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10 of the Greatest Dog Walks in Yorkshire

· Joseph Sheerin · Culture

Take the pooch for a picturesque walk through God’s Own Country.

Treat the pooch to a walk and yourself to an incredible day of exploring – these dog walks are the best in Yorkshire.

Open countryside, stunning views and loads of sniffs. We’re just going to say it – Yorkshire is one of the best places in the world for dog walking. So grab your lead, pack up your dog treats and put on your walking boots, because you’re about to go on an adventure. Explore the beautiful Dales, take in stunning vistas along the region’s coastline and even pop into a few dog-friendly establishments along the way.

Runswick Bay

Runswick Bay

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Runswick Bay is one of the best dog walks you can do in Yorkshire – this hidden spot on the coastline will see you walk the pooch on a gem of beach that looks out over the North Sea. The views are truly special – they start as soon as you leave the car park and carry on all the way down to the beach. Pause at Kettleness Point to take in the incredible scenery, before making your way along the sand and onto the rocks, if you’re feeling adventurous.

There’s loads of room for the dog to run around here, which means this walk can last as long as you see fit, and you can even let them loose in the sea, if you don’t mind towelling them down before you get back in the car. When you’re done, make your way into the picturesque village and pay a visit to The Royal Hotel, which is dog-friendly, inside and out.

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Wessenden Valley Circular

Redbrook Reservoir, Wessenden

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Wessenden Valley comes in at just over 6.5 miles. It’s a circular route across the stunning moorland valley at the top edge of the Peak District from Marsden. This is definitely one of the most picturesque dog walks in Yorkshire, with breathtaking 360 degree views pretty much all around you.

There are loads of open fields for your dog to run around in as you make your way to each of the six massive reservoirs in the area – Blakeley, Wessenden, Butterley, Swellands, Black Moss and Redbrook. Take in those special views and keep an eye out for the mini waterfalls on the route too. When you’re done, head back into Marsden and enjoy a well deserved pint at The New Inn – they’ll make sure the dog is looked after as well as you are.

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Staithes and Port Mulgrave


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Fancy a scenic walk around the Yorkshire Heritage Coast? This 4-mile route looks out over the water – you’ll breathe in the North Sea air as you set off from the stunning Staithes harbour, weaving in and out of the narrow lanes, before you take the Cleveland Way up to Port Mulgrave. The vistas here are really special, as you gaze across the postcard-perfect village and shoreline.

You can let your dog off the lead here with quiet tracks and paths which take you up to Port Mulgrave. As you reach the top, you may want to put them back on the lead, because there’s a bit of a steep drop ahead, but on your way back down, you can let them loose to run ahead through the fields and woodland by Dalehouse. Thirsty? Pop into The Cod and Lobster or The Royal George for a quick pint, they love dogs there.

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Knaresborough, the Nidd Gorge and Old Bilton


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This beautiful 6-mile walk takes you through one of the most scenic parts of North Yorkshire. You’ll set off near Conyngham Hall, just next to Mother Shipton’s Cave, and make your way through the pretty village of Bilton towards the River Nidd. Make sure you take in the incredible views across Nidd Gorge, particularly towards the viaduct, before you head back into Knaresborough.

Dogs absolutely love it here – the Nidd is great for a quick dip and since it’s mostly on grassy paths, cycle tracks and tarmac lanes, you’ll be able to let them off their lead. On the way, you’ll pass The Gardeners Arms in Bilton which is a great pit-stop that lets dogs in the beer garden. Then, when you arrive back into the town centre, there are loads of pooch-loving places to go – The Mitre is a favourite, it’s a traditional watering hole with cask ales, quality pub grub and a dog-friendly attitude.

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Welburn and Castle Howard


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This 7-mile walk through the Howardian Hills is one of the best dog walks in Yorkshire. You’ll start in the picture-perfect village of Welburn, before taking in the incredible attractions that make this an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’, from the rolling green hills as you pass Coneysthorpe and Gaterley to landmarks like the Temple of the Four Winds, Mill Hill’s Beck and, of course, the Castle Howard estate.

It’s a calm and peaceful part of the world, so you and the pooch can enjoy a leisurely stroll along flat tracks and gentle hills – needless to say, this is ideal if you want to let them run off the lead and go sniffing about. The Crown and Cushion is a dog-friendly drinking den with water bowls and treats, or you can pop by Leaf and Loaf, a cafe that welcomes pooches.

