When we picture the natural beauty of the United Kingdom, we imagine the deep waters of the Lake District, the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, or the towering peaks of Snowdonia and the Cairngorms. But the vast parks of North Yorkshire are unrivalled in their beauty and chronically under-appreciated by dog walkers. Whether you prefer the embracing hills of the Dales or the wild and woolly North York Moors, the dog walks in North Yorkshire have something for everyone.
The Best Dog Walks in North Yorkshire
Newtondale is a narrow valley in the heart of the North York Moors, a landscape carpeted by conifers. A 6-mile circular route winds its way from the valley floor up into beautiful woodland, laden with ferns and mosses. If your dog is a woodland explorer, this is the walk for you. The trail is verdant in summer, but in autumn, when the trees turn, the valley glitters with gold and amber hues.
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway also runs through the area, so keep your eyes peeled for the wisps of steam as the trains trundle by.
Start at Levisham station car park.
Clay Bank and Greenhow Plantation
Clay Bank, situated at the north of the Moors, is a walk with a breath-taking panorama across the endless fields and forests of the Cleveland Plain, spreading out towards the horizon. A short 3-mile walk takes in the sweeping views, as well as the Greenhow Plantation, where Forestry England is attempting to restore the ancient woodland at Ingleby. However, the woods are used by horse-riders, so keep your dog close (even if not on the lead).
Look out for Roseberry Topping, a dramatic hill, where one-side fell away, producing a bare rock summit.
Start at Forestry England car park at Clay Bank.
May Beck and Falling Foss
There’s no better way to spend a Sunday, than pootling around May Beck and Falling Foss with your pooch. The shady woodland and babbling streams are great for your dog to cool off on a warm day. But the real spectacle is the majestic 30-ft Falling Foss waterfall.
Plus, when you’re tired of playing pooh sticks, wander down to the tea garden and appreciate the view with a cuppa.
Start at the Forestry England car park on May Beck.
Staithes and Port Mulgrave
From the seaside town of Staithes, with its quaint cottages and houses nestled into the valley, trace your way up, following the Cleveland way until you reach the towering cliffs which stare out towards the sea. If you manage to time it right, the landscape shines golden, as the sun sets at the distant horizon.
With rising hills, this is the walk that’ll even tire out the dog with bags of energy. Plus, the Royal George in Staithes rustles up some fantastic food.
Starts at Staithes car park.
Broxa forest boasts grand avenues lined with a rich woodland which stretches for miles. So, you won’t need to go hunting very far for the perfect stick for fetch. The forest is also home to the mysterious nightjar. This nocturnal bird has become something of a legend over the years.
Truly a walk for all seasons, the dappled forest of Broxa is a wonderful way to pass an afternoon.
Starts at Forestry England car park at Reastry Hill Top.
Castle Howard is one of a kind, situated in the eponymous Howardian Hills, the grounds of the Estate are brimming with natural beauty and architectural marvels. Wander around the Great Lake, or up through the avenue of trees to the towering obelisk. Best of all, discover the Temple of the Four Winds – a glistening tower of stone with views across the hilly land.
Here your dog can roam wild, and truly stretch their legs.
There’s also a fabulous farm shop to buy local ingredients, including a tasty treat for your pooch.
Start at the Castle Howard car park.
The falls at Aysgarth have mesmerised the greatest of British artists for generations, Wordsworth wrote of them, Turner sketched them. They even cropped up in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. But the triple flight of waterfalls carved out of the River Ure need to be seen to be appreciated.
Situated in the Yorkshire Dales, the falls shift with the seasons. In the late winter, snowdrops appear, followed by the primroses, and finally, an eruption of blue, as the bluebells chime in at the end of May.
Remember, the falls will be at their most dramatic after heavy rain.
Start at the Aysgarth Falls car park.
Nidderdale is Yorkshire’s hidden gem, the picturesque Pateley Bridge even more so, with its quaint cottages and steepled churches, built from the local hard-wearing sandstone. Take a walk from Glasshouses, a small village, through the undulating countryside of Nidderdale, towards Pateley Bridge.
If a refreshing beer motivates you, the beautiful Nidderdale town hosts a great selection of dog-friendly pubs including The Crown Inn, The Royal Oak, and The Bridge Inn.
Start at Glasshouses car park.
The market town of Hawes lies at the head of Wensleydale. Though its crumbly cheese is famous worldwide, the Hardraw Falls, which lies a mile from town, is the highest unbroken waterfall in England. Access to the falls is through The Green Dragon which dates back to the 13th century – and is also dog-friendly.
Start at one of the car parks in Hawes.
Robin Hood’s Bay to Boggle Hole
Last but not least, is the gorgeous seaside village of Robin Hood’s Bay, with its winding lanes and chocolate box cottages. From the car park at the top of the town, take the clifftop walk to Boggle Hole, or venture along the beach – keep your eyes peeled for any fossils when the tide is out! The beach is also dog friendly all year round.
Start at the Robin Hood’s Bay car park.
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