Our four-legged friends are more than just pets – they are loyal, inquisitive and playful. They can understand how you are feeling, offer a sense of companionship and help to bring families closer together – which explains why they are the nation’s favourite animal.
As a dog owner, you’ll know that it doesn’t take long for a pooch to become a fully fledged member of the family – and like any good parental figure, it’s up to us to keep them happy. Dog-walking provides your pup with both the exercise it needs to stay healthy, and the mental stimulation that ensures its happiness.
With its busy atmosphere, it’s understandable that you might not consider London to be the best place for dog-walking, but outside of rush-hour it’s one of the world’s most dog-friendly cities. Here you can find pet-friendly pubs, restaurants and cafes, your canine companion can take a trip on the Underground for free, and there are plenty of open spaces where your pooch can stretch their legs. So we’ve put together a list of London parks that we think both you and your pet will love.
Alexandra Palace and Park
The landscape in Alexandra park is maintained by a dedicated team of people who ensure that the space is well looked after, making it enjoyable for both you and your dog. You and your pooch can take a stroll through 196 acres of grade ll-listed English Heritage parkland, perhaps making this one of the more picturesque spots on the list.
We suggest that you start your walk by soaking in the Victorian splendour of the palace architecture, before taking your dog on an adventure through a mixture of woodland and open grassland. If you’re a bird-watching enthusiast, you can find ospreys and kestrels amongst the many animals in the park.
Pop your pooch back on their lead and head around the boating lake, which is best appreciated in the summertime when the space comes to life with colour. Then carry on up to the hill, where you can expect to find panoramic views of the London skyline that span from The Gherkin to The Shard – a perfect moment to share with man’s best friend.
Located in the up-and-coming Bethnal Green, Weavers Field is the perfect dog-walking spot for anyone who wants to take in a green space in the heart of East London. This is an area where contemporary trends meet traditional London values. This park provides a peaceful break in the heart of busy London that both you and your pooch are sure to love.
It has a special area just for dog-walkers, so you’ll be able to take your four-legged friend off their lead and let them have a good and proper run around – the perfect spot for a game of fetch. Weavers Field is home to award-winning animal wardens who are there to keep the park in the best condition, ensure animal safety and provide the best possible experience for both you and your dog.
Once you’ve taken in everything that this park has to offer, you can head down to the Carpenter’s Arms pub, where you can enjoy a refreshing German beer or one of their sought-after cheese boards – the best part is that your dog will be welcome too.
If you think the views from Alexandra Park are good, then you need to visit Hampstead Heath. Here you and your pooch will be able to take a walk up the 100-metre-high Parliament Hill, from which you can take in panoramic views of the city.
If your pup is still full of energy, you have a further 320 hectares of parkland to take in, with plenty of wildlife on offer and 55 historical features, monuments and archaeological sites to see while you walk – your dog will feel right at home in this vast open space.
If past years are anything to go by, you should keep your eyes peeled for the Dogs Trust canine-friendly ice cream van throughout the summer months. You and your furry friend can enjoy an ice cream together and benefit from free microchipping and health checks, making sure that your pooch is both healthy and happy.
If you’re seeking a sense of tranquility, you can head down to Wimbledon Common. Comprised of woodland, scrubland and heathland, you’ll have plenty to take in while you walk your dog. Categorised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation, the space offers a naturally scenic backdrop to your walk.
Dog walking is common here, so there will be plenty of chances for your pooch to make some friends while you’re taking in your rugged surroundings. Totalling 1,140 acres, the Common makes Hampstead Heath’s 320-hectare space seem small, and its size ensures that your canine companion can run freely and safely, far away from busy roads.
London’s largest open space will provide the ideal walk for any dog that loves to run; if your four-legged friend happens to be a Siberian husky or Labrador retriever, you’ll be pleased to find such a large open space for them to stretch their legs.
These 2,400 hectares of former royal forest will offer you something new every time, with plenty of history and culture for you to take in. Locate any one of the four visitor centres, where the knowledgeable staff can provide you with the best dog-walking routes and point you in the direction of the Tudor hunting lodge commissioned by Henry VIII back in the 16th Century.
If you and your four-legged friend venture out into Richmond Park, it won’t take long for you to realise why it is London’s largest Site of Special Scientific Interest and a European Special Area of Conservation. Take in the scenery as you walk through the Isabella Plantation, and immerse yourself in the nature of the park – keep your pooch on their lead when near the park’s deer unless you want to recreate the famous Fenton video!
Once you’ve soaked up the park’s natural beauty, you can take the 10-minute walk to the nearby
Paws for Coffee Cafe. This dog-friendly eatery is the perfect place to refuel after your long afternoon walk.
London: Perfect for Dogs and Owners Alike
Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the capital put you off venturing out with your pooch; there are plenty of green spaces tucked away that not only give your dog the space they need to stay healthy and happy, but also provide you with opportunities to meet new people and take in the traditions and culture that London has to offer – and there may be an ideal London park closer than you think.
This guest blog collaboration is brought to you by Essential Living, a pet friendly London property developer with stunning apartments to rent across Islington, Maidenhead, Bethnal Green, Greenwich, Canary Wharf and more superb locations.