Things to do in dog-friendly York holiday cottages


Things to do in dog-friendly York

Ed Roberts 13 February 2024

York is a very dog-friendly city with many cool places for you and your four-legged friend to discover. A hugely popular holiday destination, it’s a top choice for a city break and with so many places of interest, dining prospects and landmark attractions, it’s also a big hit with dog owners. The ancient city of York is the historic heart of Yorkshire with a dense and wild history that can be traced as far back as Roman times. York also serves as one of the gateways to the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the Howardian Hills AONB, both fantastic country locations to discover with your hound.

Planning a trip to York with your dog soon? Then check out our guide to the best places to visit for tail-wagging dog walks in and around York and much more. We hope our guide whets your appetite so that you and your pooch fall in love with the city. For more dog-friendly places to go and things to do in Yorkshire, read our handy guide.

We have a diverse range of enticing accommodation across the city and surrounding countryside, from majestic townhouses and chic city apartments to suburban home-from-homes and cosy cottages; we are bound to have a property that’s perfect for you and your hound. Click on the button below to find out more.

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Top dog-friendly days out in York

City Cruises

River Ouse in York on a sunny day. Cruise boats moored at the bank.

Enjoy a ride down the River Ouse on a cruise boat; well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome aboard to see the sights of the city float past. Seeing York from the comfort of a boat is a unique experience and one of the best ways to see the city’s many architectural highlights like York Minster, Bishopthorpe Palace and Clifford’s Tower

There is a live commentary to listen to during the tour where you can learn about the history of the city. Choose from a range of cruises during the day and evening. Please note that dogs aren’t permitted on the dining cruises. If you like the sound of a cruise with your pup, then you'll find some similar attractions in our Yorkshire guide too.

Good to know

  • Where can I catch a city river cruise boat in York? York river cruises set off from both King's Staith Landing and Lendal Bridge
  • How much does a York river cruise cost? Adults £15, children £8.50 - visit the website for more details
  • Stay nearby: Green Cottage | sleeps 2 dogs + 4 humans

The Shambles

The old buildings of The Shambles in York at dusk or early morning

At the heart of the city is The Shambles which is a maze of narrow streets packed full of dog-friendly shops, cafes and pubs to sniff out. There’s heaps to see with your four-legged chum. Hunt out some bargains and see how many dog biscuits from the stall owners your pooch can notch up on a visit to The Shambles. 

The ancient houses along the narrow, criss-crossing byways seem to hang over the road with their awnings and portico roofing; it’s a really distinctive part of the city in which to while away your day. It’s close to the city square where you’ll find a programme of interesting markets and shows throughout the year, so see if you can coincide a holiday with one such event. Whilst most of the shops welcome dogs, it's always best to ask first before entering.

Good to know

  • Where is The Shambles in York? The Shambles is in the centre of the city, its postcode is YO1 7LX
  • Is it free to visit The Shambles? Yes, it is free to visit The Shambles
  • Stay nearby: Willoughby's Loft | sleeps 1 dog + 2 humans

Breezy Knees Garden

Black and white dog licks its lips whilst sat on the grass in Breezy Knees Gardens, York

If you love colourful blooms, then Yorkshire’s best-loved flower garden, the peculiarly named Breezy Knees, is a sheer delight for you and your dog to visit. The 20-acre garden is one of the largest in the North of England and is home to over 6,000 different species of plant. 

Dogs on leads are welcome in the park, you could even enjoy coffee and cake at the pleasant café too. Wander through the Conifer Garden, the Rose Garden, the Pond and Shade Garden, and so many other lovely enclaves within the attraction.

Good to know

  • Where is Breezy Knees Gardens? Common Lane, Warthill, York, YO19 5XS
  • How much does it cost to visit Breezy Knees Gardens? Prices differ depending on the time of year - visit the website for details
  • When is Breezy Knees Gardens open? Open daily Tuesday to Sunday (plus Bank Holiday Mondays) between 1 May and 30 September from 10.30–5pm (last entry 3.30pm)
  • Stay nearby: Church Lane Cottage | sleeps 1 dog + 4 humans

Top walkies in York

The Introduction to York Walk

York city walk with the Minster in the background on a blue sky day

This self-guided tour, via a downloadable app, takes in some fantastic York sights such as York Minster, Jorvik Viking Centre, Clifford’s Tower, the city walls, Stonegate, York Museum Gardens, the River Ouse and more. You can learn a fascinating potted history of York along the way. 

One of 12 walking tours in York, this particular trail is the perfect way to exercise your dog and spend quality time exploring the city together. For more dog walks in Yorkshire, why not take a look at our guide?

Good to know

  • How much does the self-guided walking tour of York cost? It's free
  • How long does the self-guided walking tour of York take? Allow at least 2 hours to complete the tour
  • Stay nearby: Model Farm Stable | sleeps 1 dog + 4 humans

Hob Moor

Scruffy brown dog enjoying the autumn leaves on a woodland trail at Hob Moor in York

Hob Moor is a nature reserve close to the centre of York where you and your dog can enjoy a wander. It’s a lovely dog-friendly spot for a day out. Be mindful of the cattle and wildlife that live there, so exercise caution and keep your inquisitive hounds at heel or on the lead. A part of Knavesmire, one of York's ancient commons, Hob Moor largely consists of pasture which is home to cows during the summer months. This has ensured that a special floristic habitat thrives and provides a valuable breeding habitat for skylark and meadow pipit, both of which are endangered species in the United Kingdom. 

On the neighbouring Little Hob Moor is the Plague Stone and the Hobstone, as well as other earthworks dating back to medieval times and the Napoleonic era. This is a great place for birdwatching and to enjoy the panorama of the city skyline in the distance. 

Good to know

  • Where is Hob Moor? Hob Moor Drive, York, YO24 4JZ
  • What facilities does Hob Moor have? Limited parking - there are toilet facilities on Hob Moor
  • Stay nearby: The Mustard Pot | sleeps 2 dogs + 4 humans


Signpost in York pointing the way to several city attractions

The former site of York Racecourse, Knavesmire is now York’s largest public open space and is a brilliant choice for a dog-centric day out. With long, wide avenues of trees and acres of space to play, it’s a great place close to the centre of the city for a long walk and jaunt with the pooch. 

Knavesmire has a long and interesting history; once known as the York Tyburn, it was the site of the York Gallows until 1801 - Highwayman Dick Turpin famously met the noose here in 1739. The scaffold site is marked by a small plaque. Nowadays, big events use the park every year, like the annual York Beer and Cider Festival.   

Good to know

  • Where is Knavesmire? Knavesmire Road, York, YO23 1EX
  • What facilities does Knavesmire have? Parking, play areas and picnic areas
  • Stay nearby: Green Cottage | sleeps 2 dogs + 4 humans

Stay at a dog-friendly cottage in York

Our dog-friendly holiday cottages are just that: dog friendly. This is because they have been handpicked to meet the specifications of a pet-friendly charter that ensures each property has features to make life easier for dog owners and their pets. Features often include good locations close to dog-friendly attractions, enclosed gardens, outdoor taps, dog bedding and a bag of treats on arrival. 

We hope you have enjoyed our guide to York and have found some inspiring ideas for your trip. If you are looking for even more ideas for your holiday, check out our complete guide to the best dog-friendly places to stay in Yorkshire. You will discover an even wider range of places to explore with your dog all across the county. Choose your ideal self-catering holiday cottage from our collection. Where will you stay?

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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