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Clay Bank and Greenhow Plantation

Roseberry Topping

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With incredible views and loads of green space for the dog to run about, this 3-mile woodland route in the Cleveland Hills is a must-do. It’s an easygoing route that packs a real punch – you’ll work your way through forest tracks that offer dramatic views across the Cleveland plain, with landmarks like Roseberry Topping and the Captain Cook Monument to spot in the distance. Why not stop to recharge at Greenhow Plantation? It’s a pretty shaded area where you can escape the sun.

You can let your dog loose for much of the route, and the plantation is a particularly popular spot with plenty of scents and space to roam. When you reach the end, make the short walk to The Buck Inn in Chop Gate, it’s the only pub in the area for miles around and you can also stay the night. Too tired to walk? They offer a free pick-up service from the Clay Bank Top car park.

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Newtondale Circular

Hole of Horcum, Levisham, Newtondale

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Discover the beauty of the North York Moors on this 6-mile woodland wander across Newtondale. Start at the quirky Levisham Station, which has been restored to look just like it did in 1912, then take the leisurely Station Walk along the rail track, through pretty forests overflowing with mosses, ferns and grasses. Head past Kale Pot Hole Farm, where you can spot Skelton Tower across the moor, and take a walk up to Raper’s Farm Picnic Place. You can enjoy incredible views of the valley below before you make your way back to the station.

Apart from the one climb, the walk is largely flat as you meander through fields, along forest bridleways and down stone tracks – feel free to let the dogs roam free, but you’ll need to pop them back on the lead when you pass the farm. When you’ve finished your walk, take the short walk down into Levisham where you can nip into The Horseshoe Inn for a well-deserved drink for both you and the pooch – it’s a dog-friendly pub with water bowls and treats.

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Tong Circular Walk


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Make a beeline for the small Bradford village of Tong for a walk that will take you along ancient causeways, hollow tracks and field paths, with a few stiles to cross along the way. It’s only 4-miles long, so it’s not too taxing, but there are plenty of landmarks to spot as you walk along the Leeds Country Way and Tong Beck.

You can let your dog off the lead for the majority of the walk as you head from Tong village towards Fulneck Moravian Settlement, an incredible town full of beautiful Georgian buildings. The Bankhouse Inn, one of the most dog-friendly pubs in Yorkshire, is just around the corner and it offers great beers and even better views. When you head back to the start, you can pop into The Greyhound Inn for a few too.

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Stamford Bridge and the River Derwent

Stamford Bridge

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This lengthy 8-mile jaunt through the edge of the Yorkshire Wolds is easily one of the best dog walks in Yorkshire. You’ll start in the picture-perfect village of Stamford Bridge, which has the pretty River Derwent flowing through it. As you go between the traditional villages of Low Catton and Kexby, pause for a second to soak in the spectacular countryside views.

It’s a quiet, straightforward route on flat terrain with clear paths and bridleways, and the dog will have a great time paddling in the Derwent as you make your way through this underrated part of Yorkshire. Stop at the dog-friendly Gold Cup Inn in Low Catton on the way or wait until you get back to Stamford Bridge and pop into The Three Cups, which will look after both you and the pooch.

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Dick Turpin’s Dog Walk


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Fancy something different? This is one of the most unusual dog walks in Yorkshire. We’re swapping countryside for the city centres, and with good reason, this route supposedly follows the exact steps of the famous highwayman Dick Turpin when he walked his dog, Nell. Along the way, you’ll see what a beautiful and historic city York is, with a few dog-friendly pubs to visit too.

It starts at Clifford’s Tower, which you’ll leave to head along Whip Ma Whop Ma Gate street, before dropping in at Turpin’s old local, The Last Drop Inn, where you’re both welcome. From there, you’ll head to the Minster and on to The Three Legged Mare, before finishing back at the start – head over to Tower Gardens for a run about on the grass. This is a 2-mile city centre walk, so it’s a bit different from the rest, but it’s easy enough on the pooch with flat tarmac paths and plenty of tempting pit-stops en-route.

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Cover image copyright Matt Buck licensed under Creative Commons for commercial use.