Top London dog walks
It may be one of the most populated cities in the world, but London offers plenty of green spaces and woodland for your dog to enjoy.
(Above: Dog walkers in Morden Hall Park in London. Photo by National Trust)
Off-lead exercise is so important for the wellbeing of dogs, not just for enrichment reasons, but because our walking speed is not their natural pace. If you're looking for inspiration on where to exercise your dog in the city, discover our top 15 dog-friendly parks and walks in London.
Alexandra Palace and Park
Surrounding the magnificent Victorian palace, this 196-acre parkland offers plenty of space for a game of fetch. Your dog will love exploring a mixture of woodland and grassland, with ornamental gardens and a lake for you to admire along the way. You can also learn about the fascinating history tracing back to both world wars, or simply soak up the London skyline from the top of the iconic hill.
Nearest station: Alexandra Palace (National Rail)
Facilities: Car parks, children’s playground, cafe, toilets
Address: Alexandra Palace Way, London, N22 7AY
Plan your visit to Alexandra Palace.
By the side of the Thames, Battersea Park spans 200 acres with lakes, woodland areas and plenty of open space for your dog to explore. Wherever you wander you'll find scenic gardens and landmarks, as well as a couple of cafes along the way including the dog-friendly Pear Tree Cafe. For a glimpse of the park's history keep a look out for the many memorials as well as the serene Peace Pagoda.
Nearest station: Battersea Park and Queenstown Road (National Rail)
Facilities: Car park, toilets, cafes, children’s playground
Address: London, SW11 4NJ
Find out more and plan your visit to Battersea Park.
Crystal Palace Park
For those that like a walk on the wild side, then this is as close to Jurassic Park as you'll get. Throughout the park keep an eye out for dinosaur sculptures lurking in the trees and around the lake (you can download the audio guide for their unique story). While the park was created to house the iconic Crystal Palace, there’s plenty more to do, including a maze for some problem-solving fun with your dog.
Nearest station: Crystal Palace Station or Penge West Station (London Overground)
Facilities: Parking, children’s playground, refreshments, toilets, information centre
Address: Crystal Palace Park, Thicket Rd, London, SE20 8DT
Find out more and plan your visit to Crystal Palace Park.
Despite its smaller size, Clissold Park offers plenty for dogs and walkers alike. Since a refurbishment in 2010, the land, lakes and mansion have been restored to their former glory. While there are a few dog-free zones (such as the children's play area), your pooch is otherwise free to enjoy this cherished park. If you'd like to check out Clissold House itself or grab a refreshment from the cafe, make sure to keep your dog outside and on a lead. Alternatively, take a leisurely stroll by the scenic lakes for a spot of birdwatching.
Nearest train station: Canonbury or Stoke Newington (both London Overground)
Facilities: Cafe, toilets, children’s play area
Address: Green Lanes, London, N16 9HJ
Find out more and plan your visit to Clissold Park.
Chiswick House and Gardens
Serving as the inspiration for some of the world's greatest outdoor spaces, Chiswick Park is a beautiful escape in London. Made up of 26 acres, you'll find sweeping green spaces, fragrant gardens, waterfalls, lakes and woodland. While there are some no-go zones for dogs, there's plenty of dog-friendly areas to stretch their legs. You should also look out for the annual Chiswick House Dog Show held on the grounds.
Nearest train station: Chiswick or Turnham Green (District Line)
Facilities: Car park, toilets, cafe, shop, children’s playground
Address: Burlington Lane, Chiswick, London, W4 2RP
Find out more and plan your visit to Chiswick House.
As London's largest open space (5,930 acres), there's no shortage of dog walks at Epping Forest. There are over 100 lakes and ponds to explore making it a great park for pooches who love to make a splash. If not, there are still numerous varied walks with opportunities for refreshments dotted throughout the forest. However be aware of free-roaming wildlife at Epping Forest, such as muntjac deer. Dogs should be kept under control at all times.
Nearest train station: Theydon Bois (Central Line) or Chingford (National Rail)
Facilities: Car parks, cafes, toilets, shop, visitor centre
Address: 6 Rangers Road, Chingford, London, E4 7QH (Visitor Centre)
Find out more and plan your visit to Epping Forest.
As one of the first great London parks, Finsbury Park remains just as popular today. You'll find a mix of open spaces, formal gardens, a lake and leafy avenues. One of the biggest highlights is the Parkland Walk, a disused railway line now transformed into a footpath and linear nature reserve. Taking in Crouch Hill along the way, it links Finsbury Park with Highgate Woods, making it ideal for an active day out.
Nearest train station: Manor House (Piccadilly Line)
Facilities: Cafe, toilets, children’s playground
Address: Endymion Road, London, N4 1EE
Find out more and plan your visit to Finsbury Park.
