Yorkshire Dales National Park: The Ultimate Dog Owners Guide

A happy dog and their owner exploring the picturesque landscapes of Yorkshire Dales National Park

Nothing beats the pure joy of seeing your dog bounding through open fields, splashing in streams, and sniffing out all the exciting new scents the great outdoors offers.

That’s what makes dog-friendly destinations so much fun. After all, kids, holidays are about creating lasting memories with the whole family, including our fur babies!

Now, let’s get to it – the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

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This incredible slice of heaven in Northern England is a paradise for dog owners, and here’s why. Spanning over 2,178 square kilometres, the Dales boasts an impressive mix of stunning landscapes, from rolling hills and flower-filled meadows to dramatic limestone cliffs and quaint, picturesque villages.

And the best part? It’s all just waiting to be explored with your canine companion by your side.

Are Dogs Allowed on the Yorkshire Dales National Park?

The Yorkshire Dales is magical place for you and your dog to stretch your legs and enjoy the great outdoors together. With miles and miles of dog-friendly trails, you’ll always have places to discover.

Picture yourself strolling through charming, stone-built villages or hiking along windswept moorlands with your trusty pup, exploring the terrain like a dynamic duo.

Yorkshire Dales Map

Discovering the Dog-Friendly Wonders of the Dales National Park

So you’re all set to embark on your dog-friendly adventure in the stunning Yorkshire Dales National Park. But before you hit the road, there are a few things you need to consider to make sure both you and your furry friend have the best time possible.

Below, we’ll cover essential packing tips and the all-important park guidelines for dogs.

Preparing for Your Visit

Let’s talk about packing. Being well-prepared can make all the difference between a smooth, enjoyable trip and a stressful one.

To make your life easier, we’ve put together a Yorkshire Dales travel checklist that will ensure your pup is happy throughout your journey:

  1. Dog food and treats: Pack enough food for your trip, plus a little extra.
  2. Remember some tasty treats to reward your dog for being a great traveller!
    Water and collapsible water bowl: Hydration is essential, especially during those long walks in the park. A collapsible water bowl is a space-saving solution perfect for on-the-go refreshments.
  3. Lead and harness: Your dog will need a sturdy lead and harness for all those exciting walks you’ll take together. Consider a hands-free lead for added convenience.
  4. Poo bags: It’s essential to clean up after your dog, so don’t forget to pack plenty of poo bags. Responsible dog ownership is key to maintaining the beauty of the Dales.
  5. Dog bed or blanket: After a long day of exploring, your pup will need a comfy place to rest its head. Bring along their favourite bed or blanket to make them feel right at home.
  6. First aid kit: Having a dog-specific first aid kit is a good idea. Include items like tweezers, gauze, and antiseptic wipes.
  7. Toys: Keep your dog entertained during downtime with its favourite toys. A good game of fetch is the perfect way to unwind after a day of adventure.

Rules and regulations in the park

Now that you’re all packed let’s talk about the park guidelines for dogs.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park welcomes dogs with open arms, but there are a few rules in place to ensure everyone has an enjoyable experience:

  1. Keep your dog on a lead: In most areas of the park, you’ll need to keep your dog on a lead at most 2 metres. To avoid disturbing livestock, particularly during the lambing season (1st March to 31st July).
  2. Clean up after your dog: As mentioned earlier, always clean up after your pooch and dispose of waste properly. It helps to maintain the cleanliness and beauty of the park for everyone to enjoy.
  3. Be mindful of wildlife: The Dales is home to various wildlife. Keep your dog under control to avoid disturbing the park’s inhabitants.
  4. Follow signage: Pay close attention to signage throughout the park, as some areas may have additional restrictions or specific dog-related guidance.

For more info visit the National Park Authority page.

Dog Walking in the Yorkshire Dales

One of the best things about the Yorkshire Dales National Park is the abundance of dog-friendly trails and walks to suit every ability and preference.

Whether you’re looking for an afternoon stroll, a national trail, or a challenging hike, there’s something suitable for everyone. We’ve broken down fantastic options for easy, moderate, and off-lead adventures with your four-legged friend.

Easy trails for beginners and senior dogs

If you’re new to hiking or have a senior dog who prefers a gentler pace, there are plenty of easy trails to choose from. These walks offer a delightful introduction to the Dales, with stunning scenery and minimal inclines:

  1. Aysgarth Falls: This picturesque 2.6-mile circular walk takes you along the River Ure, passing the three breathtaking waterfalls of Aysgarth. The trail is well-maintained and relatively flat, making it perfect for a stroll.
  2. Malham Cove and Gordale Scar: This 7.6 mile route showcases the incredible limestone formations of Malham Cove and Gordale Scar. With just a few gentle inclines, this walk suits most abilities and offers fantastic photo opportunities.

