Must-Try Dog Walks in Yorkshire
If you’re finding your dog walks a tad repetitive, it may be time to shake things up a touch. Yorkshire is full of wonderful walks that allow you to soak up God’s own country in its entirety – and many of these are dog-friendly!
Yorkshire is a notoriously beautiful part of the world. Expect endless rolling hills and scenic valleys that run along rivers such as the River Ouse, River Nidd, River Swale, River Wharfe and more. Add in acres of farmland and dry stone walls to add to a picture-perfect image.
When it comes to choosing dog walking routes, it’s important to cater to their preferences. Smaller dogs might struggle with certain routes, while larger, faster dogs might be more likely to cause disturbance on certain routes with sheep and other animals. Having said that, there are plenty of dog-friendly routes to choose from. You can take advantage of waste bins, water sources and areas where your pooch can run around off the lead without any worries of disturbance. Plus, if you’re lucky, you may stumble across a dog-friendly café or two, or perhaps a countryside pub with a large beer garden.
If you choose a lengthier walk with your dog, you’ll not only get to enjoy your local surroundings, but you’ll also make the most of your quality time together. Luckily, there are a range of routes suited to varying skill levels so there’s plenty to go at. It may be that you need to borrow a car to reach some of these areas, in which case, car insurance for one day can come in extremely handy. Here are some suggestions to help you get started.
Top Dog Walks in Yorkshire
Popular dog walks in Yorkshire include:
- Knaresborough, Nidd Gorge and Old Bilton Circular: 9.5km (approximately 2 hours 32 minutes)
Enjoy a riverside walk along the River Nidd before exploring the quaint town of Knaresborough. There are off-leash areas you can make the most of too.
- Cow and Calf and Ilkley Moor Circular: 5.1km (Approximately 1 hour 24 minutes)
Circle the mighty Ilkley Moor and weave in between the giant Cow and Calf rocks as you take in endless views over Ilkley and beyond.
- Dick Turpin’s Dog Walk: 2.7km loop (approximately 37 minutes)
This gentle, relatively flat walk surrounds the historic city of York and explores the area in which the highwayman Dick Turpin walked his own pooch.
The best part? Each route has dog-friendly pubs or cafes to enjoy pitstops in.
Checklist for Dog Walks
Before you set off, there are a few things you should check. Your dog’s collar and ID tag should be secured and any vaccinations should be up to date. Depending on the length of the walk, you should bring water and any necessary medication. A collapsible bowl will also help your dog drink with ease.
Maps are your best friend – and especially on a route you haven’t tried before. It’s usually a case of familiarising yourself with key landmarks to gauge how far along you are. You might also want to use a GPS tracking device if you’re unsure of the area you’re in. If possible, try less familiar routes with another person for added safety.
To get the most out of your walk, it’s worth considering the time of year and what this might bring. For example, autumn is the best time to see heather in bloom in all its purple beauty. Meanwhile, bluebells tend to brighten up woodland walks between late March and early May.
Then of course, you need to consider the weather conditions as some walks may be extremely muddy, slippery or unsuitable. Leave yourself enough time to complete the walk before the sun starts to set, which in winter, can be as early as half past three. Avoid walking in hot sunny temperatures at peak times in the day also.
Wildlife and dogs can be a risky mix, so it’s important to always keep your dog on a lead unless you reach a dedicated no-leash area. On top of this, you may also want to carry a first aid kit in case of emergencies.