Getting out and about with your dog in different areas is a great way to exercise your pooch, mentally and physically. New smells, new sounds, and new scenery turn each walk into a mini adventure. The UK boasts amazing countryside perfect for dog walks, but where are you allowed to walk with your dog?

Public Rights of Way

Footpaths, bridleways, and byways are all accessible to dog walkers, even if they cross private or farmland. Your dog must be kept under control at all times, with many farmers requiring dogs to be kept on leads especially where animals are grazing. Section 1 of the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 makes it an offense for a dog to be out of control, ‘that is to say not on a lead or otherwise under close control’, in a field or enclosure containing sheep.

Open Access Land

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act give the public access to land mapped as “open country”. This could include fields, woodlands and more. However, between 1 March and 31 July your dog must be kept on a lead no more than 2 metres long to protect nesting birds and livestock. Find open access land local to you on the Natural England website.

PetStay’s Walking Essentials

Ramblers and walkers alike will advise you to take a backpack of essentials on any walks into the countryside. At PetStay, we’d advise taking the following with you;

  • Collapsible water bowl and enough water for you and your dog
  • Snacks for you and treats for your dog
  • Ordnance Survey Map and Compass (especially for long walks)
  • First aid kit
  • Waterproof (for you!)

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