15 Beautiful dog walks in Cheshire

Dog walks
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Famous for its rural villages and celebrated cheese, Cheshire is tucked away in the north-west of England and boasts a rich farming heritage. Although much of the county is dedicated to dairy farming, there is far more to be found here than just open country.

The county itself is bordered by the Mersey and Dee estuaries to the west and the Peak District National Park and the Pennines to the east. This means that whether you fancy a brisk climb or relaxed waterside stroll, you and your pup will find many wonderful walks in Cheshire.

Here, even a trip to town can prove just as varied and rewarding. Cheshire is home to historical cities, industrial towns, and quaint villages. Even these more urban areas often hold hidden gems in terms of wonderful walks and dog-friendly facilities.

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From town to country, we’ve collected 15 of our favourite dog walks in Cheshire that are the paw-fect opportunity for you and your pooch to take a trip to explore more of this wonderful county.

Country & country park dog walks

Grosvenor park

Beside the banks of the River Dee, the beautiful green-flag awarded Grosvenor Park offers a great place for you and your pooch to stretch your legs all year round. The park itself is famous for being one of the finest examples of Victorian gardening in the country. As such, there are listed features abound including many statues and the remains of a former nunnery.

If you’re visiting with your family, there’s a miniature railway and play park for little ones to enjoy. As for you and your four-legged friend, there’s plenty to explore in this 20-acre garden. And although you might admire the ornamental gardens and historical features, your dog will probably find the abundance of squirrels to be the most exciting part of your visit!

The park has its own facilities, but as it is located in Chester, you’re never far from other amenities.

  • Walk Length: Your choice

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Park entrance

  • Terrain: Flat, lawns, gardens

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Grosvenor Park Rd, Chester CH1, UK

More information: Cheshire Live, Visit Cheshire, Parking in Cheshire

Bickerton hill & Maiden castle

One of the last remaining lowland heaths in Cheshire, Bickerton Hill offers a walk through the heather and rugged landscape along a section of the celebrated Sandstone Trail. This circuit walk passes the ramparts of Maiden Castle, an Iron Age fort and an Ancient Monument of National Importance, which sits at the crest of the hill. Meanwhile, the nearby Hether Wood offers a quiet spot for a woodland walk and reflection amongst the trees.

As a National Trust site, dogs are welcome year-round. However, be sure to check for any notices in summer as there are ground-nesting birds during the warm months. During these times, it does mean your pup will need to be on a lead in certain areas.

  • Walk Length: 5km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: NT car park

  • Terrain: Uneven, tracks, hills

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Goldford Lane, Malpas, SY14 8LN

More information: Cheshire East, National Trust, Visit Cheshire, Visit Cheshire walk information


Being part of the Cheshire side of the Peak District National Park, this challenging route around Kettleshulme rewards you and your pooch with great exercise and a varied landscape for your next walk.

The scenery on this route is varied, and the views are amazing, making the few steep climbs well worth it. Walking here allows you and your dog to explore the wilder side of the county.

There are various walks and landmarks you can explore, including Windgather Rocks, the huge gritstone escarpment that rises out the land to form the county boundary with Derbyshire. From your starting point at Pym Chair, you can also walk to Cats Tor or the larger Shining Tor. In short, this area is rich with varied, challenging walks and wild landscapes you and your pup will both love to explore.

There are no facilities on this walk, but should you need any, you can wander to either of the nearby dog-friendly pubs The Cock or The Swan Inn.

  • Walk Length: 8km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Pym Chair

  • Terrain: Uneven, hills, grassland

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: High Peak, SK23 7RF

More information: Viso Rando, Viso Rando walk information, Cheshire Life, Cheshire Now, Walk Peak District

Lyme park

The beautiful Lyme is home to a stunning Regency house, gardens, and deer park and is a firm favourite for dog walkers. Perhaps it is because of the regal surroundings, or maybe it is the plethora of extras on offer here for furry-friends.

If you’re on your own, you can enjoy hours wandering the acres of woodland and moorland with your pooch. But if you or your pup fancy a more social gathering, Lyme hosts social dog walks twice a month, making it the perfect spot for you and your dog to make some new like-minded friends. These social walks are catered for all ages and abilities, both human and dog. (For example, there are drop-out points on the route for older dogs who can’t manage the longer walk.)

