2 people walking a dog

Winning Walks

View the list of the UK's 21 Top Dog Walks (in alphabetical order) below! A big thanks to everyone who took the time to vote.

You can still browse the full list of shortlisted walks here.

Photo of the 'Beaulieu B' walk

Beaulieu B

County: Hampshire

Difficulty: Easy

Duration: 1 to 2 hours

Wheelchair Friendly: Yes

From Beaulieu village in the heart of the New Forest along the river to the famous Bucklers Hard and back to the village through the woods. Beautiful views of the river and boats. The dogs love it and enjoy a good swim!
Photo of the 'Chislet to Marshside' walk

Chislet to Marshside

County: Kent

Difficulty: Medium

Duration: 1 to 2 hours

Wheelchair Friendly: No

This walk takes you through a typical marshland location and an equally relaxing rural surround on solid tracks all the year round, where all ages and 'unfettered' hounds can enjoy a walk, which can be anything from 2 to 8 miles!
Photo of the 'Cuerden Valley Park, near Preston' walk

Cuerden Valley Park, near Preston

County: Lancashire

Difficulty: Easy

Duration: 30 minutes to 1 hour

Wheelchair Friendly: Yes

With water, woods, fields and usually plenty of other dogs to play with, Cuerden Valley Park is a dog's dream. Our usual route begins at the car park by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust Barn and through an iron gate, at which point the dog is normally let off the lead, into lovely woodland of majestic pine, beach and oak trees, set around a natural amphitheatre. We follow a path through the woods and out past fields, where if you're early you might see an occasional deer, to a small wooded footbridge over the river Lostock. The path winds up through the trees of the aptly named Dog Kennel Wood, giving glimpses of the valley below and grazing pastures above, before descending past a lake to a large open meadow adjacent to the river. The meadow provides the highlight of the walk, and the dog is normally joined by others in games of fetch or paddling in the river next to a wonderful old stone bridge. Owners can even join in the watery fun by daring to cross on the stepping stones! Our walk ends following a wide gravelled track back to our starting point, which does at least give a little time for the dog to dry off before reaching the car! Cuerden Valley Park is as close to doggy paradise as we have got! Even if you're not local, it's really close to the junctions of the M6, M61 and M65 motorways and would make a great spot to break your journey.

http://www.cuerdenvalleypark.org.uk/

Photo of the 'Daisy Nook walk' walk

Daisy Nook walk

County: Lancashire

Difficulty: Easy

Duration: 30 minutes to 1 hour

Wheelchair Friendly: Yes

This is a gem of a walk, for dogs and people alike and well worth visiting regularly for those who are lucky enough to live near Oldham. The sense of tranquillity here is astonishing, and even in Victorian times this was a popular place to get out of town for fresh air. There are so many paths that it must be possible to visit Daisy Nook a hundred times and never repeat a route. One of the main features is the Hollinwood Branch canal which runs through the park and provides flat level walking. The canal itself is disused and has been filled in to become a path and bridleway. The Oldham Way and the Tameside Trail are routes which go through parts of the park. Daisy Nook has lots to offer and is well worth exploring - walking the dog just doesn't get any better than this!

http://www.drivingwithdogs.co.uk

Photo of the 'Dinder Wood (the common) to Sharcombe Park' walk

Dinder Wood (the common) to Sharcombe Park

County: Somerset

Difficulty: Medium

Duration: 1 to 2 hours

Wheelchair Friendly: No

Woods and natural meadows galore... views of Glastonbury Tor and the Channel coast that take your breath away... wild birds call constantly, loads of woodpeckers can be heard. An absolute treasure of a walk... wild flowers galore.. loads of orchids too and lots of squirrels, deer and bunny smells to keep canine noses busy!
Photo of the 'Dinton Pastures' walk

Dinton Pastures

County: Berkshire

Difficulty: Medium

Duration: Over 2 hours

Wheelchair Friendly: Yes

There are several different footpaths and trails at Dinton Pastures, ranging from 1.5 km - 1 mile to around 5 km - 3 miles. With 7 lakes, 2 rivers and several meadows there is plenty of wildlife to see along the way and water for your dog to have a quick dip in! All dogs are welcome at Dinton, as there is a dog drinking bowl, poop bags and dog bins for visitors to use. With a picnic area and playground it is also a great place to take the whole family.

http://www.wokingham.gov.uk/leisure/parks-open-spaces/parks-open-spaces/din
ton-pastures

