15 DELIGHTFUL DOG WALKS IN DURHAM

Updated on December 29, 2022

Many of the most valuable and historically significant artefacts and areas in the British Isles are located in County Durham. Durham, the county seat, is home to a magnificent cathedral, many castles, and an excellent Roman fort, all of which serve as monuments to the region’s history and human skill. Meanwhile, the countryside is where you’ll find Britain’s most impressive waterfall, High Force.

There are many locations you and your dog can explore together, whether you’re out and about in the city or the countryside. Both of you will benefit from the fresh air and exercise of a lengthy walk, and the diverse landscapes of Durham guarantee that you will do so.

It’s important to be respectful of others and adhere to standard protocol when taking your dog on a walk in public. Keep your dog on a leash at all times, especially around cattle, roadways, or other potential hazards.

Here are some of the best places to take your dog for a walk in Durham, so you can both enjoy the sights and sounds of this beautiful county.

COUNTRY & COUNTRY PARK WALKS

POW HILL

This route takes you through Pow Hill country park, which offers beautiful views of the Derwent Reservoir. In the northern part of the park, you can find a rare bog ecosystem among the lovely moorland. meanwhile, red squirrels, who are both elusive and adorable, can be found in the coniferous forest. This beautiful country park features a wide range of ecosystems, as you can see. This is a wonderful place for a picnic or a walk with your dog because of the beautiful scenery and the ease of the walking.

In the summer months, visitors should keep their dogs on leashes in locations where ground-nesting birds are present. Regardless, they will appreciate the stroll because of the variety of environments they will see and the new sights and smells they will be exposed to.

Additionally, the boat shack cafe is a great place to go them if they need some additional olfactory stimulation. Outdoor seating, which you may like to use so that your dog can enjoy the stunning panorama of the reservoir, is also available.

Trip Distance: 5.6Km
No Great Struggle Needed
Pow Hill’s Tourist Information Office is where we’ll begin.
Trails, even ground, and a flat landscape.
Free parking is available at the Pow Hill parking lot.
The location is Pow Hill Country Park, Edmundbyers, Consett, County Durham, DH8 9NU.

SUMMERHILL COUNTRY PARK

When in Durham, take your dog to Summer Country Park in Hartlepool. A wildlife preserve and outdoor recreation hub, it is suitable for explorers of all skill levels. The BMX track, play parks, and climbing boulders will be a hit with your young and young-at-heart visitors alike. But those who want to take things easy might stroll the grounds and stop to think by one of the many peaceful ponds.

Cafeteria and other services are available here. If you’re in the neighbourhood and your dog is in need of some TLC, go on over to the dog groomer that’s located only yards from the entrance. You and your dog will have a great time at the 9 Anchors, a charming and eccentric bar not far from your location. You can bring your dog with you to the pub because they have dog dishes and treats.

The bar is located in a prime location, just steps away from the sand, making it ideal for a post-drinking promenade before heading back to your lodgings.

Distance of Walks varies
No Great Struggle Needed
The Front Door, as the Point of Origin
Different types of ground, including smooth pavement, winding paths, and steep inclines
The answer is yes, parking is free.
Hartlepool postcode: TS25 4LL, Summerhill Country Park, Summerhill Lane

WALDRIDGE FELL

This country park has been used for many purposes throughout the years, from grazing land to a military training area to a hunting park and even as a place to dig for gold. It has evolved to serve the local community, and is today a thriving rural area for humans and animals alike. The region is peaceful, beautiful, and has enough of room for you and your dog to go around.

The fields are a mosaic of green and purple in the summer, making for a stunning mix of moorland and lowland heath. The presence of birds nesting on the ground makes summer months a bad time to let your dog off leash. You can learn more if you keep an eye out for announcements. It is possible to spot a shire horse working or bracken bash in the summer. Many unique plant, bird, and bug species make the heath their home, making this hike intriguing for nature lovers.

The conveniences of Chester Le Street are conveniently close by. Alternatively, bring a packed lunch and enjoy a meal while gazing at the breathtaking scenery at one of the many picnic spots.

Time Required for a Stroll: 1.6 to 8 Kilometers
No Great Struggle Needed
Parking Lot as Point of Origin (There are several)
Zoning: level, heathy, and hilly
The answer is yes, parking is free.
For those interested, the location is Waldridge Fell Country Park, Waldridge, Chester Le Street, County Durham, DH2 3RY.

