15 Splendid dog walks in Somerset

Dog walks
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Somerset is famed for its countryside, and the flat, open landscape lends itself to many beautiful and easy-going walks. This large country is predominantly rural but is still home to many sites of great historical and general interest.

If asked, you’d most likely remember Somerset for cider, cheddar or the Glastonbury Festival. All famous and very much-loved, but they certainly aren’t the only things that this county has to offer.

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On these fifteen dog walks in Somerset, you and your pup can explore the scenery that inspired Arthurian legend, as well as many other landmarks and hidden gems.

As always, remember to follow dog-walking etiquette and the countryside code whenever you walk with your pooch. Pick up after them, take litter home, and leave places as you found them.

Country & countryside walks

Cheddar Gorge

It would be criminal to compile a list of walks around Somerset and not include a route that takes you around one of the country’s most iconic landscapes. The largest gorge in Britain, it was made famous by the cheese aged in the caves here, a practice that has been continued for centuries. These caves were also home to the oldest human skeleton found in Britain.

Due to the abundance of caves, and steep drops, it’s best to keep your pup on the lead to be safe when walking around the gorge. We’re sure they won’t mind as they’ll get a few hours in the fresh air walking over terrain that’s sure to tire them out. (That’s a note for the humans, too!)

Stop off in Cheddar afterwards to rest feet and paws and explore this charming little village. You could visit one of the several tea rooms and Cafe Gorge, Lion Rocks tea room and The Mousehole are dog-friendly. To be honest, you should visit Cheddar just to take a trip to the Cheddar Paws Bakery. As the name implies, it’s a dog-friendly cafe and bakery where you and your pup could spend a lot of time sampling the tasty treats on offer.

  • Walk Length: 6.4km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: National Trust centre

  • Terrain: Woodland, hilly, trail, uneven

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: The Cliffs, Cheddar, Somerset

More information: National Trust, Cheddar Paws, Walkiees, Oscar and Hooch

Castles & Coasts way

The Castles & Coasts way is a long circular route through this quiet area of Somerset and links the Coleridge Way with the England Coast Path. It can be completed in one day, or you could walk a section in a shorter circuit. Either way, you and your pup will love this walk through the pastoral haven of the Somerset countryside.

Starting at the site of Nether Stowey Castle, you and your pooch will ramble over a variety of terrain on your journey to Stogursey Castle, the coast, and back again. There’s the opportunity to see a wide variety of wildlife too. For you literary fans, you’ll also pass Coleridge’s cottage.

As you pass through several different towns and villages on this long walk, you’ll have plenty of opportunities for you and your canine companion to pause and take a pit stop. Some pet-friendly spots include The Castle Inn in Nether Stowey and The Greyhound Inn in Stogursey.

  • Walk Length: 21km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Nether Stowey Castle

  • Terrain: Flat, inclines, trails, fields

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Castle Hill, Nether Stowey, Bridgwater, TA5 1NB

More information: Visit Somerset, Castles and Coast Way, Visit Exmoor


If you have a dog that can’t usually be let off the lead, you’re in luck as there are several secure dog walks in Somerset to be found. One of the best is Houndsville, 3.5 acres of fields that are completely enclosed and dedicated to dogs.

They have everything you and your pup could need for an enjoyable and exciting walk. From a pond especially for pooches to paddle in, to a picnic area, onsite doggy showers and towels provided for your pup to dry off.

You can book the entire space for exclusive use, at prices not to be sniffed at, or arrange a group trip. Thanks to the rabbit-proof fencing, you won’t have distracting wildlife or the risk of your pup running off. And given you can book the entire space, you know you and your pooch won’t be interrupted mid-walk or training session. It’s the ideal space to walk and train your dog and build your confidence together.

  • Walk Length: As long as you want within the session

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Main entrance

  • Terrain: Flat, inclines, trails, fields

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Monument Road, Wellington, TA21 9PW

More information: It's all about dogs

Dunster castle

The site of this ancient castle is a fantastic spot for dog walks in Somerset, all with the lavish backdrop of woodland and regal castle. The site of the original castle was levelled into a bowling green, and you and your pup can explore this and all the other green spaces surrounding the country home that remains. This includes the expanse of parkland, beautiful river garden, and south terrace with its positively Mediterranean planting.

