15 Brilliant dog walks in Berkshire

Dog walks
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Another of the home counties, Berkshire is the only county granted the use of the “royal” title, due to the presence of Windsor Castle. Well connected to London, it’s home to many commuters as well as exceptional countryside. This county is prolific with pubs and rural walks, making it a fantastic destination for you and your pooch.

A stroll with your canine companion is one of the best ways to enjoy this county and its fabulous landscapes. We’ve sniffed out 15 of our favourite dog walks in Berkshire.

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Country & country park walks

South hill park & Caesar's camp

This circular walk gives you and the pup the op-paw-tunity to enjoy two of our favourite dog walking spots in Berkshire in one route. (Both are worth visiting separately too.) You’ll explore the stunning grounds of South Hill Park, then south into Swinley Forest to sniff out Caesar’s Camp, the site of an iron age hill fort.

South Hill Park’s green-flag awarded formal gardens prove pup-ular year-round, and are a splendid spot to walk with the dog. There’s the gorgeous Italian garden, balancing ponds, formal lawns, and woodland to explore as well as a children’s play area and cafe. There’s outside seating for those with dogs, overlooking the lawn and is perfect to bask in the sun on a summer’s day. Each August, SHP hosts “Paws in the Park”, a fun-packed doggy-centric day both people and pooches will love.

Meanwhile, Caesar’s Camp and Swinley Forest is a wilder dog walk in Berkshire. There are some steep slopes within the woods, but you can keep to gentler trails. After your fort and forest adventure, head back to South Hill Park to admire the manor again and stop by the cafe.

  • Walk Length: 6.1km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: South Hill Park car park

  • Terrain: Paths, flat, even, parkland, woodland, uneven

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: South Hill Park, Ringmead, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 7PA

More information: South Hill Park, Bracknell Forest

Lambourn downs

There are many fabulous walks you and your pooch can enjoy in and around Lambourn. In the heart of the Wessex Downs AONB, the scenery here is picturesque and paw-fect for long, relaxing strolls in the serene open country. This area is affectionately known as the “valley of the racehorse” as there are so many training locally.

This circular walk takes you in a loop through the downs, where you’ll have enough of a vantage point to look out across the rolling countryside and the racehorse training centre. On the return leg, you’ll stroll alongside the River Lambourn.

You’ll have plenty of paw-some places to stop to eat and drink here. You could pop into the Eastbury Plough on your way back, which is a great gastropub, or step in to paw-se for a drink at the dog and child-friendly Queens Arms in East Garston. Otherwise, you’ll have your pick of pup-friendly places in Lambourn, like The George.

  • Walk Length: 13.5km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Lambourn high street

  • Terrain: Trails, even, undulating, fields

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: 17A High Street, Lambourn, Hungerford, RG17 8XL

More information: Lambourn, Walking Britain

Shepherd meadows (& Sandhurst memorial park)

These neighbouring sites are of special scientific and conservation interest due to the habitat and wildlife found there. You can spend hours wandering the meadows following the River Blackwater with your pup, who’ll probably head into the water for a paddle. Just make sure to keep an eye out for the occasional cow used to graze the land.

The memorial park has everything you expect from skate ramps, sports courts, to play areas and wide-open playing fields paw-fect for fetch. It becomes wilder as it meets the grassland and woods of the meadows. This route is a circuit within Shepherd Meadows but can be extended by venturing into the park or along the Blackwater River Path.

This is a good walk for those living in North Hampshire or West Surrey too, as the meadows begin in Blackwater by the train station. If you start there, you’ll have your pick of local supermarkets to stock up for a picnic. Plus, Mr Bumble, the pub across the road, is dog-friendly. Otherwise, you could head up the road into Camberley, which has lots of local amenities. If you begin in Sandhurst, there is a cafe and facilities in the memorial park and The Wellington Arms is a short walk away.

  • Walk Length: 2.6km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Shepherd Meadow car park (or) Blackwater station

  • Terrain: Trails, flat, meadows

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: College Town, Sandhurst, GU47 0FL

More information: Bracknell Forest

Basildon park

Dogs are welcome to enjoy Basildon Park with their owners during daylight hours. There are four different walks around the beautiful gardens, parkland, and woodland surrounding the regal manor house. In the summer, the estate comes alive with wildflowers and make this one of the prettiest places for dog walks in Berkshire.