There are always dog walker rangers on site who can give you all the help and information you need, such as the locations of livestock. Dogs are also allowed to explore the lake and gardens every other weekend and every Wednesday, meaning you can have a different walk depending on the day. In addition, there are all the facilities you would expect from a popular National Trust site, including the Timber Yard cafe by the main car park, making the perfect place to start and end your walk with a warm drink.

  • Walk Length: Various

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Main entrance

  • Terrain: Flat, parkland, uneven, woodland, moorland

  • Free Parking: No (Park entry fee)

  • Address: Disley, Stockport, Cheshire, SK12 2NR

More information: National Trust, The Good Dog Guide, National Trust Lyme, National Trust Lyme Dog Walking

Woodland dog walks

Delamere forest

Delamere Forest is the largest forest in Cheshire, but once upon a time, it was part of a much larger medieval woodland. The forest is one of the most popular walking destinations in the county, whether you’re with or without your dog. Part of its popularity rises not only from the great natural beauty but the gentle terrain throughout the woodland, making it an ideal walk for all ages to enjoy and connect with nature. There are many trails within the forest, many of which are made from sandstone, meaning they are sturdy underfoot and less muddy than most woodland walks.

The Old Pale trail is one of the tougher walks within Delamere due to its hill, but you are rewarded with beautiful views for the climb. On a good day, you can see as far as the Liverpool skyline. With such wonderful views and enjoyable trails, it’s no wonder that Delamere Forest is featured on almost every list of the best walks and dog walks in Cheshire.

When you have finished your walk, you can enjoy lunch in the picnic area, or stop off in the forest cafe. Although it is open as usual, the forest’s redevelopment project will end in summer 2020. This project brings with it a new visitor centre, a larger cafe, improved toilets, improved landscaping and trails, and a new car park. All in all, it’s going to be an exciting time to visit the forest.

  • Walk Length: 3.1km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Visitor centre

  • Terrain: Gentle, woodland, hills

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Linmere, Delamere, Northwich, CW8 2HZ

More information: Cheshire Live, Forestry England Delamere Walks, Forestry England Delamere

Marbury country park

Nestled in the heart of Cheshire, this country park was once part of the Marbury Hall estate. Nowadays, it offers a huge expanse of forest for you and your four-legged friend to explore.

There are some remaining clues to the areas time as an estate, such as the lime avenues, large open lawns and arboretum. Other than these echoes of stately life the park is now an enchanting woodland, reclaimed by nature.

There are many paths throughout the park and a lake your dog can dive into, perfect for a paddle on a hot day. Toilets are available by the ranger’s office, and there’s a picnic area onsite so you can make this woodland dog walk as long or as short as you please.

  • Walk Length: 3km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point:

  • Terrain: Gentle gradients, woodland, flat

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Marbury Country Park, Comberbach, Northwich, CW9 6AT

More information: Walkiees, Visit Cheshire, Visit Cheshire Marbury Park PDF, Visit Cheshire Marbury Park

Tarvin community woodland

Having won a Green Flag award for ten years running, Tarvin is an incredible example of volunteer effort and community-managed woodlands. Over fifteen years, the community of Tarvin has given over 10,000 hours to creating and managing this woodland, which has become a firm favourite dog-walking spot in Cheshire.

There are several walks mapped that all start and end in the village, which makes it very easy to find somewhere to stop for a snack or drink before you set off.

The Red Lion is one dog-friendly option for you to visit before or after your walk. The available walking routes range in distance but most are easy to complete due to the flat and level nature of the area.

  • Walk Length: 5.9km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Tarvin playing fields

  • Terrain: Flat, woodland

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Townfield Lane, Tarvin, Chester, CH3 8EG

More information: Tarvin Community Woodland, Cheshire Live, Tarvin Online

Waterside dog walks

Nantwich riverside loop

This gentle waterside walk will take you along stretches of both the Nantwich river and the Shropshire Union Canal, all while remaining just a stone’s throw from Nantwich. This route offers everything you could hope for from a relaxed waterside dog walk in Cheshire.

Towards the end of the walk, you will be able to admire the historic buildings of the town, such as the old water mill on the aptly named Mill Lane, and the period buildings on Welsh Row. Welsh Row itself hosts a lot of dog-friendly places for a pit stop at the end of your walk, such as The Black Lion pub. Otherwise, you can take a short stroll into the town centre to find even more facilities available.

