Yorkshire Dales named as top place for a scenic dog walk in the UK

The Yorkshire Dales has topped a list of the most scenic places for a dog walk in the UK.

A survey, of 2,000 UK dog owners, discovered the most popular destinations to enjoy with the Yorkshire Dales taking first place in the top 40 list.

Some of the preferred destinations for a dog walk were found to be beside the sea (44 per cent), with the South West being home to many top spots.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Cornwall took two spots in the top five, whilst Devon also featured several times in the list, with Doone Valley and Baggy Point.

The Yorkshire Dales, near HebdenThe Yorkshire Dales, near Hebden
The Yorkshire Dales, near Hebden

It also emerged three in 10 owners enjoy strolls by lakes, with the Lake District’s Derwentwater taking the second spot in the top 40.

The poll, commissioned by Devon-based natural pet food producer Forthglade, revealed a further 39 per cent opt for walks in a forest, while 28 per cent chose national parks.

It also found the choice of dog walk destination is heavily influenced by how safe it is for pups (46 per cent), if there’s adequate space for them to be let off a lead (29 per cent) and if it’s somewhere to connect with nature (26 per cent).

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Gerard Lovell, joint managing director at Forthglade, said: “We’re lucky to have so many picturesque places in the UK to enjoy walks with dogs.

“It’s important both owners and canine companions enjoy connecting with nature and discovering new places further afield from their usual route.”

Places with free parking (22 per cent), dog friendly cafés (14 per cent) and somewhere for the dog to swim (15 per cent) are also likely to impact on where dog walkers spend the day.

The survey, commissioned by OnePoll, also found that during the pandemic, 46 per cent said dog walking helped their physical and mental health, with 24 per cent going on more strolls throughout the day.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The poll also revealed that nearly half (49 per cent) have even chosen holiday locations based on the suitability for their pup, seeking out dog-friendly accommodation (61 per cent), beaches (59 per cent) and nearby walking spaces (55 per cent).

And a quarter believe they get equally as excited for a walk as their dog, while 41 per cent admitted they wouldn’t be as fit if they didn’t have their pet.

Half also said they actively look for new places to visit, with 40 per cent finding a different walk more exciting than sticking to the same one.

A further 23 per cent varied their routes more during this time and 11 per cent met up with friends for a walk with their dog more than they did pre-pandemic.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Gerard Lovell added: “If there’s one thing that we’ve learnt this year, it’s that dogs have become even more precious to people, and are a true extension of the family.

"Daily walks and exercise with them hugely benefits the physical and mental wellbeing of both parties, nurturing deeper bonds between dogs and their owners.”

Over half of the top 40 locations in the survey are cared for, or partially cared for by Europe’s largest conservation charity, the National Trust.

The charity, in partnership with the pet food maker, has launched the Dogs Welcome Project, which is committed to improving the facilities and experience for canine visitors and their humans.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

To inspire dog owners to enjoy a new route, adventurer Simon Reeve has teamed up with Forthglade and the National Trust to create a video showcasing a dog walk in Arlington Court in Devon - a Regency house set in a picturesque garden.

Simon Reeve said: “I think it’s brilliant that the team at Forthglade and the National Trust are working to ensure dogs and their humans are even more welcome at so many of the Trust’s properties, whilst also making sure there’s space for people who may not always want a dog bounding around them.

“My dogs have taught me how to be more present, aware of nature, and draw fulfilment from every precious moment spent outdoors.

“Importantly, my dogs are essential to my mental health, and I always find the simple act of putting one foot in front of another a powerful mental tonic, and my dogs offer a profound psychological support.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Ceinwen Paynton, from The National Trust, added: “Working together gives us a great opportunity to focus on our members with dogs and how to make visits even better for them, while balancing that with access for other visitors and nature conservation.

“We recognise that a large proportion of our members are dog owners - with this increasing over the last 2 years- and what an important way of accessing nature and green spaces dogs can be.”

Top 40 most scenic dog walking routes:

1. Yorkshire Dales

2. Derwentwater, Lake District

3. Cheddar Gorge, Somerset

4. Lizard Point, Cornwall

5. Holywell beach, Cornwall

6. Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland

7. Ullswater, Cumbria

8. Glastonbury Tor, Somerset

9. Holkham Beach, Norfolk

10. The Roaches, Peak District

11. Richmond Park, London

12. The Seven Sisters, South Downs

13. Durham Coast, Durham

14. Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh

15. The Langdales, Cumbria

16. Pen y Fan, Wales

17. Rhosili Bay, South Wales

18. Doone Valley, North Devon

19. Golden Cap, Dorset

20. Cragside, Northumberland

21. Sheringham Park, Norfolk

22. Clifton Downs, Bristol

23. Tennyson Down, Isle of Wight

24. Kinmel Bay, Wales

25. Baggy Point, North Devon

26. Clent Hills, Worcestershire

27. Bath Skyline Walk, Bath

28. Hengistbury Head, Dorset

29. Hatfield Forest, Essex

30. Heaven’s Gate, Wiltshire

31. Orwell Country Park, Ipswich

32. Lyme, Cheshire

33. Blicking Estate, Norfolk

34. Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire

35. Flatford, Suffolk

36. Grantchester Meadows, Cambridge

37. Whiteford Burrows, North Gower Coast

38. Laverstock Down, Salisbury

39. Green Chain Walk, London

40. Attingham Park, Shropshire