Travel & Tourism

The most dog-friendly waterfall walks have been named – and loads are near Manchester

Paw-friendly trails across the north, right this way. Words by Isabella Norrison.

The Manc The Manc - 3rd November 2023

Fresh air is good for the mind and body, and two things make it even better – a stunning waterfall along the way and the company of a furry friend.

But the challenge of a waterfall walk is that they’re often a little tricky to navigate on four paws.

Thankfully some experts have now pulled together 10 of the most dog-friendly waterfall trails in the UK, with the third place route right here in Greater Manchester.

And the majority of the top 10 are in the North West, easily accessible from Manchester.

The Malham Landscape trail in North Yorkshire has taken first place. The route is home to the Janet’s Foss waterfall, perfect for dogs to play and paddle to their heart’s content.


The trail is 8km long and will take you around two and a half hours to complete.

In second place is Aira Force in the Lake District, which has some breathtaking views. It boasts vistas across Ullswater Lake with plenty of space for your dog to stretch their legs. This also takes two and a half hours to get round, and it’s worth the effort.


Then we come to our home turf. In third place we have Dovestone Reservoir, which is one of the many stunning walks in the Peak District. It’s located on the outskirts of Greater Manchester in Saddleworth, and is a very enjoyable day out.

On the walk you’ll be able to see spectacular views of the water and might even bump into some sheep. This walk is considered a challenging route which takes on average four hours and 30 minutes. So it’s not for the faint hearted!

Elsewhere in the top 10 is Malham Cove, and if you love Harry Potter, then keep reading…


Only an hour’s drive from certain points in Manchester is Malham Cove, a filming spot in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One. This hike also includes walking over unusual rock formations, so make sure you wear appropriate footwear as you don’t wanna be slipping through them. This route is dog friendly.

Another great hike which is also in the Peak District near Manchester is called ‘Lud’s Church.’ This walk consists of a chasm caused by a landslip; however, it really is beautiful, looking like something straight out of Lord of the Rings.

The top 10 most dog-friendly waterfall walks were chosen by dog gear specialists at Ruffwear, who analysed more than 200 routes.

Get your walking boots on and go hiking! There’re so many beautiful places to explore and your dogs will thank you for it too.

The top 10 dog-friendly waterfall walks

  1. Malham Landscape Trail: Janet’s Foss, Gordale Scar, and Malham Cove, North Yorkshire – 8km
  2. Aira Force and Gowbarrow Park Circular, Cumbria – 6.9km
  3. Dovestone Reservoir and Chew Reservoir Circular, Greater Manchester – 13.5km
  4. Flash and Three Shires Head Circular, Staffordshire – 6km
  5. Ingleton Waterfalls Circular, North Yorkshire – 6.8km
  6. Coire Gabhail (The Lost Valley), Scottish Highlands – 4km
  7. Buttermere Circular, Cumbria – 7.4km8
  8. Ambleside to Stockghyll Force, Cumbria – 2.3km
  9. Rydal Water and Rydal Mount Circular, Cumbria – 4.5km
  10. Gradbach and Lud’s Church Circular, Derbyshire – 10.3km

Featured image: The Manc Group