Best Dog Walking Routes in UK City Parks

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You might be forgiven for thinking that if you live in a city you need to drive miles to have an enjoyable, scenic walk with a dog. But, there are some hidden gems even in the most urban areas. So, if you run a dog walking business then here is a guide to finding the best walking routes in our cities, some might be closer than you think!

London – Epping Forest

As London’s largest open space this is a must visit location and dog walking is one of the most popular activities. The Forest covers around 2,400 hectares – that’s over 3,300 football pitches – and stretches from Manor Park to just north of Epping. With four visitor centres there is plenty to see and do if you want more than just a stroll in the forest. Click here to find out more.

Other London Boroughs have similar other spaces: Waltham Forest, Redbridge and Newham, all of which are worth a visit. Note that each of these have a maximum number of dogs that you can walk at any one time (from 4 to 6) and most ask that dogs are kept on a lead so always worth checking this before you plan a walk.

Manchester

Manchester City Council have dedicated dog walking areas within some of the city parks, so you can walk with the dogs in confidence. Bellott Street has specific dog walking but requests dogs are kept on a lead. Platt Fields Park has extra facilities with dogs not being allowed in areas such as the sport pitches and children’s play area. See their website for more information about each site.

Visit Manchester also have some great walking routes on their website, keen to show that there is another side to Manchester waiting to be discovered. Check out their website for a range of trails that you can download. Each covers varying distances and includes information about landmarks to be seen along the way.
Walkiees features a selection of walks within the greater Manchester area including landmarks such as the iconic canals and Saddleworth so you really don’t need to venture far for great views!

Leeds

Named as one of the region’s leading green spaces in the Good Parks Guide, Roundhay Park is a great asset for Leeds and any dog walker! Explore trails, open spaces and gardens. There are off lead areas too making it a great location to stretch those legs!

But, if you do want to venture a short distance then Nostell Priory and Parkland near Wakefield is another great location. With rolling countryside woods and tracks the parkland offers a great location for dog walkers just half an hour from Leeds. Dogs on leads are welcome anywhere in the park and there is also a specific dog walking area near the car park, complete with water bowls! Visit the National Trust website for more information.

Liverpool

Right in the heart of Liverpool, Sefton Park is a popular space for dog walkers, runners and families alike. A magnificent 235 acre park is a Grade I listed historic park, its features include a boating lake, aviary and even a Peter Pan statue! With children’s play areas, fishing and a large population of swans it is wise to keep dogs on a lead in most areas of the park although there are some open spaces in which they can be let off to explore.
The Mersey Forest Project is a growing network of woodland and green spaces throughout Merseyside and Cheshire. Even in an urban area, woodland can thrive and be enjoyed. There are several sites, all of which allow dogs but each has different restrictions for dog walkers – visit their website to find out about each one.

Birmingham

Just 6 miles north of Birmingham City Centre, Woodgate Valley Country Park is a fantastic location for dog walking, with a huge range of facilities and great open spaces.

Visit Birmingham have details on a number of parks to visit, all really easy to reach. The most popular with for dog walkers due to their open space is Lickey National park and Woodgate Valley country Park.

Waseley Hills Country Park is a great location linking the Clint and Lickey hills and is a great long walk. A National Trust property, this has clearly signposted areas where dogs can be off the lead and when you can let them run free. http://www.walkiees.co.uk/walks/view/waseley-hills-country-park

Remember that when enjoying any of these walks to keep other walkers and dog owners in mind. Read the notices and signs displayed for people walking with dogs and comply with them. It’s often worth checking the website first as these all include helpful advice regarding parking charges, facilities and any restrictions for dog walkers.

Some locations will request that dogs are kept on a lead or under effective control and that you keep to marked paths. Often it will be stated that dogs cannot enter any children’s play areas. Be aware of any livestock that might be grazing in the area as well as horses and their riders. The other important request is that you, or course, clear up after your dog. If we make sure that these guidelines are all complied with then these locations will remain available for everyone to enjoy!

It’s also important to make sure that you have the right dog walking insurance to protect you, the dogs and their owners when you are out walking. Check that you have the right policy in place here.

So, next time you are looking for a suitable walk for you and a canine friend, don’t automatically think that you must drive miles, the perfect location might be closer than you think!