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10 of the Greatest Dog Walks in Yorkshire

· Andrew Emery · Culture

Time for a pootle with your pooch.

Dog walks

Fancy stretching your legs with your furry friend? These wonderful walks through God’s Own County are human and dog friendly.

Babbling brooks, beautifully rugged moors, a sky that stretches forever – a dog walk in Yorkshire is a thing of glory. Just you and your best four-legged friend strolling through the unparalleled gorgeousness of the Yorkshire countryside, with air so fresh it’s like angels just exhaled it. Get your walking boots, lead, dog treats and water at the ready – these sensational strolls are something that not even a dog could sniff at.

Runswick Bay

runswick bay

Runswick Bay on the Yorkshire coast is the scene for this unforgettable dog-friendly walk. With your dog by your side, you’ll trace the curve of the beautiful bay, and the town’s narrow, charming streets are car-free, which makes it extremely good for a potter with your dog. You’ll also be accompanied all the way by views to remember, the North Sea glistening as you pass the beach – keep your eye out for fossils to take home as a souvenir.

If you want to build a break into your sea-side saunter, head to the The Royal Hotel. Whether you go inside or sit in the beer garden with its vistas of the sea, your dog is more than welcome with bowls and treats. Once you’ve recharged your batteries, continue on to the tiny hamlet of Kettleness, with yet more views to die for. It’s a secluded spot, with just other walkers for company, so let your dog roam free before you make your way home.

The walk starts at Runswick Bar Car Park, Runswick Bay, North Yorkshire, TS13 5HT. Check out the route.

Wessenden Valley Circular

Over Wessenden Reservoirs

You’ll be starring in your own, somewhat gentler, version of Reservoir Dogs on this walk through moorland in Yorkshire. As you and your canine chum proceed, you’ll pass six different reservoirs – Blakeley, Wessenden, Butterley, Swellands, Black Moss and Redbrook – on a circular route that clocks up at nearly seven miles. You’ll also skirt the Wessenden Brook, a River Colne tributary that still runs through a valley carved out by ice age glaciers.

With huge expanses of countryside all around you, you’ll be able to let your dog off the lead to explore as you circle around hidden waterfalls – look for the one near the deer farm, perfect if your mutt fancies a dip. You’ll loop back to the village of Marsden, on the southern edge of the Pennines. You’ve earned some refreshment, so nip into the dog-friendly Riverhead Brewery Tap to try the hand-pulled ales brewed on site, accompanied with bao buns.

The walk starts at Wessenden Head Road, Meltham, Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, HD9 4EU. Check out the route.

Staithes and Port Mulgrave


Starting off in the seaside heaven that is Staithes, this four-mile romp is one of the best dog walks you can do in North Yorkshire. Leave the fishing boats on the harbour behind as you set off, up the narrow – and occasionally steep – cobbled lanes. You’re tracing the Cleveland Way National Trail for part of this walk, walking parallel to the coast as you proceed all the way to Port Mulgrave. Grab a restorative drink and superior pub food at the dog-adoring Badger Hounds inn.

You’ll then rejoin the easygoing path back to the start, heading through woods and fields, going through the teeny tiny village of Dalehouse before heading back down into Staithes. There’s plenty of opportunity to take your dog off the lead, but best to keep them on a short leash through the first part of the walk, as the cliffs can be steep. Back in Staithes, head for the Cod and Lobster, its thick stone walls a redoubt against the waves and wind as you enjoy a few post-totter tipples.

The walk starts at Bank Top car park, Staithes Lane, Staithes, Saltburn, North Yorkshire, TS13 5AD. Check out the route.

Knaresborough, the Nidd Gorge and Old Bilton


© Copyright Leeds-List 2022 by Ali Turner

If you want to get some miles into your dog’s legs, this six-mile walk is one of the most gorgeous you can do in North Yorkshire. It’s especially perfect for summertime, as you can let your pooch off the lead for a cooling dip in the River Nidd, after you’ve strolled down from Knaresborough and through Conyngham Hall. There’s plenty of natural breaks built in, usually when you’ve stopped to admire the next amazing view.

One of the best breaks you can enjoy along the way is at The Gardeners Arms in Bilton – dogs are welcome inside and in the beer garden, but must be kept on leads. It’s a Samuel Smith’s pub, so grab refreshments at a refreshingly competitive price, then head back through sheltered woodlands into Knaresborough. Much of the walk is paved, but muddy paws are inevitable – something to bear in mind if you’re planning another dog-friendly pub stop at the end of your walk.

The walk starts at Conyngham Hall car park, 52 Bond End, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, HG5 9AX. Check out the route.

Welburn and Castle Howard

castle howard
Castle Howard and its surrounds are the setting for this Yorkshire dog walk. You’ll yomp around the castle’s grounds, heading over for your near six-mile pootle from Welburn. This pretty village is welcoming to walkers and their four-legged charges with plenty of landmarks – look out for the 19th century church of of St John the Evangelist before you head off. The walk is well geared towards dogs – there’s even a dog gate at one of the stiles.

