Visiting the Yorkshire Dales with your dog

Your Dog is Welcome in the Yorkshire Dales

All of our walks have dog friendly options, so with miles of footpaths to explore, trees to sniff and grass to roll in we think you’ll both have a great day.


Most of our walks are dog friendly (apart from the boardwalk on the National Nature Reserve at Malham Tarn), although you are likely to encounter livestock and stiles on many of them. Please follow our advice below for a safe and fun trip out.

Where can my dog go?

  • Dogs are welcome across most of the estate, but please keep them on leads. Assistance dogs only are allowed on the boardwalk of the National Nature Reserve at Malham Tarn.

  • 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.  Please note that we have cattle grazing at Hudswell Woods over the winter period and around the Malham Tarn Estate.

  • Don’t let your dog chase wildlife or farm animals.

  • Dogs should be under close or effective control at all times. 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, wildlife or you are asked to use

  • 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

Where can’t my dog go?

  • Assistance dogs only 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 water borne pests and diseases

What do I need to be aware of in the Yorkshire Dales?

  • Take the lead: help reduce the chance of your pup disturbing wildlife by keeping them on a lead.

  • Scoop that poop: bag it and bin it to keep your favourite places beautiful; take it home with you if there is not a bin nearby.

  • Paws for thought: look out for information signs and take extra care on cliff paths.

  • Be on the ball: not everyone loves dogs, so keep them close by.

Now you're ready for your 4-legged friend to start their waggy adventure...

Enjoy walking with your dog around the Yorkshire Dales
Your Dog is Welcome in the Yorkshire Dales
Enjoy walking with your dog around the Yorkshire Dales

A place to stay

Many of our holiday cottages welcome well-behaved dogs so they can join you on your holiday; The Old Smithy is our cottage in Upper Wharfedale and Darnbrook Cottage is on Malham Moor. These cosy hideaways in the village of Buckden and on Malham Moor are an ideal base for couples or families and their dog to explore the surrounding countryside on foot. Town Head Barn bunk barn in Buckden, Upper Wharfedale and our two camping bothies at Malham Tarn, Ragged Robin and Meadowsweet also welcome dogs to join you on your holiday. Town Head Barn sleeps 14 in bunkbeds and is perfectly situated in Buckden to explore Upper Wharfedale and beyond. The bothies provide a 'camping with walls' experience on the edge of the Malham Tarn National Nature Reserve and they each sleep 6 in bunkbeds.