Your pooch will have to stay on the lead while you visit Basildon, but they’re sure to love walking around the varied landscape. There are sometimes cattle grazing the land in summer, so it’s best to be on the lead anyway.

Dogs are welcome to join you in the outdoor seating of the cafe or inside in the old kitchen. There are water bowls handy and free doggy treats available, so your pup can paw-se for a snack while you treat yourself to a slice of cake.

  • Walk Length: 0.8km to 4.8km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Reception

  • Terrain: Trails, flat, fields, woodland, uneven

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Lower Basildon, Reading, Berkshire, RG8 9NR

More information: National Trust

Donnington castle

Pooches and people alike will love a visit to Donnington Castle. There’s everything you need for a paw-some walk with your furry friend. Dogs on a lead are welcome to visit the ruins, which still looks formidable today. The remains of this castle are nestled in the North Wessex Downs AONB so you can be sure that you’ll be treated to some picture-perfect scenery too.

After exploring the castle, you can wander over the common and into the woodland here. It’s all very quiet and serene, ideal for a relaxing countryside stroll with your pooch. The walk up to the castle itself is quite steep, but otherwise, this is all gentle walking with no stiles or steps, paw-fect for people and pups of all ages. There are no facilities, but you’re only a short drive from Newbury and the number of local amenities there.

  • Walk Length: 5.8km

  • Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

  • Starting Point: Castle car park

  • Terrain: Trails, slopes, even, woodland, common

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Donnington, West Berkshire, RG14 2LE

More information: English Heritage, GPS Routes

Woodland walks

Sulham woods

This walk is frequently top of the bill when it comes to favourite dog walks in Berkshire, and it’s easy to see why. This vast mixed woodland and meadows stretches over 75 hectares and is not only a site of special scientific interest but also sits within the Wessex Downs AONB. With many waymarked paths, you and the pooch could return time and again to and still find something new.

It’s easy to walk where you like here, as even off the trails the ground stays level, and there’s plenty of space between the trees for your pup to run around in. One of the highlights of walking here is finding Wilder’s Folly, a pretty brick dovecote built on top of Nunhide hill. You will also find a few hidden pillboxes from WW2 dotted around the countryside here.

You can reach this route from Theale station, making this an accessible walk for anyone travelling from Reading. After your walk, be sure to visit The Fox and Hounds, voted Britain’s dog-friendliest pub, so you and the pooch are sure to adore it.

  • Walk Length: 5km (Various)

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Main car park

  • Terrain: Paths, flat, even, woodland, slopes

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Sulham and Tidmarsh Woods and Meadows, Reading, RG8 8AW

More information: GPS Routes, Wikipedia


There are many wonderful walks you and the pup could take here in Cookham, but we recommend this Wind in the Willows walk, or it’s longer version. So-named as Kenneth Grahame grew up in this area and Fultness Wood is known to be the inspiration for “Wild Wood”.

Dogs are best kept on the lead, but with the variety of surroundings and length of the walk, they will still be well-exercised and thrilled by all the sniffy-stimulation. You’ll stroll through the village, over the common, into woodland, and over fields with a few up-and-downs along the way. As you can imagine from the area that inspired The Wind in the Willows, there is plenty of wildlife to watch and attractive countryside to savour, and there are benches along the route so you can paw-se to sit and rest awhile.

For facilities, you’ll have to head into Cookham village where there are toilets, train station, and a good number of pubs. The Old Swan Uppers is a characterful pub which will welcome people and pooches inside for a drink. The Ferry has some outdoor seating, with stunning views over the river.

  • Walk Length: 4.8km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: National Trust car park

  • Terrain: Trails, lanes, undulating, slopes, common, woodland

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Cookham Dean Common, Winter Hill Road, Cookham, Maidenhead, SL6 6PJ

More information: National Trust

Lily hill park

This is another paw-fect spot for varied dog walks in Berkshire, as there is wild woodland and open grassland for you and the pooch to play in. There’s also playgrounds, ponds, and gardens to explore on a visit here. This park was another of the areas once part of the Royal estate, but now this historic parkland is open for everyone to enjoy.

