Top 15 Dog-Friendly Hikes in Yorkshire

Updated on April 16, 2023

Yorkshire is the largest county in England, and it is divided into three historical regions called “ridings,” specifically the North Riding of Yorkshire, the West Riding of Yorkshire, and the East Riding of Yorkshire. You can take your dog for a stroll in any of the county’s many scenic parks, trails, and beaches.

A dog’s emotional and physical well-being benefit greatly from regular exercise, which is essential for all canines but especially for those that require more of it. Allow your dog to run around outside and do what dogs do best—sniff and investigate.

While enjoying one of these fantastic dog walks in Yorkshire, it is important to remember a few things. Keep your dog on a leash whenever it is deemed necessary, especially while near cattle, but also when near traffic, sharp or swallow-able trash, or young children.

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Pick up after your dog(s), don’t litter, and leave the walking area cleaner than you found it. In addition, make sure you and your dog have access to lots of food and water (you might be out for longer than you think).

So, reward yourself and Fido with a wonderful day of sight-seeing and foot-slogging. Let’s take a trip to some of Yorkshire’s most spectacular spots for dog walkers.

ROBIN HOOD’S BAY

The historic fishing community of Robin Hood’s Bay, located on the North York Moors’ Heritage Coast, is well worth a trip. The community is located just south of Whitby, and it is largely undeveloped and very dog-friendly.

From the parking lot, you may walk along the sandy beach for three miles or head up to the cliff tops for a bird’s-eye view of the beach and the surrounding area. Or, take a stroll through its winding, tiny lanes and passageways that have served sailors and fisherman for centuries.

If you find yourself in need of a place to stay the night, the hamlet has a number of charming hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts, B&Bs, restaurants, and boutiques to choose from.

RUNSWICK BAY

Runswick Bay, another spectacular North Yorkshire village, sits atop a broad, sandy bay and is famous for its gorgeous sea views, coastal hikes, and fossil collecting. One of the top five beaches in the UK, It’s Beach is dog-friendly and offers breathtaking vistas of the water from the moment you leave the parking lot till you return there.

You can stop and take in the scenery at Kettleness Point if you or your dog are feeling tired, or you can press on along the sand and up onto the rocks if you’re up for some adventure.

There’s plenty of room for your dog to run around, play catch, and even take a plunge in the water (if it’s not too cold) in the 1.2-mile bay. To avoid having a dripping dog in the car, it’s a good idea to have a towel along if this is a common occurrence. Runswick Bay is a picture perfect village because to its red-roofed houses and golden coastline. The Royal Hotel offers stunning ocean views, delicious meals, and dog-friendly accommodations for out-of-town guests.

HARD CASTLE CRAGGS

Hard Castle Craggs, a beautiful wooded valley with a spectacular 19th-century mill at its center, is the closest dog walk to the Pure Pet Food offices. Some 15 miles of trails go through the unspoiled woods that covers 400 acres in the trendy neighborhood of Hebden Bridge, where you can also find some beautiful waterfalls and rushing streams. Good enough to wear out even the hardest working canine!

Gibson Mill, located in the heart of Hard Castle Craggs, is home to an excellent café serving delicious, sustainably sourced, and locally sourced fare, as well as a variety of rotating art exhibits. The mill can run on its own with no outside help, making it a wonderful place to take children.

All across the property, including in the mill and the café, four-legged friends are more than welcome. If you’re searching for a place to unwind after your hike, the picturesque artist community of Hebden Bridge is highly recommended (and ranked as the 4th funkiest town in the world).

WESSENDEN VALLEY CIRCULAR

The Wessenden Valley is located in western Yorkshire, near the county line. A circuitous road through stunning moorland with picture-perfect vistas in every direction.

The trailhead for this Peak District hike is located in the charming community of Marsden, which is steeped in industrial history and is home to several beautiful canal walks and National Trust properties. It’s easy to find a dog-friendly pub in Marsden, but if you’re looking for a spot to relax after a long stroll, we suggest The New Inn.

Black Moss, Blakeley, Butterley, Redbrook, Swellands, and Wessenden are only some of the six enormous reservoirs found in and around Marsden and the surrounding area. Ideal for letting Fido run around and play. The Wessenden Waterfall is a stunning sight, blending the green of the surrounding countryside with the blue of the water below.

