‘Tis the season for dog walks in London! From North to South and even Central, we know all the best green spaces for your canine friend to stretch their legs and chase some pigeons – with a little added fun for yourself. Leads at the ready!
The Best Dog Walks in London
A short walk from Crystal Palace or Penge West stations, Crystal Palace Park is filled with endless fun for pooches. Take your puppy on a Jurrasic quest to find the different dinosaurs dotted around the park, or get lost in one of the country’s biggest mazes which spans 160 feet.
SW18’s King George’s Park is a green gem divided into three areas. It was first laid out in 1922 and now includes a leisure area with a bowling green, tennis courts and a lake, a play area with an ecological adventure playground, and the Wandle trail which passes throughout the park. Step off the busy streets of Wandsworth into King George’s Park and enjoy the best of nature.
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Located on the South Bank of the Thames opposite Chelsea, Battersea Park first opened its gates in 1858. The 200-acre green space is Grade II listed and is one of London’s most pet-friendly parks. Not stingy on sights, it may just be one of the most perfect people and hound-watching spots in the capital. Be sure to stop by the dog-friendly Pear Tree Cafe for a bite to eat, too.
As London’s largest open space, Epping Forest takes over 5,900 acres of ancient woodland on the border between Greater London and Essex. With four visitor centres, 30 car parks and 9 waymarked trials, both you and your four-legged friend will be in for a treat. Whether you want a quiet lakeside stroll, a venture off the beaten track, or fancy exploring the historic Copped Hall Mansion, it’s the place to go for some peace, quiet and a good run around.
Located on the southern part of the London Borough of Southwark, Peckham Rye Park & Common is spread over 113 acres of public open space and closely mown grass. Apart from hosting a Summer Fete and Dog Show every September, the dog-friendly destination is the perfect place to tire your canine out. There’s also a café sandwiched between the park and the common to grab a drink and a (well-deserved) slice of cake afterwards.
For the most discerning dogs only, this ancient park covers a whopping 790 acres whilst sitting aside a sandy ridge, and featuring of the highest points in London at Parliament Hill. Guaranteed a good view on your daily dog walk, the park runs from Hampstead to Highgate and features a swimming pond especially for dogs to cool off in. Stop by Gaucho on your way home as the first Sunday of every month plays host to a number of dogs and their equally enthusiastic humans for a lunch-time treat. Three-course steak lunch for two, please!
A haven for dogs and photographers alike, Highgate Wood takes over 69 miles of ancient woodland in North London and in springtime, welcomes a beautiful growth of bluebells. Filled with both history and adventure, you’ll feel like you’re deep in the countryside. Take a moment to relax after your walk and grab a bite at the Pavilion Café which sits on the edge of the woodland’s central field.
After a ‘puppacino’ at Paws for Coffee, head for a leisurely stroll around Wimbledon Common. With plenty of different walks to choose from, the common is made up of a mixture of woodland, scrubland, heathland and grassed recreation areas. Totalling 1,140 acres, it’s swimming and squirrel-chasing galore…
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Well-known by those local, start at the Thames Path going west towards Chiswick for pleasant views of the river. Stop by the Outsider Tart to enjoy a guilt-free trip for dog-lovers, as your faithful companion can have its fill at the shop’s own ‘Barkery’. Those with energetic dogs can continue walking to Twickenham.
A hidden gem for North London dog walkers, Lee Valley Park spans a massive 10,000 acres along the River Lee in Ware and opens into Hertfordshire and Essex. With a 500m agility course comprising of jumps, high walks, hoops and an A-frame, your trusty companion will be sure to have a barking mad time.
Believe it or not, Regent’s Canal is a cracking place to walk your furry-friend. Start your journey in Camden with a relaxing walk down the canals before hitting the open spaces. Take a walk up the 213 feet high Primrose Hill, or choose the Royal Regent’s Park for a runaround. Resume your journey and walk down to Little Venice to enjoy one of London’s best-kept secrets.
The city’s oldest public park is a broad green space much loved by local east Londoners, where edgy dogs and their equally hip owners can enjoy walks 365 days a year. Afterwards, stop by for a delicious coffee and cake at nearby dog-friendly cafe Ozone.
Featured image: Ben Hanson on Unsplash