Much like the pubs, dog friendly walks in Gloucestershire form part of the fabric of this fascinating part of England.
Find Good Places to Walk Dogs in Gloucestershire
The selection of places to dog walk covers hundreds of square miles. You will come across sites of historical significance the county is famous for from the wooded lowlands and wildlife meadows to the summits with their splendid views. A slice of the Cotswolds belongs here in Gloucestershire and the Forest of Dean takes up a good part of the county.
So, whether it is a sedate stroll through English Heritage Gardens or a challenging climb for unsurpassed views stretching as far as Wales.
The Best Walks in Gloucestershire for Dogs
1. Cheltenham Racecourse
Cheltenham Racecourse takes dog walking in Gloucestershire to a new level. You can explore the vast fields fringing the course or you can apply for a jockey club dog walking pass online to walk the course with your canine companion on non-race days. Fido has full reign of the furlongs, an exercise that will get him panting so don’t forget to pack fresh water and a foldable bowl.
2. Westonbirt Arboretum, Tetbury
At the edge of Gloucestershire, this no-lead-needed walk will have your hound running through a spectacular collection of trees in Silk Woods and Lower Downs. You will marvel at the 2,500 species of trees from all corners of the globe including five national tree collections. The cafe even stocks doggy ice-cream.
3. Bath Skyline Walk
This six-miler can be either the start or endpoint of the 100-mile plus Cotswold Way and part of this walk involves treading the cobbles in the historic city centre. The first part consists of hilltop and farmland allowing for free-range frolicking, but once you spot the grand Bath Abbey on the skyline it is time to leash up and head for one of the dog-friendly pubs for refreshments
4. Rodborugh Common, Stroud
For stunning views of Gloucestershire, this expansive stretch of common land will never feel too crowded. There are benches for you to sit on and a pool for pooches to splash about in. With its own pre-historic fort it has cattle, donkeys and shire horses roaming free in warmer months. Dogs can let loose here but there must be paws for thought when the other animals are grazing.
5. 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 the younger set.
The Best Woodland Walks in Gloucestershire for your Dog
1. Woodchester Park, Nympsfield
Woodchester Park is a tranquil secluded wooded valley looked after by The National Trust with three waymarked walks ranging between two and seven miles. The wooded valley contains a “lost landscape” with remains of 18th and 19th-century formal gardens. The chain of three lakes is perfect for paddling pooches and deep in the woods, there is the old Boat House and a disused quarry.
2. Beechenhurst Sculpture Trail
Lose yourself in this ancient woodland, host to organic sculptures that are artists’ interpretations of the environment and its history. The full trail is 4.5 miles long and includes a 15ft stained glass window suspended from a canopy of trees. The route is well sign-posted so that you and your four-legged tot can keep on track and there are maps available at Beechenhurst Lodge for £1.
3. Mallards Pike, Forest of Dean
The woodland walk in the Forest of Dean incorporates a stunning lake that seals the deal for the perfect day out for Fido and the whole family. There is a “dog dip”, a bank that slopes into the lake, and an infinite forest to frolic in. For your two-legged kids, there is a Go Ape and Gruffalo Orienteering as well as plenty of spots for a family picnic.
Best Hill Walks in Gloucestershire with Dogs
1. Leckhampton Hill
This superb hill walk in the Cotswolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is a steep climb to the Devil’s Chimney where you will be rewarded with unsurpassed views over Cheltenham and across the Brecon Beacons. Great for canine climbers such as Jack Russells, Huskies and Border Collies but the ascent won’t suit breeds such as pugs and French bulldogs who can remain on the lower wooded levels.
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 top. Your destination is the Broadway Tower, the second-highest point in the Cotswolds, with unparalleled views over the Vale of Evesham. There is the Morris and Brown tearoom on the summit, great for refuelling before you descend.
3. Crickley Hill, Birdlip
There are a few walks to choose, depending on the fitness of you and your fur baby. All routes are clearly marked from the Family Trail to the Park Trail. The good news for pampered paws is that you can walk on the hill overlooking the Severn Vale, as opposed to walking up it. Back at base, the café has homemade doggie treats such as peanut butter and bacon bickies.
Country Park Walks
1. Robinswood Hill Country Park
Climb the 650ft hill to the summit on a clear day and you will see the Severn Bridges, the Malverns, May Hill, the Black Mountains and even the city of Gloucester. There are a few routes in this country park that has space on the lower levels too. Stop for your picnic at one of the sights dotted across the hillside.
2. Pittsville Park, Cheltenham
Opened in 1825, this Grade II listed ornamental space features the historic Pump Room and lakes. It is great for the whole family, furry four-legged members included. It is 82 acres of fields for Fido and for the kids there are play areas, aviaries and a petting point with rabbits, chipmunks and guinea pigs. The Boathouse Café stocks an endless supply of doggy ice cream too.
3. Cotswold Water Park, Cirencester
There are miles upon miles of trails and 100 lakes in this conservation area that makes for one of the best countrysides walks in Gloucestershire. Bring out the twitcher in your and spot the Great White Egrets in the lakes and see the Marsh Harriers and buzzards overhead. Try the 3.5-mile Bulrushes to Bow Wow walk that takes you to the charming village of South Cerney.
Visiting Gloucestershire with Dogs
The best dog walks from dizzying summits right through to country parks and even a racecourse could not be complete pubs, days out and rentals.