Best Summer Spots for UK Dog Walks
With summer almost here, we’ve just about shaken off our waterproofs and mud-caked wellies, and we can finally start thinking about summer. Whether you’re looking for the perfect staycation spot for you and your pooch, a day out in an area of natural beauty, or a city break with lovely dog walking spots, we have you covered. Take a look at our 12 favourite UK Dog Walks, covering the length and breadth of our shores. From isolated lochs, to coastal walks, and big cities’ best kept secrets.
Take a look at all our favourite summer spots below on this interactive map!
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1 Saltburn | North Yorkshire
This beautiful, old town on North Yorkshire’s East Coast is a hidden gem amongst more popular spots like Whitby, Scarborough and Robin Hood’s Bay. You’ll find vast, expansive beaches that are predominantly dog friendly, but be sure to check the beach signs nearby. After your pooch has had a swim, and you’ve had your fill with some of the best fish and chips the East Coast has to offer, it’s time to head up to Hunt Cliff for some incredible, panoramic, postcard views. There are a variety of routes you can choose to follow, from the beach, to Hunt’s Cliff or, if you’re wanting more of a challenge, you can join the Cleveland Way. Free parking is available on Marine Parade.
2 Loch an Eilein | Cairngorms National Park
If you haven’t been to the Cairngorms, then you are missing out on one of the most dramatically beautiful wilderness areas in the UK, where woodland meets loch, and river meets rock. The park contains 4 out of 5 of the highest mountains in the UK, but if you’re for looking for something a little easier, the Loch an Eileen is perfect. In a word, the loch is stunning. The calm water reflects the magnificent pines of Rothiemurchus Forest, and in the middle of the loch is a ruined castle, providing the perfect photo opportunity. The walk around the loch is 3 miles, but can easily be extended into the surrounding woodland, or to Loch Gamhna. Parking is available at the North End of the Loch, or you can catch the train to Aviemore, which is only a couple of miles away.
3 Box Hill | Surrey Hills
The Surrey Hills really are incredible. An area of Outstanding Natural Beauty located a mere 20-30 miles south of London, and the gem of this area has to be Box Hill. There are a number of routes you can choose from that will take you over river stepping stones, through leafy woodland and provide viewpoints overlooking the North Downs. If you’re travelling from London, you can get the train from Victoria or Vauxhall to Box Hill and Westhumble Station. And the best part? The trails begin outside the train station! There are a variety of routes to choose from, which take between 1-4 hours. All routes are well sign-posted and dog friendly. You can’t miss this UK Dog Walk.
4 Aber Falls | North Wales
North Wales is a top spot for a staycation. There are countless picturesque seaside towns, and the wilderness of Snowdonia is easily accessible. There are plenty of dog walking trails around North Wales, but our favourite has to be Aber Falls. Located just a 25 minute drive from Bangor, Aber Falls is one of the most breath-taking waterfalls in Snowdonia. The best route to take is a 4 mile circular walk starting from Bont Newydd car park near the village of Abergwyngregy. Your four-legged friend will love exploring the woodland and nearby river. Beyond the falls, you will find some stunning views of Puffin Island and Anglesey.
5 Branscombe to Beer | Devon
The Devonshire coast really does transport you to another world. If the sun is shining, this part of the country is pure bliss. The route between Branscombe and Beer is only 3 miles, but some sections are rather steep, so you may build up a bit of a thirst. Don’t worry though, the beautiful village of Beer certainly lives up to its name, with plenty of quaint, dog-friendly pubs ready to relieve you of your thirst. The walk itself is teeming with wildlife, astounding views, and remarkable geology. The trail is dog friendly, and a popular route among local dog owners. Despite the popularity of this route, Beer tends to be pretty peaceful, and the perfect place for a Sunday stroll followed by a pint!
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6 Mam Tor Circular | The Peak District
The Peak District (or the peaks to locals) was the first National Park in the UK, and it is well worth a visit. The peaks are full of trails, traditional country pubs, and breath-taking moorland views. Picking a summer dog walk in the peaks is rather difficult, because there are so many to choose from! Our personal favourite has to be Mam Tor Circular. This route is 8 miles long and takes you through popular villages Hope and Castleton, before ascending the peak of Mam Tor. There are plenty of places to stay locally, countless spots for chips and gravy, and of course the ever popular Castleton Caverns. The Peak District is located slap, bang in the middle of England, and it’s easily accessible from all sides, whether you get the train from Manchester or Sheffield, or drive from anywhere in the country.
