15 Luscious dog walks in Leicestershire

Dog walks
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The landlocked county of Leicestershire has a handful of large towns, but otherwise, is a predominantly rural area. Three of the most famous things to come out of the county, Stilton and Red Leicester cheeses, and the Melton Mowbray pork pie, are all a product of its rich farming heritage, as well as delicious.

Other than tasty treats and lots of open, green spaces, Leicestershire still has plenty to attract you there. From the comedy festival to the biggest Diwali celebrations outside India, and the arts hub of The Curve, there is plenty of culture and events to soak up year-round.

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But what if you fancy a day out with your dog? Well, there are plenty of brilliant places to visit and walks to be enjoyed throughout the county. We’ve rounded up 15 of our favourite dog walks in Leicestershire for you and your pooch to try for yourselves.

Country & country park walks

Burbage Common

Sitting at the edge of Hinckley is Burbage Common, 200 acres of woodland and grassland that you and your pooch will love to explore. In Spring, the meadows come to life with hundreds of wildflowers. There are a variety of paths throughout the common and you can easily spend hours wandering the woods and fields with your pup.

If you plan to spend a few days walking, the Leicestershire Round long-distance trail passes through the park. But at just over 102 miles, it’s certainly a bit more than the average afternoon’s dog walk in Leicestershire.

There are facilities at the common with a visitor centre, toilets and cafe so you needn’t wander far to refresh yourself after your walk. If you did fancy a trip to find heartier fare, you and the pup will be welcome at the nearby Acorns Coffee Shop.

  • Walk Length: 6.5km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Main entrance

  • Terrain: Woodland, grassland, trails, flat, uneven

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Burbage Common, Hinckley, LE10 3DD

More information: Burbage Common, GPS Routes, Route

Bosworth battlefield

A popular visit for tourists and walkers alike, Battlefield Country Park is the place to go for long dog walks and to see the famous battlefield. It makes for a great day out and the site is dog-friendly, so your pooch can join you on your adventure. The only places pups aren’t allowed are the exhibition and tea room. Otherwise, they can wander freely wherever you do.

The short Battlefield Trail is great for families and anyone interested in history, as you’ll be given audio and visual information about the battle and landscape. Not to mention, the beautiful views of the countryside.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can take a long looping walk from the visitor centre and through the local area, past the place Richard III was believed to have been killed, and along the canal and former railway.

There are plenty of facilities at the visitor centre at the battlefield, so you can easily spend the day walking through the beautiful countryside and learning about the historic battle here that ended the War of the Roses. You can also stop by Sutton Wharf cafe, where muddy boots, families, and furry friends are always welcome.

  • Walk Length: 2.2km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Visitor centre

  • Terrain: Grassland, trails, flat, even

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Ambion Lane, Sutton Cheney, Nuneaton, CV13 0AD

More information: Bosworth Battlefield Country Park, Bosworth Battlefield, All Trails

Knipton to Branston

This route takes you between Knipton and Branston, passing by the beautiful reservoir on your way. You’ll pass charming cottages in the villages, as well as have wonderful views over the River Devon and reservoir as you come into Branston. This walk is a stunning short stroll through the countryside and villages and can be easily extended by combining it with a walk around Belvoir Castle and the surrounding estate.

Remember to keep your dog under close control in the villages. Don’t worry, they’ll have a chance for a run off the lead once you get to the fields. The Manners Arms in Knipton is a delightful dog-friendly pub and hotel where you and your pooch will be warmly welcomed. Otherwise, The Wheel Inn in Branston is a quaint country pub that will happily cater for you and your pup.

  • Walk Length: 2.5km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Knipton village

  • Terrain: Paths, trails, flat, gentle slopes

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Branston Lane, Grantham, NG32 1

More information: GPS Routes, Fish Adviser

Abbey park

Luckily for anyone local to Leicester (and their dogs), there are plenty of pretty parks and open green spaces within the city. Abbey Park is one of these and one of our favourite spots to go for a dog walk in Leicester.

