Yorkshire’s famous for its gorgeous coastline, brooding moors, and rolling green dales. Though this cracking county has lots of dog-friendly beaches there are also plenty of historic ruins, medieval villages, enchanting forests, and rugged hills to explore with your dog. Whether you’re looking for a relatively mud-free stroll, a riverside walk or a shady woodland ramble we’ve found a few of the best places to go for a lovely walk with your dog in Yorkshire. We’ve also included some dog-friendly pubs or cafes that you can stop off at en route.
Remember, if you’ve had enough walkies for one week but your furry best mate hasn’t, Rover has wonderful dog walkers who’d love to take your little buddy out for a wander while you put your feet up.
1. Whitby Abbey & The 199 Steps
Address & map: Abbey Ln, Whitby, YO22 4JT
Restrictions: Dogs have to be kept on their leads at Whitby Abbey.
Dog-friendly stop-offs: Dogs are made to feel as welcome as people at Abbey Wharf, a characterful seafood restaurant and pub with a large terrace overlooking the sea.
About: If a short but highly effective walk is what you’re looking for, you’re in for a treat! You and your furry wee friend can sink your teeth into centuries of history, enjoy amazing views, and get your heart rates going on this walk up to Whitby Abbey. One of the most famous landmarks in Whitby is the iconic staircase that leads up to St Mary’s church, Whitby Abbey, and the top of the East Cliff. Start at the bottom of The 199 Steps and make your way to the top where you’ll be met with breathtaking views and the soaring ruins of the gothic abbey which inspired Bram Stoker, the author of ‘Dracula’. The abbey, along with nearby St Mary’s church, and graveyard all feature in the infamous tale. In the novel, Dracula leapt up the steps disguised as a huge black dog, so you have a chance to follow in the vampire’s footsteps.
2. Robin Hood’s Bay to Boggle Hole
Address & map: Robin Hood’s Bay, Whitby YO22 4QN
Restrictions: Keep dogs under close control on the coastal path as the cliff edges are unfenced and have very sheer drops. You may possibly also encounter cyclists and horse riders so have a lead handy.
Dog-friendly stop-offs: At Boggle Hole The Quarterdeck Cafe is a nautically-decorated, dog-friendly former youth hostel with a woodburner and deck. At Robin Hood’s Bay your dog will be welcome The Bay Hotel which serves food and drinks.
About: If you fancy a lovely jaunt along the Yorkshire coastline we suggest walking from the picturesque fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay to a quaint cove called Boggle Hole, and back. You can reach the cove across the clifftops on the Cleveland Way coastal path or by walking along the shore—but only at low tide. If you take the route over the cliffs you’ll be rewarded with magnificent views of the North Sea and the village of Ravensca, whereas you can hunt for fossils and let your dog have a lovely run around if you go along the beach. Robin Hood’s Bay has a rich history filled with smugglers and pirates so there’s lots to explore, including its dog-friendly cafes and pubs. Stop off at The Bay Hotel for a drink or a meal and take in the superb views across the bay from one of its two outside terraces. It’s worth noting that the village has two levels, an upper village where you’ll find the car parks and a lower, older village by the shore.
3. Aysgarth Woods & Waterfalls
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Address & map: Aysgarth Falls car park, Leyburn, DL8 3TH
Restrictions: None, just take a lead with you in case any inquisitive wildlife appears.
Dog-friendly stop-offs: Dog-friendly Coppice Café serves homemade cakes, scones, and a great selection of meals made largely with locally-sourced ingredients. The Wheatsheaf Inn near the falls is a traditional pub with dog-friendly accommodation.
About: Aysgarth Falls are situated in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and are part of the James Herriot Way, a 54 mile (82km) route through the surrounding villages and countryside. The beauty of the waterfalls has been admired for centuries—the likes of Turner and Wordsworth even raved about them. There are lots of different footpaths through the wooded valley, each of which has been carefully landscaped to make it easy for pushchairs and wheelchairs. The different trails offer views of the river and broad limestone falls which are divided into three stages: Upper Force, Middle Force, and Lower Force. Head there after heavy rain so that your four-legged nature lover can experience them at their most dramatic. After working up an appetite head to the nearby Wheatsheaf, a lovely dog-friendly country inn, for a bite and a pint.