Photo of the 'Druridge Bay Country Park and beach' walk

Druridge Bay Country Park and beach

County: Northumberland

Difficulty: Easy

Duration: 1 to 2 hours

Wheelchair Friendly: Yes

A beautiful walk around the lake, enjoying the numerous species of birds. The lake is also home to a number of swans. There is a cafe that has tables outside and a large playing area (that the dogs use!). From the lake you can follow the signs to the beach which is only 5 minutes away. Once on the beach, it is possible to walk 5 miles in either direction or simply let your dog play in the sea. There is a second lake where there are a number of hydes, for those with even more energy. The whole place is dog friendly and dogs can be off lead the whole time as long as they are under control. Early morning is best, where dog walkers meet and allow their animals to socialise with each other. It can become a major dog festival on the beach! It is a magnificent Northumbrian beauty spot, totally unspoilt and truly breathtaking.
Photo of the 'Fife Coastal Path, including St. Andrews West Sands Beach' walk

Fife Coastal Path, including St. Andrews West Sands Beach

County: Fife

Difficulty: Medium

Duration: Over 2 hours

Wheelchair Friendly: No

Walking along the coast including sandy beaches and rocks for dogs to play on. It has cliffs, hills and flat areas for people of all walking abilities.
Photo of the 'Halkyns Four Peaks' walk

Halkyns Four Peaks

County: Flintshire

Difficulty: Medium

Duration: Over 2 hours

Wheelchair Friendly: No

Starting at over 850 feet this is a walk of about 1 to 5¾ miles [about 40 mins to 2½ hours] around the twin masts on Halkyn Mountain, a 1,000 hectare common that has been mined for lead and quarried for stone for over 2,000 years. It has tremendous 360° 70+ mile views. Please check the website for full details (including a hand drawn scale map) of how to find it and a walk leaflet.

http://www.bluebell.uk.eu.org/content/view/377/41/

Photo of the 'Heysham Old village across the downs and back along the beach' walk

Heysham Old village across the downs and back along the beach

County: Lancashire

Difficulty: Medium

Duration: 30 minutes to 1 hour

Wheelchair Friendly: No

Park in Heysham old village. Walk down the old village main street past old 17th century fishing cottages. Turn past the pre Norman Church admiring the churchyard set against Heysham bay ( a magnificent sight - I cannot think of a more beautiful setting for a church )and walk up to the ruins of St Patrick's chapel. Admire the views across the bay with the Lake District hills as a backdrop. Walk over the emerald green downs to one of the footpaths down to the beach. It is full of rock pools to explore and little sandy coves. Depending on the level of the tide either return over the downs or scramble over the rocks or walk back along the beach to the old village. Enjoy a meal or drink in the old pub or the welcoming tea rooms both of which are very dog friendly and serve home made food.
Photo of the 'Limekilns and Quarries' walk

Limekilns and Quarries

County: Flintshire

Difficulty: Medium

Duration: Over 2 hours

Wheelchair Friendly: No

Starting at over 850 feet this circular walk is 9.5 miles, contains several stiles and takes in a diverse range of habitat right across Halkyn Mountain. This walk is situated on the top of Halkyn Mountain heading to the Hill Fort, past the three quarries to turn back via Waenbrodlas Lime Kiln, the Billins, Windmill and back to the Blue Bell Inn! It has tremendous 360° 70+ mile views. Not for those who cannot help a big dog over the stiles. Please check the website for full details of how to find it and a walk leaflet (including a hand drawn scale map).

http://www.bluebell.uk.eu.org/content/view/939/41/

Photo of the 'Looe to Polperro along the Coast Path' walk

Looe to Polperro along the Coast Path

County: Cornwall

Difficulty: Medium

Duration: Over 2 hours

Wheelchair Friendly: No

Starting at Hannafore at West Looe, go through the farm gate at the west end of Marine Drive. (please take note of signage regarding dogs on leads when animals are present) The path to Polperro is easy to follow, just keep the sea on your left and look out for the well worn path. The first part is across flat fields, and has beautiful views of Looe Island. After about 10 minutes there is the first climb when steps are reached just after crossing a stream. After the next short descent an access path through a gate on the left offers an optional detour to Port Nadler beach, which is popular for doggie paddles. The coast path takes you on around the cove to a headland where there are superb views up and down the coast. Continuing onwards brings the walker to Talland Bay, here there are two beaches, two (seasonal) cafes and public toilets. Both beaches are dog friendly, although one asks that they be kept on leads. Between the two there is a very short stretch of quiet road. Just beyond the second beach take the path to the left, up the short steep climb and then left again shortly after the handrail stops. Keep to the path as it joins a lane leading to a house with lovely views over Talland Bay. Once past the house the coast path climbs and it is worth pausing by the War Memorial, where there is a handy bench, and the first signs of Polperro can be glimpsed. Shortly afterwards the path levels out and soon it is downhill all the way to Polperro. Once there one is greeted by 'Dogs Welcome' signs in some of the cafes,(again these may be seasonal.) Buses back into Looe are available from the Crumplehorn, near the main car park.

