Doggy member Barney, the Golden Retriever, lying down on a muddy track enjoying a break on his weekend hike in York

Best dog walks in York

22 September 2023

Walking our furry friends is such an important part of dog ownership. Do you know the best places to go? We hope to inspire you with these local wagtastic walking spots for you and your doggy, borrowed or owned, in York.

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In this article, we will share walks in the city of York, circular and off-lead.

Overview of article

Dog walks in York city

Circular dog walks in York

Off-lead dog walks in York


Dog walks in York City

York city walls: are dogs allowed?

Unfortunately only assistance dogs are allowed on the York city walls. But no need to howl: we’ve found you the very best dog walks to do in York city, near York, including circular walks and off-lead dog walks!

York Cat Trail

A treasure hunt, finding 22 cats sitting and lying on the buildings of York. This walk is bound to keep the entire family entertained!

  • Dog-Friendly: On lead only, water bowls at shop fronts
  • Circular: Yes
  • Time: 2 options: shorter route and longer route which takes about an hour
  • Family friendly: Yes
  • Discover more on the York Lucky Cats website

Yorkshire Museum Gardens

Dogs are welcome if kept on a lead at the gorgeous botanical gardens run by the Yorkshire Museum. Located in the heart of York, there are ten gorgeous acres for you and your dog to explore together. In addition to loads of plants and wildlife to enjoy, you can also find the ruins of St. Mary’s Abbey and the Roman Multangular Tower.

Yorkshire Museum Gardens

The Squirrel’s Trail Quiz at the Yorkshire Museum Garden

  • Dog-Friendly: Dogs allowed in the gardens but must be on a lead at all times
  • Circular: No
  • Distance/time: Less than a mile & takes about 30-45 minutes
  • Family friendly: Yes
  • Discover more on the Museum Gardens website

York Park to Park Walking Trail

This pawsome path takes you from Homestead Park to Rowntree Park.

  • Dog-Friendly: City streets, so dogs must be on leads. Dogs are allowed in both parks.
  • Circular: No
  • Distance/time: 2 ½ miles and takes 1 ½ hours
  • Family friendly: Yes
  • Discover more with the pdf guide at Mumbler

River Ouse

If you fancy an outing near water, River Ouse could be the perfect place for a dog walk. The UK’s sixth largest river flows through York’s city centre, and your pup can take a quick dip if the mood strikes during your adventures. There are areas near the water for off-lead frolicking for your dog, and the location in the city centre means there are loads of cafes and pubs in the area when you need a break.

The River Ouse in York

Plan your dog walk around the River Ouse.

Circular dog walks near York

Askham Bog

Enjoy a pawsitively peaceful walk on the boardwalk admiring the ancient wetland and woodland.

  • Dog-friendly: Dogs must be on leads and stay on the boardwalk
  • Circular: Yes
  • Distance/time: ½ mile and takes 20-30 minutes
  • Family friendly
  • Discover more on the YWT website

Beningbrough Hall Circular

This walk will allow you to see a totally different side to the River Ouse from the familiar view in York City. Expect meadows, woodland and even a Victorian water tower. Park at the Beningbrough Hall car park and don’t miss out on refreshments at Home Farm Café!

  • Dog-Friendly: Yes, but on leads due to cattle
  • Circular: Yes
  • Distance/time: 3.5 miles and takes about 1 hour 45 mins - 2 hours 20 mins
  • Family friendly: Yes
  • Discover more on the National Trust website

Fulford Ings

This walk crosses Fulford Ings which can easily flood when river levels are high so check before leaving. It can be very muddy when the weather’s wet so suitable footwear (for you and your pup perhaps) is recommended!

  • Dog-Friendly: Yes - off lead walking!
  • Circular: Yes
  • Distance/time: 1 ½ miles and takes 40 minutes
  • Family friendly: Not so much
  • Discover more and download PDF map on the City of York Council website

Hagg Wood, Dunnington

Hagg Wood is an ancient wood, to the east of Dunnington. Visit for bluebells in early spring, and any time for wildlife spotting!

  • Dog-Friendly: Yes
  • Circular: Yes
  • Distance/time: 3 ½ miles and takes 1 ½ hours
  • Family friendly: Yes
  • Discover more on the Forestry England website

Holtby path via Eastfield Lane

This walk is great for nature and history lovers alike, furry or human. Your four-legged friend will enjoy the off-lead circular trail if they’re comfortable with stiles (or if you’re comfortable carrying your pooch over 4 stiles in total). It starts at the ancient village church and allows you to take in views of lovely open farmland.

  • Dog-Friendly: Yes
  • Circular: Yes
  • Distance/time: 2 miles and takes about 1 hour
  • Family friendly: Yes, but not suitable for prams (four stiles on trail)
  • Discover more on the York Council website

Off-lead dog walks near York

Fishponds Wood and Beech Grove

Three miles east of York’s city centre lies Fishponds Wood and Beech Grove. It’s a fantastic spot for a dog walk, and you and your furry pal can paws for a picnic while you’re there. On your travels you might spot (or at least hear) songbirds as the developing woodland offers the perfect habitat for these birds. While there, you and your dog can have a wander around the area of wetland, which is home to the wood’s fishpond.

This route includes some off-road sections which are uneven and could be muddy when wet. We recommend sturdy shoes.

  • Dog-Friendly: Yes
  • Circular: Yes
  • Distance/time: 1.2 miles / 1.9km
  • Family friendly: Yes, but not suitable for prams
  • Discover more: Fishponds Wood and Beech Grove

Pocklington Canal

A beautiful rural canal with old locks, idyllic towpaths and classic swing bridges. This is the perfect location for a walk with your pup, with plenty of wildlife and beautiful views to enjoy.

Pocklington Canal
  • Dog-Friendly: Yes, off-lead allowed for most of the walk
  • Circular: No
  • Distance/time: 9 ½ mile canal in total (allow 3 – 4 hours for your visit)
  • Family friendly: No, long distance and not pram friendly
  • For more information see the Canal River Trust website

Selby Canal Horseshoe Walk

A pleasant stroll for all seasons, with sections along roadside pavements, the canal towpath, and well-trodden tracks and footpaths, with two stiles to climb.

  • Dog-Friendly: Yes
  • Circular: Yes (if ready to do 9 miles)
  • Distance/time: 5 miles one way, 9 miles in total and time depends how far you decide to walk
  • Family friendly: Yes, pram friendly
  • Discover more on the Selby Town Council website

High paws - We hope you’re as excited about your next dog walk as we are.

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