Moderate trails for experienced hikers

For those with a bit more hiking experience, or if you and your dog are up for a challenge, there are several moderate trails to choose from:

  1. Ingleton Waterfalls Trail: This 4.3-mile walk features a series of stunning waterfalls and spectacular woodland scenery. The route can be steep and rugged in parts, so make sure both you and your dog are up for the challenge.
  2. Pen-y-Ghent: Tackle one of Yorkshire’s famous Three Peaks on this 6.6-mile hike. The trail to the summit of Pen-y-Ghent is steep in places, but the panoramic views from the top are well worth the effort.

Off-lead walks and parks

If you’re looking for a safe space for your dog to run free and socialise with other pups, the Yorkshire Dales has some fantastic off-lead areas and dog parks:

  1. Staveley Nature Reserve: This beautiful nature reserve offers an off-lead area for dogs to explore, with a mix of open fields and woodland paths. Keep an eye out for the abundant wildlife that calls the reserve home.
  2. Grassington Riverside Walk: This lovely 1-mile walk along the River Wharfe has several off-lead sections where your dog can splash in the water and burn off some energy. Just remember to respect other walkers and wildlife by keeping your dog under control.

This page has an excellent list of gardens and parks in Yorkshire that welcome dogs.

Activities and Attractions

The Yorkshire Dales isn’t just about beautiful walks and trails; there’s some of Yorkshire most exciting dog-friendly activities and attractions for you and your furry companion to enjoy together.

A yorkipoo asleep on a kayak on the lake

From outdoor adventures with dogs to pet-friendly sightseeing, you’ll find many options to keep you and your pup entertained throughout your visit.

Outdoor activities to try

Embrace the great outdoors with these exciting activities that are sure to get those tails wagging:

  • Canoeing and Kayaking: Many rivers and reservoirs in the Dales offer opportunities for canoeing and kayaking, and some even welcome dogs on board. Ensure your pup is comfortable with water and always provide a lifejacket for safety.
  • Cycling: The Yorkshire Dales has numerous cycle routes to explore, and with a specially designed dog trailer or bike leash, your four-legged friend can join you on your pedalling adventure.
  • Geocaching: This outdoor treasure-hunting game is a great way to explore the Dales with your dog. Plenty of geocaches are hidden throughout the park, so it’s a fun and interactive activity for the whole family.

Attractions and Landmarks Allowing Dogs

When it comes to pet-friendly sightseeing, the Yorkshire Dales doesn’t disappoint. Here are some fantastic dog-friendly attractions and landmarks to visit during your stay:

  1. Bolton Abbey: This historic estate boasts 33,000 acres of beautiful countryside, with over 80 miles of footpaths for you and your dog to explore. Dogs are welcome throughout the grounds as long as they are kept on a lead.
  2. Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden: This UNESCO World Heritage Site features the impressive ruins of a 12th-century Cistercian abbey, surrounded by stunning landscaped gardens. Dogs on leads are welcome in the abbey grounds and deer park but not in the formal water gardens.
  3. The Settle-Carlisle Railway: Experience the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales from the comfort of a historic train carriage. Dogs are allowed on the Settle-Carlisle Railway, so you can enjoy the stunning scenery together as you journey through the heart of the Dales.
  4. The Forbidden Corner: This unique attraction is a labyrinth of tunnels, chambers, and follies within a four-acre garden. Although dogs aren’t allowed inside the attraction, there’s a designated dog walking area and plenty of picnic spots to enjoy the beautiful surroundings together.

Places to Stay

After a day of exploring the beautiful landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales, you and your furry friend will need a comfy place to rest your heads. Luckily, the Dales is brimming with dog-friendly accommodation, from cosy hotels and inns to charming holiday cottages and rentals.

Whether you prefer pet-friendly lodging with all the amenities or a dog-friendly vacation home for that extra privacy, you’ll find the perfect base for your adventures.

