Walking with dogs

The North York Moors is a great place to take your dog for a walk.

We want you and your dog to be safe and happy while out and about, so please be a responsible owner and make sure your dog is always a welcome visitor to the National Park.

Our walking routes

The walking routes included on our website include information about walking with your dog. Please bear in mind that not all walks are suitable for dogs:

  • livestock is often present in farm fields in the dales
  • coastal paths may run along unfenced high cliffs
  • dogs are not allowed on most moorland Open Access land, and so must stay on public rights of way in these areas
  • stiles are common on many countryside walks

Walk in the woods

If you want to exercise your dog more freely, choose a walk away from moorland areas. For example, there are over 55 square miles (144 square kilometres) of Forestry England woods in the National Park, including the forests at Dalby, Langdale, Cropton, Boltby and Silton. As well as the public rights of way, these forests have many other tracks and paths where your dog is welcome.

Dog walking in Dalby Forest Credit Forestry England
Dag walking in Dalby Forest Credit Forestry England

Looking for more ideas?

Here's our current pick of the best walks with dogs in the National Park – just follow the link to go to the walk.

We've highlighted routes avoiding moorland with the most sensitive wildlife, and we've also chosen walks with no stiles and where the chances of meeting livestock are low. But things do change, so be prepared – and please let us know if you encounter any problems.

1. Newtondale – a great forest walk
2. Clay Bank and Greenhow Plantation – trees, tracks and views
3. May Beck and Falling Foss – wonderful woodland waterfall
4. Staithes and Port Mulgrave – along our coastline
5. Broxa Forest – into the woods

Keeping your dog safe and happy

  • Always keep your dog on a short lead near farm animals, but if cattle act aggressively it is safer if you let it off the lead
  • Never let your dog chase animals or birds. A dog worrying livestock can be legally shot
  • On moorland it's important to keep your dog on a short lead (less than 2 metres) between 1 March and 31 July when rare birds are nesting on the ground
  • In most moorland areas dogs must stay on rights of way. Please keep them on a lead or to heel at all times.
  • In Forestry England woods, you can let your dog off the lead but please always make sure your dog is under control
  • Always deal with your dog's mess! Don't leave dog mess on paths or areas where people walk. Arable crops and grass are used for producing food for people or livestock, so always clean up in farmland too – dog faeces infected with the parasite 'Neospora caninum' can infect cattle herds, causing abortions and ongoing infection. Remember you many not come across litter bins when out in open countryside. Be prepared to take your dog poo home.
  • It's safer if you keep your dog on a lead by your side near horse-riders or cyclists
  • Always look out for signs giving advice on keeping your dog on a lead at sensitive times for wildlife and farm animals
back to top