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Dog-Friendly National Parks in Northumberland

This is a beautiful part of the country, but are there any dog-friendly national parks in Northumberland? Also, if you want to take your dog for a walk, what other country parks may be suitable for a brilliant day out with the kids and furry friends?

Northumberland National Park

Northumberland National Park is one of 10 national parks in England and is the least populated. It is also the most northern and remote from large urban areas. It was designated a national park in 1956 and has several scenic villages and towns, including Rothbury and Bellingham. 

It’s a fabulous day with the dogs and kids as you have some exceptional places to visit in the National Park. These include Hadrian’s Wall and the beautiful Cheviot Hills, and you can head north towards the Scottish Border and enjoy the varied landscape. It’s close to many of the dog friendly holiday cottages on the northumberland coast, so it serves as a great base to explore both the seaside and countryside.

The park covers more than 410 square miles in the North East. It starts from the Scottish Border in the north right down to Harian’s Wall in the south. In 2013, it was also confirmed that the park would have a Dark Sky Park status, and these platforms can be found around the National Park, including at Cawfields on Hadrian’s Wall and at Walltown. It’s no surprise that so many dog owners flock to the National Park because there are over 1,140 kilometres of public rights of way that you can enjoy with your furry friend.

A picture of open countryside with Hadrian’s Wall running through it

Walks around the Cheviot Hills and Harian’s Wall are by far the most popular, but it has everything in between, with waterfalls, woodland walks, and some of the most mesmerising scenery in the UK. There are also over 200 farms with animals that graze, including sheep and cattle, and it’s also a haven for bird watchers. 1:09 It has everything going for it. 

Lastly, it has four of the five cleanest rivers in Britain, home to sea trout and salmon, laying their eggs here after swimming upstream from the sea. 

Other Pet-Friendly Country Parks in Northumberland

Kielder Water & Forest Park

It may not be a national park, but Kielder Water & Forest is a beautiful forestry plantation covering 250 square miles. This is the most extensively manufactured woodland in England. It is owned and managed by the Forestry Commission and has 50% of England’s red squirrel population. It’s also an excellent destination for bird lovers as many species of birds of prey are located here off the beaten track. Recently, a pair of osprey have also nested successfully in this forest.

Kielder Forest is perfect for dog walks and is an excellent place for dog lovers to spend time outdoors in the countryside. There’s a range of trails for you to try, from more challenging hikes for those who are experienced to pleasant strolls. It is the perfect spot to explore the area, and there’s plenty of dog-friendly dining in Northumberland, so you’re never short of pubs, restaurants and bars to stop at after a long walk.

An image on an elevated poition looking down towards the trees and water

Druridge Bay Country Park

Opened originally in 1989, this beautiful country park has a seven-mile stretch of sand between Amble and Cresswell. It is brilliant for dog walkers, cyclists, and anyone who enjoys water sports, fresh air and the Northumberland coast. If you love the coastline, you may want to try one of the many dog-friendly boat trips in Northumberland that run from Seahouses. There is a sandy beach for you and your pet to run free on and a large lake that enjoys a 1.5-mile walk around, which is nice and flat. 

If you have young children, there’s also plenty of wildlife to spot here, including ducks, swans, and dragonflies. There are plenty of areas for a picnic, and with its miles of beach and sand, there’s ample space for all families to enjoy with their dogs.

Bolam Lake Country Park

Situated roughly nine miles west of Morpeth, Boham Lake Country Park is one of the lesser-known parks in the area. However, it still has plenty to do and see for dog owners and canine companions, with many dog friendly walks available. It’s an excellent place for any dog owner, although dogs are expected to be controlled as there are several wildlife species and livestock in the local area. 

There is a large lake where you can walk around, and you will often see canoeing, which is allowed, as is fishing, but anglers must have a rod license and obtain a permit. However, swimming is not allowed. You’ll see lots of different wildlife here, including roe deer and red squirrels, and the country park is surrounded by extensive, expansive woodland and grassland for all to enjoy.

A picture of a sunset over a lake surrounded by shrubs

Weetslade Country Park

This nature reserve covers 43 hectares of land and is located just north of Newcastle Racecourse. You can see wildlife throughout the year on these grounds, and in the summer, you’re likely to see swallows, Swifts and Martins. As you walk towards the hilltop, you may be lucky to see Newcastle City, the North Sea and the Cheviot Hills on a clear day.

The main trail through the Nature Reserve is flat and is suitable for cycling and walking your four legged friend. If you do head towards the top of the hill, be careful as there are steep areas, and the grass may be wet depending on the weather and due to vegetation. There are picnic areas on-site to relax with the whole family, and dogs must be kept on leads when going past the cattle, which are usually out during the winter.

Queen Elizabeth II Country Park

This excellent country park is based on the edge of Ashington and is a popular spot for dog walkers, runners and families wanting to enjoy a picnic. There is also a beautiful lake where you can try watersports such as canoeing, windsurfing and coarse fishing. Around the lake are plenty of footpaths, woodland and open grassland for you and your four legged friends to explore.

In the summer months, a lovely narrow-gauge railway runs from the parking area to Woodhorn and is operated by volunteers. You will see plenty of wildlife on this journey, with birds, mammals and a vast selection of plants. Also, during summer, organisers arrange open-water swimming events and training, which you can watch with your canine companion.

Last Word

You won’t be short of woodland walks and countryside trails in this part of the UK. It may only have one national park, but due to its sheer size, you can spend hours exploring it with your pooch by your side, as you can see from above, there are plenty of other options if the national park isn’t for you. So pack your walking boots and dog lead, and let that adventure begin!