The lovely county of Cheshire has an abundance of picture-perfect valleys, forests, and dales that you can explore with your dog in tow. From the Peak District to the walled Tudor delight that is Chester, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to walkies. We’ve found a few of the best places to let off steam and escape the crowds with your dog in Cheshire—we’ve also included some dog-friendly pubs or cafes that you can stop off at while you’re at it.
And remember, if your furry best mate likes walkies more than you do, Rover has plenty of wonderful dog walkers who’d love to take your little buddy out for a wander while you put your feet up.
1. Lyme Park & Lantern Woods
Address & Map: Lyme main car park, Disley, Stockport, SK12 2NR
Restrictions: Dogs must always be kept on their leads in and around the car park, main drive and around livestock and deer.
Dog-friendly stop-offs: Your dog can enjoy a refreshing bowl of water at the nearby Timber Yard Café.
About: Lyme House is an Edwardian estate surrounded by 1,400 acres of moorland and park which is home to a medieval herd of red and fallow deer. Though dogs aren’t allowed inside the building, they’re free to roam the National Trust-managed park all year and the formal gardens on selected weekends. If you’re a fan of Colin Firth, you’ll want to visit the pond that he dove into when he played Mr Darcy in the BBC’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. And if you and your four-legged walking buddy fancy making new friends, join the The Dog Walking Social Group which meets twice a month and explores different areas of the park each time. These walks last one-and-a-half to two hours but you can drop out along the way once you’ve reached your limit.
2. Sandstone Trail
Address & Map: Candle Workshops, Barracks Ln, Beeston, Chester CH3 9PF
Restrictions: Dogs are welcome on the Sandstone Trail but should be kept under close control, especially near farm buildings and livestock.
Dog-friendly stop-offs: Dogs are welcome both in the restaurant and in each of The Pheasant Inn’s 12 en-suite bedrooms.
About: Cheshire’s Sandstone Trail winds 34 miles from Frodsham to Whitchurch along the county’s sandstone ridge. If that all sounds a little too ambitious for a leisurely walk with your dog don’t worry, there are plenty of short walks along the trail. Try the Raw Head circular walk, a 9-mile (5.5km) route which takes you through some lovely woodland and of course up the sandstone ridge overlooking the Cheshire Plain. Head to The Pheasant Inn with your hairy little angel at the end of your walk and enjoy a well-earned meal together!
3. Quarry Bank
Address & Map: Mill Yard, Quarry Bank, Styal, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 4LA
Restrictions: Dogs must always be kept on their leads in Styal village, the estate’s gardens, and around wildlife and livestock.
Dog-friendly stop-offs: Water bowls for thirsty canine visitors can be found around the mill yard and the Garden Café where dogs are most welcome.
About: This lovely trail in the grounds of Quarry Bank on the National Trust’s Styal Estate follows the undulating River Bollin and takes in an old refurbished mill and woodland carpeted with bluebells and other wild flowers. The meandering walk takes roughly an hour and includes some hidden gems like the mill pond and beautiful views. The whole family, including furry members, will love the soothing sights, sounds and smells along this picturesque route.
4. Delamere Forest Walk
Address & Map: Forest centre car park, Delamere, Northwich, CW8 2JD
Restrictions: Bag and bin all of your dog’s waste. Keep your dog in sight and put them on their lead around wildlife.
Dog-friendly stop-offs: There’s a dog-friendly cafe at the visitor’s centre where you can grab a bite and a bowl of water for your dog.
About: Just to the south-west of Manchester, you’ll find Delamere Forest. With 972 hectares (2,400 acres) of mixed deciduous and evergreen woodland, it’s the largest wooded area in the county and is an oasis of greenery within the Cheshire Plain. As well as two cycle trails, picnic areas, and a tree-top adventure area, there are three walking trails in the heart of the forest. The Old Pale walk is an uphill trail which offers great views of Liverpool’s skyline. If that sounds like too much effort, try one of the easier walks or find yourself a quiet spot by the lake and watch the wildlife do its thing.
5. The Meadows
Address & Map: Chester Meadows, CH4 7BD
Restrictions: Many ground nesting birds breed on the Meadows during spring and early summer, so visitors are asked to be careful of where they tread and to keep dogs under control to avoid disturbing them and other wildlife.
Dog-friendly stop-offs: Head to The Bear and Billet, a 17th-century pub, to enjoy their fine choice of ales and traditional pub food with your furry companion.
About: In the heart of Chester’s city centre you’ll find a slice of tranquility in The Meadows—a patchwork of grassland and wetlands by the sides of the River Dee. Located in Queen’s Park, you can access The Meadows by foot from four different entrances and it’s an ideal place to kick back and watch the world go by. A circular walk around The Meadows only takes about 30 minutes, so if you and your little mate would like to spend more time there why not watch the different boats and rafts float by or tuck into a picnic.
Restrictions: The walk includes 8 stiles, 2 kissing gates, 5 wicket gates. Walkers should take supplies and equipment including a compass, maps, food, and suitable clothing in case of severe weather. They should also notify others of their plans.
Dog-friendly stop-offs: The Crag Inn, a 17th-century country pub in Wildboarclough will welcome you and your dog with delicious pub food, ales, and a roaring fire.
About: If you and your dog are up for a challenge, make a day of it and climb Shutlingsloe a 506-metre hill near the village of Wildboarclough. Located on the edge of the Peak District within the Peak District National Park, the hill is part of the Gritstone Trail, a 56-kilometre long-distance footpath. The 6.5-mile (10km) route begins in the heart of Macclesfield Forest— home to a herd of red deer, as well as badgers, foxes and other wildlife—before ascending to the summit of Shutlingsloe where you’ll enjoy great views of the Cheshire Plain and the rolling hills of the Peak District National Park.
If you’d like to explore Cheshire with your pooch in tow, it’s good to know that you can take up to two dogs with you on all British trains free of charge—find out more in our article Can I Take My Dog on the Train?
Featured image: VISITCHESHIRE.COM