Address & map: Wallington, Morpeth, NE61 4AP
Restrictions: While dogs are allowed to explore anywhere outdoors, only assistance dogs can go indoors. Dogs have to be kept on their leads at all times.
Dog-friendly stop-offs: You can buy home-made dog treats from the Clocktower Café.
About: Wallington, a grand National Trust property located on a 13,000-acre estate near Morpeth has miles and miles of paths to roam. If you’re in a rush to cram some nature into your day, however, there’s a nice circular river walk that only takes an hour. There are countless things to see and smell here including lawns, lakes, woodland, and a hidden walled garden. The general manager’s goldendoodle, Scooby, is a daily visitor so your furry little mate can make a new friend if they’re feeling sociable.
5. Hawes to Hardraw Waterfall
Address & map: Burtersett Rd, Hawes, DL8 3NT
Restrictions: Well-behaved dogs who are kept under control are welcome at the falls.
Dog friendly stop-offs: Dogs are welcome at the Green Dragon Inn a historic pub which dates back to the 13th century.
About: The quaint market town of Hawes is known as the birthplace of Wensleydale’s delicious cheese but it also happens to be a great place to start your dog walk. This undulating path initially follows the Pennine Way—a National Trail that’s 268 miles (431km) long—from the Hawes National Park Centre, but it diverges towards Hardraw Force, England’s highest single drop waterfall. The 100ft (30m) waterfall is set within the grounds of the historic, dog-friendly Green Dragon Inn and since it’s on private land a small fee is payable at the pub. The walk returns to Hawes via the village of Sedbusk where you’ll encounter wonderful views over Wensleydale.
6. Broxa Forest Trail
Restrictions: Dogs are allowed off the lead in Forestry Commission woods, but always make sure they’re kept under control. Watch out for occasional vehicles on tracks. There are no gates, stiles or livestock on route but part of the route in Broxa Forest follows the Moor to Sea Cycle Network so it’s safer if you put your dog on a lead when cyclists pass.
Dog-friendly stop-offs: When it comes time to refuel the traditional stone-built, dog-friendly pub, Three Jolly Sailors, in nearby Scalby serves hearty Yorkshire grub.
About: Are you and your dog in the mood for a proper hike? This invigorating circular walk through the beautiful North Yorkshire Moors is just under 6 miles (9km) long. It starts in the dappled shade of Broxa Forest and takes you through sections of coniferous woodland, before leading you around the edge of Barn’s Cliff, where there are spectacular views across Harwood Dale. The walk follows a mix of stone and gravel paths as well as forest tracks which can get quite muddy after heavy rain. Here’s a handy map of the route.
7. Hardcastle Crags
Address & map: Gibson Mill, Midgehole Rd, Hebden Bridge HX7 7AW
Restrictions: None, dogs are very welcome here.
Dog-friendly stop-offs: The Weaving Shed Café at Gibson Mill is a nice, dog-friendly spot to refuel at.
About: The beautiful wooded valley of Hardcastle Crags is often referred to as ‘Little Switzerland’, and it’s not hard to see why. The area is owned by the National Trust so you can rest assured that there are plenty of scenic, well-signposted routes to explore. The oak, beech, and pine woods are full of tumbling streams, rocky hills, quarries, fungi, flowers, and roe deer so keep your eyes peeled! At their heart you’ll find Gibson Mill, a 19th-century cotton-spinning and weaving mill which now generates all of its own power and recycles its own waste. Here you’ll find the dog-friendly Weaving Shed Café but there are also picnic areas available if you’d prefer to pack your own lunch.
If you’d like to explore God’s Own County (as the locals call it), 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: Whitby Abbey Facebook