There are plenty of facilities at the castle, including a shop and tea room. Dogs aren’t allowed on the inside of the tea room or castle but can venture everywhere else. You can also visit the working watermill with your pup on your walk.

The village of Dunster is a great place to start your walk where you can pop into the various shops, pubs and tea rooms before your visit to the castle and its gardens. The Foresters Arms and Stags Head Inn will welcome you and your pup, as well as the Chapel House tea room.

  • Walk Length: 2.5km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Dunster Steep car park

  • Terrain: Paths, even, gardens, parkland, woodland

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Dunster Steep car park, Dunster, Somerset, TA24 6AS

More information: National Trust, Dunster Castle and Watermill, Somerset West and Taunton

Chard to Wambrook

This circular walk is one of several that begin from the charming town of Chard, close to Somerset’s border with Devon. This route takes you through the typical scenery of the Blackdown Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that spans the border between Somerset and Devon.

Most of this walk is on footpaths and bridleways, so your pup has plenty of op-paw-tunities for a run off the lead. There are some short sections along quiet country lanes and near livestock, so make sure you can control your dog or pop them back on the lead when needed.

Otherwise, this is the quintessential countryside walk, taking you through rolling fields over gently undulating hills, with attractive views over this beautiful area.

  • Walk Length: 8km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Chard town centre

  • Terrain: Footpaths, trails, fields, slopes

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Bath Street, Chard, TA20 2ET

More information: Blackdown Hills, PDF

Woodland walks

Horner wood

Explore one of the largest and oldest forests in the country on a circular walk through Horner Wood. This is one of the most mystical places you can visit, as the woods look like the setting for a fantasy series or fairytale rather than a dog walk. However, the forest is dog-friendly and without restriction, so you and your pup can venture forth to enjoy a ramble amidst the ancient trees.

There are public toilets at the edge of the woods, near the Horner Tea Gardens, a quaint cafe offering refreshments and light lunches and your pup will be just as welcome as you will be. Otherwise, you can take a short drive into one of the nearby villages to find more places to refuel. Porlock has several good pubs, including The Ship Inn, which welcomes pets and serves great food.

From here, you could also take a long walk where you can explore the wood and climb Dunkery Beacon, the highest point in the county, and another dog walk in Somerset included on this list.

  • Walk Length: 4.8km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Forest Gate car park

  • Terrain: Flat, uneven, slopes, woodland, trails

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Holnicote Estate, Selworthy, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 8TJ

More information: The Best Of Exmoor, National Trust, Horner Wood, Dunkery and Horner Wood Circular Walk

Nutcombe Bottom

Giggles at the name aside, this forest is exceptionally pretty and a paw-fect spot for a picnic with your family and pooch as well as a spot of gentle walking amidst the trees.

This trail is a short easy access route, but you can easily extend your adventure for as long as you’d like. Within just this short walk, you’ll weave between huge conifers, including the 197 foot high Douglas Fir, the tallest tree in the country. It’s just a little bigger than the average Christmas tree.

If you haven’t brought a picnic along, you can drive to the nearby Lion Inn, a family and dog-friendly pub by the A396. You could also stop by the Chapel Tea Rooms in Dunster for a post-walk pick-me-up for you and your pup. You can visit any of the facilities or attractions in Dunster mentioned above in the Dunster Castle walk.

  • Walk Length: 1.5km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Car park & entrance

  • Terrain: Woodland, trails, slopes, uneven

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Nutcombe Bottom, West Somerset, TA24 6TA

More information: Nutcombe Bottom, Forestry England, Visit Exmoor

Prior’s wood

Once part of a large estate, Prior’s Wood is now a beautiful nature reserve where you and your pooch can enjoy an enchanting woodland dog walk in Somerset. In late spring, the woods are a popular attraction for the beautiful bluebells displays across the forest floor. Just remember your pup must remain on their lead in the reserve to avoid disturbing the local wildlife.

One of the several trails through the woods gives you a wonderful view over the Gordano Valley and across Wales and Bristol. You’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the view on this circuit from Portbury, through the woods, and across the meadows on the other side.