http://www.southwestcoastpath.com

Photo of the 'Milford Common to Shugborough Hall' walk

Milford Common to Shugborough Hall

County: Stafford

Difficulty: Medium

Duration: Over 2 hours

Wheelchair Friendly: No

Starting off at Milford Common you cross over the road, then take the Canal path for quite a long way. There is a nice little shop for refreshments then, a bit further up, a nice pub where you can sit outside for lunch or another drink. All along there are lovely barges to see, with friendly owners and you can see them going through the locks; there are also some lovely houses along the opposite side. Eventually the walk will take you into the grounds of Shugborough Hall with all it's beauty and charm: Here the dog has to go on his lead for a little bit, but you can walk through the grounds where there are sheep & cows and one very big bull! Once you have gone through the grounds the dog can go off his lead again and the walk takes you through a forest leading out off Shugborough and eventually back to Milford Common. One very happy if a little tired dog and a happy owner!
Photo of the 'Millennium Ribble Link' walk

Millennium Ribble Link

County: Lancashire

Difficulty: Easy

Duration: Over 2 hours

Wheelchair Friendly: Yes

The four-mile Millennium Ribble Link opened in 2002 and is Britain's newest inland waterway. The Link joins the Lancaster Canal with the River Ribble, providing a tidal link to the Rufford branch of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. A footpath follows much of the length of the Ribble Link, providing an interesting walk with a real mix of urban and rural settings. Our walk was around 6 miles, taking about 2 hours but you could shorten it to suit. Most of the route is easy access and suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs (but quite narrow in places). Any stiles can easily be avoided. Our route started at the main car park in Preston's Haslam Park, off Blackpool Road. We followed the main path through the park, crossing the brook, and through the grassland of the nature reserve to the Lancaster Canal. All of this stretch can happily be done off-lead and there are plenty of ball throwing opportunities! On reaching the canal, turn left and follow the towpath, crossing under a bridge, until you reach the junction of the Lancaster Canal and the locks leading to the Millennium link. It's a good idea to put your dog on the lead here. Follow the path beside the locks where you'll see an imposing 15 foot high sculpture of a naked man. The sculpture is entitled "Water". There are three other sculptures en route, fire, air and earth. Take care crossing Tom Benson Way and follow the path under the rail bridge using the metal walkway. The path widens and winds its way beside the link, crossing Savick Way and Lea Road. After Lea, you can either follow the path beside the Link or take the footpath across the field, directly in front of you as you cross the road. As we walked today, the grass had been recently cut so we were able to walk through the field and have another good game of fetch before crossing over a stile to the access road to Ashton and Lea Golf Club. We continued to follow the path beside the link, which runs alongside Preston North End's training ground before opening up once more beside open fields. There is a footbridge along this stretch which allows you to join a footpath through the golf course, but we didn't take that route today. Eventually, you reach another bridge and a sign warning that the footpath ends at "lock 8". At this point we turned back and retraced our steps following largely the same route back to the car. All in all a good walk with lots of off-lead opportunities. You can always find something nice to look at. One day, we'll return to make a nice circular walk.

http://prestonwalkies.blogspot.com/2007/06/millenium-ribble-link.html

Photo of the 'Portsmouth Seafront' walk

Portsmouth Seafront

County: Hampshire

Difficulty: Easy

Duration: Up to 30 minutes

Wheelchair Friendly: No

I love taking my Boston Terrier, Rocco, along the sea front from Old Portsmouth to Eastney. It's an easy walk, as long as you don't mind the pebbles, and it's really nice to be able to look out into the Solent and see the Spithead forts and across to the Isle of Wight. There aren't that many places to walk your dog in Portsmouth, but this is a really good one.
Photo of the 'Preston Junction Nature Reserve' walk

