This is a county that packs a punch when it comes to the great outdoors and dog-friendly walks in Somerset form part of the package. What would all of this be without some of the best dog-friendly pubs in Somerset at strategic points of your travels with your trusted friend?
Find Good Places to Walk Dogs in Somerset
Luckily dog walking in Somerset means you are bound to stumble across a doggie friendly pub where you can rest your weary feet, savour some local cider, and Fido can be fussed over with treats and bowls of water.
From the formal gardens of Bath to the prehistoric caves at Cheddar Gorge down to the Exmoor and some of the best coastal walks in Somerset, you and your pooch can have that perfect holiday waiting for you to make it happen.
The Best Walks in Somerset for Dogs
1. Bath Historic Walk
Starting at Pulteney Bridge follow the River Avon and then cut across the Abbey Churchyard to Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Nearby are the Roman Baths built back in 70AD where, although four paws aren’t permitted inside, you can get a feel for it from the street. From there it has to be the last leg stroll with your Princess on the Royal Crescent.
2. Kilve and the Coast Path
This has to be up there with the best coastal dog walks in Somerset, exploring a spectacular section of the north coast of this county with views of Bristol Channel and the chance to do some fossil hunting with Fido. Allow at least 1.5 hours for this walk that starts and ends at the quaint village of Kilve in the Quantock Hills.
3. Bury Castle and Selworthy Beacon
For some of the finest views of Exmoor take this challenging three-mile hike that rises and falls with the uplands of this national park. Pat on the back for you and your resilient Rover if its best paws forward and both of you make it up to the 1,000ft beacon. Back down there is the quaint Periwinkle Cottage Tearoom for refreshments all around.
4. Cheddar Gorge
This four-mile walk will thrill your intrepid four-legged explorer as you skirt the 400ft deep gorge with breathtaking views from the top. From the National Trust Centre you can follow the signs to a point where you can see as far as Glastonbury and Bridgwater Bay. The descent is via Jacob’s Ladder and steep steps so only sure-footed Fidos need to apply.
5. Glastonbury Tor
A dog walk in Somerset would not be complete without an adventure up to Glastonbury Tor. It is a short, sharp climb for views that go as far as Wiltshire, Dorset and the Somerset coast. It is only two and a half miles which any hike-hardened hound can do with a flick of his tail.
The Best Forest Walks in Somerset for your Dog
1. Castle Neroche, Chard
These days there is no actual castle here but in its place is a majestic forest. It’s not exactly a walk in the park though because there are challenging ascents and descents in areas. If your pup is partial to great views, then this 4.5-mile hike takes you to the top where you can see as far as the Mendip Hills and Glastonbury Tor.
2. Goblin Combe, Bristol
This is a site of contrast from grassland to dark, dense woodland and is one of the best dog walks in the county. It’s ideal for mucky pups too because during the rainy season expect mud in places. You can climb through the woodland for views across Mendip before completing this two-mile loop. Managed by the Avon Wildlife Trust you will see why it’s such a hit with the locals.
3. Stockhill Woods, Wells
This is three miles of peaceful strolling in woods that have wide footpaths amongst the trees where it might be some time before you encounter other woodland enthusiasts with their four-legged charges. It is mostly conifers, so it is a delight when it snows. There are picnic spots in magical clearings, and you can choose from a few waymarked trails.
Best Dog-Friendly Coastal Walks in Somerset
1. Brean Down Peninsula, Weston-super-Mare
This three-mile walk loops the Brean Down Peninsula that stands 300ft above sea level with historic sites scattering the down. You and Fido can fuel up at the café on the foothill of the summit before following a path that reveals the site of a Romano-Celtic temple, an Iron Age fort and a Bronze Age mound.
2. Porlock Bay
This is a challenging but rewarding nine-mile walk along the coast that fringes the Exmoor National Park. It is part of the South West Coast Path where your sea dog can bark at the gulls to his heart’s content. Saltmarshes to the west conclude your journey where you can see heron and lapwing.
3. Portishead to Clevedon Pier
A brisk six-mile walk that links Portishead to Clevedon, it all about keeping close to the shoreline. Fido can frolic in the waves and play fetch once you have taken Mariner’s Path to Sugar Loaf Beach, Charlcombe Bay, Pigeon House Bay and Blackhill Sands. The culmination of this beachcomb with your bestie is the walk on Clevedon’s Victoria Pie
Exmoor National Park Walks
1. Valley of Rocks, Lynton
This is a dramatic section of coastline with tree-clad headlands that you can walk for three miles with your pup. Variety reigns supreme here with a secluded bay, heathland, and woodland teeming with wildflowers and birds. Climb to the top for great views and keep a lookout for the herd of feral goats that dot the slopes.
2. Tarr Steps of Withy Pool
It’s gentle miles that take you and your pooch through a wooded river valley to the settlement of Withy Pool with its arched bridge. The loop takes you back over fields to the Tarr Steps, an ancient clapper bridge. This is part of Exmoor that teems with wildlife such as red deer, the rare Barbastelle bat and otter.
3. Wheddon Cross to Dunkery Beacon
To see Somerset at its best you are going to have to clock up those paw miles. This circular eight-mile walk takes you across farmland to an open moor where you will climb a dizzying 1170 feet to reach the highest point in the south of England. Your return is rewarded with a ramble through a valley of mature woodland.
From its shores that include the Great South West Coastal Path to the historic cobbled streets of Bath, there is something for every keen dog walker. Let’s not forget to include Exmoor National Park and some unforgettable woodland walks in Somerset with dogs.
No one enters this county without sampling its renowned cider and activities so you will be pleased to know that some of the best dog-friendly days out in Somerset are there for you near every trail you take.