On the start of your journey, you’ll have the chance to admire the ancient priory, still standing at the corner of Station Road as it has for centuries. The Priory pub is also on the road, and your pup is welcome to join you inside.

  • Walk Length: 7km

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: The priory

  • Terrain: Woodland, trails, slopes, uneven

  • Free Parking: Yes (on-road)

  • Address: Station Road, Portbury, Somerset, BS20 7TJ

More information: View Ranger, Trip Advisor, Prior's Wood Trip Advisor, Avon Wildlife Trust

Waterside walks

St Audries bay

Compared to other dog-friendly beaches in Somerset, St Audries bay remains quite secretive and secluded. It’s a short walk down a track from the holiday park, and although the water can be on the murky side, it’s a fantastic beach for walking and rock-pooling. There are also two waterfalls on the cliffs that back the bay, which is both sand and shingle, making it one of the more mystical of Somerset’s beaches.

With no restrictions for dogs, and being quite a quiet beach, your pup is sure to love spending hours racing around the shoreline, digging in the sand, and investigating all the rock pools and pebble stacks.

You can park at the holiday park, where the trail to access the bay is. You can use the toilets here and visit the park shop for any refreshments of a few picnic provisions for your seaside stroll.

  • Walk Length: As long or short as you like

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: St Audries Bay holiday park

  • Terrain: Slopes, tracks, beach, shingle, sand

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: St Audries Bay Holiday Club, West Quantoxhead, Somerset, TA4 4DY

More information: St Audries Bay, Somerset Live, The Beach Guide

Tarr Steps

A walk to Tarr Steps gives you and your pooch time to explore the enchanting woodland around the River Barle before crossing the ancient, iconic bridge. This centuries-old bridge is the largest example of a clapper bridge anywhere and made from dozens of huge stone slabs, each weighing over a ton. This long circular walk lets you explore the beautiful moorland of Exmoor as well as the woodland and crystalline river.

You can take a shorter route following the orange markers around the river and across the clapper bridge, but you can also spend a few hours taking this long route and give you and your dog the perfect chance to enjoy the beautiful scenery, watch the local wildlife, and of course cross the ancient stone bridge.

There are public toilets in the car park and local amenities in Dulverton and Tarr Steps, so be sure to stop by to refuel on this all-day walk.

  • Walk Length: 20km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: National park centre

  • Terrain: Flat, slopes, tracks, woodland

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: 7-9 Fore Street, Dulverton, TA22 9EX

More information: Exmoor National Park, The Best Of Exmoor, Country File, Dulverton National Park, Wikipedia

River Yeo

Nothing is more perfect for a sunny day than a waterside walk. This relaxing stroll by the flowing waters of the Yeo is sure to set you and your pup in high spirits. Your pooch especially, as they’ll probably end up in the river for a quick doggy paddle to top off this dog walk in Somerset.

You could take a point-to-point walk from Mudford, but we enjoy the circular walk from Cheddar, which gives you and your pup the opportunity to visit other local points of interest, be it the Cheddar Gorge walk listed above, or a quick trip to Cheddar Paws Bakery.

If you and your pooch enjoy a calm walk through quiet, picturesque countryside then this walk is paw-fect for you. With splendid views across the fields and towards the Mendip Hills.

  • Walk Length: 8km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: The Market Cross

  • Terrain: Flat, steps, slopes, tracks

  • Free Parking: No

  • Address: Union Street, Cheddar, BS27 3NA

More information: Cheddar Walking, Cheddar Walking PDF, Mudford Parish Council, Walkiees


Both Berrow North beach and Berrow South beach are dog-friendly year-round and is popular for seaside dog walks in Somerset. The expanse of sand and mudflats stretch on for miles, and Berrow is the second-longest stretch of sand in Europe - So your pup can run wild and tire themselves out racing across the beach. You might even see the wreck of the ship on the south beach, that ran aground in the late 19th century.

The only stipulation here is not to walk on the beach when the tide is out, as the mudflats are exposed, and unwitting walkers can find themselves stuck in sinking sand. Therefore, pay attention to the safety notices on the beach. But as the number of dogs and walkers will attest, it’s no less popular for it.

