With its rolling hills, wide-open spaces and nature-rich valleys, the Cotswolds is what doggy dreams are made of.
Offering endless adventures for owners and their four-legged friends, with literally thousands of public footpaths to explore – including the mammoth 102-mile Cotswold Way – SoGlos has fetched 12 top destinations for dog walking, all within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
1. Dog walks from Chipping Campden
Marking the start – or end – of the Cotswold Way, the charming town of Chipping Campden is a fantastic destination for dog walkers. Pick up the long-distance trail towards Broadway or head up to Lynches Wood, where pooches can get their paws muddy, before zooming through the large open fields on their way up Dover’s Hill.
2. Dog walks at Bredon Hill
Sat in the Vale of Evesham, Bredon Hill is a lone summit that’s set apart from the Cotswold hills by its flat surrounds – benefiting from uninterrupted panoramic views and less footfall than other high points in the region. Dogs will love the open space and countryside smells, while there’s a folly on the summit for those photo op-paw-tunities.
3. Dog walks from Chipping Norton
Shrouded in folklore and legend, the Rollright Stones – a fascinating set of Neolithic monuments – can be reached by countryside footpaths from Chipping Norton. Perfect for wearing energetic pups out, complete an eight-mile loop from the town to see the burial chamber and mystical stone circle, with plenty of space for a good run around along the way.
4. Dog walks from Castle Combe
Oozing with honey-hued Cotswold charm, Castle Combe is a picturesque village that is surrounded by countryside walking opportunities for dogs and their families. Wander through the shaded Castle Combe woods, go for a doggy paddle in Broadmead Brook and, of course, don’t forget to snap that all-important bridge shot.
5. Dog walks from Bourton-on-the-Water
Another hot spot for Cotswold tourists, Bourton-on-the-Water has some great options for dog walkers. Visit the dairy cows and splash in the stream at Greystones Farm Nature Reserve, which offers flat ground for dogs that prefer to take things at a slower pace; or wander along the River Eye to reach the Slaughters for quintessential Cotswolds scenery.
Please note, dogs should be kept on a lead at Greystones Farm.
6. Dog walks from Broadway
From Broadway, take your four-legged friend up to one of the region’s most recognisable landmarks, with walks all around Broadway Tower and its country park; wander to the nearby village of Snowshill where, in the summer, you’ll find the dog-friendly Cotswold Lavender. Or for a trek, carry on down the Cotswold Way towards Winchcombe, taking in the ruins of Hailes Abbey.
7. Dog walks from Dursley
Surrounded by hills, Dursley offers many scenic walks for dogs and their owners, with footpaths over Stinchcombe Hill, Cam Peak – which, as a bonus, is one of the best places to see spring bluebells in Gloucestershire – and Cam Long Down all in easy reach. The Tyndale Monument at North Nibley isn’t far either, delivering beautiful views and a challenging climb for dogs that appreciate the exercise.
8. Dog walks at Cotswold Water Park
The expansive lake system at Cotswold Water Park offers some lovely dog walking opportunities, with a network of flat footpaths that take in water meadows, tow paths and picturesque villages around its 150-plus lakes.
It’s recommended that water-loving pups are kept on a lead to prevent them from doggy paddling in the lakes and disturbing the local wildlife.
9. Dog walks near Cheltenham
Cheltenham is well-placed for four-legged adventures, with fantastic walks on the Cotswold Way on the outskirts of the Regency town.
Put your pup through their paces over the hilltops of Cleeve Hill, named the fastest mountain to climb in the UK; burn off some energy along the Leckhampton Loop, where you’ll find the iconic Devil’s Chimney; or soak up scent trails at Lineover Wood and Dowdeswell Reservoir.
10. Dog walks at Miserden Estate
Surrounded by breath-taking countryside, the privately-owned Miserden Estate welcomes dogs and their owners to enjoy the peaceful, designated walks through its open meadows, native woodland and around its lake.
The estate is home to livestock and varied wildlife, so any visiting dogs should be kept on a lead.
11. Dog walks from Lechlade
Sitting on the River Thames, Lechlade delivers on scenic riverside walks, with dogs able to run and play to their heart’s content at Riverside Park, or follow their noses at Whelford Pools, which carries on to Roundhouse Lake, on the eastern fringe of Cotswold Water Park.
Meanwhile, paw-rents can let their dogs loose without worrying at Lechlade K9 Centre’s dedicated secure exercise park, fully enclosed with seven-foot fencing for peace of mind; with a splash pad and activity area to keep high-energy dogs stimulated.
12. Dog walks at Blenheim Palace
A favourite Cotswold attraction, Blenheim Palace in nearby Oxfordshire invites four-legged visitors to explore its 2,000 acres of parkland, with leisurely walks around its lakes and lovely grounds. Well-behaved pups can even get doggy ice cream from the ice cream stands!
Please note, dogs must be kept on lead and are not permitted in certain areas of the estate, including the palace and its formal gardens.