Gentle hills and quiet woodland mean your dog can go off-lead for a chunk of the route although, depending on the season, you might see signs about nesting birds, and it’s also a good idea to restrain your dog when heading through a cattle field on the Castle Howard Estate. All good walks should end with a great pub and on your return to Welburn you’ll be greeted by the The Crown and Cushion, voted Yorkshire’s most dog-friendly pub – they’ve even got treats behind the bar.

The walk starts at The Crown and Cushion, Main Street, Welburn, Malton, North Yorkshire, Y060 7DZ. Check out the route.

Clay Bank and Greenhow Plantation

Cleveland Way, Clay Bank, Wainstones, Stokesley

Ideal for little dogs that don’t need as much exercise as big ones, this three-mile wander through woodland and the Cleveland Hills packs a lot into a short distance. Start off at the Forestry England car park at Clay Bank, before roaming east – you’ll spot both the Captain Cook Monument and Roseberry Topping in the distance, the views over the Cleveland plain the dictionary definition of majestic.

If your dog wants to roam and sniff, this is the perfect walk for it. Let them loose but watch out for horse riders when you cross Greenhow Plantations –you’ll need to put your canine chum back on the leash if you encounter any. It’s a quiet area, but the obligatory dog-friendly pub is ready to greet you close to the finishing spot. The Buck Inn in Chop Gate offers a warm welcome to dogs – you might even meet River and Tilly, the resident Giant Schnauzers.

The walk starts at Clay Bank Car Park, Clay Bank, Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, TS9 7HX. Check out the route.

Newtondale Circular

Levisham Moor, Newtondale

This North Yorkshire dog walk has everything you and your mutt need. Wonderful woodland, gentle climbs and plenty of space to let them off the lead. This circular route covers six miles, beginning at Levisham Station car park and taking you past Kale Pot Hole Farm and Raper’s Farm. The latter is as good a place as any to take a pause – there’s a picture-perfect picnic spot here where you can get some water for the dog and take in the views.

It’s a very dog-friendly route, but you’ll be close to the North Yorkshire Moors railway for part of it, so you may want to keep your dog on the lead there, unless they have very good recall. You’ll end back where you began, and the search for a pro-pooch pub throws up The Horseshoe Inn. A handsome stone-built pub, it has Yorkshire ales behind the bar and does a mean line in pie and peas.

The walk starts at Levisham Station car park, Levisham, Pickering, North Yorkshire, YO18 7NN. Check out the route.

Tong Circular Walk

Tong, Bradford, Yorkshire

This charming village just outside Bradford is your start and end point for a four-mile walk with your doggy. Starting at the heart of the village, walk to The Greyhound pub and then head north for Keeper Lane. Your route will consist of a mix of country lanes, bridleways and along the memories of ancient roads, with lots of landmarks to look out for. If your dog likes a bit of freedom, good news, they can be off their lead for most of the walk.

You’ll come across the Fulneck Moravian Settlement as you go, a cluster of well-preserved Georgian buildings, and you don’t have to wander too far in search of a deserved drink for you and your dog either, with plenty of pubs in the area. Circle back to The Greyhound for homemade food and plenty of room for your dog to curl up in. If you’d rather sit outside, you get a prime view of Tong Cricket Club’s home games – just don’t let your dog chase the ball.

The walk starts at Tong village, Tong, West Yorkshire, BD4 OPR. Check out the route.

Stamford Bridge and the River Derwent

Stamford Bridge

There’s history underneath every footstep when you take on this eight-mile stroll. It might be one of the longer lopes, but it’s also one of the best dog-friendly walks in this corner of Yorkshire. Stamford Bridge saw action as the site of a battle in 1066, although these days it’s better know as a peaceful place to perambulate, crossing a 19th century viaduct as you head towards Low Catton and Kexby.

You can let your dog loose to swim in the Derwent, but make sure you have it back on the lead when you encounter a couple of cattle fields. All is tranquility in these parts, and as you loop back to Stamford Bridge you’ll have earned a drink and sit down. The Three Cups is a country pub steeped in even more history – there’s an ancient draw well inside. Grab a cask ale while your dog rests their paws.

The walk starts at The Square, Stamford Bridge, York, North Yorkshire, YO41 1BR. Check out the route.

Dick Turpin’s Dog Walk

cliffords tower

This quick-fire route isn’t your usual dog walk. No, you’ll have to keep your little friend on their lead as you trace the city streets of York on the route that highwayman Dick Turpin used to walk his dog, Nell, along. York’s buildings are so well preserved that, on occasion, you’ll fancy you’ve travelled back in time, especially when you start your little adventure at the mighty Clifford’s Tower.

After walking down Whip Ma Whop Ma Gate Street, you can dip your head inside the The Last Drop Inn, where dogs are most welcome. It has been given a makeover since Black Sheep Brewery took it over, but still remains a wonderful watering hole. You can even read about Turpin’s life on the walls within, before setting forth again past the Minster, across the cobbles and with enough greenery for doggie pitstops.

The walk starts at Clifford’s Tower, Tower Street, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 9SA. Check out the route.