12 woodland walks your pooch will adore

Time for walkies! Make the most of the change in season with 12 dog-friendly woodland walks.

Dogs Trust canine carers take two dogs for a woodland walk
28th September 2023

The nights are drawing in, the leaves are turning golden, and the mud is becoming… muddier. So, pack away the paddling pool, pick up those poo bags and rescue the wellies from the shed; your mucky pup’s favourite time of year has arrived.   

We’ve caught up with the dog walking experts at our rehoming centres to bring you 12 wondrous woodland walks to make the most of autumn. From forest frolics to riverside roams, we’ve even included some of our furry residents’ personal favourites. Give them a wave if you see them out and about with our canine carers. 

Now, fetch that lead… it’s time to let loose with the W-word. And don’t forget to check out our rehoming page if any of these handsome hounds pull on your heartstrings.  

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  1. Warwickshire  
  2. Manchester 
  3. North Devon 
  4. Suffolk 
  5. Darlington 
  6. Ulster 
  7. West Sussex 
  8. Brecon 
  9. Glasgow 
  10. West Yorkshire 
  11. Leicestershire 
  12. London 

12 woodland walks

1. Hay Wood, Warwickshire

Nearest centre: Kenilworth

First up, a personal favourite from the dynamic duo of Staffy Frankie and Lurcher Wednesday at our Kenilworth centre. This quiet woodland walk offers a peaceful trail with wide paths, perfect for giving nervous pooches the space they need. With a host of sniffs and sources of enrichment, “it’s another great way for us to learn more about the dogs in our care,” says walk partner Scarlett.  

Dogs Trust canine carers take two dogs for a woodland walk

2. Clayton Vale, Manchester

Nearest centre: Manchester

Roam the riverside or wag around the woodland in this pup paradise near our Manchester centre. With four square miles to explore and a host of wildlife to look out for, the vale has something for everyone.  

3. South West Coast Path, North Devon 

Nearest centre: Ilfracombe  

If you’re looking for walking routes, the dramatic beauty of England’s southern coastline is hard to beat. Now, picture it with your best friend by your side. The breeze brushing through their fur while the sea gleams blue in the sunlight. With varying terrain and beaches to keep your furball interested, you can do as much or as little of this 630-mile path as you like. A personal favourite of lurcher Amber at Ilfracombe.  

Read our water safety tips if taking your dog near cliffs or open water

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Amber the Crossbreed dog enjoys a woodland walk in Ilfracombe

4. Thetford Forest, Suffolk  

Nearest centre: Snetterton  

Look out for deer, butterflies and goshawks while exploring this peaceful hub of woodland wildlife. With pine trees for miles and even an old fort, your curious canine will be spoiled for sniffs on this quiet forest walk.

5. Middleton St George Water Park, Darlington 

Nearest centre: Darlington  

This waterside wander is a personal favourite of Greyhound Murphy at our Darlington centre. Three lakes offer different experiences for our residents. They can fetch some woodland shade or even practise their doggy paddle. “The dogs really enjoy sniffing out new smells and having a different place to stretch their legs” says Murphy’s walk partner Bethany.  


Murphy the Greyhound admiring the view of his woodland walk in Darlington

6. Tardree Forest, Ulster  

Nearest centre: Ballymena 

Boasting views of Belfast Hills and Slemish Mountain, Tardree Forest is one of Northern Ireland’s oldest and best dog walks. The sloping treelined paths make this the ideal place to enjoy some quality time with your pooch partner.  


7. Mill Hill Nature Reserve, West Sussex  

Nearest centre: Shoreham 

Stunning views over the downs and beyond… a leafy library of woodland smells… need we say more? You can guess which part our crossbreed Tula cares more about. This short stroll near our Shoreham centre is a staple of her sniff schedule and takes only 30 minutes. It’s also quieter in winter and has spots for a time out if your dog is nervous around others.  

Tula the Lurcher wears a muzzle while enjoying a woodland walk in Shoreham

8. Fan Frynych, Brecon  

Nearest centres: Bridgend & Cardiff 

Situated an hour’s drive from our Bridgend and Cardiff centres, this circular stroll offers the best of the Brecon Beacons National Park. From quiet woodlands to breathtaking views, this walk is sure to have your pooch snoozing on the journey home. 

9. Mugdock Park, Glasgow 

Nearest centre: Glasgow 

This family favourite offers the rugged beauty of rural Scotland while situated only 8 miles from Glasgow city centre. With woodland, heathland and even a loch, your doggo can see to important zoomies business while you take in the stunning scenery.  

10. Ingleborough, West Yorkshire 

Nearest centre: Leeds 

For those feeling extra energetic, why not dig out the walking boots to hike the summit of Ingleborough in the Yorkshire Dales. Our Leeds canine carers recently brought underdog Mila along. Of course, the walk quickly became one of her favourites. With the right weather, Ingleborough offers panoramic views and some stunning limestone scenery. Let’s hear it for hiking hounds! 

Underdog Mila the Staffie enjoys a woodland walk in Leeds

11. Wymeswold Nature Reserve, Leicestershire 

Nearest centre: Loughborough  

With long grass to sniff and water to paddle in, this stroll near our Loughborough centre is a favourite of lurcher Betty Spaghetti (…yes, the name is adorable). “It’s great for our dogs that need access to quiet walks due to being dog reactive,” says Betty’s walk partner Heather.  

Betty the Lurcher enjoys a woodland walk under a blue sky in Loughborough

12. Wimbledon Common, London  

Nearest centre: Harefield  

Does your furball need a break from the buzz of city life? Wimbledon Common lies a safe distance from main roads and offers 495 acres of dense woodland and grassland to explore. Game, set, walkies! 

Terrier outside in autumn leaves

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