  • Walk Length: 5km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Nantwich centre

  • Terrain: Flat paths

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Saint Anne's Lane, Cheshire, Nantwich, CW5 5ED

More information: Visit Cheshire, Cheshire Life, Parkopedia

National waterways museum

A museum might seem an odd suggestion for a dog walk. However, four-legged friends are welcome throughout the entire museum, including the cafe, meaning you can spend a day out with your whole family - pups included!

Visiting the historic dockyard feels like a trip back in time. This old dock designed by the famous Thomas Telford is lovingly tended by volunteers and sits where the Shropshire Union Canal and Manchester Ship Canal meet The Mersey. It was once the third busiest port in Britain and a hub of Victorian Britain.

You can wander the waterside and grade-II listed red-brick buildings, exploring the huge collection of boats and artefacts at your leisure. As you and your pooch stroll around warehouses, workers cottages and a working smithy, you can easily believe you’ve fallen into the wrong century. (Especially if you visit on a Sunday, when volunteers are in historic costume.)

Although your pup might not be as interested in the history of the area, they’re sure to appreciate a stroll through the seven acres of outside space. There are also several mapped walks around the site which you can take. Plus, as the museum won the dog-friendly business of the year in 2018, it’s an opportunity for a day out both you and your dog will love.

  • Walk Length: However long you’d like

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Museum

  • Terrain: Paths, flat

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: South Pier Road, Ellesmere Port, CH65 4FW

More information: Canal River Trust, National Waterways Museum

The Carrs

This accessible walk in East Cheshire is meant to be enjoyed by everyone and passes through the Carrs park. The 3km there-and-back route follows the River Bollin and is a wide, surfaced path for the entire route. It’s an ideal short walk for you and your family to take a leisurely stroll while your dog races around the park or swims in the river.

As the route is there-and-back, you can pick which end you’d like to park and start from. Or if you don’t drive, you can easily access the walk from Wilmslow rail station. We suggest starting from the Twinnies Bridge end of the route as there is free parking available. Meanwhile, if you fancy a longer walk, you can take a moderate walk from here to the Quarry Bank Mill.

If you need a bite to eat after your stroll, it’s a short walk into Wilmslow town where there is no shortage of dog-friendly places to rest and refresh you and your pup. Some of our favourite places to stop are the quirky Unico Lounge, or the independent coffee shop RISE. RISE is proudly very dog-friendly and your pup will have free cuddles, water and treats on arrival. (Sadly, no free treats for us humans!)

  • Walk Length: 3km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Twinnies Bridge car park

  • Terrain: Paths, flat

  • Free Parking: Yes (at Twinnies Bridge end)

  • Address: Twinnies Bridge car park, Wilmslow, Cheshire

More information: Cheshire East, Cheshire East PDF, Scamps and Champs, Ramblers, The Lounges


Once a bustling port and seaside resort, the town of Parkgate sits on the Wirral Peninsula watching over the Dee Estuary. The ships that once visited are now replaced by birds, as the silted river offers a haven to them (and birdwatchers.) If you are interested in your ornithology you’ll be well rewarded for walking here. Instead of the sea, you’ll find waves of marsh grass growing as far as the sea wall, which you will be following on this walk.

This walk is over good surfaces and pretty flat terrain and you’ll find plenty of facilities along the route. On the last stretch of the walk, you can stop into one of the several dog-friendly pubs in Parkgate, Mozkitos coffee house, or pick up a home-made ice cream to enjoy. If you can nab a window seat, The Boathouse has great views and is dog-friendly.

  • Walk Length: 5km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Old Baths or the Parade

  • Terrain: Flat

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: The Parade, Parkgate, Cheshire, CH64 6SS

More information: Visit Cheshire, Cheshire Life, Cheshire Life Parkgate

Hill dog walks

Mow Cop castle

Despite the name, Mow Cop was never a castle. It was instead a summerhouse designed to resemble a ruin, with obvious success. The “castle” stands on a hill and from its peak, you have panoramic views of the Cheshire Plain and Staffordshire moorlands.

The walk itself takes you past a lot of historical points of interest such as the Old Man of Mow, and the Parson’s Well. It’s worth taking a moment to paw-se with your pup to investigate them and rest your legs for a moment.

