the reservoirs of Washburn Valley, just outside Otley, provide a fantastic opportunity for dog-walkers to enjoy beautiful scenery and plenty of wildlife. Take your pick of walks around Thruscross, Lindley Wood, Swinston or Fewston reservoirs.

5. Cleveland Way

The Cleveland Way is a 110-mile walking route from Helmsley to Filey. The first part runs through the beautiful North Yorkshire Moors, while the second half follows the rugged Yorkshire coastline.

If you want to complete the entire route, the recommended time is at least nine days. For shorter walks, simply pick up the path anywhere between Filey and Helmsley.

6. Flamborough Head

Flamborough Head offers various walking trails, plus there’s a handy footpath that goes right around the headland. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a nice flat walk with plenty of stunning views.

7. James Herriot Way

The James Herriot Way is a 52-mile circular route that takes most people at least four days to complete in full. But that doesn’t mean you can’t spend just a few hours enjoying a shorter section of the trail with your canine companion. You can pick up the path at various points including Aysgarth, Hawes, Keld, Reeth or Castle Bolton.

8. Yorkshire Dales National Park

The Yorkshire Dales National Park is over 800 square miles reaching as far as Cumbria and Lancashire. With plenty of walking routes on offer, your energetic pup will never run out of places to explore here.

9. Bolton Abbey

Located on the River Wharf, Bolton Abbey is one of Yorkshire’s favourite attractions. And with over 80 miles of footpath, you’ll find plenty of routes to keep your pooch happy.

10. Brimham Rocks

Just outside Harrogate, you’ll find a scenic trail around Brimham Rocks. The circular walk takes you through giant natural rock formations and heather moorland. There are a few gradients, some narrow paths and some parts can get a bit muddy, but dogs are welcome, and there’s no livestock to worry about.

West Yorkshire

11.Ilkley Moor

Just a short walk from Ilkley town centre, you’ll find yourself up on Ilkley Moor. There are plenty of trails varying in length where you can let your dog run free and explore.

12.Leeds-Liverpool Canal

Running across the Pennines is the 127-mile Leeds-Liverpool canal, which offers plenty of dog-friendly walking routes. Pick up the path in Leeds, Bingley, Keithley or Skipton and enjoy an idyllic waterside stroll.

13.Roundhay Park

A Leeds city centre favourite, Roundhay Park is one of the biggest city parks in Europe and provides plenty of space for dogs to run around or play fetch.

14.Otley Chevin

If you and your pup don’t mind a climb, Otley Chevin is worth the effort just for the views. With a mixture of grassland, moorland, woodland and rocky crags, it’s a walk not to be missed. Head back down to Otley town centre afterwards and take advantage of one of the dog-friendly eateries.

15.Hirst Woods

Just outside Saltaire and running along part of the Leeds-Liverpool canal, you’ll find Hirst Wood. Here you can enjoy woodland and wildlife in abundance. Although there are some off-lead opportunities, you will need to keep your dog under control and on a short lead in areas with livestock.


Gorgeous woodland surrounds Newmillerdam, where there are plenty of walking routes varying in length – take a quick stroll around the dam or a long walk through the woods. With squirrels and sticks aplenty, your pooch will love running off lead, and can even take a refreshing dip on those warmer days.

17.Temple Newsam

Located in Leeds, the Temple Newsam estate offers plenty of walking opportunities. Enjoy a wander around the manor house or explore the expansive woodland. Plenty of space for you and your pup to get some outdoor exercise.

18.Northcliffe Park

Just outside Shipley, Northcliffe Park is made up of parkland, playing fields and woodland – there’s something for everyone. This free public park is ideal for short or long walks, whatever the weather.

19.Hardcastle Crags

Hardcastle Crags provides a fantastic playground for dogs. There’s no livestock, acres of woodland and plenty of places for your four-legged companion to explore while you enjoy one of the scenic circular walks around the estate.

20.Eccup Reservoir

Enjoy a five-mile walk around Eccup Reservoir in North Leeds – perfect for the hot summer days when your dog needs somewhere to cool off. There’s no livestock, but plenty of wildlife to enjoy, and if you want to extend your walk, you can head over to Golden Acre Park or Harewood House.

Further Afield - South Yorkshire and the Midlands

21.Graves Park (Sheffield)

South Yorkshire has its fair share of amazing dog-walking destinations, like Sheffield’s largest park which offers plenty of space for dogs to run free.

22.Rivelin Valley Park (Sheffield)

Located in north Sheffield, the Rivelin Valley is home to waterfalls, ponds, rivers and dams – perfect if your pup likes a paddle.

23.Peak District (Derbyshire)

Located mostly in Derbyshire, the Peak District is home to some of the country’s most scenic walks.

24.Twigmoor Woods (Lincolnshire)

Enjoy lovely woodland dog-walking routes, with a lake for swims, free parking and plenty of off-lead areas to explore.

25.Clumber Park (Nottinghamshire)

Slightly South-East of Sheffield in nearby Nottinghamshire, you’ll find the National Trust’s beautiful Clumber Park.

Further Afield - North of England

26.Lake District

North-West of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, you’ll find the Lake District National Park, packed full of stunning scenery and perfect for a short break with your furry friend.

27.Hadrians Wall

Walking the length of Hadrians Wall takes about a week, but there’s plenty to see on a day trip – why not visit the famous Sycamore Gap?

28.Coast to Coast

The coast to coast walk runs across England passing through three national parks, making it an ideal route for a walking holiday with your canine companion.

29.Allen Banks & Staward Gorge

This stunning National Trust property is located in the beautiful county of Northumberland and is full of wildlife, forest and fauna.

30.Bamburgh Beach

If your pup enjoys seaside walks, then Bamburgh beach is an ideal spot to take in the sea air and enjoy views of the spectacular Bamburgh Castle.

Tips for long dog walks

We want you and your fur babies to stay safe, so here are our essential tips for those longer walking routes.

Plan your route

Check the route before you leave. Will it be muddy? Is it flat or hilly? Is it a loop or do you need to account for the time walking back to the car? Are there dog-friendly cafes, pubs or restaurants where you can get food and refreshments and use the facilities?

Take provisions

Make sure you take plenty of snacks and water, as well as a collapsible bowl so your pup has something to drink from – staying hydrated is vital. You might also want to pack a few first aid supplies just in case. And don’t forget those poo bags.

Be respectful

Not everyone likes dogs (weird right?!), so just be mindful of other walkers – they might not appreciate your friendly hound bounding toward them. Keep your dog on a short lead when instructed, especially when there is livestock nearby. And, of course, make sure you clean up after your pup – take extra poo bags as a precaution.

Where do you like to take your pup?

We’re always on the lookout for new doggy destinations, and we’d love to hear where your furry friends like to explore. Follow us on Facebook and let us know any wonderful walking routes we’ve missed off our list.

Dog walking in yorkshire
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