The Canine guide to York holiday cottages

Towns and cities

The Canine guide to York

Ed Roberts 04 August 2020

York is a very dog-friendly city with so 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 historical 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 Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the Howardian Hills AONB, which are 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, from top places to eat and drink, to tail-wagging dog walks in around York and much more. We hope our guide whets your appetite so that you and your pooch fall in love with York. 

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

York makes the bold claim to hosting more visitor attractions per square mile than any other city in the UK. Quite a high number of these great places welcome dogs too, which kind of makes York one of the UK’s most dog-friendly cities. Read on to discover our favourite places in York to go to with your dog.

Skip head to:

🐶 Top days out with dogs

🐾 Stretch your paws with these dog walks

🍴  Top dog-friendly pubs and restaurants

🏡 Our favourite pet-friendly cottages

Top dog-friendly days out in York

City Cruises

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.

The Shambles

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.

Breezy Knees Garden

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 & Shade Garden and so many other lovely enclaves within the attraction.

Top walkies in York

The Introduction to York Walk

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.

Hob Moor

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 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, and other earthworks all across the area dating back to medieval times and the Napoleonic era. This a great place for birdwatching and to enjoy the panorama of the city skyline in the distance. 


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 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.   

Top dog-friendly places to eat and drink in York

The Crooked Tap

From the founders of the tea brewing school ‘Learn to Brew’, this dog-friendly pub in York is one our top choices. Specialising in craft beers, it’s a great meeting place for friends and a decent spot for lunch. With Wi-Fi, an impressive range of street food (from pizza to sushi and back), drinks and a warm welcome for dogs, this is ‘top dog’ for visitors to York.


photo credit - @burgsys

Dogs are permitted at Burgsy’s, a superb independent burger restaurant that is a local favourite. The menu is impressively deep, with a diversity of toppings to make your eyes pop out; it’s a great place to indulge your passion if you really take your love for burgers seriously. This dining option is for severe devotees of American-style chargrilled grub, recommended. 

The Nook

photo credit @thenookyork

Civilised dogs and their owners should blaze a trail towards The Nook, which is a wonderfully informal bar and kitchen. You can also drop in for a coffee or a tea if you are on the move. Within short distance of quite a few of the city’s major landmarks like the city wall and Clifford’s Tower, this is a good place to enjoy a cool place to hang out, enjoy a few drinks with your dog, or order a stand-out meal. 

Top places to stay 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 have selected a trio of dog-tastic holiday properties in York to inspire your search for the perfect holiday cottage within our range.

Green Cottage

Sleeps: 2 dogs plus 4 humans

Best for a romantic break: A charming dog-friendly holiday home in the heart of historic Bootham, just a mile from the middle of York. Retaining many of its original Victorian features, this mid-terrace house has been updated to perfection. Upcycled furniture and tasteful fabrics adorn the rooms throughout, making it a plush pick for you and your hound.

Why your dog will love it: There are lots of city walks on the doorstep, and lots of space to stretch out in the lounge.

What our guests say:  "Had a fabulous stay in this well equipped, well thought out cottage. The owners have thought of everything,"- Carol

Willoughby’s Loft

Sleeps: 1 dog plus 2 humans

Best for a rural break: Set within the grounds of a manor house close to York, this holiday retreat for two, plus hound, makes for a fantastic romantic hideaway. Perfectly located for quick day trips into the city, this choice is enhanced by the seclusion and beauty of the Yorkshire countryside too. A stylish interior with a modern kitchen and cosy lounge offers the perfect place to spend quality time together.

Why your dog will love it: All the scents of the countryside await them.

What our guests say: "Absolutely beautiful and peaceful upside-down cottage, full of character and gorgeous surroundings," - Sarah

Church Lane Cottage

Sleeps: 1 dog plus 4 guests

Best for a family holiday: This picture-perfect cottage in York is a lovely prospect if you are planning a family break. It’s close to some great family-friendly visitor attractions like Yorkshire Air Museum, Jorvik Viking Centre and the National Railway Museum. 

Why your dog will love it: This cosy cottage’s lounge is a lovely social space to unwind with the dog at the end of a long day of fun exploring York and the outlying area.

What our guests say:  "It was such a lovely week away. The house was a true home-from-home and had everything we needed for a great stay," - Jennifer

If you’d like to get to know York better, read through our guides below and discover more wonderful places for days out or towns and villages where you could stay during your holiday. 

Stay in York

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 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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