There’s plenty of space for the pooch to run around off the lead and enjoy a game of fetch, while you both escape the hustle and bustle of city life for a while. The River Sour runs through the middle of the park and gives you both the opportunity to enjoy a waterside walk, just pop your pooch on a lead so they don’t try to chase any ducks and wildfowl living there.

If you fancy a more cultured, quieter, walk you can head across the river to explore the ruins of the abbey and Cavendish manor house. But if you have your kids in tow too, they’ll probably find the boating lake and pets corner far more interesting.

There are plenty of facilities and activities available at the park, including ping-pong tables, sensory garden and lavender maze. There is also the pavilion cafe, which welcomes dogs too. Otherwise, you’re only a mile from the centre of Leicester, so there are many local amenities to take advantage of.

  • Walk Length: However long or short you like

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Park entrance

  • Terrain: Paths, flat, even, parkland

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Abbey Park Road, Leicester LE4 5AQ

More information: Leicester.gov, Parking charges, Day Out With The Kids


This gentle circular stroll through the typically English countryside starts and ends in Hoby and is sure to delight you and your pooch. The landscape here is gently undulating, and you’ll have enough of a vantage point by Ragdale Hall that you’ll have extensive and exquisite views across your surroundings.

Your pup will have plenty of chances to be off-lead on this walk which is almost entirely through fields. The paths are well-kept, clear and waymarked making this an easy to follow route. But keep an eye out as some fields may have livestock in, so keep your pup under control if you see any nearby.

After your ramble through the rural countryside, stop by the Blue Bell Inn, a pretty thatched pub in Hoby. You’re welcome to park here so long as you pop in as a patron before or after your walk, which is very convenient for resting feet and paws and enjoying a drink.

  • Walk Length: 8.8km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Hoby

  • Terrain: Trails, fields, flat, gentle slopes

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: 36 Main St, Hoby, Melton Mowbray LE14 3DT


This long, circular walk is the perfect opportunity to take your dog and explore the north-west of the county. It’s a long trek, so be sure you both have plenty of stamina for a few hours walking. You will also pass through several villages on the route, so will have the chance to rest and refuel before continuing your adventure.

This is a fantastic walk to sample long stretches of the Leicestershire countryside and let your pup have plenty of time running free through the fields.

About halfway through the walk, you’ll get to Worthington, so it’s a good chance to stop by The Malt Shovel to take a break. Just remember that the pub in Wilson, a village later in the walk, is now permanently closed so you’ll have to remember to stop for facilities elsewhere.

  • Walk Length: 22km

  • Difficulty: Moderate/Challenging

  • Starting Point: Diseworth

  • Terrain: Paths, trails, fields, woodland, slopes

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Diseworth, Derby, DE74 2QJ

Woodland walks

Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Wood (The National Forest)

The crown jewel of the National Forest, the Diamond Jubilee Wood was planted to mark the 2012 jubilee celebrations. With over 300,000 native trees planted across the site, the woodland is still very young.

There is a bird hide and lake hidden within the woods, making it a great place to watch wildlife. Your dog will probably be more interested in trying to get in the water themselves, though. If you have kids, be sure to stop by the pond-dipping platform. Then, you and your pup can help them sniff out the various art features scattered throughout the wood.

Facilities here are next to none, but the trails are good and weave through the gently rolling, green fields so you can truly appreciate the scale this woodland will be in its maturity. You are a short drive from the exquisitely named Ashby-de-la-Zouch, where you can visit the castle ruins and the historic market town.

If you need a place to refresh you and your pup, stop by the Queen’s Head or the Crown Inn in nearby Coalville.

  • Walk Length: Various

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Car park

  • Terrain: Woodland, grassland, trails, flat, gentle slopes

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Heather Lane, Normanton le Heath, Heather, Leicestershire, LE67 2TD

More information: National Forest, Woodland Trust

Charnwood forest

Right on Leicester’s doorstep, Charnwood Forest is an important haven for nature, with pockets of ancient woodland and abundant wildlife. There are a number of walks throughout the area and you and your pooch could easily spend hours exploring the woodlands and heathlands here.

