15 Gorgeous dog walks in Gloucestershire

Dog walks
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Gloucestershire boasts some of the richest history and countryside in all of the country. This south-western county is home to most of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the entire Forest of Dean, and a chunk of the Severn Valley. Meaning that there is definitely no shortage of scenic walks in the region.

You and your pooch could spend weeks taking the different dog friendly walks in Gloucestershire and never tire of the varied and stunning landscapes. Meanwhile, if you fancy a spot of history and culture, there are many attractions like the spa town of Cheltenham, regal Sudeley Castle, or the historic Roman hub of Cirencester.

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To give you an idea of the range of places you and the pooch can wander, we’ve gathered fifteen of our favourite dog walks in Gloucestershire. Some of these areas, like The Forest of Dean, could have an entire article dedicated just to walking there!

Country & country park walks

Pittville park

The largest park in Cheltenham, Pittville Park is absolutely packed with activities that people of all ages can enjoy, and it is a fantastic space to take the dog for long walks and perfect for fetch and ball games.

The park itself is split in two parts, one side has a cafe, huge playground, playing fields, lakes and pumphouse. For your furry friend, the cafe usually stocks dog-friendly ice-cream, so you can all enjoy a cool treat on a sunny day. The other side houses the famous BMX tracks, natural play area, pitch and putt golf, and the boating lake and boathouse.

As you can see, there are facilities aplenty on site, as well as loads of open green space where kids and dogs can run around. If you fancy a calmer walk, you can stroll around the west of the park to admire the trees and flowers or stroll around any of the lakes. There is also plenty of free parking dotted around the park.

  • Walk Length: Long or short as you like

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Park entrance

  • Terrain: Paths, flat, even, fields

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: East Approach Drive, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL52 3JE

More information: Visit Cheltenham, Cheltenham.gov

Minchinhampton & Rodborough commons

A walk through Minchinhampton and Rodborough commons is great not just for exercising the pooch, but enjoying some rare and wonderful wildlife and for exceptional views of the Stroud Valley and Severn Estuary.

The superb scenery alongside being surrounded by hundreds of yellow cowslips or purple orchids, makes the perfect backdrop to this stroll through the commons. Please be aware that cattle are used to graze the land, so the National Trust advises that dogs stay on the lead. Even so, this is still one of the most beautiful of the short dog friendly walks in Gloucestershire.

There are no facilities on the commons except for strategically positioned benches for paw-sing to rest and savour the splendid scenery. So after your walk, if you fancy a tipple, you can head to the Kings Head which welcomes pets, except during food service. Otherwise stop by The Old Fleece or The Royal Oak which are delightfully dog-friendly.

  • Walk Length: 1.6km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Rodborough Common Car Park

  • Terrain: Trails, hills, even, grassland

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Rodborough Common, Stroud, GL5 5BL

More information: National Trust, GPS Routes

Stow-on-the-Wold to Bourton-on-the-Water

This walk not only has the most hyphens in its name of any walk we’ve listed, it’s also a gorgeous dog-friendly walk through two of the most attractive Cotswolds towns, quintessential countryside, and includes a stroll alongside the babbling river.

You can start this walk in either town but be aware that Stow-on-the-Wold is the highest town in the Cotswolds, so expect a steep climb to get to it. Because of that, we suggest starting in Bourton-on-the-Water so you can tackle the hill halfway through the walk and not at the end!

There are plenty of opportunities to rest and refresh you and the dog on this walk, with many local shops, pubs and tearooms in both towns. Bourton-on-the-Water has more dog-friendly offerings of the two.

The Windrush Garden Cafe and the Green and Pleasant Cafe both have outdoor seating you and the pooch can use, as well as you both being welcome inside and out of the The Cotswold Antiques and Tea Room. Dogs sadly aren’t allowed, but if you can visit without them be sure to stop by the model village in Bourton-on-the-Water.

  • Walk Length: 16.7km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Bourton-on-the-Water

  • Terrain: Paths, trails, flat, hills, grassland

  • Free Parking: Yes (2 hours)

  • Address: Rissington Road, Bourton-on-the-Water, GL54 2BN

More information: All Trails, Character Cottages


This hidden gem in the Gloucestershire countryside is everything that makes the British countryside special. From lush green fields, crystal-clear streams, to majestic forests and wonderful wildlife, this walk has them all in spades.

