Walking your dog (or dogs) is one of life’s greatest pleasures – for you and for them. Bath and the city’s surrounding area is blessed with the kind of dog-friendly walks and wide-open spaces that make everybody’s tails wag.
From perfect little parks to fascinating, historic routes, there’s a canine-centric experience for every 2- and 4-legged friend.
Grab a handful of bags (you know the ones we’re talking about!), wise up on the rules of the dog-walking world and make Rover’s day!
These are our 10 Best Dog Walks in Bath.
1. The Bath Skyline Walk
As the name suggests, the Bath Skyline Walk offers an elevated dog-walking experience the lifts the spirits to stellar heights.
Offering spectacular views across Bath, the circular, 6 mile/9km route can be dipped into and out of at any point along the way, there’s also some of the best dog friendly pubs on the route too!
From secluded woodlands and hidden valleys to wide open meadows and rocky outcrops, the route belies the fact that you’re only a hop, skip and a jump away from Bath city centre.
If you’re up for the full trek, the whole route can be completed in around 3½-4 hours but certain rules must be obeyed even if you’re just meandering: follow a clockwise direction only, and keep dogs on a lead at certain points along the way when instructed.
There are no car parks on the Skyline Walk, but frequent bus services to and from the city centre makes the route easily accessible from all parts of Bath. Visit the website for full details including a map of access to the walk and the full route.
2. Alexandra Park
Look up southwards of Bath city centre and you’ll notice a wooded hillside rising up from just beyond the river. At the summit of that hillside (around 2 miles/3km from the city centre) lies Alexandra Park: 11 acres of tranquil, mature greenery offering magnificent views across the city.
Okay, so we’ve all got many maps to hand on our phones or in our back pockets. But if you fancy seeing that flatplan come to glorious, 3D life, you’ve come to the right place: behold, the city in miniature, stretched out before you, changing with the seasons.
There’s plenty of wide-open space for Rover to roam in and benches for you to sit back and take in that view. If you don’t fancy the sturdy hike up the steep Wells Road hill before you reach journey’s end, several bus routes link the city centre with the Bear Flat area of Bath and car parking is available within the park itself (charges apply).
But be warned: locked gates close off vehicle access between dusk and dawn every day.
Address: Shakespeare Avenue, Bear Flat, Bath BA2 4RQ
3. The Kelston Roundhill Walk
The tiny, ancient village of Kelston (4 miles/6.4km north-west of Bath) is a veritable dog-walking epicentre and the starting/finishing point for many of the Best Dog Walks around Bath.
Most popular of all is the Kelston Roundhill Walk: part of the historic Cotswold Way offering breathtaking views of the Wiltshire Downs to the east and the Mendip Hills to the south.
Other routes lead dogs and their walkers on public footpaths past the historical Kelston Mills all the way down to the River Avon, or on a longer loop taking in several nearby villages.
Oh, and you’ll pleased to know that there’s a perfect country pub at the heart of Kelston village life, complete with gorgeous garden called the Old Crown.
Address: Kelston Village, BA1 9AQ
4. The Kennet and Avon Canal
The Kennet and Avon Canal towpaths adjacent to some of the most scenic stretches of waterways in the UK can be accessed at several points in and around Bath city centre and on the further-flung boundaries.
Various routes take in places of historic interest (weirs, viaducts, etc) plus beautiful views, peaceful chill-out zones, canal-side pubs and cafes and even, for adventurous hikers with energetic dogs, villages along the way. Want to make a really big day out of it?
Start your walk in Bath, trot all the way along the canal to Bradford-on-Avon (10 miles/16km), and hop on a train home! Download all the information you need including free maps, route suggestions and even nature spotting guides from the Canal River Trust website or just amble freely at your leisure.
Top tip: pretty much all the pubs en route offer a warm welcome to pooches and well-behaved owners.