Mow Cop Castle is just one of several National Trust sites in the Cheshire and Wirral countryside, all of which welcome dogs. They’ve created a guide especially for walking their sites with your dog, but it is mostly guidelines you should be following on any walk you take together. (Such as picking up after your dog, keeping them under control near livestock, etc.)

  • Walk Length: 6km

  • Difficulty: Hard

  • Starting Point: Mow Cop car park

  • Terrain: Hills

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: ST7 3PA

More information: Mow Cop, National Trust, National Trust Walks, Visit Cheshire

Raw Head walk

Part of the wonderful Sandstone Trail, Raw Head Walk offers a shorter but no-less stunning walk that both you and your dog will love. The Sandstone Trail featured on Julia Bradbury’s “Top 100 Walks”, but at 34 miles long, it can be daunting and a few days trek. The Raw Head route offers a few hours walk along the trail, and includes climbing the highest point, allowing you to enjoy views of the picturesque countryside and to see the famous sandstone for yourself in a much shorter timeframe.

You’ll start your walk in the wonderful village of Burwardsley and then stroll through enchanting birch and chestnut woodland before starting to climb the Raw Head. You might hear pheasants calling, as the woods are used for their rearing the birds, and your dog will enjoy exploring in search of them.

With the variety of surroundings, it’s no wonder this is known as one of the best walks in Cheshire, with or without a dog. Not to mention, you will start and end this circular route near The Pheasant Inn, a superb dog-friendly pub, hotel and restaurant with beautiful views over the Cheshire Plain and the Trail itself. You could also park and start the walk here, as many do!

  • Walk Length: 9km

  • Difficulty: Hard

  • Starting Point: Candle workshops

  • Terrain: Hills

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Barracks Lane, Higher Burwardsley, Tattenhall, Chester, Cheshire, CH3 9PF

More information: Sandstone Rail, Visit Cheshire

Peckforton hill

This hilly circuit through Beeston and Peckforton is located very close to the Raw Head Walk and offers another fantastic dog walk in Cheshire’s beautiful countryside. This walk boasts not one but two castles to admire as you stroll by.

Beeston Castle, where you will begin your walk, is dramatically situated on a rocky outcrop and from its vantage point offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside as far as the Pennines and Wales. Although your pooch might not fancy admiring medieval architecture, it’s well worth stopping to take it in whilst they run around the nearby fields.

Beeston Castle is one of English Heritage’s dog-friendly sites and surrounded by 40 acres of woodland, so it makes a great place to explore even if you don’t follow the route of this walk. If you do follow the route, however, you’ll be rewarded with wonderful scenery and another chance to explore the famous Sandstone Trail. You will also pass through a Higher Burwardsley, offering you another opportunity to stop off at The Pheasant Inn mentioned above.

  • Walk Length: 6.4

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Beeston Castle

  • Terrain: Hills

  • Free Parking: Free for members, paid for non-members

  • Address: Beeston Castle, Tarporley, CW6 9TX

More information: Cheshire Life, English Heritage, Dog Friendly Properties

The Gritstone trail

The Gritstone Trail is one of the most famous walks in Cheshire and allows you and your dog to test your legs as you explore the Cheshire side of the Peak District. Although challenging, it is not mountainous. You’ll definitely feel the climbs though!

It’s a long-distance walk of 35 miles, so we suggest stopping off and doing a there-and-back route along any part of it. A good route to take is from Disley to Tegg’s Nose, which takes a few hours and means you can enjoy splendid panoramic views from the top of the hill. You could also try Timbersbrook to Kidsgrove, a shorter more moderate route which will take you past Mow Cop Castle, which was another favourite dog walk in Cheshire mentioned above.

Depending on where you start, you’ll find local amenities. Should you start from Disley, you will begin your walk from the station, making this a fantastic, rugged walk you can access without driving.

  • Walk Length: 17km

  • Difficulty: Challenging

  • Starting Point: Disley train station

  • Terrain: Hills, parkland

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Disley, Stockport SK12 2AE

More information: Visit Cheshire, Visit Cheshire PDF

More information about Cheshire: Britannica, Cheshire Life, Cheshire Live, Cheshire Life Woodland Walks, Mottram Hall, Cheshire East, Visit Cheshire Walking Trails

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