Does your dog love a climb, a view, a good old fashioned walk followed by a well-deserved rest and a cuddle? Well, we suggest a wonderful walking holiday in the Peak District National Park. The whole region is a popular holiday destination for dog-obsessed hikers where both man/woman and dog can have the time of their lives.
There are so many walking trails crisscrossing this fascinating and wild region of England. The Peak District, and the Pennine Way in particular, is the site of the country’s first National Walking Trail. This came about because of the mass trespass events in the mid-20th century where the ‘right to roam’ laws were cemented.
Thanks to those pioneers, there are public rights of way all across England, so explore these important and beautiful byways on your pet-friendly holiday with your canine companion in tow. Our guide is a compilation of dog-friendly walks in Derbyshire, some of which are great for family walks or a challenging hike. There are also short walking routes and pub walks for the more laidback wayfarer.
If you stay at one of our self-catering dog-friendly cottages in the Peak District, you could have time to do a handful of the walks we have suggested in this helpful guide. Our holiday cottages are suitable for a visitor who could be planning a romantic break with their partner in a tiny country retreat, or a family escape in a large converted farmhouse with room for both two legs and four. Whatever kind of dog-friendly holiday accommodation you are hoping to stay in this season, we have the perfect spot for you.
A walk to the summit of Kinder Scout Low via Jacob’s Ladder is a doggy badge of honour for those looking to challenge themselves so you'll need to have a fairly energetic pup for this one. The trail, which largely consists of the Pennine Way, snakes up to Kinder Scout Low (633 metres).
Kinder Scout Low is a hill summit close to the highest point in England, Kinder Scout (636 metres), it’s easier to reach, well-signposted and a far less boggy prospect than heading to the former. Originating at Edale Station, you can pick up the Pennine Way almost immediately by the Old Nag’s Head.
Jacob’s Ladder is a series of stone steps a few miles along the path and the climb is steady and steep. You will also encounter boulders to scramble over, stream crossings, gates and stiles but it’s all worth it for the views. Fit dogs will put most of us to shame on the trail in the climbing and endurance stakes. Be mindful of grazing animals along some stretches, and the need to keep your pooch at heel or on the lead on occasion.
Why your dog will love this: It’s the ultimate exercise work out for humans and dogs alike!
Distance: 8.5 miles
Stay at: Top Tack | Sleeps: 2 dogs and 4 humans
This fantastic circular is a superb choice for you and your dog. There's plenty of good stuff to sniff out and explore along this alluring Peak District trail. Taking in the lovely villages of Hope and Castleton, with its show caverns, Lose Hill, Back Tor, Hollins Cross and the peak of Mam Tor, this circuit is an easier undertaking than our previous selection.
Looking up to the peaks when you are down in the villages, you will wonder how it's possible to scale such heights, but before you know it you will - 476 metres up at the summit of Lose Hill. There is a trig point at the summit of Mam Tor, and the panorama from up there will take your breath away.
Why your dog will love this: All dogs love views like this!
Distance: 8 miles
Stay at: Lower Apartment | Sleeps: 3 dogs and 2 humans
Is your dog more Mr Darcy or Elizabeth Bennett? Well, you can judge for yourself when you take your beloved pooch up to Stanage Edge where pivotal scenes in the most recent film adaptation of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ were lensed. Film fans, both canine and human will love this 9-mile walk across the ‘roof’ of the Peak District National Park.
The name Stanage Edge means Stone Edge Edge, making it tautological, so the locals simply call it Stanage. An imposing and remarkable gritstone escarpment, it’s one of the best-loved walking trails around. The wide path is sealed for the most part as it rises up over the crags to the apex at High Neb. You will also see North Lees Hall, the real-life counterpart of Rochester Hall from the novel ‘Jane Eyre’. You’ll wind past the minor peak of Higger Tor during your ascent for more awesome views.
Why your dog will love this: Even your dog will want to read Charlotte Bronte instead of Sherlock Bones after a walk around this fantastic part of the Peak District.
Distance: 9 miles.
Stay at: Pine Door | Sleeps: 1 dog and 4 humans.
Take a walk in the clouds at The Roaches, which is a rocky escarpment at the southern end of the Pennines. The trail takes the form of a figure of eight, so you can choose a shorter route if the weather turns in or you’ve just tired yourself out. Dogs will love the terrific outlooks from the top of The Roaches. The walk takes in high views, hillside forests (bring your wellies), and beauty spots like Doxey Pool, Hen Cloud and Five Clouds.
For a few decades in the late 20th century, The Roaches was home to some very curious wildlife, as some wallabies broke out of a local zoo and thrived in the area. They’ve since died out but hopes remain that they are merely very good at playing hide and seek. Ask you dog to seek one out! The Roaches also has literary pedigree, because some circles of scholars believe that the area’s Lud’s Church is the Green Chapel from ‘Sir Gawain and The Green Knight’.
Why your dog will love this: There may be a slim chance your dog could meet a wallaby.
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Distance: 2.5 miles
Stay at: Hen Cottage | Sleeps: 2 dogs and 2 humans
Does your doggy have strong legs and a head for heights? Although this is a hilly walk, the trail is sealed for its entirety, making it a good prospect for walkers of all ages and dogs of all abilities. You could choose to climb the Heights of Abraham or take a cable car up to the top and walk down to Matlock Bath instead.
Beginning at Matlock Bath, this trail is reasonably easy with benches and places to stop and lean over the railings on your walk. The views are sensational as you spiral your way up to the show caverns and cafés on the Heights. Dogs will be grateful for a lovely long rest at the top, whilst you take in the wonderful, wide views of the river valley far below.
Why your dog will love this: There are plenty of opportunities for puppies and older dogs to sit and rest on the way!
Difficulty: Easy to moderate.
Distance: 1 mile (each way)
Stay at: Stowe Cottage | Sleeps: 2 dogs and 2 humans
Even more great Peak District dog walks:
A delightful 7-mile circuit from the Chatsworth Estate near Bakewell. Elevated views and a large beacon mark the peak.
Cromford is the location of Arkwright’s Mill - walk along the High Peak Junction and the Cromford Canal. This is the cradle of the Industrial Revolution and period remnants can be seen all along the trail.
Chatsworth Estate is a great dog-friendly destination and this circular trail heads back to the lively Peak District market town.
Before you plan your Peak District holiday, why not visit our collection of dog-friendly cottages across the National Park? We welcome dogs at all of our properties. You will find features that could include enclosed gardens, cosy spots for them to sleep, outside taps, dog bowls and a basket of tasty nom-noms on arrival. We have dog-friendly holiday cottages in remote locations throughout the Peak District for couples, large groups and young families. Book today!
If you're considering venturing beyond the Peak District and Derbyshire, check out our guide to discover even more dog walks across the UK.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.