7 Dodd Fell | The Lake District
The Lake District’s reputation for wild beauty speaks for itself. It will come as no surprise that the Lake District is one of the most visited places in the UK, outside of London. This huge National Park features steep, slopping mountains, ancient woodlands and, you guessed it, lakes! If you’re looking for a family and dog friendly walk, it’s hard to find one better than Dodd Fell. The 5-mile route around Dodd Wood and Dodd Fell is suitable for all terrain pushchairs and dogs. The path is steep at some points, so you will need two adults at hand just in case. You’ll find incredible views of Derwent Water at the top, and parking is available at the Forestry Commission Dodd Wood car park. Baby changing facilities are available, as well as a tearoom. One of the top UK Dog Walks.
8 Connswater Community Greenway | Belfast
We could write a whole other article on natural beauty spots in Northern Ireland that are perfect for you and your dog (in fact, maybe we will!) But we’re going to choose a lesser-known spot in the capital, Belfast. Belfast is one of our favourite UK city breaks, and it’s a great place to bring your pooch. A city steeped in history, with easy access to incredible beaches, and the unique Giants Causeway, and some of the best food and drink in the UK. The Connswater Community Greenway is one of the city’s best kept secrets. The 16 km trail runs through East Belfast, and is a natural break from the hustle and bustle of the city. There’s all sorts of wildlife teeming along the greenway and a stop off at C.S. Lewis Square is essential. The Connswater Community Greenway is accessible by foot from the city centre.
9 Margam Park | Port Talbot
Margam Park is one of those places that takes you back in time. The beautiful castle and its 1000 acre grounds located near the popular town of Port Talbot are a must-see for you and your four-legged friend. Not only is the country park beautiful, access is completely free, which is unique for an attraction like this. There’s plenty to explore, from the deer park, to the castle lawns. Some parts of the park will require your pooch to be on a lead, but there are lots of lead-free trails available for your pooch to go and explore. If you have some little adventurers with you, they will love the adventure playground, fairy tale land, the miniature railway and the fishing pond. Whilst entry to the park is free, you do have to pay for parking, however you can walk up to the park itself.
10 War Memorial Park Circular | Coventry
The War Memorial Park in Coventry is one of the most unique dog walks on our list. Not only is this park incredibly historic, it’s also just 2 miles out of Coventry city centre, and only 20 miles from Birmingham city centre. The park was created in tribute to those who died fighting in World War 1 and features a striking 90-foot war memorial. The park is an insight into British history, a great place for you and your pooch to explore. As well as the historical appeal, the park is beautiful and includes a Footgolf course, a play park, and cafés among other facilities.
11 Earlham Park | Norwich
This woodland park located just west of Norwich is a great place for keen swimmers. If your pooch loves a dip, or you’re looking to get your puppy used to the water, this walk is perfect! The river here is predominantly shallow, slow moving and clear, making it the perfect outdoor pup pool. Parking is best on Earlham Road, from there meander through the grasslands, woods and the river. Truly a gem of a UK Dog Walk.
12 Inveraray Castle to Dun na Cuaiche Watchtower | Argyll and Bute
And topping off this list of the best UK Dog Walks is this incredible trail in Argyll and Bute in the west of Scotland. It’s genuinely hard to put into words how stunning this trail is. The trail begins at the castle, which is a spectacle in and of itself. First built in 1450, with improvements in the 1700s, the iconic castle was featured in Downton Abbey. The trail up to the watchtower takes around 2 hours to complete, and is perfect for curious dogs looking for exploration. When you make it up to the watchtower, it has one of the best views you’re likely to see on British shores. The local area is popular, and accommodation, amenities and restaurants are in good supply.
Best UK Dog Walks for Summer | Final Thoughts
And that’s it, our 12 favourite UK Dog Walks! Is there somewhere you think we’ve missed? Got a better list of your own? Contact us on Instagram or by email and let us know your favourite UK Dog Walk spots.
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