There are a number of surfaced paths throughout so there are ample, accessible walking routes for all ages and abilities to enjoy. You can wander here as long as you like, but there is a circular walk that will take you through both Longhill and Lilly Hill parks.

In Lily Hill, see if you and the pooch can sniff out the number of historical features such as the Yew Walk, statues, and England’s longest picnic bench. (Ideal to paw-se for a snack!) There’s also a number of more exotic trees still growing here from its days as a garden. There is a cafe in the park, but otherwise, venture into neighbouring Bracknell or Ascot for local facilities.

  • Walk Length: Various

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Main entrance

  • Terrain: Paths, woodland, grassland, even, flat, slopes, steps in places

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Lily Hill Road, Bracknell, RG12 2RX

More information: Bracknell ForestWoodland Trust

Waterside walks

Englemere pond

On the edge of Ascot lies Englemere Pond, a stunning nature reserve that historically was part of the royal hunting grounds, and to this day, remains part of the Crown Estate. It’s a pup-ular site for dog walkers, nature lovers and ramblers alike who are drawn to the variety of surroundings and to feel closer to nature. Not to mention, dogs love swimming in this shallow and serene lake.

Both trails are circular and start at the car park, and the only facilities you will find here are a few benches, a picnic table, and a viewing platform at the lake. This is a site for serene strolls with your canine companion in unspoiled scenery. It’s very easy to forget you’re in the heart of Ascot, so will have your pick of pit-stops in town.

  • Walk Length: 1.6km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Car park

  • Terrain: Trails, flat, even

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: London Road, Winkfield Row, Ascot, SL5 8AB

More information: Bracknell Forest

Maidenhead to Windsor

This wonderful waterside dog walk leads you along the banks of the River Thames from Maidenhead to Windsor. As you leave Maidenhead, you’ll pass beneath the railway bridge designed by Brunel, which has a fabulous echo under the arches. The path passes by a lot of very beautiful, fancy houses and gardens as you wind your way towards Windsor. This is perhaps the ideal dog walk in Berkshire, not just because of the mixed landscape, but you’ll have a fabulous view of the castle as you approach Windsor through the meadows.

This walk is along the towpath, but frequently opens out into lush lawns and meadows where your pup can enjoy a run-around, and paw-haps break the walk up with some fetch. When in Windsor, you can spend time exploring the town before hopping on the train back to Maidenhead, (you’ll have to change at Slough.) Both the Boatman and the Horse and Groom in Windsor are near the station and river and treat people and pups like royalty.

  • Walk Length: 13.2km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Maidenhead station

  • Terrain: Trails, flat, even, fields

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Station Approach, Maidenhead, SL6 1EW

More information: Visit Thames

Kennet and Avon canal

Starting out in Bristol and meandering to Reading is the Kennet and Avon canal. There are several possible stretches winding through Berkshire where you can enjoy a waterside dog walk. The section from Reading to Theale is a lovely, long walk and easily accessible from the train station.

You’ll begin this walk with a short stretch of the Thames, which has narrowboats aplenty itself, before moving onto the canalside. The paths are flat and level making this an easy walk. At the end of the route in Theale, simply hop on the train to head back into Reading. (Unless you have enough hours left in the day to head back on foot!) If you decide to walk this route in reverse, you can park for free in Theale adjacent to the train station.

In Theale, you can wander out to Sulham Woods, another of our favourite dog walks in Berkshire. It’s also where you’ll find the country’s dog-friendliest pub, The Fox & Hounds. Otherwise, The Volunteer is slightly closer to the station and a great place for a pit-stop.

  • Walk Length: 13.6km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Reading station

  • Terrain: Trails, flat, even

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Station Approach, Reading, RG1 1LZ

More information: Berkshire Walkers


Take a trip along the Thames path to the pretty village that George and Amal Clooney call home. It’s a serene beauty spot on a bend in the river, most known for the lock and old mill. The mill itself is now a lovely restaurant and theatre, so perhaps pop back one night without the pup to see it for yourself. Meanwhile, you and your pooch are sure to love this gentle amble along the river and picturesque countryside beyond.

