The county of Yorkshire encompasses nearly a third of the total area of national parks in England: the North York Moors, most of the Yorkshire Dales, and part of the Peak District.
Yorkshire is also home to two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which cover more than 800 square kilometres. Many attractions welcome dogs, and you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to walks in the area.
Dog-friendly days out and attractions in Yorkshire
- Helmsley Walled Garden — located at the foot of the North York Moors, the tranquil five-acre garden lies in the shadow of historic Helmsley Castle. Dogs on leads are welcome in all areas of the garden. Once you’ve finished admiring the displays, stop off for refreshments at The Vine House Cafe, where dogs can join you inside a section of the cafe or in the outside seating area. For further information visit www.helmsleywalledgarden.org.uk or call 01439 771427.
- Wharram Percy, Wharram-le-Street — step back in time and discover this deserted medieval village, which was a thriving community up until the 16th century. The site is in the beautiful Wolds valley and is protected by English Heritage. There is no admission charge. You can wander around Wharram Percy at your leisure with your dog on a lead. For further information visit www.english-heritage.org.uk
- Brimham Rocks, Summerbridge, near Harrogate — you and your dog can have a great day out at nature’s playground. Brimham Rocks features a collection of weird and wonderful rock formations including the Dancing Bear and the Gorilla. Paths wind over heather moorland or through woodland, with great views over Nidderdale. Dogs should be kept on a lead between April and June to protect ground-nesting birds. Canine visitors are welcome in the shop and exhibition room, and water bowls are provided at the refreshment kiosk and outside the visitor centre. For further information visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk
- Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, Haworth — travel through Brontë country with your dog on a steam train. Owners should keep their dogs under close control and on the floor of the trains. There is no charge for canine travellers. Make sure you visit Haworth’s quaint shops and walk across Penistone Hill to the stunning Brontë waterfall. For further information on the railway visit kwvr.co.uk or call 01535 645214. To find out more about the village of Haworth visit www.haworth-village.org.uk
- Skipton Castle — one of the most complete and best preserved medieval castles in England. Dogs are welcome within the castle and grounds; they should be kept on a lead in and around the 900-year-old building, which withstood a three-year siege during the English Civil War. Visitors are given a comprehensive tour sheet of interesting features to look out for. For further information visit www.skiptoncastle.co.uk or call 01756 792442.
- Mother Shipton’s Cave, Knaresborough — dogs on leads are allowed in all areas of the oldest tourist attraction in England, including the gift shop. Mother Shipton was a famous prophetess in Tudor times, and was born in the cave. The cave and nearby petrifying well lie in the heart of the Mother Shipton Estate, a remnant of the ancient forest of Knaresborough. For further information visit www.mothershipton.co.uk or call 01423 864600.
Other dog-friendly attractions in Yorkshire
- North Yorkshire Moors Railway.
- Fountains Abbey, Ripon.
- Whitby Abbey.
- Wolds Way Lavender, Malton.
- Ryedale Folk Museum, Hutton-le-Hole.
- Filey Bird, Garden, and Animal Park.
- Richmond Castle.
- Middleham Castle.
Dog-friendly places to eat in Yorkshire
- The Lamppost Cafe and Boutique, Hebden Bridge — where wet dogs and muddy wellies are wholeheartedly welcome! The cafe caters for both humans and dogs, who have their own menu. Dogs also get their own bowl of water, a towel, and a bed. For more information visit www.thelamppostcafe.co.uk
- Blondes, Cottingham — a dog-friendly coffee shop which caters for vegetarians, vegans, and those who prefer gluten-free food. Blondes recently held its first doggy tea party which saw more than 200 dogs attend. It will be holding regular tea parties for dogs. The coffee shop raises money for dog charities, and also sells products such as dog coats and leads. For further information visit www.blondescoffeeshop.co.uk or call 01482 843367.
Dog-friendly places to stay in Yorkshire
- Castle Howard Station, Platform 1, Welburn — this unique one-bedroom apartment, situated within the former Castle Howard train station, received five stars for dog friendliness in the Your Dog ‘Where to Stay’ guide 2015/2016. It has a large kitchen, a family shower room, and a living room with a dining table and log burner. The apartment is attached to the owner’s house but has a private entrance. For further information visit www. premiercottages.co.uk/cottages/castle-howard-station---platform-1.aspx or www.castlehowardstation.com/platform1.html, or call the owner, Anne Collins, on 01653 749750.
