The Canine guide to Harrogate holiday cottages

Towns and cities

The Canine guide to Harrogate

Ed Roberts 10 December 2020

Come to Harrogate for a dog-friendly holiday, it's the gateway to the Nidderdale AONB which is a beautiful place to roam. You can enjoy huge treks or gentle ambles to famous visitor attractions like Fountains Abbey, Studley Water Park, Brimham Rocks and Knaresborough Castle. Historically, Harrogate is well-known throughout the country for being a major destination for conferences and for the Yorkshire Show, but there's so much more to discover when you bring your dog along on holiday with you. Read on to discover the highlights of Harrogate.

Harrogate Dogs

Bring your dog and your family to discover this up-and-coming holiday resort; Harrogate and its surrounding countryside promise much including dog-friendly visitor attractions, and places to eat and drink galore. Book a self-catering holiday cottage in Harrogate today for an unforgettable North Yorkshire break.

What have we got to set tails wagging?

🐶 Top days out

🐾 Top walkies

🍴 Top dining spots

Top dog-friendly days out in Harrogate

Mother Shipton’s Cave

Take your furry four-legged buddy to Mother Shipton’s Cave, just 4 miles outside of Harrogate. Open between April and October annually, this family attraction is full to the gunnels with adventures for children and pretty parklands to explore with the hound. Check out ‘the petrifying well’ and ‘the enchanted trails’. A memorable day for all, including the pooch, is guaranteed.

Why your dog will love it: This is a great family attraction where you won’t have to leave your dog behind!

Brimham Rocks

Brimham Rocks

High up above Harrogate in the Nidderdale AONB is Brimham Rocks, also known as nature’s playground. This is a brilliant, open spot for a day out with your dog as there are 40 hectares of gorgeous North Yorkshire countryside surrounding this unusually stacked rock formation. Managed by the National Trust, you can get involved in lots of activities after visiting the on-site visitor centre that include maps for nature trails and geocaching!

Why your dog will love it: Dogs love a scramble and Brimham Rocks provides the ultimate backdrop!

Fountains Abbey and Studley Water Park

Fountains Abbey and Studley Water Park

For old dogs and pups, Fountains Abbey and Studley Water Park is a superb place for a walk at heel or on the lead. This astonishing UNESCO World Heritage Site with acres of breathtaking grounds to discover is a sheer joy for a day out. The ruins of Fountains Abbey are spectacular and there are miles of trails to follow through the deer park. Pick up maps and activity sheets from the on-site visitor centre.

Why your dog will love it: Sometimes it’s nice to take things slowly and enjoy the surroundings as opposed to haring about the place!

Top dog-friendly walks in Harrogate

Valley Gardens

Valley Gardens

At the heart of Harrogate is this lovely public park, Valley Gardens, with long, level pathways and large lawns for you and your dog to enjoy. With leafy trees and landscaped borders, it’s a relaxing place to spend some time taking your hound for a well-earned stroll. There are tennis courts, a paddling pool and a café within the park making it an even more pleasant a prospect.

Why your dog will love it: Quite simply, all dogs love a gentle stroll in a gorgeous park like this one.

Swinsty and Fewston Reservoirs

These two grand reservoirs are located right next to one another in Harrogate’s Washburn Valley. There are pathways that encircle both Swinsty and Fewston Reservoir, and with lots of places to stop and rest, it’s worth bringing a picnic along too. See wildlife and birdlife all around including herons, squirrels, and deer. In the summer, ice cream vans can be found idling in the car park. Dogs love this place.

Why your dog will love it: It’s an awesome location for some waterside walks – there are scents galore.

Knaresborough Riverside

Knaresborough Riverside

Head a few miles outside of Harrogate to nearby Knaresborough with its striking castle and enticing riverside walk. It’s a scenic proposition that dogs will simply adore. Follow the lovely River Nidd along its banks to Conyngham Hall and cross the bridge to return along the opposite side. Take your hound aboard a rowing boat then enjoy a coffee and cake combo at the Marigold Café.

Why your dog will love it: This is a breezy, level walk for dogs of all shapes, ages, and sizes.

Top dog-friendly dining spots in Harrogate


If you are in a hurry and the sun is shining, then take your dog along to Vanilli’s on Cold Bath Road for some gelato ice cream. The range even has ice cream made with coconut or soya milk! It’s a good excuse to indulge in some impeccable delight for your sweet tooth.

Why your dog will love it: Try hard to enjoy your ice cream as your pooch watches; they’ll be waiting for you to give them the end of the waffle cone.

How Stean Gorge Café

How Stean Gorge Café

The dog-friendly How Stean Gorge Cafe is a joy for those looking for a sit-down lunch with their pet in tow. Tastebud-tempting dishes include English standards such as fish and chips, steak sandwiches, burgers and more. It’s a laidback place that welcomes dogs to dine with you as well. Located close to Stean Gorge, you can walk off your meal afterwards in delightful surroundings.

Why your dog will love it: Good chips are always worth the wait and the views aren’t bad either.

Starling Independent Bar and Café

Starling Independent Bar and Café

For a relaxed beer and a good meal, Starling Independent Bar and Café in Harrogate is a great dog-friendly option to refuel at. Offering everything from quality coffee to craft ales and everything in between, with its late-night opening hours, you can also dine in, choosing from artisan pizzas and a specials board. Dogs are most welcome to join in the fun too.

Why your dog will love it: Some dogs love a cosy pub to curl up in.

Dog-friendly holiday cottages in Harrogate

Visit our collection of dog-friendly holiday cottages in Harrogate where you and your pet will find the perfect backdrop for your break in North Yorkshire. For more inspiration, browse our pet-friendly guide to Yorkshire. Select your ideal self-catering dog-friendly holiday cottage from our collection - book your perfect holiday home today.

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.

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