Despite being so near the water, this walk is typically dry in summer months. So unless it’s rained recently, you can manage it in trainers. There are no stiles either, so it’s an easy and dog-friendly route.

After you’ve tramped around the fields, head back into Sonning for a spot of lunch at The Bull. This 16th-century pub is gorgeous to look at and stay in, with dark beams, open fireplaces, and plenty of pooches dozing under tables. Afterwards, why not explore the village for yourself. You should be able to find parking at the side of the road easily, such as on Sonning Lane.

  • Walk Length: 12km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Sonning Lane

  • Terrain: Trails, flat, uneven

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Sonning Lane, Sonning, Reading, RG4 6ST

More information: Fancy Free Walks

Bray lake

This gorgeous spot is known for calm waters and weeping willows, although some areas of the water can be lively in summer as the watersports centre becomes busier. However, it is the paw-fect place for easy waterside dog walks in Berkshire, and is a real haven of peace. It’s ideal for families with energetic, adventurous kids as you could sign them up for a class or activity, and then enjoy a gentle stroll with the pooch while they make waves. If you finish your walk and still have some time to pass, you can pop into the onsite cafe.

You’re also a stone’s throw from the Thames and Dorney lake, which features on our favourite dog walks in Windsor, so you have no shortage of wonderful, watery dog walking locations to choose from. There are also a few pubs within a short drive, like the Belgian Arms or the Hind’s Head, which is also a Michelin starred restaurant.

  • Walk Length: 2.5km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Main entrance

  • Terrain: Trails, flat, even

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Monkey Island Lane, Windsor Road, Bray, Windsor, SL6 2EB

More information: Visit South East England

Standford Dingley

This varied circular walk will take you through the ancient village of Stanford Dingley, along the river Pang and through farmland, and into ancient woodland. The mix of habitat is excellent for pups, who will have plenty of new and exciting areas to sniff and explore, and even a few streams and ponds to paddle in if they fancy it. There’s also a figure of eight walk between Stanford Dingley and Frilsham which covers a lot of the same ground.

This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is the paw-fect countryside retreat that you and your pup will love. It’s a very rural area, and we advise good walking boots as the trails can be uneven and muddy. It can be steep in parts too, so you’re sure to feel this walk in your legs when you stop for a rest in the local pub. Speaking of which, both The Old Boot and the Bull Inn are traditional country pubs that welcome people and pooches alike.

  • Walk Length: 6.4km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Stanford Dingley

  • Terrain: Trails, fields, hills, uneven, woodland

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Stanford Dingley, Reading, RG7 6LS

Hill walks

Walbury hill

There isn’t a great deal of hill walking in Berkshire. But Walbury Hill, the highest point in the county, is worth wandering to with the pooch. This circular walk will take you over the county border into Hampshire, where you’ll then climb to the top of their highest hill too. Not only will you and your dog have the satisfaction (and tired legs) of climbing two highest-peaks, you’ll also get to explore a section of the Wayfarer’s Walk long-distance footpath. The Test Way long-distance path also passes by the hill, so the adventurous amongst you can tramp along that.

From the hilltops, you’ll have extensive views over the surrounding countryside as there is no higher ground for miles. There's an ancient hillfort at Walbury to give a historical flavour to the walk. Given the rural location, you won’t find any facilities here, except for the Crown and Garter a mile and a half away, which is a haven for ramblers and dog walkers visiting the area.

If you only fancy a short walk to take in Walbury Hill alone, you can just walk the half-mile to the peak and not venture on to Hampshire. Additionally, you can also take a short walk from the car park to visit Combe Gibbet and find out more about the grisly history of the landmark.

  • Walk Length: 16.7km

  • Difficulty: Challenging

  • Starting Point: Combe Gibbet car park

  • Terrain: Trails, hills, fields, uneven

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: South of Inkpen, RG17 9EL

More information: GPS Routes

More information about Berkshire: Wikipedia