You can visit nearby Brean for local dog-friendly facilities and eateries or even a visit to the beach there, which again, is dog-friendly. If you park in the town, you’ll often find ice-cream vans and other food vendors in the car park, making it easy to grab a snack to enjoy as you walk your pup. A trip to the COAST cafe will be a welcome break for you and your dog after your walk, where even your pooch can take their pick from the amazing pet menu, and cuddle up in a blanket while you enjoy your meal.

  • Walk Length: As long or short as you like

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Starting Point: Car park

  • Terrain: Flat, sand, mud, beach

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Berrow Beach, Berrow, Burnham-on-Sea, TA8 2LW

More information: Berrow North, Berrow South, Discover Brean, Dog-Friendly Pubs and Restaurants

Hill walks

Dunkery Beacon

The highest point in Exmoor and Somerset is Dunkery Beacon, a chain of hills with bronze age barrows at their peaks. This beautiful area of moorland provides easy and plentiful dog walks and is sure to captivate you with it’s open, rugged landscape and lengthy history. From its peak, you can see across to Devon, with commanding views over Dartmoor.

The scenery here is what inspired Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and this circular walk gives you and your pup the chance to visit a section of the Coleridge Way, a long-distance footpath that travels through Exmoor.

There are quite a few streams at the start of this walk so be wary of mud, and leave a towel in the car in case your pup decides to have a paddle. After you’ve climbed the hill, you can stop for a rest and some refreshments in Wheddon Cross, where you started your walk. Or you could bring provisions and have a picnic at Dunkery Gate, with pleasant views over the moor and towards the beacon.

  • Walk Length: 6km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Dunkery Gate car park

  • Terrain: Trails, hills, fields, uneven

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Cutcombe, Minehead, TA24 7AT

More information: Country File, Visit Exmoor, Exmoor National Park, Dunkery Beacon, Coleridge Way

Glastonbury Tor

No list of dog walks in Somerset would be complete without including Glastonbury Tor, the most famous landmark of the entire county. Known the world over thanks to the festival, the Tor is itself home to a long and varied past, steeped in myth and spiritualism as well as history.

Climbing the tor not only allows you to see the iconic tower, but you will have awe-inspiring views of the Somerset levels, see across neighbouring counties and even as far as Wales. Despite the height, the walk is easy-going and level underfoot. Your pooch will have a terrific time roaming off-lead on the level ground and getting great exercise running up the hill.

Glastonbury itself is a wonderful town to visit with your canine companion, as it’s very dog-friendly. There are many pubs, cafes and shops in the town that will welcome both you and your four-legged friend, giving you both plenty of op-paw-tunities for a good sit down and tasty treat on your day out.

  • Walk Length: 4.1km

  • Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

  • Starting Point: Information centre

  • Terrain: Hills, trail, even

  • Free Parking: Variable - You need to park in the town

  • Address: Glastonbury, BA6 8BG

More information: Walking Britain, Normal For Glastonbury, National Trust, Trip Advisor

Kelston Roundhill walk

A short drive from Bath is the village of Kelston, which has long been popular with walkers of all kinds due to the network of footpaths converging here and the picturesque countryside surrounding the village.

The walk up the hill is well rewarded with views over the rolling countryside, across the Wiltshire Downs, Bath and Bristol. On a clear day, you can even see the Severn bridges and across to Wales, making you and your pup feel like you’re on top of the world.

Starting from the Blue Soft Cheese farm gives you access to the hill on a long, circular walk. It also means you can start and end your adventure in the cafe on the farm, where there is a seating area, especially for dog walkers. Be sure to sample the artisan cheese made onsite with milk from the herd that live there. You can also start your walk from the village and visit facilities there, like the charming Old Crown Inn.

  • Walk Length: 3.2km

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Starting Point: Blue Soft Cheese Co

  • Terrain: Hills, trail, even

  • Free Parking: Yes

  • Address: Park Farm Cottage, Kelston, Bath, BA1 9AG

More information: Visit Bath, Bristol Barkers, Dog Friendly

More information about Somerset: Visit Somerset, Wikipedia, Hideaways, Somerset Dog Walking, National Trust, Somerset Live, Wanderlust

More dog walks: Devon, Dorset, Surrey