TEESDALE WAY – MIDDLETON CIRCULAR

You and your dog better have some stamina for this trek. When you take your dog for a stroll along this stretch of the Teesdale Way, you’ll be able to follow well-marked trails while taking in some of the county’s most breathtaking scenery. This is the perfect chance for you and Fido to hike a somewhat difficult stretch of the 92-mile trail.

Beginning and ending at Egglestone, you and your dog can spend an hour or two exploring the picturesque ruins of the former monastery known as Egglestone Abbey. Barnard Castle, where you’ll find the closest services, is also within walking distance. The royal insignia of Richard III is still cut into the stonework of this fortress overlooking the river. The dog is again welcome to accompany you as you explore the castle grounds. On the return leg of this stroll, you’ll be treated to a picture-perfect panorama of both landmarks.

The route elsewhere traverses a wide range of landscapes and passes by some fascinating attractions. You’ll be spending a lot of time at the outset following the river, so bring sturdy footwear and keep an eye out for floods if it’s been raining recently.

Time Required: 21Km
Attempting this will be a significant challenge.
The Middleton Bridge is the starting point.
Trails, rocky ground, stairs, brooks, hills, pastures, and wooded areas are all part of the landscape.
The answer is yes, parking is free.
Bridge Street, Middleton In Teesdale, Barnard Castle, County Durham, DL12 0QB.

STAINDROP

You and your dog will enjoy this leisurely stroll through the charming towns and beautiful countryside. Because this path frequently passes through fields, your dog can enjoy leash-free playtime on multiple occasions.

Some of the most picturesque settings for a dog walk may be found in these places. Not only do you get to enjoy the scenic openness of the countryside, but also the wonderful stone terraces and cottages that make up the small towns you pass through. It’s a great chance to get out and see more of Teesdale.

If that wasn’t enough exploration for one day, you may always take the next hike on our list and visit Raby Castle. Equally ideal for taking your dog for a stroll. The castle’s stables cafe serves light fare, or you may stop at the Wheatsheaf Inn for a full meal and a drink after your stroll.

Distance Covered on Foot: 15.1 miles
No Great Struggle Needed
Spar, Staindrop centre, or St. Mary’s Church are good places to begin.
Paths, fields, flat, even ground
Negative, there is no free parking.
Staindrop, DL2 3JN, County Durham, United Kingdom

RABY CASTLE

Raby Castle and its grounds, including the park and gardens, make for a lovely day trip and stroll, even when accompanied by man’s best friend. Good news: canine guests are welcome everywhere on the grounds, including the gardens, the estate, and the cafe at the stables. Dog walkers in Durham should know that the area’s deer require them to keep their pets on a leash. Your dog is unlikely to care, since they will still enjoy a stimulating outing with lots to see and smell en route and be rewarded with complimentary treats at the cafe when they return.

The castle hosted guided dog walks last summer, giving humans and their four-legged friends an opportunity to explore parts of the grounds that are normally off-limits. I’m crossing my fingers that they’ll be back this year!

You and your dog will be comfortable for as long as you stay thanks to the many walking paths available and the abundance of amenities available on the premises.

Trip Distance: 3 Kilometers
No Great Struggle Needed
From Here On Out: M
Flat, even ground with roads and fields.
Parking is free, so yes (But paid admission to the grounds)
Postal Code: DL2 3AH Address: Raby Castle, Staindrop, Darlington, County Durham

STANHOPE

You won’t have to go far from town to get a taste of the countryside on this short stroll through open fields and along the River Wear in Weardale valley. The train station serves as the starting point for this trip, eliminating the need to use a car to discover the area’s peaceful landscape.

From the station, you’ll cross the meadows and head towards the river, where you’ll pass a row of quaint little houses. From there you can pick if you desire to pursue the longer or shorter paths. Consider bringing a towel in case your dog decides to go for a swim.

It’s possible that you’ll encounter livestock along this path; if so, proceed with caution. When walking your dog, keep a careful leash on it, but if you feel attacked, let it go and take cover.

On your way back to Stanhope, you can see the castle and stop by the fossil tree in the town centre. The tree grew some 320 million years ago when this area was bestriding the equator, a time and distance change so tremendous it’s bewildering to think about. It was carried in from a nearby quarry and installed in the Stanhope church wall. Also in town is the Bonny Moorhen, a bar as wonderful as its name, where you and your canine partner can halt to rest and replenish yourself after your walk.