STAITHES AND PORT MULGRAVE

Staithes and Port Mulgrave are two halves of the same picturesque old fishing village, full of winding lanes and cobblestone streets, and dotted with picturesque harborside houses. A attractive English seaside town in the traditional sense. Take your dog for a stroll among the cliffs, the meadows, and the peaceful back roads. Let your dog off the leash and enjoy some fresh air in the many dog-friendly locations surrounding this picturesque community. If you take your dog up to the cliffside, keep it on a short leash because the ground drops down quickly.

As well as a wide variety of treks of varying lengths, the area is home to several establishments that welcome canine companions. James Cook (Captain Cook) is said to have developed his love of the sea during his time as an apprentice grocer in Staithes, adding to the town’s rich history. Also, the village’s fishing sector has seen a resurgence, with many fisherman once again employing the use of cobles boats and the rustic houses that dot the shoreline.

THE NIDD GORGE AND OLD BILTON, KNARESBOROUGH

The quieter sections of the River Nidd and the abundance of grassy walkways and cycle lanes make this hike, which begins in Knaresborough, a fantastic spot to let your dog run free. Knaresborough is a lovely town in its own right, what with its dog-friendly businesses, old castle ruins, and breathtaking vistas of the Nidd Valley and viaduct.

See some beautiful scenery while getting in some great walking at the same time in the serene Nidd Gorge and Old Bilton. Those traveling to Knaresborough often overlook this wonderful attraction. Mother Shipton’s Cave, located in nearby Knaresborough, is a must-see because of its fame and the fact that it is claimed to be England’s oldest tourist attraction, having been opened in 1630.

GRAVES PARK SHEFFIELD

Sheffield’s largest park has acres (206 acres total area) of open space for dogs to run around, making it the perfect venue for a dog-friendly day out. This park features both open fields and wooded areas, as well as several stunning streams.

There is a charming little café in Graves Park called the Rose Garden Café, and it’s a great place for dog walkers and families to stop in for a bit.

OTLEY CHEVIN

The Chevin is a renowned dog-walking location in the Wharfe Valley town of Otley. There are beautiful forests and heathlands aplenty in The Chevin, making for some breathtaking scenery. Surprise View, at 282 meters, is the Chevin’s highest point, offering breathtaking panoramas of Otley and Wharfedale.

This is a hike you can’t miss because it features approximately 180 hectares of diverse terrain, including woods, moors, grassland, and craggy outcrops. Bloomfield Square and Salami & Co. are two of the town’s restaurants that welcome canine companions, while the Chevin Lodge is an excellent choice for overnight guests.

RIVELIN VALLEY NATURE TRAIL

The Rivelin Valley Nature Trail is a favorite among dog walkers in Sheffield since it is a flat route that passes through some beautiful woodland and along waterways that are perfect for a canine paddle. There are several open spaces between Sheffield and the Peak District where you may take your dog for a walk in the country.

Enjoy the journey as you discover the waterfalls, dams, and weirs that dot the Rivelin Valley Nature Trail. If you’re feeling adventurous after completing the nature route, you can continue your hike by going to the Rivelin Dams, which are part of the Wyming Brook Nature Reserve as well. A must for all dog lovers and walkers, this is a memorable route you and your pup won’t soon forget.

PENHILL, WEST WITTON

From West Witton, you can take a beautiful round hike up one of the finest hills in Wensleydale—Penhill—and take in panoramic vistas of the region. You may hike to the top of this rather flat hill with your dog by using public trails. In spite of its low elevation, this hill is easily visible from the North York Moors all the way across the Vale of York and into Wensleydale.

Don’t leave Penhill without checking out the cairn that marks the ridge’s finish. This hill is steeped in history as well, as it was once used as a lookout for approaching threats like the Spanish Armada or a band of Scottish raiders. The Wensleydale Heifer Restaurant in West Witton is one of the few places where the human staff genuinely enjoys the company of canine guests.

AYSGARTH FALLS

This is the one location on this list that you absolutely must see. The Aysgarth Falls on the River Ure are a series of smaller waterfalls that combine to make a stunningly picturesque landscape. Because of their inclusion in the 1992 Hollywood film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, these waterfalls have been drawing visitors for over two centuries.

