When you want to get away, you want to unwind as well as know your furry companion is having just as good of a time. With London being a hyperdense area, with much of its city seemingly covered in grey and concrete, you may be surprised to find that a good portion of London is full of greenery and ready to be explored.
While out with your four-legged best friend, it’s essential to know the laws you must obey as a dog owner.
Across the UK, all dog owners must clear up all dog waste and have their dog on a lead if they cannot be under control at all times. Owners must not allow dogs to enter children’s parks or cafes. Dogs are also prohibited from damaging trees and chasing wildlife, so be cautious when taking your dog for a walk if they can remain obedient off their lead.
In London’s Royal Parks, there are various places dogs are either strictly not allowed and others where they must remain on a lead. Some are below, but for the full extensive list, please keep up to date here.
Another rule, across much of London (including parks), is that there should be no more than four dogs per owner. Something to consider if you have a large dog-filled-family.
Spanning over 790 acres from Hampstead to Highgate, there is so much of this green space to explore and occupy. As a bonus, there is even a swimming pond for dogs, allowing them a chance to cool off in the warmer months.
Taking a walk along the canals to either Regent’s Park or even take a hike up the 213 feet high Primrose Hill, will be sure to give you desirable sights when out with your dog. It has many paths from Camden alongside the canal, and over in the park too, keeping you both visually entertained.
While Epping Forest does border between Essex and London, it was too vast and beautiful not to mention on this list. With 5,930 acres of ancient woodland to discover, as well as a rich history to uncover as the land used to be hunting land originally. So, whether you’re after a quiet walk with your dog lakeside or to head off the beaten path, Epping Forest has countless trails for you to explore.
Set in Finchley and opened in 1902, this 17-acre green space is perfect for exploring with your dog. It’s open all year round and is visited by many paws, being a favourite amongst many Londoners.
With over 180-acres for you to explore, this historic park is known for being pet-friendly. Look out for the dramatic views across the river to St Paul’s Cathedral, and the many other sights of London you may capture. Be aware there is deer at this park, and while secluded off for the safety of the deer and your dog, it is something to be mindful of when visiting.
Over in the west of London, Chiswick House and Gardens have much to offer. While a location desperate to be explored without your four-legged best friend, there are also many pet allowed areas which can be located on their website. Dogs are entitled to enter the lake, but Chiswick does ask that you don’t throw any sticks for your dog to chase. They are also strict on your dog not chasing any wildlife.
One of London’s best known and widely visited parks, Hyde Park is even well-loved by dog owners. With the cafe’s offering dog bowls of water to thirsty pets and several flower beds for your pet to discover, there is much for both you and your dog to uncover and explore when you visit. Be aware, Hyde Park is strict on not allowing dogs in the Princess Diane Fountain and Lido swimming area.
With dinosaur statues to be explored, this is a great place to go with your dog and explore the jungle that makes up Crystal Palace Park. Or explore the maze, which is one the largest in the country.
Just south of the River Thames, this delightful park has vast green areas and even a boating lake. It is named as one of London’s most pet-friendly parks, allowing you the chance to spot various breeds over this 200-acre space.
If you’re after more enclosed dog exercise areas, there are many spots all over London ranging in various sizes to allow your dog a bit more freedom than some of the larger and busier parks. This is especially important for those dogs nervous off lead, or with poor recall as the London council is very strict on dogs being manageable and well-behaved.
When travelling around London, the buses and tubes are a lifesaver.
If you have your dog with you, you’ll be pleased to know your dog can travel for free on the London Buses, London Underground and London Overground as long as they are kept on a lead or in a crate/carrier. However, be aware that station staff can refuse you entry if your dog is misbehaving, so ensure they are obedient to avoid being stranded somewhere.
Another thing to consider is that you will need to carry your dog up, or down, the tube escalators. This is because dogs can injure themselves on it, and some may even be scared of it.
With so many of London’s nature-filled parks to discover, and London being season-ready all year round, there hasn’t ever been a better time to get away with your dog and begin exploring. So, what are you waiting for? Grab the poo-bags and the lead, and get exploring London in a dog-friendly way, and discover the parks of London.