Walk Length: 1.7 to 3km
No Great Struggle Needed
Starting Point: Railway station
Terrain: Flat, fields, riverfront
The answer is yes, parking is free.
Address: Station Road, Stanhope, Bishop Auckland, County Durham, DL13 2YS

WOODLAND WALKS

HAMSTERLEY FOREST

Hamsterley Forest is a large woodland area that stretches along the valley walls of the Wear and Tees rivers. This is the county’s largest forest, making it the ideal place to take your dog for a walk in the woods while in Durham.

Everyone in your group, no matter their hiking experience, will be able to pick a fantastic route that suits their needs. You can take the dog on new adventures every time, even if it’s just the two of you. To get kids excited about exploring the great outdoors, there is a Viking play area and a Gruffalo spotters route. Your dog will most likely enjoy themselves the most on a long off-leash stroll through the woods where they may run, play, and explore at their own pace. The Spurlswood Walk is longer and more peaceful than the other routes, making it a good choice for them.

The woodland is home to a plethora of secrets, including the Green Man, waterfalls, and even the abandoned remains of a coaching inn. During your travels, keep your eyes open; you never know what you might discover. After your hike, if you’re feeling peckish, stop by the woodland cafe for a slice of homemade cake and a cup of coffee.

Distance of a Walk: 2.5-7Km
Hardness: Low to Medium
The Beginning: The Clearly Delineated Trailhead
Uneven and wooded terrain.
Negative, there is no free parking.
Postal Code: DL13 3NL Bedburn, Hamsterley

LOW BURNHALL

Low Burnhall is a beautiful woodland not far from the city of Durham that features both old growth and recent planting as well as wildflower meadows and wetland areas. It’s the ideal place to unwind and appreciate nature with a peaceful stroll among the tree canopies. Your dog will have a great time running about off leash in the forests and fields.

Keep a watch out for the tiny sculpture as you make your way through the forest; he or she is sitting thoughtfully, taking in the breathtaking panorama below. Sit down next to him and take in the scene as you do the same.

The Stonebridge Inn is conveniently located nearby in case you need a rest stop. Here’s a charming country inn that welcomes four-legged guests.

Length of Walk: 9 Kilometers
Moderate in Difficulty
Parking lot/Primary Entrance as the Starting Point
Location: wooded, hilly, and grassy meadows
The answer is yes, parking is free.
Postal Code: DH1 3TX Address: South Road, Durham

BEAMISH WOODS

This loop through the woods near Beamish is a fantastic place to take Fido for a stroll. But if you and Fido are looking for a dog-friendly day trip, Beamish is a great option.

To begin, as long as they are kept on leashes, animal friends are welcome at the Beamish Living Museum. You’ll also be able to enjoy the shepherd and shepherdess inn, a warm and welcoming country bar frequented by hikers, on your way back to the car.

Even if you can only spare an hour or so to meander through this beautiful forest, you will still see many interesting things. In the time when your dog is sniffing around, you can look for relics of the past yourself, like the site of a quarry or a once-thatched barn.

Duration of a 4.8 kilometre stroll
Moderate in Difficulty
Picnic area and parking lot at Eden Place is our point of departure.
Location: wooded, hilly, and grassy meadows
The answer is yes, parking is free.
Location: Just off the A693 outside the Beamish Museum entrance in Stanley, County Durham (Postal Code: DH9 0RE)

WATERSIDE WALKS

LOW FORCE AND HIGH FORCE

Both Low Force and High Force, two breathtaking waterfalls, must be seen by anyone hiking in Durham. The waterfalls themselves, especially High Force, look as though they should be located somewhere else or on a film set, and not nestled away in the English countryside as they actually are.

It’s the country’s largest and most impressive waterfall, and you’ll get to see it along with its smaller but no less impressive cousin on this hike. A third waterfall, Summer Hill Force, can be seen by wandering a few hundred metres away from the visitor centre. This will be one of the best dog walks you’ve ever had in Durham, no matter which park you end up at.

Most of this encircling stroll is simple, but there are some challenging slopes near the High Force. You’ll begin your journey in the welcome centre, where there’s a cafe and restrooms (dogs are allowed in the downstairs areas.) A little fee is required for admission to High Force. If you don’t have a dog, don’t worry; you can still take your dog on this great stroll and enjoy the scenery along the river and the tiny waterfalls.

Your dog will have a blast running through the muck, but you should bring a towel just in case. To your success, and may the force be with you!

Distance Covered on Foot: 15.1 miles
Level of Difficulty: Low to Medium
Bowlees Visitor Center is the Jumping Off Point
Mainly flat, with some rocky and stair-like sections.
Guests can park for free if they provide a suggestion donation.
Bowlees, Newbiggin, County Durham, DL12 0XF.