This route starts in the village of Marshfield and meanders around the local countryside, including a trip into the sleepy hamlet of West Kingston before you emerge in the secretive Shire Valley.

You can park in the marketplace or high street of Marshfield and use the local facilities there at the start or end of the walk. Your pooch is welcome to join you in the bar of the Lord Nelson Inn or The Catherine Wheel.

  • Walk Length: 11.3km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Marshfield

  • Terrain: Paths, trails, fields, flat

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: 39 High Street, Marshfield, Chippenham, SN14 8LR

More information: CountryFile, GPS Routes

Crickley hill country park

This country park is within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is paw-fect for a serene stroll through rolling hills and fields where you and the pup can stretch your legs while enjoying beautiful views over the Severn Vale, as far as the Black Mountains in Wales.

Dogs must be on a lead between 1st March and 31st July, and you’ll need to have them under close control if you come across any of the (adorable) Belted Galloways that graze here.

The visitor centre in the park provides all the facilities you could need, including a cafe, allowing you to spend hours wandering the countryside with your pooch without worrying about being caught short. If you prefer an alfresco lunch, there’s plenty of picnic spots and benches so you can enjoy a snack amidst the pretty landscape.

Whether you keep to the waymarked paths or go off-piste and roam freely over the fields, you and your pooch are sure to love visiting Crickley Hill.

  • Walk Length: 5.3km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Crickley Hill visitor centre

  • Terrain: Trails, grassland, hills, even

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Birdlip, Gloucester, GL4 8JY

More information: National Trust, GPS Routes

Woodland walks

Siccaridge wood

Deep in the heart of the Frome Valley, you’ll find Siccaridge Wood. This ancient coppice is wonderful throughout the year, but famous for its springtime bluebell displays, and gorgeous glades full of lily-of-the-valley.

It sits beside the Thames and Severn canal and you can access the wood from the towpath, so if you fancy walking for a few more hours, you can take a trip along the canal with the pooch or venture into the two neighbouring nature reserves, Sapperton Valley and Daneway Banks, which both welcome dogs on leads too.

As this is a nature reserve, your dog will need to stay on the lead in the woods, but it is a beautiful area and still one of our favourite dog friendly walks in Gloucestershire. The picturesque woodland feels like it was lifted from a fairytale. You can park in the layby at the bottom of the hill or at the nearby Daneway Inn, just be sure to patronise the pub before or after the walk.

  • Walk Length: 4.8km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Layby or Daneway Inn

  • Terrain: Trails, uneven, woodland

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Cirencester, GL7 6LN

More information: Ordnance Survey, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust

Forest of Dean

For perhaps the most popular dog friendly walks in Gloucestershire, you will have to head to the huge Forest of Dean. You can spend hours here and return time and again and never have a shortage of new routes and things to see. From a dozen short walks, several long distance routes, and a 4 mile sculpture trail, there’s no shortage of routes you and the pup can take while wandering this dense, rich forest.

If your dog doesn’t have great recall, they are best kept on the lead for walks in this forest as per their dog walking guidelines. This is because there is plentiful wildlife roaming such as deer and wild boar that should not be chased, as well as livestock in open areas and in the Wye Valley. You won’t encounter any livestock on any of the 12 short walks, making these a bet for a good free-roam for the pooch. But as long as your pup returns on command, and is not likely to chase any animals, it is free to be off the lead wherever you walk.

On lead or off, your pup will love stretching their legs and exploring the thick understorey here. There are also lakes and ponds hidden away, as well as a quaint cafe perfect for refuelling after a long walk through this idyllic landscape.

  • Walk Length: Various

  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

  • Starting Point: Various

  • Terrain: Trails, flat, uneven, woodland

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Speech House Road, Coleford, GL16 7EL (Sculpture Trail)

More information: Forestry England

Lineover wood

A walk in this wood is a wonderful way to spend a few hours outdoors with your pooch, or as a pit-stop on a walk along The Cotswolds Way long distance footpath. The woodland is within the Cotswolds AONB and has existed for over a millenia. It also sits beside Dowdeswell Wood and reservoir, so you can extend your walk to include exploring these areas.