There are plentiful short routes, but for those who enjoy a challenge, take the Charnwood Peaks walk. This route takes you to the four peaks that define this upland forest, the oldest rocks in Britain, and the historic deer park. This long route is sure to tire the legs, but with excellent views and gorgeous surroundings, it will be a day well spent in the great outdoors with your faithful furry friend. You might even catch a glimpse of the alpacas in their farm nearby.

The Bradgate in Newtown Linford is a family and dog-friendly pub, making it the perfect spot to rest after your long walk through the forest and hills.

  • Walk Length: 24km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Newtown Linford

  • Terrain: Woodland, heathland, trails, uneven, hills

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Newtown Linford, LE6 0HB

More information: National Forest, Charnwood Peaks Walk, PDF, Bradgate Park

Martinshaw wood

Martinshaw Wood, along with neighbouring Pear Tree Wood and Burroughs Wood, make up the south-east boundary of The National Forest. It’s a prime location for picturesque woodland dog walks in Leicestershire. Your pooch will enjoy a good walk off the lead, stopping to sniff the trees and following their nose through the undergrowth while the humans can enjoy birdsong and tranquil surroundings as they connect with nature and relish the fresh air.

There is ongoing work to replace the conifers with native, deciduous trees meaning this mixed woodland will change over the years and already differs to the forest it was several years ago. Several of the pathways have been surfaced, creating an easy circular, accessible walk.

The Plough Inn in Ratby offers a warm welcome for people and pooches alike, as does The Bull’s Head. By starting and ending this walk in Ratby, you can make the most of the local facilities, as well as combine this route with other local walks to lengthen your outdoor adventure with your canine companion. This fairly long walk already takes you through the woods, to Groby and around Groby Pool for a moderate walk through varied surroundings.

  • Walk Length: 5.8km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Ratby

  • Terrain: Woodland, trails, uneven, flat

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Markfield Road, Ratby, LE6 0LQ

More information: Woodland Trust, View Ranger, LR Sport

Waterside walks

Watermead country park

This beautiful country park has a dozen lakes around the site, which coupled with its extensive network of paths, makes it a great place for fishing, walking, cycling and wildlife watching. This patchwork of woodlands, wetlands, and nature reserve is a green haven for wildlife and those wishing to escape the bustle of everyday life.

Both circuits are on surfaced paths and are accessible for wheelchairs and buggies, making this walk and wonderful scenery accessible for all ages and abilities. You will enjoy gentle strolling through tranquil surroundings and can relax by the calm waters of the lakes.

Meanwhile, your pooch will love a long off-lead walk, and maybe a quick doggy paddle. There is one area of the park that is off-limits to dogs, but it is clearly marked, and it is entirely separate to the pair of circular walks on the map.

You’d best pack a picnic, as there are few facilities except toilets and picnic spots. However, the nearby Horrow Inn is dog-friendly and serves hearty pub grub.

  • Walk Length: 1.6km to 32km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Country park entrance

  • Terrain: Paths, flat, even, wetland, woodland, fields

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Wanlip Road, Fillingate, Leicester, LE7 8PF

More information: Leicester.gov, Leicester Country Parks

Sence Valley forest walk

We could have included this dog walk in Leicestershire under several categories, as this country park includes some fantastic waterside and woodland walks, as well as rambles through the exceptionally pretty countryside. The scenery here is idyllic, from the lush, green fields to the young broadleaf forests. But the walks by the Sence river and surrounding lakes are calm, restorative routes you will love. But as you watch the birds and unwind on a stroll by the river, your pup might be more excitable and take themselves for a swim. It’s very difficult to believe this was once the site of an opencast colliery, as it is now so lush, green and vibrant.

There are toilets and picnic sites in the park, and the network of gravel paths make it a great location for leisurely family strolls and relaxing rambles with your dog.

  • Walk Length: 5km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Car park

  • Terrain: Gravel paths, trails, fields, woodland, even, flat

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Sence Valley, Ibstock, Leicestershire, LE67 6NW

More information: National Forest, GPS Routes, NW Leics, Forestry England, Woodland Trust

Loughborough to Leicester

It’s possible to do this long canalside walk in a day, and it’s one of those routes where you’ll feel real achievement for completing it. Despite the length, the route isn’t challenging as it is largely flat and level, following towpaths and trails. You’ll take in both the grand union canal and a section of the River Sour on this waterside dog walk, and the perfect opportunity to explore some of the Sour Valley.

