10 best dog walks

10 best dog walks

GetOutside Champions • Walking • Jan 20, 2021 • 10 min read

Walking your dog on the same path each day can get boring, so why not mix things up and plot new routes to enjoy with your four-legged friend. We’ve picked our 10 best dog-friendly walks, tried and tested by our GetOutside Champions and their canine companions

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Do you ever find yourself going to the same places to walk the dog? It's so easy to get lost in a routine and stick to what you know, but there are plenty of great dog-friendly areas where you can escape from others, and don’t have to worry about stiles or livestock. Make it your mission to explore somewhere new and walk a new route at least once a week - your dog will love you for it!

Check out our favourite dog walks below and discover more routes, or plot your own, with a 7-day free trial of OS Maps.


1. Fritham circular walk

Location: Fritham, South West England

Distance: 6 miles / Time: 2 hours

Difficulty: Moderate

Parking: Gorley Bushes car park, SO43 7HL

Fritham circular walk

Walking route in OS Maps for: Fritham circular walk

This walk through ancient woodland and open heathland has a surprising history - and no stiles for our furry friends to have to navigate. The route begins and ends in the pretty village of Fritham. You'll head out of the car park and go past Eyeworth Pond which is worth stopping at. Then it's into woodland and skirting the site of an old royal hunting lodge. Continue onto open heathland and up out of the valley up to Studley Head. From there you'll walk on heathland rich in history. This area used to be a bombing range during the Second World War, You'll see a shelter with an information panel telling you more about it. From there you'll join a cycle path which takes you all the way back to Fritham.

It's a cracking walk for everyone. My dogs absolutely love it and there are a few streams along the route. where they can stop and drink (or jump in and get wet and filthy!). We've met deer when we've done this early in the day and you may come across livestock so keep an eye out and your dogs under control. This route presents plenty of opportunity for your dogs to play, run and sniff. At the end is the Royal Oak Pub which serves food, has a beer garden and facilities - and is dog friendly too!

Recommended by OS GetOutside Champion Phillipa Cherryson. Follow Phillipa on Instagram.


2. Thetford Forest circular walk

Location: Suffolk, East England

Distance: 7 miles / Time: 2.5 hours

Difficulty: Leisurely

Parking: High Lodge Forest car park, IP27 0AF - Charges apply

Thetford Forest circular walk

Walking route in OS Maps for: Thetford Forest circular walk

Thetford Forest dog walk

Charlotte's dogs in Thetford Forest

This is a tranquil walk through lowland pine forest following historic drove routes. Ramble along stone tracks to Warren Lodge, a fort built to protect game keepers from poachers in the 1400s. Share the paths with cyclists enjoying the forest and make sure to look out for goshawks, deer and butterflies. You might even spot a sled dog team speeding past! There are many signed forest trails and tracks off-piste to explore, meaning you can walk for as long or as little as you like. With plentiful parking, accessible toilets, play areas and picnic spots at High Lodge, it’s a great place for a dog walk through the forest.

Recommended by OS GetOutside Champion Charlotte Ditchburn. Follow Charlotte on Instagram.


3. Carding Mill Valley circular walk

Location: Church Stretton, Midlands

Distance: 4.5 miles / Time: 2 hours

Difficulty: Moderate

Parking: Carding Mill Valley car park, SY6 6JG - Charges apply

Carding Mill Valley circular walk

Walking route in OS Maps for: Carding Mill Valley circular walk

Carding Mill Valley

This slightly wilder route takes in the tops of the Long Mynd by joining the catchment of the Carding Mill Valley via a network of established paths. This 4.5-mile route is ideal for a adventurous dog walk across the hills. Sheep are sparse and the odd wild horse may make an appearance. The rugged paths make for exceptional sniffs from our furry friends and yes, there is hot chocolate available at the end, in one of the many nearby cafes, to reward your outing!

Recommended by OS GetOutside Champion Ben Turner. Follow Ben on Instagram.


4. Rivington Reservoirs circular walk

Location: Rivington, North West England

Distance: 6 miles / Time: 2.5 hours

Difficulty: Leisurely

Parking: Great House car park, BL6 7SB - Charges may apply

Rivington Reservoirs circular walk

Walking route in OS Maps for: Rivington Reservoirs circular walk

Taking a walk around Rivington and Anglezarke Reservoirs, the change in seasons gives different colours and wildlife. This is a walk that can be enjoyed with all the family with well-trodden paths and tracks. You'll be able to enjoy plenty of views of the reservoirs and beautiful woodland and there are benches along the way to stop for a rest or have a flask of tea. there's free parking on the lane towards Rivington Hall Barn, with toilets and a lovely dog-friendly café at Great House Barn.

Recommended by OS GetOutside Champion Jessica Mather. Follow Jess on Instagram.


5. Oxford Canal and River Thames circular walk

Location: Oxford, South East England

Distance: 5.3 miles / Time: 2 hours

Difficulty: Leisurely

Parking: Godstow Road car park (Port Meadow North), OX2 8PU

Oxford Canal and River Thames circular walk

Walking route in OS Maps for: Oxford Canal and River Thames circular walk

Manse's dog on their walk

This is an enjoyable dog-friendly walk with stunning views across the Oxfordshire Ridgeway, taking in the historic White Horse Hill where you will see an impressive prehistoric hill figure - a 110 m long horse, formed from deep trenches filled with crushed white chalk. About a mile up the road you’ll also pass the Neolithic barrow of Wayland’s Smithy which was once believed to have been the home of Wayland, the Saxon God of metal working. You’ll be able to explore up close, but dogs must be kept on a lead. This interesting route can be a little taxing at times, but plenty of well-established chalky paths make it a lovely leisurely 7-mile walk. There’s plenty of places for your four-legged friend to roam and you won’t come across any stiles.