However, if you only stay in Lineover Wood, you won’t miss out, as it is a wild and varied landscape of wildflower meadows, ancient coppiced woodland, and grassland. It’s also got enough of a vantage point to give great views of Cheltenham and the Malvern Hills.

Walking here is very tranquil and idyllic, with wildflowers peppering the grassland and woodland floor. If you want an aim to your walk, see if you and the pup can sniff out the ancient beech tree, the third oldest in the country with a huge 7 metre circumference.

For refreshments and facilities, you’ll need to head to The Royal Oak in Andoversford, or pop into Cheltenham for their local amenities. You’re so close to town, you can in fact walk from Cheltenham to the woods.

  • Walk Length: 2.2km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Car park

  • Terrain: Trails, flat, uneven, woodland

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Lineover Wood, Cotswolds, GL54 4HQ

More information: GPS Routes, Woodland Trust

Waterside walks

Woodchester park

The secluded wooded valley of Woodchester Park holds the remains of the 18th and 19th-century landscape park and mansion, which is now a tranquil area perfect for dog-friendly walks in Gloucestershire.

As well as the enchanting woodland, there are five lakes you can walk around or sit by relaxing and birdwatching beside the calm waters. One of the lakes houses a heronry on an island, whilst the quaint little boathouse is home to hundreds of bats. The area is a pocket of untouched nature and a haven for anyone who wants to enjoy a quiet walk with their dog amidst gorgeous natural surroundings. Please note, dogs must be on leads for all walks here.

There are three trails to take, and the circular boathouse walk takes you around a lake and to the secretive hut hidden away in the woods. The ground can be steep and muddy, so it’s a good idea to have good walking shoes on. If the mansion is open, you can paw-se for refreshments there, or picnic by the old kennels. Otherwise, the nearest pub is in Nympsfield Village.

  • Walk Length: 5.6km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Car park

  • Terrain: Trails, uneven, woodland, slopes

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Nympsfield, near Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, GL10 3TS

More information: National Trust, GPS Routes

Whelford pools

Once the site of barren gravel pits, Whelford Pools is unrecognisable compared to its former industrial heritage and is now a gorgeous freshwater lake and wildlife reserve. It is in the eastern section of the Cotswolds Water Park, which is itself a great dog friendly walk in Gloucestershire. The area is alive with wildlife. There are hides you can seclude yourself in to watch the local inhabitants, or simply take a stroll with your pooch and enjoy a picnic at the waterside.

The reserve is open at all times, all year round. The nature hides have wheelchair ramps, but the paths aren’t all accessible, as the trails can be uneven. Pups are always welcome to join you for a walk here, but they must stay on their lead given all the animals and rare nesting birds that live there. The magic beans cafe is located by the lakes and has some outdoor seating where you can relax and enjoy a warm drink.

  • Walk Length: 1.5km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Car park

  • Terrain: Trails, uneven

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Whelford, Fairford, GL7 4DY

More information: Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, Cotswold Life

Mallards pike

Mallards Pike is every bit a natural oasis, where you and the pup can enjoy a quiet waterside stroll around the lake, or a wander through the woodland. If you have kids, they can enjoy the Go Ape course or watersports on the lake. Meanwhile your pup is sure to love the dedicated dog dip area where they can dive in for a paddle. If you fancy a snack, there’s picnic areas and a cafe onsite, plus toilets.

There are a few walking trails at Mallards Pike including a surfaced 0.8km trail suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. It follows the lakeside and has benches along the route to allow you to paw-se and admire the view.

The middle route links Mallards Pike with a popular picnic spot of Wenchford. But for anyone with some stamina, there are a trio of walks between Mallards Pike and Soudley Ponds, and these routes can be combined into one 10 mile walk around the woods and lakes that you and the pup will love. The longer walks are especially tranquil, often with no company but your pooch, the birdsong, and the trees.

  • Walk Length: 0.8km to 16km

  • Difficulty: Easy to Challenging

  • Starting Point: Car park/entrance

  • Terrain: Path, flat, even, woodland, trails, uneven

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Mallards Pike, Gloucestershire, GL15 4HD

More information: Forestry England

Hill walks

Cleeve hill ring

This circular walk around Cleeve Hill can get pretty steep, but with no stiles to contend with it’s a dog-friendly walk in Gloucestershire that’s sure to tire out your legs and the dog’s. Half of the walk is within the Cotswolds Are of Outstanding Natural Beauty and explores the rare and rich limestone grassland the region is famous for.