SEAHAM

Located on the county’s historic coastline, the bustling town of Seaham is home to the region’s lone seaport. Although Durham’s unrestricted beach is a great place to take Fido for a stroll, there are plenty of other activities for you to do together.

Every member of the family, including Fido, may enjoy themselves here. You might go for a stroll along the cliffs for stunning views of the grassland and sea, or head down to the dog-friendly beach for some fun in the sun and the water. The beach is the ideal place to find a beautiful “pebble” of polished glass, as there was once a glass factory in the area.

Visit the town’s Heritage and Lifeboat Centre to see a real lifeboat and get the lowdown on the region’s maritime past. Even while “Tommy” the World War One statue is a well-known landmark, it is not the sole historical centre of attention.

Stop at The Lookout cafe if you’re in need of a relaxing setting with delicious meals and breathtaking scenery. In a similar vein, the Crows Nest pub welcomes furry friends and provides breathtaking ocean vistas. However, the Seaton Lane Inn is a bit inland from the seaside, and it welcomes dogs with open arms.

Length of Walks: Flexible
No Great Struggle Needed
The parking lot of Seaham Hall Beach.
Horizontal and vertical symmetry; even, level, walkways (town); beach; sand; grassland; hills (cliffs)
The answer is yes, parking is free.
Postal Code: SR7 7AF Seaham, County Durham

DURHAM CITY WATERSIDE

Durham City is an absolute must-see on any trip to County Durham. You and Fido can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the downtown streets, or you can take this walk along the water’s edge to see the sights while avoiding some of the city’s congestion and bustle.

The tranquilly of the riverside path makes it a great place to take your dog for a stroll in Durham. Overhead, the castle and its beautiful Gothic cathedral will greet you as you stroll, and you may catch sight of some birds or maybe some rowers out enjoying the river.

On your walk, you’ll pass Cafedral, and it would be a shame to pass up the chance to treat yourself and your dog to a refreshing beverage and a tasty prepared snack. The Court Inn, conveniently located in the cathedral’s shadow, welcomes dogs with open arms.

Duration of a 4.8 kilometre stroll
No Great Struggle Needed
Anywhere on the track will do as a starting point.
Paths, even, flat terrain
Negative, there is no free parking.
DH1 3RW, Durham.

CRIMDON BEACHES

Your dog can run free on the sand and chase the waves at either South Beach or Park Beach. You and your canine companion are free to take advantage of the area’s unrestricted access to the beach at any time.

Typical of this area, the beaches are peaceful and surrounded by RV sites and a golf course. While they may have been frequented by vacationers in the past, these beaches are now largely forgotten. This quiet locale has nothing to offer save the beach and a few picnic areas, making it ideal for a relaxing stroll with your dog along the water’s edge.

However, Hartlepool is only a short drive away, and once there, you’ll find a plethora of convenient services and many more options for a pleasant stroll with your canine companion.

Duration of Walk: As long as you like!
No Great Struggle Needed
The Beach, as the Initial Location
Areas of flat beach and sand with a few steep steps leading down to the sand are the norm.
The answer is yes, parking is free.
Hartlepool, TS27 4DW, Unnamed Road, Blackhall Colliery.

HILL WALKS

HUMBER HILL

Originally called Cold Pig Hill, today’s Humber Hill has breathtaking vistas of the surrounding countryside as well as Woodland Hall, the residence of landscape architect Thomas White, and Colepike Hall.

There is a tiny hill for you and your dog to run up and down while on this walk across the countryside. The wide-open spaces and variety of plants and smells will delight your dog. In addition to breathtaking scenery, there is a plethora of fascinating attractions for their human companions to enjoy. Greencroft Hall and the remnants of the old railroad and viaduct will be among the sights you see. These sites are the jewels in the crown of this round trip, visible between the trees and among the open countryside.

You may find the charming Kaffeehaus Amadeus, a nod to Austrian cafes, tucked away here in the North of England if you make the short trek to Lanchester. While you order your coffee, your dog can drink from the provided water bowl. Visit the beautiful gardens and rest area at Lanchester Garden Centre, another fantastic location for dog walking in Durham.

Trip Distance: 11.2 kilometres
Moderate in Difficulty
Newbiggen Lane is the starting point.
Trails, hills, fields, and other undulating terrain
The answer is yes, parking is free.
Newbiggen Lane, Lanchester, County Durham, DH7 0PF

 

 

 

 

 

 

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