It is easy to spend an entire day wandering the village and its environs, getting lost in the beautiful scenery and the maze of paths. Wheelchairs and strollers can easily navigate these routes.

The James Herriot Way is an 80 km trail that passes through the local communities and is perfect for the more adventurous traveler. This is another path that will leave you in awe of the beautiful sights you’ll see along the way.

HAWES

Wensleydale cheese was invented in Hawes, which also happens to be a great area to take your dog for a stroll. Hardrow Falls, the greatest single drop waterfall in the United Kingdom, is not far from the picturesque market town. Dog owners can take their pets to the waterfall for a refreshing swim if the weather is nice.

The best day to take a day trip is on a Tuesday, when the town market is open and you can get some excellent Wensleydale cheese (however, if your dog suffers from pancreatitis, you should avoid giving it to it as a treat because of the high fat content). Hawes means “pass between mountains,” and those mountains are Buttertub and Fleet Moss, so if you’re feeling adventurous, you can check out some hikes in the area.

RIVER OUSE

The River Ouse is a terrific alternative for city dwellers, as it runs through the heart of York and provides a scenic route for strolls along the water. The spacious walkways make it convenient to stroll a dog, and maybe even let it run free. It’s a terrific way to observe the old city of York, and the river is a continuation of the River Ure.

York, ranked the finest place to live in the UK by the Sunday Times, is well worth the journey even if you don’t plan on staying for very long. The city is home to numerous acclaimed museums, a vibrant arts community, and a rich and intriguing history. Explore York’s medieval past by walking the city’s historic walls.

NEWTONDALE

This 6-mile loop around the North Yorkshire Moors is a forest trail with breathtaking views of the forest’s deep interior. This dog walking route features quiet byways, forested trails, and paths with a few moderately steep ascents and descents. In the forests managed by Forestry England, you can walk your dog freely off leash so long as you keep an eye on them.

At Newtondale, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway carves a passage through the countryside, creating a breathtaking view of the surrounding vegetation and trees. With the resumption of service all the way to Whitby, this route has quickly become the most well-liked historic railway in the country. For a step back in time, visit the nearby Levisham Station, which has been meticulously rebuilt to look just as it did in 1912.

LEEDS AND LIVERPOOL CANAL

The Leeds and Liverpool Canal is a massive, 127-mile waterway that runs across the Pennines and features 91 locks along its mainline, connecting the cities of Leeds and Liverpool. Stop at Apperbly Bridge or the Five-Rise Locks in Bingley along this breathtaking rural route. A walk with the dogs couldn’t be more perfect than in this surroundings.

Enjoy a pleasant stroll along a historic road with a tale to tell between each lock while keeping an eye out for interesting wildlife. Every year, tens of thousands of people go to this section of canal because it is the longest continuous canal in Britain. Saltaire is a lovely Victorian model village that is both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an Anchor Point on the European Route of Industrial Heritage, and it is a great option for anyone who would like to enjoy the canal in a more urban setting.

BONUS

ROUNDHAY PARK

Roundhay Park, a haven in the heart of the metropolis, has won the “Best Public Park” award from the Royal Horticultural Society. The park’s 700 acres of grassland, woodland, lakes, and gardens attract approximately one million visitors annually, making it one of the largest city parks in Europe. There’s a ton of free parking, plus a huge open area where the dogs can run about, play fetch, and enjoy the fresh air.

The beautiful Upper Lake that flows into Waterloo Lake and the historic Roundhay Castle, which was used as a summerhouse, are just a few of the attractions in the park.

YORKSHIRE SCULPTURE PARK

No dog is required to enjoy a trip to Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Since 1977, it has served as the world’s preeminent hub for cutting-edge sculpture. All year long, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park displays works by some of the world’s most renowned artists in five interior galleries and the park’s natural setting as part of its temporary exhibitions plan.

As opposed to the other dog walks we’ve mentioned, this one is designed more for the humans than the canines. This is because the folks at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park have imposed a few constraints. Clean up after your dog, keep them on a leash at all times, and avoid Upper Lake and Menagerie Wood to protect livestock and wildlife.

Parking is not included in the price of admission ($12 for the day or $6.5 for 1-2 hours). Additionally, the café has outside seats so that visitors can enjoy the park’s sculptures and artworks before or after a rest and food.

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