You’ll also get to ramble through woodlands and by streams, which your pup can enjoy a paddle in. When walking in the hills, you’ll have unparalleled views over Cheltenham and of the surrounding countryside.

This is a long walk, but there is a shorter version that shaves off two miles from the route and a lot of the steeper sections, making it an easy walk. Both versions of the walk are circular and start from the car park opposite the golf course. The nearby Rising Sun Hotel is both family and dog-friendly, so you can refresh yourselves here or head into Cheltenham to use local facilities.

  • Walk Length: 9.6km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Quarry car park

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

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Southam, Cheltenham GL52 3PW

More information: National Trail, Explore Gloucestershire


You and the pooch can enjoy exploring this charming Cotswolds village before taking a circular walk up Beacon Hill, the second-highest point in the Cotswolds, to the iconic Broadway Tower. The views here span 16 counties, including the Severn Valley and Wales, and must be seen to be believed.

You can also watch the herd of deer in the park from above. Because of the deer park, your pup will need to be on a lead for this walk. But with the range of habitats, sniffy stimulation, and tiring hill your pooch is sure to enjoy the walk as much as you.

Back in Broadway you can pay a visit to the local pubs. The Crown and Trumpet and The Swan are both dog-friendly so you and the pooch can enjoy a rest inside these historic, cosy pubs. The Tower Barn also has toilets, a shop, and refreshments. Parking is by the Morris and Brown cafe, and you could pick up some snacks there. If you want to enjoy more of the countryside and a much longer walk, try this 6.5km walk.

  • Walk Length: 1.2km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Broadway Tower car park

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

  • Free Parking: No (Free for members)

  • Address: Middle Hill, Broadway, WR12 7LB

More information: Broadway Tower, Explore Gloucestershire

Robinswood hill

Located within the country park of the same name, Robinswood Hill has some steep stretches but an awesome vantage point on the peak. You and the pup are sure to feel well exercised after hiking up to the top for the panoramic views. You can see so far that, on a clear day, you can make out the Severn Bridges.

As well as the hill, Robinswood Hill Country Park has 250 acres of open parkland and countryside to enjoy, and a traditional orchard. There is a play area at the bottom of the hill to keep little ones happy, and loads of picnic benches, and a cafe open during holiday periods.

The huge open spaces are perfect for fetch, or simply letting the dog off-lead for a long run. Meanwhile this circular walk up the hill is sure to tire out even the most energetic of people and pooches. If you fancy refreshments and a rest, stop at the nearby Three Oaks Inn.

  • Walk Length: 5.3km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Park entrance

  • Terrain: Trails, hills, grassland, woodland

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Reservoir Road, Gloucester, GL4 6SX

More information: GPS Routes, Visit Gloucester

Haresfield beacon

A walk up to the top of Haresfield Beacon isn’t an exhausting climb, but one with rich scenery and history along the route and rewarding views from the beacon. Pups will love wandering off the lead and sniffing around the woods, while the people of the party can try to sniff out the neolithic and bronze age barrows, and iron age dykes. This walk also follows a short section of the Cotswolds Way long-distance footpath.

As you pass Jackdaw quarry, you’ll have a wonderful view over the Severn Vale. Further on the walk as you leave the woods, there is a magnificent backdrop of the Forest of Dean stretching into the distance. After visiting the toposcope, simply follow the medieval woodland boundary back to the car park.

There are no nearby facilities and even a lack of picnic benches, but Shortward is a popular picnic spot for those with a blanket. On sunny days, there may be an ice-cream van in the car park. Otherwise, you’ll have to venture to nearby Randwick or Haresfield for local facilities and pubs.

  • Walk Length: 7.2km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Shortwood car park

  • Terrain: Trails, hills, grassland, woodland, even

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Haresfield Beacon, GL6 6PP

More information: National Trust, Walking Englishman

More information about Gloucestershire: CountryFile, Gloucestershire Live

More walks: Leicestershire, Pembrokeshire, Staffordshire