Holiday inspiration & travel tips

Derbyshire Walks

5 dog friendly walking destinations in Derbyshire

The non-metropolitan county of Derbyshire is a natural gem of the East Midlands, as well as England at large. When you think of obvious dog-friendly locations – extended further than your local village square or park, that is – you think of the national parks sprawled across the United Kingdom, from the snowy peaks of Snowdon in Wales, to the Peak District in England. While your local walks are beneficial for your dogs, there’s no denying the benefits of expanding their world. New smells for them, new scenery for you, new dogs to meet and new encounters which will help them be better-rounded, better-behaved “family” members. Basically, there aren’t many arguments against a Derbyshire-Day-Trip, other than its proximity from you. Derbyshire takes up a hefty portion of the expansive Peak District, meaning that there is never a shortage when visiting the region with your pets. 

Elvaston Castle Country Park

Elvaston Castle Country Park
Image Credits: The Roaming Picture Taker(CC BY 2.0)

Make sure you’re never excluding day-trips which include the word “castle” purely because you think it’s unlikely to be accommodating to dogs. While it’s true that a number of castles prefer its visitors to remain of the two-legged variety, it’s also true that most (if not all) castles are surrounded by country parks, forests and meandering countryside – it was once a residence for society’s top-dogs, after all (excuse the pun). So, with this in mind, B-line to Elvaston Castle Country Park, located 6.5 km southeast of Derby City Centre. It’s free to enjoy (except for parking), and while you can enjoy the Gothic architecture, your dogs technically have roughly 200 square miles of mixed habitat forest to explore (though they need to be accompanied by a human, of course, making that a little less likely for those who are not super-athletes).

Visiting with dogs:

Elvaston Castle Country Park is dog-friendly and welcomes responsible owners and their dogs.

Website: Elvaston Castle Country Park

Derbyshire County Council

Calke Abbey

Calke Abbey
Image Credits: steve p2008 – (CC BY 2.0)

The words “dog ownership” and “National Trust” are practically synonymous – country estates make for pretty excellent walking destinations. National Trust properties are always fully equipped with facilities to ensure it’s a turn-up-with-lead kind of day, and roaming the gardens and the estate is free – it’s only a visit to the house that will cost you (and your dogs aren’t allowed there, so perhaps that’s a trip for another day). The beautiful deer freely roaming the park are a delight – and sometimes a little too much so for excitable dogs who aren’t used to fallow wildlife interrupting their exercise time, so be wary.

Visiting with dogs:

Dogs on a lead are welcome in the park, garden and stables

Website: Calke Abbey

National Trust

Crich Tramway Village

Crich Tramway Village
Image Credits: Neil Turner – (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Keeping your dog walks varied is just as helpful for you as it is for your dog. At the end of the day, provided the exercise is had by your fluffy friend, the pet-owner responsibility block has been checked. Then, of course, the variety is great for helping them socialise and behave well around other people, children and animals. However, the real clincher is – you guessed it – you. There’s no doubt about it: if both “walker and walkee” are enjoying themselves, the day goes from a chore to a treat. That’s why Crich Tramway Village, which encompasses the Woodland Walk and Sculpture Trail, is the perfect dog walk. It’s not just endless green or open space to walk along, but rather stimulating and interesting for the walkers, too. Your dog may not be able to appreciate the exhibitions and sculptures dotted along their walk, but they’ll notice that the walk was longer because you weren’t compelled to turn back once you got bored.

Visiting with dogs:

Crich Tramway Village gladly welcomes dogs & have recently been recommended as a dog friendly venue by the Dogs Trust.

Website: Crich Tramway Village

Crich Tramway Village

Peak District

Peak District
Image Credits: It’s No Game – (CC BY 2.0)

Places like the Crich Tramway Village, or castles and estates, are great for dog walks when you’re looking to get a little more out of your walks culturally, and especially if you’re walking with children who need stimuli to keep from whipping out the iPads. But if you’re in it for the natural beauty, or want the “hard stuff” so to speak, then the frills of decorated stately homes and pruned gardens just cannot compare to the absolutely brilliant scope of the Peak District. There are a variety of routes to choose depending on your ability and how much time you’ve got. Their website offer very helpful digital walking guides – this is recommended prior to setting off to avoid wandering around the district like you’ve stepped out of a Bronte poem.

Visiting with dogs:

Dogs are welcome in the Peak District but please keep dogs under close control at all times.

Website: Peak District

Peak District National Park

Kedleston Hall

Kedleston Hall
Image Credits: The Roaming Picture Taker(CC BY 2.0)

Another day, another walk, another National Trust property – you’ll never run out of outdoor activities for you and your dogs if Derbyshire is accessible to you, as the previous points will illustrate, but especially when the National Trust is involved. There’s also always a high likelihood of a delicious cake and a charming souvenir if they’re in charge. Between time-travelling to the 18th-century with the architecturally splendid mansion, and the rolling parkland proffering varied lengths which has undergone fascinating changes in landscape as the years have passed, you’ve got plenty to keep you busy in this Derbyshire hotspot. 

Visiting with dogs:

Dogs on leads are welcome in the parkland.

Website: Kedleston Hall

National Trust

Cottages in Derbyshire

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View all our dog friendly cottages in Derbyshire

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