- Cawood Castle, North Yorkshire — fancy staying in a castle with a fascinating history? The late medieval rooms in the gatehouse are all that survive of Cawood Castle, which was once the residence of the Archbishops of York. It was here that Cardinal Wolsey was arrested for treason on the orders of Henry VIII. The gatehouse is attached to the empty former great hall, and is situated in the centre of the Vale of York. Up to two dogs can stay at Cawood at no extra cost, but they must be booked in advance. It costs from £229 for a four-night stay. For further information visit www.landmarktrust.org.uk or call 01628 825925.
National Parks in Yorkshire
You can’t visit Yorkshire without sampling the delights of the county’s national parks: the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the North York Moors National Park. Famed for its dry stone walls, the Yorkshire Dales is the perfect location to go walking; you can opt for a gentle riverside stroll, or for a longer ramble on wild and empty moorland.
The North York Moors National Park is one of the most wooded of the national parks in England. It encompasses heather moorland, abundant woodland and forest, and at the eastern edge the park meets the coast. And if you fancy a unique experience, try your hand at Husky trekking where people can drive their own team of dogs on a two-wheeled scooter around a purpose-built Husky trail.
Robin Hood's bay walk guide
This circular walk around Robin Hood’s Bay offers magnificent views of the North Sea, the coast, and Ravenscar. The return route along the cliff tops eventually drops into historic Robin Hood’s Bay.
The beach here is dog friendly all year round. Robin Hood’s Bay is a historic fishing village which starts high up the cliff and tumbles steeply down to the beach. It’s a popular stopping off point for people walking the Cleveland Way National Trail. This walk is taken from the book ‘North Yorkshire: A Dog Walker’s Guide’.
At a glance
Distance: 61/2 miles.
Terrain: Easy to follow paths, and two steep climbs using steps.
How to get there: From A171 Whitby to Scarborough Road, take the B1447 at High Hawsker, which runs down into the village. There is a pay and display car park on Station Road, after turning right at the Grosvenor Hotel.
- From the car park, follow the road to the right, immediately passing the village hall and old railway station buildings. This quiet road is part of the Cinder Track — a cycle path on the old railway line from Scarborough to Whitby. It is waymarked as part of the National Cycle Network. The track drops down to cross a road. Turn right for a short way, then follow the Cinder Track sign to the left.
- The route sticks to the old trackbed for the next hour, passing through farmland. The track drops down to cross Middlewood Lane, then back up to continue along the Cinder Track.
- After passing the former Fylinghall station master’s house and remnants of the platforms, go down a flight of steps to a quiet road. Cross over and immediately climb some more steps back to the track — the steps can be avoided by staying on the track to the right, down to the road, and crossing there.
- The track continues under a substantial bridge and starts to climb as the tree canopy opens. After passing Allison Head Wood, the track bears left to Browside Farm where there are great views of the Yorkshire coastline and the North Sea.
- After the track bears right, pass under a stone bridge with a brick arch, then turn left on to a short path, which leads to a single track road. Follow the road as it meanders downhill towards Stoupebrow Cottage Farm, keeping your dog under close control. As the road straightens, there are spectacular views of Robin Hood’s Bay in front.
- Continue on past a sign for Ravenscar and at the end of the road by Stoupe Bank Farm, keep to the right following a waymarked path for the Cleveland Way and beach. Head downhill along the stone step path, and cross the footbridge over Stoupe Beck to the steps back up the cliff. If the tide is favourable, it is possible to walk back to Robin Hood’s Bay along the beach.
- Continue up the steps and follow the cliff top along a wide, grassy path next to a wooden wire and post fence.
- At the National Trust sign for Boggle Hole, go down some steps to a quiet road and cross over, before heading a short distance to the right. Turn left at a sign for Boggle Hole and refreshments, following the path over the footbridge and passing the youth hostel to the left. There is another opportunity to head to the beach at this point. Once across Mill Beck, climb some more steep steps and follow the path up into the trees.
- Pass through a gate and continue ahead along an enclosed path with fine views of Robin Hood’s Bay straight ahead. After passing through the next gate, turn right while remaining on the waymarked coastal path. There is some erosion here so keep your dog under close control.
- The path leads to a flight of wooden steps; keep descending to the right towards the slipway at Robin Hood’s Bay. At the bottom the walk continues left towards the village.
- On the road by the coastguard station, head uphill along New Road. You can decide to stop for refreshments along the way before tackling the steepest section of the walk beyond the Laurel Inn back up towards the starting point. After passing the roundabout and the Victoria Hotel on the right, continue along Station Road to return to the car park.