London's best dog walks
25 JANUARY 2019
When it comes to ‘walkies’ in London, you don’t have to be restricted to the grey concrete of the city streets. With 47% of the city being covered in green space, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to a scenic stroll for you and your dog.
Regular walks have great health benefits to your dog and time spent off lead – if safe to do so – can be enriching and stimulating.
Hopefully, your dog is already getting plenty of exercise, but if you have made it your New Year’s resolution to up your daily step count, the dog-friendly parks of London are definitely worth a visit.
Varying your dog’s walking routes also keep it interesting for them, giving them new sights, sounds and smells!
1. WAVE TO THE BATTERSEA DOGS IN BATTERSEA PARK
Perhaps we are a little biased, but Battersea Park is one of London’s most beautiful city parks. This 200-acre park has a mixture of open green space, floral gardens and a boating lake, providing a plethora of different and interesting smells for your dog to enjoy. Not only is the park dog-friendly, so is the Pear Tree Café making it the perfect place to pop for a spot of lunch with your dog.
You may even spot a Battersea dog out for their afternoon walk!
2. ADMIRE THE VIEW AT ALEXANDRA PARK
Up to north London and Alexandra Park which surrounds the iconic Alexandra Palace. At almost 200-acres, it’s perfect for a hillier walk with your reward being a stunning view of London when you reach the top.
With a combination of grassy open space and forested footpaths, there’s lots of space for your dog to roam free.
3. STOP AND SNIFF THE WILD FLOWERS IN HYDE PARK
One of London’s most popular parks, Hyde park, is also well-loved in the dog walking community. At 350 acres, there’s no risk that your dog will run out of space to zoom around.
It has a variety of habitats for your dog to explore, from hidden copses to wild flower meadows that will set your dog’s tail wagging. The café and bars within the park even provide water bowls for thirsty dogs, making it the ideal place to visit.
There are a few small areas where dogs are not allowed or must be kept on lead, but these are clearly sign posted.
4. TACKLE THE AGILITY COURSE AT RIVER LEE COUNTRY PARK
It turns out that your dog can live the country life in the big city, with Lee Valley Park offering a huge 10,000 acres for them to explore.
The perfect place for any pup that likes to forage in the undergrowth and clamber through leafy woodland. For the athletic dogs out there, there is even a 500m doggie agility course! With two sizes of obstacles to accommodate small and large dogs, it’s a fantastic way to keep them mentally stimulated, helping them stay healthy and happy.
5. GRAB A DOG TREAT AT PECKHAM RYE PARK AND COMMON
Quite the dog walking hot spot, Peckham Rye Park and Common together offer 113 acres of green space for your dog to frolic.
With a lake, woodland and a huge, grassy common it’s the ideal location to chase a tennis ball or two. The off-lead areas are the perfect spot to meet other dog walkers and the café in the centre even sells dog treats.
6. HAVE A PAW PARADE ALONG THE CANAL
Some dogs might prefer a canal-side stroll rather than tearing it up in one of London’s big parks. There are plenty of sights and smells to enjoy waterside, including boats and wildlife.
Starting from Little Venice, you can wander all the way along to Camden Lock, or you can begin at Camden and head over to Regents Canal. There are plenty of routes to choose from and it’s perfect for a dog that prefers the gentler pace in life.
7. ENCLOSED PARK AREAS FOR DOGS
If you like to let your dog off lead but prefer to do it in a controlled environment, there are still plenty of parks to choose from. Parks with enclosed dog exercise areas can be found all over the city.
If you do decide to let your dog off lead, ensure that they are friendly and confident with strangers and other dogs, and have a strong recall so that you can get them back on lead when you call them. Only let your dog off lead in designated off lead zones, as set out by your local council.