The best dog-friendly attractions in Yorkshire holiday cottages

Days out

The best dog-friendly attractions in Yorkshire

Elianne Reed 12 November 2019

You might be happy with a day curled up in front of the fire, toasting crumpets and reading a good book, but those with four legs and a waggy tail will be raring to go once you arrive at your holiday destination. As much as Yorkshire is all about the walking, it also has a fantastic variety of doggy days out where all members of the family are not only welcome but can thoroughly enjoy themselves too.

We've chosen 12 of the best dog-friendly days out across Yorkshire to fill your doggy diary.

Best 3 family dog-friendly attractions in Yorkshire

North York Moors Railway, Pickering (other hop-on locations available)


Trainspotters and their happy hounds should hop aboard this handsome heritage steam train to view the delights of the North York Moors National Park. Choo-choo your way from Pickering through 24 miles of Yorkshire's bountiful scenery in a historic carriage and discover the different eras of steam at the various stations along the way. Dogs will have to put their paw in their pocket for this one as a Rover's return ticket costs £3. 

Why your dog will love this:

A day out with their favourite people, while seeing the glory of the moors perched on your human's lap? No-brainer. 

Cottages nearby:

Filey Bird Garden & Animal Park, Filey

Child at farm with goat

You might think that dogs are not welcomed into this park with so many birds and animals around, but fear not - well-behaved pups are allowed everywhere at this attraction except the children's play park. Take little ones and their furry friends through the wildlife meadow and woodland trail where they can learn a whole host of interesting wildlife facts along the way.

Why your dog will love this:

With lots of interesting sights and sounds, dogs who are happy in the company of livestock and wildlife will love this family day out near Filey, watching their tiny owners petting and feeding the animals.

Cottages nearby: 

Forge Dam, Sheffield

Forge Dam dog with big stick
From Instagram: @jess.tandy


All children and dogs love getting out and about in the fresh air, even if some have to be gently persuaded! Adults can marvel at the beauty of this scenic spot, while dogs and children run through the trees, spotting wildlife and having fun woodland adventures. Pop into the café when it gets chilly for a lovely hot chocolate with whipped cream and sprinkles - there are bowls of water for pups on offer as well as a few falling cake crumbs if they are lucky. 

Why your dog will love this:

Scampering around woodland with their favourite members of the family to throw sticks for them? What's not to love? There are also some parts of this walk where dogs can be let off the lead which is always a winner with energetic dogs.

Cottages nearby: 

Best 3 historical dog-friendly attractions

Helmsley Castle, Helmsley

Helmsley Castle

Discover 900 years of history at this impressive medieval fortress in the picturesque market town of Helmsley in the North York Moors National Park. It began as most castles do, as a defence fort, but it has also been a luxurious Tudor mansion, a stronghold during the Civil War and a romantic Victorian ruin. Explore this journey through the ages with an audio tour or get involved in the interactive exhibition in the mansion house - children will love it!

Why your dog will love this:

They can stroll around the grounds (on-lead) and imagine a time when all there was for a dog to do was survey his acres of land (Civil War aside). Older less energetic dogs will love having a little walk and a sit on the grass, while the family take it in turns to explore the house.

Cottages nearby:

  • Coco, Helmsley (sleeps 1 hound and 4 humans)
  • St Aidans, Helmsley (sleeps 2 hounds and 4 humans)

Burton Agnes Hall, Burton Agnes

Burton Agnes Hall

Built by Sir Henry Griffith at the beginning of the 17th century, this marvellous Elizabethan manor house in the village of Burton Agnes is a mansion of immense charm and history. Having remained in the same family for over 400 years, 15 generations of this family have filled the hall with treasures including glorious French Impressionist paintings and beautiful tapestries.  

Why your dog will love this:

Once described as 'the perfect English house' by Simon Jenkins, author of England's Thousand Best Houses, this really is a delight for the dog who has a taste for the English countryside. Stroll around the grounds and take in the walled gardens and the mile-long woodland sculpture walk.

Cottages nearby:

Whitby Abbey, Whitby

Whitby Abbey

Perched high on a cliff overlooking the seaside resort of Whitby in North Yorkshire, the majestic ruins of the abbey which inspired Bram Stoker to write Dracula make a fabulous day out for all the family. Uncover centuries of history at this English Heritage gem with a new interactive guide and a revamped (pun intended) museum to find out how this gothic abbey inspired the first-named English poet, Caedmon. Dogs will love to sink their fangs ahem... canine teeth, into a bit of Yorkshire history even if they are not that interested in the caped count himself.

Why your dog will love this:

Dracula-loving hounds will have a fabulous day out here, scaring all the visitors as they cast a shadow behind the ruins. Top tip: make sure to go at twilight when the possibilities are endless. 