Hotels and inns

Many hotels and inns throughout the Yorkshire Dales warmly welcome dogs. Here are a few options for pet-friendly lodging:

  1. The Devonshire Arms Hotel & Spa: This luxury country house hotel in Bolton Bridge offers a dedicated dog-friendly wing, with a range of rooms and suites to choose from. They even provide dog beds, bowls, and treats to make your pup feel at home.
  2. The Black Bull Inn: Located in the heart of the picturesque village of Sedbergh, this charming inn features dog-friendly rooms and a welcoming atmosphere. After a day of exploring, enjoy a delicious meal in the dog-friendly pub downstairs.

Cottages and rentals

If you want more space and privacy for pets, consider a cosy cottage or holiday home in the Yorkshire Dales that accepts dogs.

With plenty of options to choose from in the Yorkshire National Park, you’ll be able to find the perfect home away from home.

Popular caravan parks

For those seeking the freedom and flexibility of a caravan holiday with their four-legged friend, the Yorkshire Dales is a fantastic destination with a range of excellent dog-friendly caravan parks. Here are some of the most popular:

Akebar park

Situated near the historic market town of Leyburn, Akebar Park offers a tranquil setting for a dog-friendly caravan holiday. With several pet-friendly pitches and an on-site dog walking area, it’s an excellent base for exploring the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales. The park also features a pub and restaurant, both welcoming well-behaved dogs.

Riverside caravan park

Nestled on the banks of the River Ure in the picturesque village of Bainbridge, Riverside Caravan Park is an ideal choice for a dog-friendly getaway. The park offers spacious pitches and a designated dog-walking area within the grounds. You and your pup can enjoy leisurely strolls along the water’s edge with direct access to the river.

Delicious Dining with Your Dog in the Yorkshire National Park

Exploring the Yorkshire Dales with your furry friend is going to work up an appetite for both of you and thankfully, there’s no shortage of dog-friendly dining options in the area.

From cosy pubs and restaurants to quaint cafes and tea rooms, you’ll find plenty of places to refuel and relax.

Pubs and restaurants

There’s nothing quite like a warm, cosy, welcoming pub after a day of adventures, and the Yorkshire Dales is home to a country pub with an array of pet-friendly dining options that are sure to hit the spot:

  1. The Kings Arms: This traditional pub in the picturesque village of Askrigg welcomes dogs in their bar area. Enjoy a hearty meal made from local ingredients while your pup relaxes at your feet.
  2. The Buck Inn: Nestled in the heart of the charming village of Malham, this dog-friendly pub offers a delicious menu featuring local produce. The warm and welcoming atmosphere makes it the perfect place to unwind after exploring.

Cafes and Tea Rooms

If you fancy a lighter bite of lunch or a sweet treat, the Yorkshire Dales boasts a delightful selection of dog-friendly cafes and tea rooms:

  1. The Old School Tearoom: Located in the village of Hebden, this charming tearoom welcomes dogs inside and in their lovely garden. Indulge in a delicious homemade cake or a classic cream tea while your canine companion relaxes by your side.
  2. Penleys Café & Bistro: With locations in both Leyburn and Richmond, Penleys offers a warm welcome to four-legged friends. Their dog-friendly policy extends to downstairs in the seating area so that you can enjoy a leisurely lunch or a delicious afternoon tea in the company of your furry friend.

Local dog services and facilities

Where to find essential pet stores, services, and healthcare facilities during your visit. From shopping for pet supplies to seeking veterinary assistance, we’ve got you covered with a handy guide to local dog services and facilities in the area.

The entrance to a pets at home store in Huddersfield, Yorkshire

Shops and services

Whether you need to stock up on supplies, treat your pup to a new toy, or even book a grooming session, there are several pet stores and services in the Yorkshire Dales to cater to your needs:

  1. Leyburn Pet Shop: Located in the market town of Leyburn, this independent dog shop offers a wide range of pet supplies, accessories, and treats. The friendly staff always advises and helps you find the perfect item for your four-legged friend.
  2. The Dales Dog Grooming: Based in Settle, this professional grooming salon offers services to keep your dog looking and feeling its best. With a focus on providing a stress-free experience, you can rest easy knowing your pup is in good hands.

If you want to venture further afield here a great list of shops around Yorkshire that are pet-friendly.

Veterinary clinics and emergency services

In case of any health concerns or emergencies during your stay, it’s essential to know where to find local veterinary care. Here are a few Yorkshire Dales veterinarians and emergency services to keep in mind:

  1. Bainbridge Vets: With branches in Leyburn, Askrigg, and Hawes, Bainbridge Vets provides a comprehensive range of veterinary services for your dog. They also offer a 24-hour emergency service, ensuring help is always available when you need it.
  2. Kingsway Veterinary Group: With locations in Skipton, Cross Hills, and Silsden, Kingsway Veterinary Group offers services, from routine check-ups to emergency care. Their experienced team is dedicated to providing the highest quality care for your pet.