Address (information centre): Sydney Road, Bath BA2 6NT
5. Royal Victoria Park
We’ve sung about the multiple reasons to be cheerful to be found within Royal Victoria Park on our 10 Things to do with Kids in Bath chart (INSERT LINK HERE). But hey! Dogs are family too, right?
Given that Bath’s biggest park dominates around 57-acres of lush greenery at the heart of Bath, there’s plenty of room for your 4-legged friends to let off steam here including two vast fields that serve as perfect canine merrymaking zones.
Roam and explore to your heart’s desire bearing in mind that there are certain areas where dogs aren’t welcome (the children’s adventure playground, for example) so read the signs and play nicely.
Address: Marlborough Lane, Bath BA1 2NQ
6. Lansdown on the Level/Bath Racecourse
We are most definitely not suggesting that you let your dogs loose on Bath’s legendary Racecourse itself! But the Lansdown on the Level route guides walkers around the racecourse environs and the meadows around nearby Lansdown Golf Club.
The golf course is, of course, also a no-dogs zone, but the dog-friendly pathways offer welcome-to-all routes across the flat, wide-open spaces high on the Cotswold Plateau and offer spectacular views across the surrounding countryside.
7. Alice Park
Even the gorgeous cafe in Alice Park at the epicentre of his tranquil little haven of greenery around 1.8 miles/2km east of Bath city centre is dog-friendly – the perfect refuelling pitstop to reward yourself after Rover’s roam around 8 acres of fields and greenery, perhaps?
Exercise off-lead caution around the family-friendly play area, the boules park, skatepark, community garden and wildlife pond, though, otherwise you won’t be invited back.
Address: Gloucester Road, Lambridge, Bath BA1 7BL
8. The Hare and Hounds Lansdown Trail
Great pubs and good dogs go hand-in-paw, yes? All credit to the Hare and Hounds for combining the two and collaborating with their friends at iFoodpath to create their very own walking route that starts and finishes… at the pub!
The 5.5 mile/8km circular walk takes in plateaus, pastures and places of historic interest (Beckford’s Tower; Prospect Stile), offering superb views along the way.
The pub itself (around 1.5 miles north of Bath city centre) offers its own swoonsome views across across the hills, vales and hamlets to the north and east of Bath from rolling lawns, split-level patios, a covered marquee and huge picture windows.
And of course…. dogs are very welcome indeed.
Address: Lansdown Road, Bath BA1 5TJ
9. Springfield Park/Linear Park/Two Tunnels
Springfield Park (off the Bear Flat plateau around 1.5 miles/2.4km south of the centre) is a wide-open, dog-friendly field of dreams. At the bottom corner of that field, the fascinating Two Tunnels voyage of discovery veers off to the right and Linear Park ambles off to the left, leading all the way to the back of the lovely, lively Oldfield Park area.
But as both Two Tunnels and Linear Park are designated safe cycling tracks, dogs need to be largely kept on their leads along both of those routes.
So, either enjoy Springfield Park as a stand-alone dog-haven delight or let them let off steam before you go forth and explore the other two options at a more genteel pace.
Address: Meare Road, Bath BA2 5PP
10. Westonbirt Arboretum
Wonderful Westonbirt Arboretum is a big day out indeed, situated as it is around 20 miles/32km north of Bath.
But it’s an unforgettable day out for all, including 4-legged friends who are welcome to go off-lead in the magical Silk Wood or on a lead on the spacious central downs area; that’s around two-thirds of the vast site itself.
Follow a trail or go freestyle in hundreds of acres of impeccably-maintained ancient woodland. Get up-close-and-personal with 2,500+ different species of trees.
Take a picnic or visit the cafe, kiosk or smokehouse. Run, walk or simply meander. And… breathe!
Address: Tetbury, Gloucestershire GL8 8QS
Melissa relocated from Liverpool to Bath in 1999 and has since made the city her official first home. She has 30+ years of published freelance writing commissions on her CV and is a regular contributor to several local and national publications, typically specialising in restaurant and theatre reviews, food-related features and interviews with interesting people.