Recommended by OS GetOutside Champion Manse Ahmad. Follow Manse on Instagram.


6. Glen Righ Round circular walk

Location: Lochaber, Scotland

Distance: 3 miles / Time: 1.5 hours

Difficulty: Leisurely

Parking: Glen Righ car park, PH33 6SG - Charges may apply

Glen Righ Round circular walk

Walking route in OS Maps for: Glen Righ Round circular walk

This is a quieter route around the busy area of the Lochaber. This walk will take in the impressive Righ Gorge and waterfalls, before venturing through the network of well-signposted woodland paths. If the distance is not for you, there's an option follow the main track back to the car park instead of venturing further into the woods. It's definitely worth the adventure! Look our for the famous Scottish deer, red squirrel and the mighty eagle. It goes without saying that the sniffs of our furry friends will have them coming back for more. This little route is packed with scenery, rugged beauty and secret wonder.

Recommended by OS GetOutside Champion Ben Turner. Follow Ben on Instagram.


7. Wimbledon and Wandle Commons circular walk

Distance: 7.5 miles / Time: 2.5 hours

Difficulty: Leisurely

Parking: Plenty of parking in Wimbledon, SW19 7NL - Charges apply

Location: Wimbledon, London

Wimbledon and Wandle Commons circular walk

Walking route in OS Maps for: Wimbledon and Wandle Commons circular walk

A 7-5 mile circular dog-friendly walk. Start anywhere, but let's say start at Wimbledon Train Station...walk south past Wimbledon Police Station along South Park Road as far as Haydens Road. Wind your way through to Garfield Park and on to the Wandle Trail. Head north along the Wandle, as far as Earlfield, keeping an eye out for kingfishers and herons. Then wiggle back through to Wimbledon Park, past the All England Tennis Club and then up into Wimbledon Common. Then head back down through Wimbledon Village down Wimbledon Hill and back to the station. This is an enjoyable dog-friendly loop that shows a few different sides of Wimbledon.

Recommended by OS GetOutside Champion Ben Smith. Follow Ben on Instagram.


8. Hawes and Hardraw circular walk

Location: Hawes, Yorks and Humber

Distance: 4.5 miles / Time: 1.5 hours

Difficulty: Leisurely

Parking: Hawes car park, DL8 3RQ - Charges apply

Hawes and Hardraw circular walk

Walking route in OS Maps for: Hawes and Hardraw circular walk


This is a lovely walk through the Yorkshire Dales that your pooch will adore. Park in the village of Hawes, the birthplace of Wensleydale Cheese, and head north on the well-trodden footpath to the idyllic village of Sedbusk. On this section of the route you'll go over a packhorse bridge where your four-legged friend may want a dip. Continue west to Hardraw, a charming hamlet with a nice pub called the Green Dragon. I'd recommend taking the short de-tour to the impressive Hardraw Falls - the highest single drop waterfall in England. The falls are over 100m high and you can access them through the visitor centre at the back of the pub (a small fee may apply). Well-behaved dogs are welcome.

Recommended by Helen Newman from the OS team. Follow Helen on Instagram.


9. Chopwell Wood circular walk

Location: Gateshed, North East England

Distance: 1.5 miles / Time: 30 minutes - can easily be extended

Difficulty: Leisurely

Parking: Chopwell Wood car park, NE39 1LT

Chopwell Wood circular walk

Walking route in OS Maps for: Chopwell Wood circular walk

This is a gentle stroll on a good-surfaced trail around Chopwell Wood, a popular place for dog walking. This leisurely route can easily be extended as Chopwell Wood boasts a number of footpaths which, if you wanted, you could spend all day exploring. Many of the walking trails offer a glimpse of the area’s industrial past including restored railway tracks that would have carried coal from the nearby collieries. There's even a chance to walk beside the River Derwent and a couple of smaller burns that weave through the woodland. Dogs do love a paddle!

Recommended by Helen Newman from the OS team. Follow Helen on Instagram.


10. Usk Reservoir circular walk

Location: Usk Reservoir, Wales

Distance: 8 miles / Time: 3.5 hours - can easily be extended

Difficulty: Moderate

Parking: Usk Reservoir car park, LD3 8YF - free

Usk Reservoir circular walk

Walking route in OS Maps for: Usk Reservoir circular walk

Tracy and her dogs on the Usk Reservoir circular walk

Usk Reservoir is a great dog walk as there are no livestock around the forestry tracks surrounding the reservoir. Only a few sheep can be found grazing on the open moorland of Mynydd Myddfai near the trigpoint. Usk Reservoir is located to the west of the Brecon Beacons National Park and can be reached just off the minor road between Trecastle and Llandeusant. The surrounding woodland is owned by Natural Resources Wales and is open to walkers and cyclists to explore the forestry tracks. The reservoir is owned by Welsh Water and it can be fished with the appropriate licence.

The reservoir is situated below the Black Mountain Range and boasts some fantastic views of the mountains to the south. There is access onto Mynydd Myddfai where the views at the trig pillar are well worth the short climb over the open moorland. Once on the open moorland a short walk to the north east will take you to Mynydd Bach and Y Pigwyn which are sites of a Roman fort and Roman camps. My dogs love a swim at the shore of the reservoir. My favourite spot is the view from the Ordnance Survey trigpoint.

Recommended by OS GetOutside Champion Tracy Purnell. Follow Tracy on Instagram.


So there you have it – our top 10 dog walks across Great Britain. If you think we’ve missed any, or want to share some of your own, please leave a comment!

Remember to take care of the great outdoors and follow the Countryside Code at all times.

Published: Jan 20, 2021 Edited: Feb 25, 2021

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New Forest National Park: Copythorne and Cadnam Common

Walks Around Britain: Anglezarke Reservoir

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