Barking Up the Right Tree: Tips for a Safe and Enjoyable Trip in Yorkshire Dales

Embarking on an adventure in the Yorkshire Dales with your dog is a fantastic experience, but it’s crucial to ensure your pup’s safety and the surrounding environment. By being mindful of dog safety in national parks and practising responsible dog ownership, you can make the most of your visit while protecting the stunning landscapes and local wildlife.

Paws for a Break: Driving Through with Dogs

If you’re planning a Yorkshire road trip with a dog through the Dales with your four-legged companion or friends, you’ll want to make the most of the journey by discovering delightful pit stops.

Aysgarth falls in the Yorkshire Dales with the sunset behind it

Here are four fantastic stop-offs, offering the perfect opportunity to stretch your legs, grab a bite to eat, and soak in the stunning scenery.

Aysgarth Falls

A must-see attraction, Aysgarth Falls comprises a series of three breathtaking waterfalls on the River Ure. With well-maintained footpaths and ample parking in the car park, it’s a great place to stop and enjoy a leisurely walk with your dog.

Malham Cove

This natural limestone formation offers a remarkable sight and a lovely spot to explore for dog lovers with a pup. The walk to Malham Cove is relatively easy and dog-friendly. Enjoy the impressive views from the top, and if you’re lucky, you may spot some peregrine falcons nesting on the cliffside.

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey is a perfect pit stop for you and your dog in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. With over 80 miles of footpaths, there are plenty of trails to explore with your pup. Wander along the River Wharfe, visit the ruins of the 12th-century monastery, eat out or enjoy a picnic in the designated dog-friendly areas.


This charming village is a great place to take a break and explore with your dog. Wander through the picturesque streets, stop by a dog-friendly pub for lunch, or stretch your legs along the River Wharfe. The Grass Wood Nature Reserve, just a short drive from the village, offers an excellent opportunity for a peaceful walk in a beautiful wooded setting.

Navigating the park with your dog

When exploring the Yorkshire Dales with your furry friend, consider these tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience:

  1. In most areas of the park, keeping your dog on a lead is essential to protect local wildlife, livestock, and other visitors. Be sure to respect posted signs and rules regarding lead requirements.
  2. Bring plenty of water and snacks: While you may come across streams and rivers, always carry fresh water and treats for your dog to ensure they stay hydrated and energised during your hikes.
  3. Be prepared for changing weather: The weather in the Dales can be unpredictable, so ensure you have appropriate clothing and gear for your dog. A waterproof coat and booties for your pup can help keep them comfortable in wet conditions.

Protecting the environment and local wildlife

As visitors to the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, it’s our responsibility to have pets that help preserve the environment and protect local wildlife. Keep these tips in mind to promote responsible dog ownership during your trip:

  1. Please clean up after your dog: Always carry biodegradable waste bags to pick up after your dog and dispose of them in designated bins. This helps maintain cleanliness and prevent the spread of disease.
  2. Observe local wildlife from a distance: Be mindful of your dog’s behaviour and keep them on a lead around wildlife. Avoid disturbing nesting birds, and always give animals plenty of space.
  3. Stick to designated paths: To protect the park’s delicate ecosystems and plant life, stay on designated footpaths and trails.

Last Word

As we’ve explored throughout this guide, the Yorkshire Dales National Park is a dream destination for dog owners and their four-legged friends. With its vast landscapes, dog-friendly trails, welcoming accommodation, and delicious dining options, there’s something for every pup and their human to enjoy.

We’ve covered the essentials, from packing tips and park guidelines for dog friendly days to local services and tips for a safe and enjoyable trip. By remembering these, you can make the most of your visit and ensure a memorable experience for you and your canine companion.

So why not grab your lead, pack your bags, and get ready to explore the breathtaking beauty of the Yorkshire Dales with your furry friend? With countless adventures waiting around the corner, there’s no time like the present to embark on a paw-some getaway that you’ll cherish for years to come. Happy trails!



John Devlin

A lifelong dog enthusiast from Newcastle, John combines his love for pets with discovering the UK’s hidden travel treasures. He’s enthusiastic about sharing his experiences from family-friendly staycations, helping others find perfect dog-friendly getaways.

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