22 February 2024

Best Dog Walking Routes in Skipton & Knaresborough

Knaresborough is a beautiful market town located in the North of England, known for its stunning scenery and picturesque countryside. Skipton is another little gem, located in North Yorkshire, surrounded by superb countryside and is a popular spot for dog owners looking for scenic walks. If you are a dog owner, you will be pleased to know that both Skipton and Knaresborough offer a wide range of dog-friendly walking trails that allow you to explore the area’s natural beauty with your furry companion. Here’s a roundup of some of our favourites to get you started.


Skipton Dog Friendly Trails

Skipton Woods

Skipton Woods is a beautiful woodland area located just a short distance from the town centre, situated at the top of Skipton high street, just to the left of the medieval castle. This woodland area is a great place for a dog walk, as it offers a range of different trails to explore. The 37-acre site has two miles of scenic hiking trails, mostly tarmacked, making it an easy hike. Skipton Castle Woods walk is one of the most common walks in Skipton for locals, especially among families, hikers, and fellow dog walkers. The ancient woodland is atmospheric, walking alongside the gentle stream is a peaceful way to spend an hour and there are plenty of benches and picnic areas along the way. Keep your eyes peeled for native wildlife like kingfishers, herons, deer and even birds of prey like red kites.

Leeds Liverpool Canal

The Leeds Liverpool Canal is a great place to take your dog for a walk. This scenic canal stretches for over 127 miles and offers a peaceful and tranquil environment for you and your dog to enjoy. The towpath is flat, making it an easy walk, and there are plenty of places to stop for a breather or a drink along the way.

Embsay Reservior

Embsay Reservoir is a stunning man-made lake located just a few miles from Skipton. This 9.6-mile trek shows off the natural beauty of the Yorkshire Dales National Park at its best. The reservoir offers a range of different walking trails that are suitable for dogs, including a circular walk around the reservoir itself. There are lots of places to stop for a picnic along the way, and the views are simply breathtaking. If you fancy more of a challenge, there’s also the option of extending the walk as part of the Embsay Moor Circular. You’ll start on Barden Road and head east to Embsay Moor Reservoir, the first of three reservoirs you’ll encounter on this route. This circular route is one for more experienced ramblers, so expect big climbs up Cracoe Fell, Rylstone Fell and Hall Fell as you pass landmarks like Rylstone Cross and Cracoe War Memorial. The moorland can get boggy near the end, but the sight of the Upper and Lower Barden Reservoirs will make it all worthwhile. 

The Strid

Bolton Priory has one of the best dog-friendly walks you can do near Skipton. It’s 4.7-miles long, a 10-minute drive from town and should be a decent walk for all ages and abilities. Follow the River Wharfe as it winds through Strid Wood, which is jam-packed with beautiful ancient oaks and natural beauty. Then weave your way between the picturesque fields and under looming trees until you reach the halfway point at Barden Bridge. A perfect spot to take a few minutes to appreciate the awe-inspiring views in both directions before crossing to the other side to make your way back to the Priory.


Dog Walks in Knaresborough

Knaresborough Castle Walk

This gentle three-mile walk will take roughly 1.5-2 hours, including time to stop and admire the scenery. Take your furry friend on a leisurely stroll around medieval buildings, explore woodland sculptures and caves, follow the River Nidd as it meanders its way through the woods and top it off with spectacular views of Knaresborough Castle. That’s a lot of things to see in just a three-mile loop trail! The walk itself is easy going and accessible for all abilities. You’ll also pass by a couple of dog friendly pubs on the way so there’s opportunities for both to grab a quick drink.

Nidd Gorge Loop

The Nidd Gorge Walk is a picturesque route that follows the River Nidd through dense woodland. This six-mile loop trail will take you over stiles, up ancient stone staircases, and have you traverse the banks of the River Nidd before going under the iconic Knaresborough Viaduct. It is a great option for dog owners who love exploring nature trails with their pets. Along the way, you and your furry companion will pass stunning waterfalls, bridges, and wildlife.  The walk starts just outside Knaresborough and meanders into the countryside by partially following the winding River Nidd. Around three miles in there’s a river beach which is the perfect place for a quick swim on a warm day. Keep an eye out for the rich array of wildlife too with colourful kingfishers and herons, blue tits, and flame-headed goldcrests. With lots to see along the way this relaxing 2-hour walk is worth every minute.

Knaresborough Round

If you’re feeling energetic and a little adventurous, then this 20-mile walk will take you through some of the best countryside that North Yorkshire has to offer! Expect lakes, rivers, ancient woodland, and quaint villages as you circle around England’s most beautiful town using little roads, walking paths and farming tracks. The trail starts near and takes you eastwards towards . Then you will pass through woodland and several charming villages – which have some lovely traditional pubs where you can stop and get a bite to eat. After around 3-4 hours you should have reached  where you’ll then pass through gentle hills and rolling fields north of Knaresborough before reaching  From there you start to make your way south, through the spectacular Nidd Gorge with breathtaking views of the viaduct as you follow the river on the way back to the starting point. This walk is a great way to get out and spend a day with your furry friend and should take around 8 hours to complete – and that’s with a lunch stop on the way!

The Dales Way

The Dales Way is a long-distance walking trail that runs from Ilkley in West Yorkshire to Bowness-on-Windermere in Cumbria. While you may not want to tackle the entire route with your dog, there are plenty of sections that are suitable for a day trip. The route passes through some of the most beautiful countryside in the UK, and there are plenty of places to stop for a break and enjoy the views.

Both Knaresborough and Skipton are fantastic destinations for dog owners looking for scenic walks. So, grab your dog’s lead and head out to explore all the great outdoors and natural beauty this area has to offer, from woodlands to riverside paths, there are plenty of routes to suit all ages and levels of fitness and ability. With all these routes easily accessible from our stunning developments at both Skipton and Knaresborough, get in touch now to see where your forever home awaits.

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