Preston Junction Nature Reserve

County: Lancashire

Difficulty: Medium

Duration: 1 to 2 hours

Wheelchair Friendly: Yes

This is great dog walking territory, close to the heart of Preston, taking in a short stretch of footpath along the banks of the River Ribble opposite Avenham Park. The Preston Junction Local Nature Reserve is based on former railway lines, rich in diverse wildlife. It is a fantastic area, showing some of the natural environment of the Ribble at its best. Anyone living in the Preston area should take the time to enjoy this walk. It's easy walking and provides some good off-lead opportunities when off the main cycle routes. Our walk started from near Bee Lane on Leyland Road, Preston. We walked down Leyland Road to Skew Bridge, where the road crosses the railway tracks, and took the footpath leading off to the right to the old Vernon Carras factory. Crossing Factory Lane we took the path opposite the farm, leading past the sports changing facilities. Passing through a gate, ignoring the first footpath up the railway embankment, we took the tarmac path leading left up to join the main embankment leading towards Preston. This tends to be relatively quiet and provides a good off-lead stretch. The embankment reaches the banks of the Ribble, by the old (now closed) railway bridge. Here, turn right, and walk along the well-made path along the banks of the Ribble. This stretch is tidal and it's amazing how the walk takes on a different nature dependant on tides and the volume of flood water. When you reach the old Tram Road bridge leading over to Avenham Park, turn right up the tree-lined old Tram Road. Rather than stay on the main tarmac path you can drop down to a narrow path on the left, below the embankment, which provides a better opportunity for off-lead walking, avoiding any passing cycles. The lower path isn't recommended for anyone with mobility problems. But you could easily stay on the upper path. The lower path ultimately becomes impassable and a steep walk up the embankment is needed to rejoin the main path, but it's worth it. The Tram Road ultimately leads back to the factory where we retraced our steps back to Leyland Road. The circular route takes about an hour. You can extend it by carrying on up the Tram Road and up Wateringpool Lane before cutting back across to Leyland Road near Lostock Hall. More information on the nature reserve can be found on the Lancashire County Council website

http://prestonwalkies.blogspot.com/2007/06/preston-junction-nature-reserve.
html

Photo of the 'Round Chesterfield Walk' walk

Round Chesterfield Walk

County: Derbyshire

Difficulty: Medium

Duration: Over 2 hours

Wheelchair Friendly: No

A 34 mile route circling Chesterfield. From old industry and mining in the east, to open countryside and farming in the west, a beautiful, pleasant and varied walk. Well thought out, well marked and easy walking. Taking in villages and suburbs, the Chesterfield canal, loads of scenery and far reaching views.

http://www.chesterfieldroundwalk.org.uk/

Photo of the 'Royden Park to Thurstaston Hill' walk

Royden Park to Thurstaston Hill

County: Merseyside

Difficulty: Medium

Duration: 1 to 2 hours

Wheelchair Friendly: No

From car park go round the lake to feed the ducks and geese, through the woods, (feeding birds and squirrels on the way) over stile into large paddock then onto path leading to Thurstaston Hill. Walk back on path along side of hill looking at views over the Dee to Wales. Back into woods and round onto meadow, through more woods onto the events field, cross this back to car park.
Photo of the 'Stoke Prior Canal circular walks' walk

Stoke Prior Canal circular walks

County: Worcestershire

Difficulty: Easy

Duration: 30 minutes to 1 hour

Wheelchair Friendly: Yes

Lovely towpath walks alongside a well maintained canal which is frequently used by pretty narrow boats. There is an abundance of wildlife to enjoy and regular 'dog toilets' for responsible dog owners!
Photo of the 'Thieves’ Wood' walk

Thieves’ Wood

County: Nottinghamshire

Difficulty: Medium

Duration: 1 to 2 hours

Wheelchair Friendly: Yes

This beautiful forest is part of the world famous "Sherwood Forest" and is very dog friendly and safe. There are several marked walks around the forest some longer some shorter all walks are ideal for any kind of dog and any ability / disability of dog owner. You meet different dogs each time you visit and the dogs just love to roam the open woodland and get all the exercise they need. The forest is managed by the forestry commission and has a snack van for a treat at the end of the walk (both for owner and dog!) The walks are either on road / pathways or if you feel more adventurous then you can go off the beaten track and head into the woodland in search of "Robin Hood's Merry Men". This truly is a great walking area in the heart of England and is located on the B6139 Coxmoor Road between Sutton In Ashfield and Ravenshead
Photo of the 'Woods, Buffalo and Hill Forts' walk

Woods, Buffalo and Hill Forts

County: Flintshire

Difficulty: Medium

Duration: 1 to 2 hours

Wheelchair Friendly: No

Starting at over 850 feet this circular walk is just 3.5 miles but it takes in the most diverse range of habitat we have on Halkyn Mountain. This walk is situated on the side of Halkyn Mountain and drops down to Midlist Farm and then slowly climbs up to the Hill Fort at Moel-y-Gaer covering a climb of roughly 100m and then back to the Blue Bell Inn taking in 9 stiles, a kissing gate and something of a climb! It has tremendous 360° 70+ mile views. Not for those who cannot help a big dog over the stiles. Please check the website for full details (including a hand drawn scale map) of how to find it and a walk leaflet.

http://www.bluebell.uk.eu.org/content/view/927/41/

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