There are few better places for our canine chums to explore than the rugged mountains and expansive lowlands of the Peak District. You may have a dog who loves an adventure and wants to take you across exciting undiscovered trails, or maybe you have a slightly lazier pooch who prefers a nice flat easy walk. You may even have a canine who is unable or unwilling to do any kind of walking. Whichever type of pooch you have, we have a wonderful selection of things for you all to enjoy in the Peaks.
Walkies, walkies and more walkies
Separated into the remote moors of the Dark Peak and the spectacular lowlands of the White Peak, you will not be short of fun places to take your pooch for a holiday adventure. The Goyt Valley is a particularly good place for walkies – with lots of off-lead routes and hikes across open moorland, you can also delve into woods and stroll around expansive reservoirs at your leisure. If you are heading for the Peak District to experience the rugged moorland, then the Eastern Moors near Sheffield are the best; the views are simply breathtaking. You will no doubt have heard of Mam Tor, one of the most famous hills in the area. It offers a great circular walk which rewards you with one of the most dramatic views for miles around.
For those pooches who like their walks with lots of trees and sniffs, Eccleshall Woods in Sheffield has lots of brilliant trails to explore, though the area is popular with horses so watch out if your pooch isn’t equine friendly! For a waterside walk, try the Linacre Woodland which is set around three reservoirs – here you can walk around the water’s edge and through the adjoining forest, enjoying the abundance of wildlife as you go. For something different, the Monsal Trail should be at the top of every dog’s ‘to do’ list. It follows the route of an old railway and passes through various tunnels, some of which are lit up – great for dark afternoons. There is no traffic and it is relatively flat so it’s great if you don’t want to climb, and there are lots of dog-friendly pubs on the way if weary paws need a little rest.
Historical hound dogs
Besides walking, there are lots of places you can take your dog for a day out in the Peak District. English Heritage and the National Trust have lots of properties that welcome dogs, at least in the grounds – try Chatsworth House, the elegant stately home where dogs are not only allowed in the grounds but also in the stables area where you can all sit together to have a quick snack. Hardwick Hall is perfect for pooches with 900 acres of parkland whilst Peveril Castle near Castleton is one of the UK’s oldest existing Norman buildings. It is wonderful if you have a fit dog as you can climb to the top of the hills to share a picnic – the views across Hope Valley are simply amazing.
For slightly less exhausting activities, try the Crich Tramway Museum which allows dogs on the trams as well as in the museum – you can then finish the day by doing the pretty woodland walk. The Peak Rails heritage railway line is a wonderful day out – slow steam trains that traverse the countryside invite you to hop aboard and take in the beautiful scenery, pooch by your side. Setting off from Rowsley, it comes to a halt at Matlock where you can find lots of dog-friendly pubs and coffee shops as well as the lovely Limestone Way walk. If you have a head for heights, the cable cars at the Heights of Abraham are most definitely worth a visit. Crossing the valley, you will also find lots of trails to enjoy, though please bear in mind that dogs cannot go into the buildings on site.
Time to rest
No day out would be complete without a trip to a dog-friendly pub or cafe where you can put your feet up after a long day of exploring. Most accept dogs and some really understand the meaning of dog friendly – giving treats, water bowls and beds to tired pooches. Many welcome muddy paws and if you are lucky, your dog will get a chew stick as you sample the local ale and enjoy a hearty meal!
Whatever you choose to do in the Peak District, you and your dog are sure to have a great time. If you would like somewhere to stay, have a peek at our lovely selection of cottages in the Peak District.