The best dog walks in Yorkshire holiday cottages


The best dog walks in Yorkshire

Elianne Reed 12 November 2019

There’s no doubting that dogs holidaying with their humans in Yorkshire have certain expectations and one of those is decent walks across dale, moor and wold. Here are some of our favourite dog-friendly walks in Yorkshire that will get your dog's paws in a frenzy:

1. Glasshouses to Pateley Bridge

Janet's Foss waterfall

Dogs with a passion for a riverside view will love this circular walk from Glasshouses into Pateley Bridge, a quintessential Nidderdale village with some excellent dog-friendly pubs. This is one of the best dog walks as it's suitable for most types of dogs and humans.

Why your dog will love this: A walk by the river followed by cake crumbs and a nice bowl of water? Perfect. Dogs in the know have said that the bacon butties in the riverside café are also worth pulling your humans over for.

Terrain: Riverside with some hills - medium gradient (elevation gain of 128m), enclosed green lanes, fields, tarmac paths.

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 3.5 miles (5.8 km)

Ideal for: Dogs who love a little swim as there are plenty of opportunities for a paddle along the way. There are also quiet fields so hounds can get some proper off-lead exercise - as always, keep an eye out for wildlife and livestock.

In addition: Lots of cafés and pubs en-route.

Stay nearby: Butterfly, Glasshouses (sleeps 1 hound and 2 humans)

2. Runswick Bay

Runswick Bay

The Sandsend to Runswick Bay walk in North Yorkshire follows the edge of eroding cliffs with some spectacular sea views. Set off from the small fishing village of Sandsend and finish in the sweeping bay of Runswick, known for its charming red-roofed cottages.

Why your dog will love this: Feeling the wind in their fur and breathing in the fresh sea air along the clifftops can't be beaten.

Terrain: 1,100 feet altitude, rocky cliff edges.

Difficulty: Medium with some steps to start cliff-top section and along the route. 

Distance: 6.1 miles (9.8 km)

Ideal for: Active dogs who don't mind a few steps and are happy on-lead due to dangerous cliff edges.

In addition: Parking in the village and north end public parking. Excellent crab sandwiches to be enjoyed at the Sandsend café. 

Stay nearby: Moat View Cottage, Staithes (sleeps 2 hounds and 8 humans)

3. Staithes and Port Mulgrave

Port Mulgrave

Take this circular walk from the delightful fishing village of Staithes with its harbourside cottages and cobbled streets. Follow the popular Cleveland Way National Trail for the first half of the walk, then hike across the cliffs to the little harbour of Port Mulgrave.

Why your dog will love this: A walk with the human through a village, along a harbour, up cliffs and back through fields and woodland is definitely on most pups' wish lists!

Terrain: Quiet lanes and paths through fields and cliffs. Unfenced clifftops (dogs on leads) with a steep drop. The walk crosses the busy A174 twice.

Difficulty: Quite difficult as there is a steep climb from the harbour up to the clifftop, and a descent with steps in the woods.

Distance: 4 miles (6.4 km)

Ideal for: Hounds who don't mind taking in a bit of history on their walk - humans do tend to stop a bit!

In addition: Parking in Staithes car park and refreshments in Staithes and Dalehouse. Toilets at start/finish of walk. 

Stay nearby: Waverley House, Staithes (sleeps 2 and 6 humans)

For more wonderful dog-friendly coastal walks, have a look at our guide to the best dog-friendly beaches in Yorkshire.

4. Welburn and Castle Howard

Castle Howard

This trail located near Welburn in North Yorkshire is an excellent shortish walk. It's the perfect afternoon for those who like a farmland and woodland walk with a gorgeous castle on the way.

Why your dog will love this: Lots of mud and sniffs in woodland and some magnificent stately home grounds to peruse.

Terrain: Farmland and woodland paths, some short ascents and descents, can be muddy and slippery in places.

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 3.5 miles (5.5 km) with an option to shorten to 2 miles (3.5 km).

Ideal for: Less able dogs who can't manage too many hills and stiles.

In addition: A pub in the village of Welburn, village shop and café. Farm shop, courtyard café and plant centre at Castle Howard. 

Stay nearby: The Granary At Close Farm, Malton (sleeps 4 hounds and 6 humans)

5. Muker to Thwaite Circular (Swaledale)


This scenic walk in Upper Swaledale starts and ends at the Farmer’s Arms in Muker, a great choice for a pre-walk breakfast and a post-walk lunch. You’ll be treated to views from Kisdon Hill, though bear in mind that the first section is quite steep. If you can cope with that, it’s all downhill from there, figuratively speaking, and you can also stop off in Thwaite for a mid-walk coffee and bowl of water.

Why your dog will love this: Dogs who love a bit of typical Yorkshire Dales scenery - starting and finishing at a pub - will be putting this on their favourites list.

Terrain: Quite steep first section, then downhill to Thwaite and level-going to Muker.

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 4.8 miles (7.7 km)

Ideal for: Dogs who can cope with a small steep climb with lovely long tracks to amble along at leisure.

In addition: Pub at the beginning and end of the walk in Muker as well as in Thwaite. Public toilets at Muker. 

Stay nearby: Brookside - Muker, Muker (sleeps 1 hound and 5 humans)

6. Aysgarth Falls

Aysgarth Falls

There are lots of different paths to take around the pretty Aysgarth Falls in Wensleydale. No outing is complete without a stop-off at the pup-friendly Wensleydale Heifer in the village of West Witton.

Why your dog will love this: Taking in three flights of waterfalls, this is one for water babies who are happy to stay warm and dry at the side!

Terrain: Requires some modest uphill climbing - climb height of 215 metres. 

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 6.75 miles (10.8 km)

Ideal for: Dogs who can handle a long walk with some uphill sections.

In addition: Car park and National Park Centre. Toilets in car park. Nearby café. Pubs in Aysgarth and restaurant/café at Bolton Castle.

Stay nearby: Walden Cottage, Aysgarth 2 miles (sleeps 2 hounds and 4 humans)

7. Ilkley Moor - Twelve Apostles 

Ilkley Moor

There are various fabulous heritage walks around Ilkley in West Yorkshire – one of our favourites is the Twelve Apostles route where you can walk the fascinating prehistoric trail taking in ancient cup marks and the Twelve Apostles Neolithic stone circle. 

Why your dog will love this: Christmassy winter walks across the moor are the best walkie as far as our dogs are concerned!

Terrain: Good moorland paths with some steep paths at end of walk. Ascent/gradient of 425ft.

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 4.5 miles (7.2 km)

Ideal for: Fit dogs who will delight in a brooding moorland walk - just keep them under control as sheep graze freely on moorland.

In addition: Off-road parking and pay and display car park. Public toilets in pay and display near Cow and Calf rocks.

Stay nearby: Ivy Cottage - Lindley, Harrogate (sleeps 2 hounds and 4 humans)


All walked out? Give your tired toes and paws a break and come back to the comfort of one of our welcoming holiday cottages in Yorkshire.


For all things doggy in Yorkshire, have a paw through our canine guide to Yorkshire.


You'll also find more brilliant dog walks elsewhere with our full guide to the UK's best dog walks.

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.

Ultimate dog walking holidays to em-bark on!
Ed Roberts 15 December 2021
The top dog-friendly beaches in Somerset
Courtney 09 December 2021
The Travel Chapter Limited, trading as holidaycottages.co.uk | The Travel Chapter Limited is registered in England and Wales. | Registered office Travel Chapter House Gammaton Road Bideford EX39 4DF Company No. 02431506 | VAT reg: 143053210