A picture of a Terrier walking on a rocky hill

The most scenic dog walks in the UK

Dr Corinne Wigfall BVMBVS(Hons) BVMedSci(Hons)

Dr Corinne Wigfall BVMBVS(Hons) BVMedSci(Hons)

For dog parents across the UK, summer is the perfect time to explore the great outdoors with their four-legged friends. Whether it’s fun city park walks or more challenging countryside trails, there are many beautiful spots to keep your dog physically and mentally active.

But with many places to choose from for dog walks in the UK, which is the most scenic?

Using a seedlist of 200 of the most popular dog walks in the UK, we’ve delved into Instagram and TikTok posts to find the answer. Read on to discover which trails are the most scenic for pet parents and their dogs.



The UK’s top 20 most scenic dog walks

A picture of Bushy Park

> 1. Bushy Park

Based in the southwestern corner of Greater London, Bushy Park comes out top in our list of the most scenic dog walks in the UK. The second-largest of London’s Royal Parks, Bushy Park boasts 1,100 acres full of wide open spaces, dense forest, and a range of natural wildlife.

Given its vast open landscapes and proximity to London, it’s no surprise that Bushy Park has the most Instagram posts of any other dog-walking location in the UK. There are over 170k posts on Instagram tagged ‘#Bushypark’, and a further ​​1.7k on TikTok.

It’s a fun place for dogs of all abilities, breeds, and sizes, with plenty of space to roam around and even more things to sniff. Wildlife lovers will also be pleased to know that the park is home to wild red deer and fallow deer. Remember to be respectful and keep your dog on a lead near wild animals. Allowing your dog to stop and sniff their surroundings is great for mental enrichment. Just 20 minutes of sniffing is equivalent to an hour’s walk.


A picture of Dovestone Reservoir

> 2. Dovestone Reservoir

Claiming the second spot on our list is Dovestone Reservoir in West Yorkshire. Positioned on the western side of the Peak District National Park, pet parents and their four-legged friends can explore four kilometres of beautiful scenery.

The walk around Dovestone Reservoir is mostly flat with plenty of grassy off-lead areas for dogs to enjoy. This walk might be a good option for older dogs or those with health conditions needing an easier walk with less hilly terrain.


A picture of Roundhay park

> 3. Roundhay Park

West Yorkshire seems a prime spot for pet parents and their pups with yet another location in the region rounding off our top three trails. With over 75k posts on Instagram and over 1k posts on TikTok, the beautiful Roundhay Park in Leeds is popular with social media users.

One of the largest urban parks in the world, Roundhay Park features 700 acres of greenery and woodland, plus two lakes. Energetic dogs have plenty of room to stretch their legs while enjoying the intriguing sights and smells of the park.


A picture of Bradgate Park

> 4. Bradgate Park

Coming in fourth place is Bradgate Park in the East Midlands. Located in Charnwood Forest, Leicestershire, Bradgate Park features rugged forests and sweeping views over the River Lin.

Acres of parkland and woods make this a great spot for exploring, but it’s important to note that roaming deer and horse riders use the park. Some dogs like to approach wildlife, so you may want to keep them on the lead to avoid disturbing other animals.


A picture of Delamere Forest

> 5. Delamere Forest

Rounding off our top five is Delamere Forest. Situated in the heart of Cheshire, this popular dog-walking destination features a variety of trails from gentle strolls to more challenging routes.

The forest has some stunning trails, many situated around the wetlands of Blackmere Moss Lake. One trail in particular, the Old Pale, even offers a picturesque view of the Liverpool skyline.


> 6. Willingham Woods

Willingham Woods is located in the district of Lincolnshire. Part of the larger Lincolnshire Wolds, this woodland area has a variety of trails winding through a mix of pine forests and open clearings. The terrain is mostly flat, making it a good choice if you’re after leisurely walks. The woods also offer plenty of opportunities for you and your dog to explore.


> 7. Sutton Park

Sutton Park in Birmingham is another of Europe’s largest urban parks, offering an expansive playground for dogs and their parents. Abundant with woodlands, heathland, wetlands, and lakes, Sutton Park has a varied landscape to explore. It also has dedicated off-leash areas where dogs can play freely and socialise with other four-legged friends.


> 8. Coombe Abbey Country Park

Coombe Abbey Country Park in Warwickshire offers a combination of natural beauty and historical charm. Dogs must be on the lead in most areas to protect the gardens and natural habitats. But the park has designated areas where they can be off-lead, so be sure to check the map before you go.


> 9. Westonbirt Arboretum

Westonbirt Arboretum, located in Gloucestershire, is a stunning botanical collection known for its year-round beauty. This expansive arboretum spans over 600 acres and features more than 2,500 species of trees from around the world.

The Silk Wood allows off-lead dogs and has miles of trails through the woodlands. The trails vary in length and difficulty, so whether you’re after a stroll or a longer adventure, you’ll find a path that suits your pace.


> 10. Holkham Beach

Holkham Beach, on the north coast of Norfolk, is well-known for its golden sands and stunning coastal views. As one of the UK’s most iconic beaches, it offers a spectacular setting for dog walks. The beach attracts visitors from far and wide who want to enjoy the beauty of the Norfolk coastline with their four-legged friends.
Dogs have to be on-lead around certain parts of the beach during the warmer months but they are free to roam off-lead in most areas.


A picture of a Dalmatian on a walk in the hills

Why are dog walks so important?

‘Walkies’ is a word that no doubt gets many tails wagging. They’re key to your dog’s physical and mental well-being, whether you’re in the city, the countryside, or the seaside.

Below, expert vet Dr Corinne Wigfall highlights some of the many benefits of regular dog walks.


> 1. Physical health and fitness

Regular walks give your dog the physical exercise they need to maintain a healthy weight, strong muscles, and good cardiovascular health. Consistent activity benefits joint health, improving flexibility and lowering the risk of obesity-related conditions.

  • Remember that each dog is an individual, so tailor your walks to their age, breed, and ability.
  • High-energy breeds benefit from walks by getting physical and mental stimulation, while older or less active dogs might enjoy gentle exercise to maintain mobility.
  • By adjusting walks to your dog’s pace and ability, you can help them get the right exercise to stay healthy and happy.
  • If you’re unsure of your dog’s exercise needs, ask your vet for advice.

Don’t forget that having dog insurance can help protect against the unexpected if your dog’s health takes an unexpected turn.


> 2. Mental stimulation

Walking isn’t just good for your dog’s physical health; it’s super important for their emotional well-being. They discover a variety of new scents, sights, and sounds, all of which keep them mentally stimulated.

  • Take your dog on a ‘sniffari’ by scattering treats in the grass and encouraging your dog to sniff out the treats.
  • Adding fetching games and training to the mix is another great way to keep your pup mentally stimulated.


> 3. Socialisation

Walks can help your dog’s socialisation by allowing them to meet other dogs and people. Interactions with other four-legged friends help them to learn appropriate social behaviour. It also helps them get used to being around different people and other types of animals, making them more adaptable in various settings.


> 4. Stronger pet and parent bond

Walks can help form strong bonds between dogs and their parents. Quality time outdoors can create positive interactions and build trust and communication.

  • Encourage them to show you where they want to walk (if it’s safe to do so) as this gives them choice and helps build confidence.
  • Reward positive behaviour with praise or treats to help strengthen your bond even further.


Sources and methodology

We created a seedlist of the top 200 dog walks around the UK, then looked at social media data to determine which were the most scenic dog walks.

This was done by searching the number of TikTok and Instagram posts for each dog-walking location and creating a ranking based on which locations had the highest number of tags.

Data correct as of 24/04/2024.

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