Home to the Royal Observatory and Meridian Line, Greenwich Park is famous for its unique history. You'll find big stretches of green space and floral gardens, as well as sweeping views across the river to St Paul's Cathedral. While there is a small herd of fallow and red deer, the animals are in an enclosed area for their safety. However, during the breeding and birthing season, be sure to keep your dog away from the fencing to prevent the deer from getting stressed.
Nearest train station: Cutty Sark (DLR)
Facilities: Car park, toilets, children’s playground, cafe, information point
Address: London, SE10 8QY
Find out more and plan your visit to Greenwich Park.
From on top of Hampstead Heath's Parliament Hill, you'll find some of the best views of London. And while this popular spot may get busy, the sheer size of the park means you'll enjoy many undisturbed games of fetch. Boasting 790 acres to explore, this wildlife-rich park is home to woodlands, heaths and swimming ponds, including one dedicated to dogs. You'll also find at least 55 historical sites and features, making it as fascinating for you as it is for your pooch.
Nearest train station: Golders Green, Hampstead or Kentish Town (Northern Line) and Hampstead Heath or Gospel Oak (London Overground)
Facilities: Car parks, toilets, cafes, children's playground
Address: Hampstead Heath, London, NW3 7JP
Find out more and plan your visit to Hamstead Heath.
A short walk from Hampstead Heath will bring you to this 28 hectare (70 acre) ancient woodland. Highgate Woods is a haven for wildlife and accessible scenic walks and, come spring, you'll find a beautiful carpet of bluebells among the woods. While there's less open green space than other parks, dogs will love sniffing out scents in the undergrowth.
Nearest train station: Highgate (Northern Line)
Facilities: Disabled car park, cafe, toilets, children’s playground, information centre
Address: Highgate Wood, Muswell Hill Road, London, N10 3JN
Find out more and plan your visit to Highgate Wood.
It's London's most famous and busiest park, but dogs are welcomed here with open paws. As you explore this green open space with your pooch, you'll see a number of beautiful sculptures and memorials, lakes and gardens. While there's lots to keep you both busy, make sure to stop for delicious refreshments at one of the cafes.
Nearest train station: Queensway, Lancaster Gate, Marble Arch (Central Line) and Knightsbridge, Hyde Park Corner (Piccadilly Line)
Facilities: Limited car parking, toilets, cafes, children’s playground
Address: Hyde Park, London, W2 2UH
Find out more and plan your visit to Hyde Park.
Lea Valley Regional Park
At around 10,000 acres, this enormous park runs along the leafy banks of the River Lee. In the country park you'll find a dedicated dog agility course with hoops, frames and weaving logs to keep your pooch active. Alternatively, explore the smells and sounds of Tottenham Marshes. Boasting wildflower meadows and wetlands, this wildlife paradise is guaranteed to delight dogs and people alike.
Nearest train station: There are many, depending on which part of the park you're heading for
Facilities: Car parks, toilets, cafes, shop, wildlife centre
Find out more and plan your visit.
Morden Hall Park
This National Trust site boasts 120 acres of parkland for you and your dog to enjoy. Notable landmarks include the restored waterwheel and Morden Hall itself, surrounded by a scenic garden. Dogs are free to access most areas in Morden Hall Park, including the cafe, rose garden and garden centre. Just look out for signage on where to keep your dog on a lead. Otherwise, choose from multiple meadows to let them run free.
Nearest train station: Morden (Northern Line)
Facilities: Car park, cafe, shop, toilets, garden centre
Address: Morden Hall Rd, London, Morden, SM4 5JD
Find out more and plan your visit to Morden Hall.
Richmond Park has no shortage of wide open space and woodland for your dog to sniff out. This National Nature Reserve is also home to some of London's most precious wildlife. As a result, you should keep an eye out for restrictions on dogs throughout the year. The deer rutting (September to October) and birthing (May to July) seasons should be avoided to keep both your dog and the deer safe. The Isabella Plantation is also a beautiful woodland garden to visit with your dog, but make sure they're kept on a lead.
Nearest station: Richmond (National Rail and District Line)
Facilities: Car parks, cafes, toilets, visitor information centre
Address: Richmond Park, TW10 5HS
Find out more and plan your visit to Richmond Park.
Trent Country Park
At the end of the Piccadilly Line you'll find this beautiful historic park. With meadows, brooks, lakes and woodland, Trent Country Park offers a variety of parkland to enjoy with your dog. Choose from one of the many waymarked trails, stop for refreshments at the cafe, or admire the scenic Water Garden. You'll also discover many memorials and sculptures throughout your walk.
Nearest station: Cockfosters or Oakwood (Piccadilly Line)
Facilities: Car parks, cafe, toilets
Address: London, EN4 0PS
Find out more and plan your visit to Trent County Park.