The dog-friendly walks in the Cotswolds, the country’s largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, are some of the best in England. Planning your doggie staycation is going to be a doddle with these hound friendly trails that are never far away from some of the best dog-friendly pubs in the Cotswolds.
Find Good Places to Walk Dogs in the Cotswolds
Who wouldn’t want to pack their bags and load up their four-legged bestie and head for days of dog walking in the Cotswolds, cross-country challenges that will take you to Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire
The Best Walks in the Cotswolds for Dogs
1. Painswick Rococo Garden, Cotswolds
Even though Laddie will have to be on a lead, this landscaped garden is one of a kind and has to be seen to be believed. For a small entrance fee, you and your canine companion can stroll the Benjamin Hyett designed 17th-century gardens. There is a working kitchen garden, bluebell trail, snowdrop grove, woodland walk and even a maze for your two-legged pups.
2. Tower Trek, Broadway
From the honey-coloured stone village of Broadway, this four-mile trek has its rewards if you make it to the summit where your fur baby will be top dog. Your destination is the Broadway Tower, rising above the undulating countryside to almost 1,000ft. There is the Fido-friendly Morris and Brown tearoom within the tower, great for refuelling before you descend.
3. Tewkesbury Abbey
For your pup to play unheeded use space among the ruins of Tewkesbury Abbey. Near the 11th century church, there are more than enough choices of riverside walks too. Water meadows at the confluence of the rivers Avon and Severn make up a great three-mile circuit along the towpaths.
4. Chipping Camden Circuit
Part of this circuit is made up by the Cotswolds Way National Trail, starting at charming Chipping Campden. The 4.5-mile trail has some steep sections that include the local beauty spot of Dover’s Hill. Emerge from the woodlands and put your best foot and paw forward to take in the view of the Vale of Evesham.
5. Uley Bury Hill and Hill Forts
From woodland tracks to open hilltops, you can explore the ancient history of Uley Bury to the ruins of the Tudor Restoration. You can get your history fix while your waggytail weaves its way to the top for 360-degree views as far as Wales. Take a pick from a four-mile trek or a two-mile upward trail.
The Best Forest Walks in the Cotswolds for your Dog
1. Hilcot Three Wood Trail
Starting at Kilkenny Viewpoint near Andoversford and Seven Springs, this trail is level and follows the path of some country roads along sections. As the name suggests you will wind through three areas of woodland in the vicinity of Hilcot. Prepare for 6.5 miles mostly under broadleaf trees where squirrels scamper in the canopies.
2. Batsford Arboretum
The Cotswolds can be seen as one big arboretum and that includes exotic trees here at Batsford, formerly home to the Mitford family. Hang out with your hound under the handkerchief tree or the Japanese ornamental cherry after exploring the 56-acres in this worldwide tree haven close to the historic town of Moreton in Marsh in Gloucestershire.
3. Frith Wood
It is up to you how long you will want to spend in this, one of the best woodland walks in the Cotswolds with dogs. Just three miles from Stroud, it is a nature reserve that comprises ancient beech trees and an array of rare plants. During the spring you and your furry friend can walk through copses festooned with bluebells.
Best Circular Walks in the Cotswolds
1. Cleve and Nottingham Hills
This is a 7.5-mile hill fest for you and Fido, taking you up to the top of both Nottingham and Cleve hills for views of the Malverns and the Severn Valley below. This circular walk takes in the quaint town of Bishop’s Cleeve and you can wind down with a walk on Overbury Estate.
2. Trail of Two Villages
Snowshill and Stanton are two of the most awe-inspiring villages in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It meanders for six miles through valleys and magical woodland, and over hilltops with views of the Severn Valley. You and your best barking bud can visit the National Trust’s Snowshill Manor too.
3. The Eye of Windrush Way
This 5.5-mile circular walk follows the course of the Windrush River before it ascends off the ridge to the quintessential Cotswolds villages of Upper and Lower Slaughter, where you will meet up with the River Eye. Follow the Wardens Way back into Bourton-on-the-Water for a meal and treats at one of its dog-friendly pubs.
Country Park Walks
1. Crickley Hill Country Park
A three-mile circular walk here for you and your dog is as good as nature gets. On the 143-acres there is limestone grassland, beech woods and higher up you will have views not only of the Cotswolds but the Black Mountains and Wales’s Brecon Beacons. The walk also passes the site of an ancient Roman villa.
2. Cotswolds Country Park
There are miles upon miles of trails and 100 lakes in this conservation area that makes for one of the best country park dog walks in the Cotswolds. Why not try the 3.5-mile Bulrushes to Bow Wow walk that is rich in birdlife and takes you to the historic village of South Cerney.
3. Woodchester Park
Take your wagging tail water baby on a 3.5-mile expedition that takes in five lakes and the remains of an 18th and 19th-century landscaped park overlooked by a Victorian mansion. Owned by the National Trust you are asked to follow the Canine Code and keep your pup on a lead.
If it’s the best dog walkies you are after, then the Cotswolds has them in bucketloads. You can take your pick of dog-friendly accommodation which will be the base of your own take on Travels with Charley that would do John Steinbeck proud. You will be pleased to know that some of the best dog-friendly days out in the Cotswolds are also free!