The UK’s Most Popular Dog Walking Spots

The UK's most popular dog walking spots

Very much in the news at the moment, dog ownership is on the up, especially since the lockdowns of 2020. One of the joys of canine companionship has to be a good walk – boosting wellbeing, stimulation, fitness and bond for both you, the owner, and your four-legged friend.

Pedigree, rescue or mixed breed they all need taking out regularly for ‘comfort breaks’, exercise and to keep them stimulated. Finding good places to walk your dog sounds simple enough, right? Well, as with everything there can be more to it.

Where you and your pooch live will largely determine where and how you exercise them from day to day. It might be a quick game of fetch in the local park during the week, but what about those special days and weekends when there’s more time to dedicate to your furry chum? Where are the best dog walks in the UK?

Using Tripadvisor data, we looked at 200 of the top dog walking spots within the UK. We collected this data by analysing how many times ‘dog walking’ is referenced in the reviews for these places.

This article looks at the variety of dog walking areas and focuses on some of the most popular – both in terms of type of walk and specific places. Why not check out our ‘dog friendly walks in the UK’ article too?

Read on for inspiration about the UK’s most popular dog walking spots before you grab your dog lead!

Key data:

  • Hengistbury Head Beach is the top UK spot for dog walks
  • The park is the most popular type of location for dog walks in the UK
  • Brereton Heath Local Nature Reserve has the highest percentage of dog walking-related reviews

Top ten dog walking spots

The following table shows the top ten dog walking spots organised by number of dog walking reviews.

 

Best Dog Walk Locations

Taking top spot, Hengistbury Head Beach boasts unspoilt golden sands backed by low sand dunes. It’s in an area that’s designated as a Site of Scientific Interest and a Local Nature Reserve.  There’s plenty of room to roam, air to breathe and space to think. Although largely uncommercialised, there’s a sizeable car park and cafe to make your dog walking experience even better.  

Most dogs love beach life! And this is reflected in the results here with three beaches in the top five. There’s little better than watching your furry friend dash around, digging, playing in the surf and generally having a whale (ahem!) of a time.

Animed dog walking mapDo check before taking your canine chum to the seaside, as many resorts only allow them on the sand at certain times of year (often October to February, i.e. in winter). Or ask local dog walkers when you get there. There are no problems with the beaches listed above as dogs are allowed on all four sandy beaches year-round. Please note there are restrictions or small restricted areas for all except Hengistbury Head.

In second place, Bradgate Park was originally a deer park for hunting, enclosed in the 12th century. Today it offers 800+ acres of greenery, river, reservoir, ruins of an old country house, paths, woodland and various different areas within easy access of Leicester city centre. Great for socialising puppies (and grown dogs) but, one word of caution, any unsteady dogs (potential ‘Fentons’) need to be kept on a short lead to avoid chasing the deer in certain parts of the park.

 Coming in third place, family-friendly Attingham Park in Shrewsbury is an 18th-century stately home and estate run by the National Trust. It offers acres and acres of grounds and gardens for you to explore with your faithful friend. All well behaved dogs are welcome on the lead outdoors but only therapy dogs can access the indoor spaces. There is even a designated off-lead dog walking area for burning off that extra bit of steam!

Designated a local nature reserve, Newmillerdam Country Park which scored sixth place, is a truly stunning spot, located just south of Wakefield. Featuring a surfaced walk around a beautiful, large lake, it’s definitely dog friendly. You’ll also find trails for children, joggers, cyclists and horse riders, as well as beautiful woodland. The Dam Inn and Fox and Hounds pubs are at either end of the park and both welcome four-legged family members. Pawfect!

If you and your hound are more outward bound, why not try hiking with dogs in the UK? At 4.5 miles, the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail, which scored 8th place, is a beautiful, relatively short walk, but does come with its challenges. While the trail offers a footpath that runs close to two rivers and beautiful waterfalls, it’s run on a one-way system. This means there’s no turning back the way you came; robust footwear is definitely needed; and on some tracks of the trail dogs must be on leads.

Most popular types of places for dog walkers 

The following table shows the most popular types of places for dog walkers organised by type of place.

Best Dog Walk Location Types

*Count refers to the amount of these types within the 200 location list.

It may be unsurprising that parks are a clear leader by a nose (or should that be snout?) for best places to take your dog for a walk.

Ranging from tiny green spaces between rows of terraces in cities and towns, to huge sprawling expanses in the country, they cover a wide area.

If you plan on travelling to any park or new walking place, make sure your pet has everything he needs for the trip.

Nature & Wildlife areas are a popular option as they usually offer more interesting flora and fauna, broader expanses and a wilder feel.

Do your homework beforehand, however, as if it’s nesting or breeding season for certain bird species, dogs might have to be kept on a short lead in certain areas or, possibly, everywhere.

Top UK spots where you’ll find the most dog walkers 

The following table shows the top UK spots where you’ll find the most dog walkers organised by percentage of dog walking reviews

Most Dog Walker Locations

Top of the list, Brereton Heath Local Nature Reserve is certainly dog friendly. Walk around the lake on the surfaced circular path with your four-legged friend or, if you don’t mind a bit of mud, why not explore the woods and open fields? With all that water and nature, just make sure you remember to pack your pet’s towel!

As the name suggests, second place Burbage Common and Woods has the lot – 200 acres of open grassland, woodland, visitor centre, various paths and even a cafe. Surely doggy heaven? And with free parking and loos, the humans are happy too!

Haughmond Hill offers dog friendly forest walks and stunning views over Wales on a clear day. This definitely ranks as a good place to walk dogs and comes in third position in the table. There are four trails, two suitable for buggies and scooters, with two slightly more challenging dog walking routes.

Derbyshire’s Linacre Reservoirs has to be among the UK’s best places to walk dogs and comes in fourth. Let the pooch loose in the ancient woodlands or admire the birdlife around the three reservoirs operated by Severn Trent Water. Why not come in spring to admire the bluebells?

Most entries in this table fall under the parks category. Fifth-placed Alyn Waters Country Park in Wrexham straddles the River Alyn and offers trails for dog walkers and families. There’s plenty of open space for a contemplative meander with your four-legged companion as well as a playground for the kids, picnic area and cafe.

Getting equipped

Now that you’ve read about the best dog walks, Animed’s impressive range of products can really help with all your dog walking needs. From leads and clickers to harnesses and halters, there’s something for hounds of all shapes, sizes and breeds. If you want to find the solution that best suits you and your furry friend, check out our website today.