10 Best Dog Walks in Yorkshire: Explore the Dales and Moors With Your Pup

Dog enjoying a walk in Yorkshire

England’s largest county, fondly dubbed ‘God’s own country’, should perhaps be known instead as ‘Dog’s own country’? What with mile-upon-mile of moorland, dales and beaches to explore with your pooch, it’s firmly one of the top dog-friendly destinations in the UK. So, without further ado, here’s our pick of ten of the best dog walks in Yorkshire – from its heather-clad ridges and wild coastline to verdant valleys and pretty villages. 

1. Newtondale Circular Walk

Newtondale and north yorkshire railway

Wander deep into the woodland of the North Yorkshire Moors and let your dog scamper and snuffle along leafy paths and country lanes. Bask in magical scenery brimming with mosses and ferns, and listen out for the rumble of the heritage steam train whistling its way along the North Yorkshire Railway to Whitby. 

Distance: 6 miles
Terrain: Quiet lanes and forest tracks, with a couple of steep ascents and descents. 
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2. Roseberry Topping and Newton Wood Walk

A short, calf-busting climb up Cleveland’s most famous hill rewards you with panoramic views of Yorkshire’s rolling moors all the way to the coastline. While your four-legged friends might not appreciate the diverse landscape panorama from the summit, they will love the waggy-tailed circuit through Newton’s wildlife-rich woodland on the return leg. 

Distance: 2 miles
Terrain: Fairly short but challenging with a steep ascent. 
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3. Wessenden Valley Walk

Wessenden Valley photo courtesy of National Trust/Julia Phillips
Wessenden Valley. Photo courtesy of National Trust/Julia Phillips

Although you’ll need to keep your dog on a lead for much of this eight-mile linear route, there’s plenty of heritage and scenery to lap up as you leave Marsden village behind and trace a series of four reservoirs en route to Wessenden Head. On your way back, there are plenty of dog-friendly pubs to paws in – we’d recommend The New Inn, at Marsden. And while you’re in the area, seek out the wonderful Wessenden Waterfalls. 

Distance: 8 miles
Terrain: Moderate effort along uneven, off-road terrain
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4. Ashdale and Riccal Dale in the Hambleton Hills

While the White Horse is undoubtedly the most popular walk in the Hambleton Hills, once you’ve stepped foot and paw in England’s largest expanse of heather-clad moorland, you’re bound to want to explore further into this south-west edge of the North York Moors National Park. Hike from historical Helmsley into this duo of scenic dales to experience a landscape dotted with castles, woodland and wildlife.

Distance: 8.5 miles
Terrain: Off-road woodland trails.
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5. White Horse Walk

Kilburn White Horse

You can’t take a trip to Yorkshire without undertaking this classic dog-friendly walk to the famous Kilburn White Horse, cut into the hillside in the Sutton Bank National Park. It’s an easy stroll along a dramatic escarpment edge, boasting jaw-dropping views, woodland paths and a climb up past the horse itself to witness what author James Herriott declared among the ‘finest views in England’. 

Distance: 3.4 miles 
Terrain: Easy walk along uneven paths.
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6. West Witton to Penhill

You and your canine companion can easily summit one of Wensleydale’s finest peaks in the North York Moors. Despite not being very high, it’s visible right across the moors and the Vale of York, and is steeped in history – being the spot where beacons were placed to warn of dangers such as the Spanish Armada or advancing Scots. Once you’ve bagged the views, descend and tuck into delicious local fare at the dog-friendly setting of The Wensleydale Heifer Restaurant in West Witton, then retreat back to your cosy cottage set amongst the moors.

Distance: 8.5 miles
Terrain: Footpaths and bridleways. 
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7. Aysgarth Falls, The Herriot Way

Aysgarth Falls

If you bite off just one section of the 52-mile circular walk named after the region’s most famous vet and author, make it the beginning or end section that takes in the dramatic scenery of the Aysgarth waterfalls, featured in the Hollywood blockbuster Robin Hood Prince of Thieves (and one of the top dog-friendly things to do in Yorkshire). You and your hound can easily access these stunning cascades along the River Ure without taking on the rest of the 52 miles. However, if you’re looking for a full-throttle walking adventure with an energetic hound, there are a potential four more days of walking ahead.

Distance: 1-52 miles
Terrain: Easy to challenging, depending on how far you choose to walk.
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8. Hard Castle Craggs

Discover 400 acres of pristine woodland where you can wander along 15 miles of footpaths and let your pooch cool off in waterfalls and streams. At the heart of Hard Castle Craggs you can also stop at the 100% self-sufficient Gibson Mill, which features year-round exhibitions and has a dog-friendly café to boot. After exploring the woodland, continue your walk and rest up in the chic town of Hebden Bridge – ranked the 4th funkiest town in the world!

Distance: Max 15 miles
Terrain: Footpaths. 
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9. Coast to Coast Trail

North Yorkshire moors and dog

Whether you’re looking for the ultimate challenge or a day hike between coast and countryside, this 190-mile trail between Robin Hood’s Bay in the east and St Bee’s in the west, has it all. Originally detailed by Wainwright and spanning three mighty national parks – the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors – you can undertake its entire length in 14 days if you’re prepared with serious walking boots and supplies for you and your four-legged friend.

Distance: 190 miles in total
Terrain: Varied from easy paths to challenging climbs
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10. Castle Howard Estate Walk, Howardian Hills

Aside from the hotspots, there are lesser-known areas of Yorkshire waiting to be discovered with your dog, too, like the Howardian Hills AONB to the north-east of York. Explore ancient parkland, pretty villages and rolling countryside on a relatively easy loop around the magnificent Castle Howard Estate.

Distance: 5 miles
Terrain: Grassy paths and tarmac lanes.
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Book a Dog-Friendly Break in Yorkshire

Ready to pack your walking boots and set foot in the stunning Yorkshire scenery with your four-legged friend? Check out our collection of dog-friendly cottages in Yorkshire for days out in the Dales and Moors. 

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