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11 dog-friendly walks to take your pooch this summer

With the warmer weather and longer days, summer is a great time to explore the British countryside with your pooch. Whether you prefer a scenic coastal route or to trek through ancient woodland, we’ve put together the best dog-friendly walks you can enjoy with your pooch.

1. Ironbridge and The Wrekin

Location: Shropshire

Difficulty: Hard

Distance: 8.5 miles

Duration: Six hours

Follow in the footsteps of people from the Bronze Age on the Ironbridge and The Wrekin walk. There are some steep inclines as you head up this mountainous route, so make sure you and your pooch take regular breaks to stop and enjoy the gorgeous views of Shropshire!

Address: Ironbridge Car Park, Ironbridge, Telford TF8 7JR

2. The Roaches

Location: Peak District

Difficulty: Medium

Distance: 5.8 miles

Duration: Four hours

Ramble along The Roaches route and dwell on the folklore that the area is known for. Discover mermaids who tempt people to their death, a knight who picked up his own severed head, and a secret place of worship. Embark on this trail in the Peak District in late summer to see the carpet of purple along the ridgeline from the flowering heather. 

Address: The Roaches Tea Rooms, Paddock Farm, Roach Road, Upper Hulme, Leek, Staffordshire Moorlands ST13 8TY

3. Cheddar Gorge

Location: Somerset

Difficulty: Medium

Distance: Four miles

Duration: Three hours

Take a walk along England’s largest gorge with your four-legged friend. The route passes over woodland and open fields, and gives you some incredible views of Somerset’s dramatic cliffs and stalactite caverns. Always keep your dog on a lead as there are some drop-off points around the Cheddar Gorge.

Address: National Trust Visitor Centre, ​​Cheddar Gorge Lookout Tower, The Cliffs, Cheddar BS27 3QS

4. Takeley to Wall Wood

Location: Essex

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: 9.5 miles

Duration: Five hours

Explore the ancient woodland of Hatfield Forest on the Takeley to Wall Wood walk. You’ll pass by some of Essex’s historical sites, like the remains of an Iron Age settlement and a tree that dates back to 950 AD. Your pooch will love this walk as there are plenty of trees for them to sniff and pee on!

Address: Takeley Station House, Takeley, Bishop's Stortford CM22 6SF

5. Baggy Point to Woolacombe

Location: Devon

Difficulty: Hard

Distance: Ten miles

Duration: Four hours

Walk along the sand dunes of Woolacombe Warren and take in the spectacular seascapes this scenic walk has to offer. Walk from Baggy Point to Woolacombe and discover the geological features of this Site of Special Scientific Interest. Devon’s Woolacombe Beach is dog-friendly, so stop here to let your pooch let off some steam.

Address: Baggy Point Car Park, Croyde, Braunton EX33 1FF

6. Talybont Reservoir

Location: Brecon Beacons

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: Six miles

Duration: Three hours

This gentle ramble around Talybont Reservoir is perfect for older dogs. The six-mile route takes you through magnificent woodland, giving you splendid views of the water and surrounding rolling hills. There are also some waterfalls towards the end of the walk which makes the perfect, tranquil spot for a picnic in the Brecon Beacons.

Address: Talybont Reservoir, Brecon

7. Loch Faskally

Location: Perthshire

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: Three miles

Duration: Two hours

Starting from Pitlochry, the Loch Faskally walk takes you to the fish ladder on the Pitlochry Dam and along the peaceful waters of one of Perthshire’s reservoirs. In the summer, you and your hound can watch the salmon using the ladder from the viewing windows as they swim through to make their way upstream.

Address: Ferry Road Car Park, Pitlochry PH16 5FL

8. Flamborough Head

Location: Yorkshire

Difficulty: Difficult

Distance: Seven miles

Duration: Four hours

This short and scenic coastal walk will take you along the dramatic cliff-tops at Flamborough Head. It’s open to dogs and their owners all year round, but it’s best enjoyed in summer when your pooch can enjoy cooling down in the sea at Yorkshire’s Flamborough Beach.

Address: Chapel Street, Flamborough, Bridlington

9. Oxford Canal and River Walk

Location: Oxford

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: Five miles

Duration: Three hours

Wander along the city of Oxford’s much-loved canal and the River Thames on the Oxford Canal and River Walk. You’ll start at Oxford Castle and even see the site of the historic annual boat race. Your pooch will love exploring its surroundings as you ramble past bridges, locks, and over grassland.

Address: Oxford Castle, Oxford OX1 1AY

10. Catbells Circular

Location: Lake District

Difficulty: Medium

Distance: 3.5 miles

Duration: Three hours

Enjoy incredible views of the Lake District on the Catbells Circular. You’ll marvel at sweeping views of Keswick, Derwentwater and Borrowdale as you and your pet journey 451 metres to the top of Catbells. Don’t forget to stop at the top for an obligatory photo!

Address: Hawes End, Keswick CA12 5UB

11. Lookout Hill and Birling Gap

Location: East Sussex

Difficulty: Easy

Distance: Two miles

Duration: One hour

This gentle ramble on Lookout Hill and Birling Gap will take you up to Lookout Hill and Mad Jack Fuller’s folly. From here, you can enjoy incredible views of the sea and the East Sussex countryside, as well as the candy-striped lighthouse in the distance. There’s plenty of space on Lookout Hill to have your dog on a long lead. 

Address: National Trust Car Park, Beachy Head Rd, Eastbourne BN20 0AB