Visiting the Yorkshire Dales with your dog
With miles of footpaths to explore, trees to sniff and grass to roll in, the Yorkshire Dales are ideal for dogs – and provide a welcome dose of nature for their owners too.
Our pawprint rating system
We’ve been working on making it easier for you to find out how dog-friendly your visit will be before you and your four-legged friend arrive. To help with this, we've created a new pawprint rating system and given all the places in our care a rating. You can find this information in the National Trust members’ handbook.
Yorkshire Dales is a one pawprint rated place.
Dogs are welcome here, but facilities are limited. They’ll be able to stretch their legs in the car park and walk in the nearby open spaces, depending on the season. Read on to discover exactly where you can take your dog.
Where can my dog go?
Most of the walks are dog friendly, apart from the boardwalk on the National Nature Reserve at Malham Tarn. However, please be aware that you are likely to encounter livestock and stiles on many of these. Please keep your dog under close control, preferably on a lead, at all times.
Where can’t my dog go?
Only assistance dogs are allowed on the boardwalk of the National Nature Reserve at Malham Tarn.
Malham Tarn is a special site for nature; dogs (and people) are not allowed to swim or paddle in the water. This is to help prevent the destructive spread of waterborne pests and diseases.
Keeping control of your dog
Our definition of close or effective control is:
- Being able to recall your dogs in any situation at the first call
- Being able to clearly see your dog at all times (not just knowing they have gone into the undergrowth or over the crest of the hill). In practice, this means keeping them on a footpath if the surrounding vegetation is too dense for your dog to be visible
- Not allowing them to approach other visitors without their consent
- Having a lead with you to use if you encounter livestock or wildlife, or if you are asked to use one
The Canine Code
We’ve worked with our partner Forthglade to come up with this Canine Code, which helps to make sure everyone can enjoy their day:
- Keep them close: using a short lead helps to keep your dog from disturbing ground-nesting birds and farm animals. It's essential to use a short lead around sheep. But if cattle approach you, it's best to let your dog off the lead, and call them back when it's safe to do so.
- Pick up the poo: please always clear up after your dog. If you can't find a bin nearby, take the poo bags home with you.
- Watch the signs: keep an eye on local signs and notices wherever you're walking. They'll tell you if a beach has a dog ban, for instance, or if a path has been diverted, or if you're in an area where dogs can run off-lead.
- Stay on the ball: remember that not everyone loves dogs, and some people fear them. So make sure your dog doesn't run up to other people, especially children.
Walking near livestock
Please be vigilant when walking near livestock, especially those with young. Try not to get too close and keep your dog on a lead under close control.
Cows are naturally curious; if they approach, move away as carefully and quietly as possible. If necessary, let go of your dog's lead and let it run free, the dog will outrun the cows. Once you are safe, regain control of your dog.
Always walk around cows with calves – they may feel threatened if you walk between them. If you are unsure, try to find an alternative route around the field.
Don’t let your dog chase wildlife or farm animals. Dogs should be under close or effective control at all times.
Watch out for local notices.
There may be restrictions in woodland or farmland at sensitive times of year, during the lambing season, or between March and the end of July when ground-nesting birds are on eggs or raising their young.
Discover the best places for a dog walk, from coastal adventures and dramatic mountains to more leisurely walks near you. Plus find information on dog-friendly cafés and read our Canine Code.
If you’re bringing your dog to the places we care for, here’s information on the Canine Code and pawprint rating system to plan your visit.
After a good dog walk in the fresh air, find a place to sit and relax with your dog in a dog-friendly café.
We've partnered with natural pet food maker Forthglade to create the Dogs Welcome project, helping you and your dog to get the most out of the places in our care.
Discover the Yorkshire Dales with their rolling countryside, steep-sided valleys, heather-covered moorland and a patchwork of dry stone walls and barns.
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