If that wasn’t enough, this walk passes through Watermead Country Park, another of our favourite dog walks in Leicestershire listed above. You’ll have ample opportunity to explore and enjoy the park as you pass through on your tramp to Leicester. Your walk will finish in the gorgeous Abbey Park. Then, simply stroll to the station and hop on a train to take you back to where you began your journey.

As you pass through many towns and villages on this walk, you’ll be able to stop to find refreshments and local facilities at various points along the route.

  • Walk Length: 22km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Loughborough Station

  • Terrain: Flat, paths, trails

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Station Boulevard, Loughborough, LE11 1EX

More information: GPS Routes

Foxton locks

Not only is this a pleasant walk by the Grand Union Canal, but one with some fascinating feats of engineering. There is the flight of locks, the steepest in England, as well as the remains of the ingenious inclined plane boat lift.

Although a quick doggy paddle in the water might seem tempting, it’s important to keep your pup out of the water as canals are deep and difficult to get out of.

This walk not only takes you along the canal towpath, but over a woodland trail and into the village of Foxton, giving you an ample variety of scenery throughout your journey. Once in the village, be sure to pop into one of the pubs. The Foxton Locks Inn is delightfully dog-friendly, and has a “K9 Club”, which is free to join, and means your pup will be welcome to a special pet-friendly portion of the pub with treats and a bowl of water.

  • Walk Length: 7.5km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Foxton Locks car park

  • Terrain: Flat, paths, trails, woodland

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Gumley Road, Market Harborough, LE16 7RR

More information: Canal River Trust, GPS Routes, Restaurant Foxton Locks

Hill walks

Beacon hill

Trek through this rugged but beautiful landscape to reach the highest point in the county atop Beacon Hill. This route will take you from the outskirts of Loughborough, through the Out Woods and country park to the hill.

You’ll need good walking gear and a map to complete this walk. But the variety of landscapes and gradients is sure to keep you and your pup on your toes and leave you tired but longing for more at the end of your ramble.

If you want to shorten this walk and omit the Out Woods, or simply explore in a more leisurely fashion, you can start from either of the Beacon Hill Country Park car parks. Should you explore more of the country park, you can seek out the chainsaw-carved statues, enjoy several marked walks, and maybe have a BBQ by the upper car park. If you fancied spending a whole weekend walking, the National Forest Way begins in this park and stretches 73 miles to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

On your way back to the start of the route you’ll conveniently pass the Old Bull’s Head, where you can pause to rest with your pup before finishing off your walk.

  • Walk Length: 11km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Watermead Lane car park

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

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Watermead Lane, Loughborough, LE11 3TN

More information: Walking Britain, Leicestershire Country Parks, PDF, National Forest

Burrough hill

For fabulous views of the Leicestershire countryside, it’s worth climbing Burrough Hill. Not only will you have panoramic views of the beautiful landscape, but you can visit the site of the ancient hill fort that once stood here.

With plenty of opportunities for off-lead roaming, and a gradient sure to tire the legs out, your pup will be well entertained and exercised by the end of this walk. But should you like to spend a few more hours roaming the countryside, you can visit the nearby Melton Country Park or join the Leicestershire Round, (provided you want to spend a few days walking!)

There is a picnic area and toilets here, but should you fancy something more, you and your pooch can drop by the Stag and Hounds pub. There is also The Stilton Cheese Inn nearby, but dogs aren’t allowed inside.

  • Walk Length: 4.5km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Car park

  • Terrain: Trails, grassland, hills

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: High Street, Somerby, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE14 2QZ

More information: GPS Routes, Leicestershire Country Parks

Another bonus walk that comes highly suggested is Bradgate Park and Swithland Wood.

More information about Leicestershire: The Dog House Leicester

More dog walks: Derbyshire, Cheshire, Ely