Harrogate is a beautiful spa town located in North Yorkshire, England, that has long been a popular destination for tourists seeking relaxation and rejuvenation. Harrogate is really dog-friendly and being on the doorstep of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the surrounding areas offer a wide range of dog walks and hikes, there’s plenty of pubs, cafes, and attractions that welcome pooches too.
Dog Friendly Pubs and Cafes in Harrogate
When it comes to dog-friendly pubs and cafes in Harrogate you won’t be short of choice. The Fat Badger is my personal favourite, it’s is a popular pub that welcomes dogs and their owners and has a great selection of real ales and pub food. Major Tom’s Social is also dog-friendly, and offers delicious pizzas as well as other food choices but the highlight, well for my partner at least, is the range of locally brewed ale and craft beers. Hales Bar is also on our top dog-friendly pubs in Harrogate list, mainly because who wants to miss seeing a pub ghost! OK so I haven’t seen it yet but I have seen other spirits there!!!
For a more relaxed atmosphere, try Slingsby’s, dogs are welcome in the outdoor seating area, so you can enjoy a tasty treat while your dog relaxes in the sunshine, never one to miss out on an authentic cappuccino , I am a frequent visitor here, with and without the spaniels!
We also love Hoxton North and the staff there are exceptionally welcoming to those on four paws, but, my dog’s 5 paw award for the best dog friendly cafe in Harrogate goes to The Dog’s Bakery and Cafe, I mean what dog would turn their nose up at a home baked dog biscuit!
Dog Walks in Harrogate and the surrounding area
One of the most popular dog walks in Harrogate is Valley Gardens (pictured further up this post) The gardens offer a beautiful oasis in the heart of the town, with plenty of open spaces for your furry friend to run around and play. There are also several well-maintained paths that wind through the gardens, offering a scenic and peaceful walk, Maya and Lucia loved it there!
The Stray, famous for its Cherry Blossom in late April and May is another great place to let your dog enjoy all the sniffs, this 200 acre expanse of green space is divided into sections by quite busy roads, so personally I keep my dogs on their leads here.
Harrogate lies in Nidderdale, inexplicitly (to me!) Nidderdale is excluded from the Yorkshire Dales National Park, instead being awarded the less prestigious although still coveted title of AONB. But do you know, I think it is one of the most stunning of the dales and there are many fabulous hikes in the area. Actually really soon we are going to be walking The Nidderdale Way, a 53 mile trail, camping as we go, so watch out for a future blog updating you all on that.
Anyway if you visit dog friendly Harrogate, you really shouldn’t miss out on a reservoir walk and there are a few in Nidderdale to choose from. I highly recommend the Fewston and Swinsty Circular, the whole walk around both reservoirs is around 6.5 miles and I think fairly easy, although maybe that is just me because I have seen it described as moderately challenging. The beauty of this location is that you can choose to just walk round one if you like, and Fewston has an easily navigable footpath, courtesy of Yorkshire Water that you could push a pushchair etc round. The main Fewston and Swinsty car park is just a 15 minute drive out of Harrogate and it’s free to park there. The car park has public toilets and also on every occasion that I’ve been there an ice cream van.
Brimham Rocks is a unique and fascinating natural wonder 10 miles from Harrogate, and well worth the trip. Managed by the National Trust, pooches are welcomed but now do have to be kept on a lead. At the main car park there is sometimes a dog treat on offer by NT volunteers and my girls are always hopeful, although on occasion nothing is forthcoming, haha! The rocks are formed from millstone grit and have been eroded over thousands of years, resulting in a landscape of intriguing shapes and formations. You and your dog can explore the area through a network of paths and trails, and marvel at the impressive rocks, plus in summer there is an abundance of heather further down the site.
Dog Friendly Attractions near Harrogate
When it comes to dog friendly attractions in the Harrogate area you’re sure going to be spoilt for choice! This picturesque town is only a stones throw from Fountains Abbey (click her for my full review)
Then there’s Harewood House which is also dog friendly , in fact it eve hosts Dog Fest! There are some great walks around the grounds but understandably dogs are not permitted in the house itself or the woodland and kids play areas.
If you’re interested in Harrogate’s history it’s good to know that the free guided walks are dog friendly. The tour takes in many of the town’s highlights, including the stunning Montpellier Quarter, the Royal Pump Room Museum, and the Valley Gardens. Along the way, you and your pooch can soak up the unique atmosphere of the town, with its stunning architecture, lovely green spaces, and vibrant culture. I really enjoyed it when we did it as I learnt and saw things I never would have otherwise, it’s also a lot of fun and the folk who run the tours have really taken the essence of that famous Charles Dickens quote about Harrogate and made it come alive!
Just 4 miles from Harrogate lies the quaint and picturesque town of Knaresborough which to be honest is on another level when it comes to welcoming our furry friends. Dogs are welcomed on leads in Mother Shipton’s Cave, which by the way is the oldest paid for tourist attraction in England and also at the the iconic 12th century Knaresborough Castle. You can take a stroll along the river Nidd and admire the Knaresborough Viaduct, or take a longer walk up to Nidd Gorge and Viaduct. There are also a couple of places where you can hire a rowing boat, both welcome dogs on board and there’s numerous dog friendly pubs and cafes to relax in. A strong contender for our favourite dog friendly cafe is Marigolds Cafe and Boating and I think our vote for pub has to go to Mother Shipton’s Inn, although Knaresborough is so dog friendly I don’t think you would be disappointed wherever you choose to go.
In short Harrogate is the perfect place to visit with your dog either for a cultural trip or as a base for a hiking holiday in The Yorkshire Dales. I love it there and it is one of my personal favourite places in Yorkshire.
Hope you really enjoy it if you visit!
Love Sal, Lucia and Maya xxx