Cottages nearby:

Best 3 dog-friendly National Trust attractions

Brimham Rocks, Summerbridge

Brimham Rocks

Dogs and children alike will adore this natural playground, where exploring a variety of weird and wonderful balancing rock formations with brilliant names will while away a good few hours. Do a jig with the Dancing Bear and get up close and personal with the Gorilla, or pick up an adventure pack and get involved with the fun children's trails. It's also great for rock climbing but you might want to leave the pups at home for this one!

Why your dog will love this:

Not only can dogs wind their way through heather moorland and through woodland, but they are also welcome in the shop and exhibition room. Water bowls are provided at the refreshment kiosk and outside the visitor centre. 

Cottages nearby: 

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, Ripon

Fountains Abbey

Whether covered in the glistening frosts of winter or bursting with the blooms of spring, these ancient abbey ruins and awe-inspiring water garden in the Yorkshire Dales certainly deserve their World Heritage Site status. No matter that canines can't go into the buildings, the views towards the abbey are a spectacular backdrop to any walk, especially when watching a huge golden sun sinking slowly behind the ruins on an early evening stroll.

Why your dog will love this:

Walkies, walkies and more walkies! Amble down from the abbey to the 18th-century water garden or if you've got little ones with you, take time for some fun messing around in the grounds - particularly fun when the autumn leaves have fallen. Hungry hounds are welcome in outside areas of the visitor centre restaurant, Studley tearooms and Mill Café, with water bowls available at various spots.  

Cottages nearby:

Nostell, Crofton


Get your wellies on and explore the parkland and gardens of this striking stately home at any time of year. Similar in style to the infamous Cliveden with its sweeping dual-aspect steps down to the grounds, you can have your own slightly less political adventures at this Palladian House, with any number of pups at foot. Follow the paths and tracks to discover ancient woodland, an abundance of interesting wildlife and amazing views. The Kitchen Garden, bursting with colour, is a favourite as is the tranquil Menagerie Garden. 

Why your dog will love this:

Miles of parkland for sniffs and scampers and a separate dog area where you can let your muttley crew off the lead. 

Cottages nearby:

Best 3 unusual activities you can do with your dog inYorkshire

Ryedale Folk Museum, Hutton-le-Hole

Ryedale Folk Museum
From Instagram: @ryedale_folk_museum


You may not see your dog as a lover of folk, but who really knows? Surprise your pup with a trip to this fabulous colourful open-air folk museum in the impossibly pretty Yorkshire Moors village of Hutton-le-Hole and find out. Bringing centuries of tradition to life across 20 buildings nestled in six dog-walking acres, you can delve into the area's fascinating past, enjoying the delightful cottage gardens and traditional cornfield as you go. 

Why your dog will love this:

Surely any hound will love to see how their cancestors lived? Apparently (or so the humans say), treat-filled Kongs and doggy CCTV haven't always been around! 

Cottages nearby:

  • Maheshwar, Kirkbymoorside (sleeps 2 hounds and 6 humans)

Aldborough Roman Site, Aldborough

Aldborough Roman Site
From Instagram: @harrogate_dragon


Get you and your dog down to this fascinating collection of Roman finds. Pups on leads are welcome into the on-site museum where you can both uncover 1,800 years of history, including two outstanding Roman mosaic pavements and a section of the original town wall. Looked after by English Heritage, the museum will take you through a whole host of wonderful archaeological finds. 

Why your dog will love this:

Aldborough was the 'capital' of the Romanised Brigantes, the largest tribe in Britain of the time. They must have had dogs, right? And those dogs must have had bones...

Cottages nearby:

For another arty day out, visit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, an open-air gallery in West Bretton near Wakefield.

Mother Shipton's Cave, Knaresborough

Mother Shipton's Cave
From Instagram: @mothershiptonscave


One of England's oldest attractions, you and your family of canines can discover where the fascinating legend of Mother Shipton began. Situated next to the Petrifying Well, England's oldest visitor attraction, find out about the magic that turns everyday items to stone. Don't worry pups - that doesn't include visiting dogs! The family four-legs is allowed in all areas of Mother Shipton's park apart from the adventure playground but must be kept on a lead.

Why your dog will love this:

The mile-long park where the cave is situated is a unique, unspoilt remnant of the Royal Forest of Knaresborough, and Sir Henry Slingsby's Long Walk will have any pooch enchanted by its beauty. Just be aware that access is via three sets of steps so it's not one for those of wobbly leg.

Cottages nearby:

Come and stay with us in Yorkshire!

When you are all in need of a little time to relax, take the weight off your paws at one of our cottages in Yorkshire. We have a great selection of dog-friendly cottages across the county, from romantic boltholes for the three of you to luxurious mansions for groups of family and friends - all ready and waiting to welcome your whole gang.


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


Or if you are looking for fabulous things to do with your canine chum across all of the UK, check out our ulti-mutt days out guide.

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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