We’ve picked the best places to go dog walking in North London, so pack a picnic (plus treats for your doggo) and enjoy exploring some of the capital’s coolest neighbourhoods.
You’ve probably been to a gig or two at ‘The People’s Palace’, but have you ever braved its parkland? If you’re looking for phenomenal views of the London skyline, head to Ally Pally with your pooch, situated in hipster paradise, Muswell Hill.
This is one beautifully manicured park. Doggos will love roaming 80 hectares of expansive grassland and woodland, full of rare and interesting wildlife. There’s also the beautiful boating lake and ornamental gardens, plus a ton – and we mean a ton – of stuff to do: playground, Go Ape course, skate park, food market, cafe, the list goes on…
For a killer americano, head to the scenic Grove Cafe, a sweet Italian eatery. Want to enjoy your cake waterside? Look no further than the Lakeside Cafe, home to delicious snacks and delightful vistas.
Nearly every Sunday, the Farmer’s Market rocks up, a stone’s throw from the park’s Crouch End entrance. Pick up your fresh, local produce here, and maybe a treat for the pooch, too.
How to find Alexandra Palace:
- Sat nav: N22 7AY
- Tube: Wood Green (15 mins walk)
- Train: Alexandra Palace (5 mins walk)
If you and your canine like a little variety, Victorian-era Finsbury Park is the perfect pick, located in Harringay.
It’s the epitome of leafy urban charm: tree-lined avenues, wide open green space and a boating lake, of course. The American gardens underwent a sensitive revamp not long ago, and are worth a peek.
Exercise junkie? You’ll be in your happy place here. A swanky outdoor gym boasts 20 exercise stations and free entry, so no excuses! Basketball, tennis and a skatepark are also on offer, amongst other sporty spaces – there’s also a new and improved caff.
Parkland Walk is an old favourite, directing dogs and their owners across a 4.5 mile stretch of nature reserve. The walk connects Finsbury Park to Highgate Woods, another of our top North London spots for dog walks.
The children’s play area is pooch-free, but the two of you can enjoy sitting in one of the Victorian-style seating shelters, no problem.
How to find Finsbury Park:
- Sat nav: N4 1EE
- Tube: Finsbury Park (1 min walk) or Manor House (1 min walk)
- Train: Finsbury Park (1 min walk) or Harringay Green Lanes (7 mins walk)
Doubling up as iconic setting in many a movie and a stockpile of stunning walks, Hampstead Heath is one of the largest London parks. Picnicking here is a rite of passage for city dwellers.
Energetic pups will want to explore this 320-hectare paradise for hours, sniffing around the rich selection of wildlife, wide open heaths, woodlands and ponds – one of which is designated a dog-friendly swimming zone. The Heath also has a lido, so bring two towels…
For breath-taking city views, head up to the park’s highest summit, Parliament Hill, or ‘Kite Hill’ as it’s affectionately called. After the climb, finish off with a delicious reward and cuppa at one of the Heath’s many cafes. We recommend the one on Kite Hill, for the best views in the house.
How to find Hampstead Heath:
- Sat nav: NW3 1BN, NW3 7ES or NW5 1LN
- Tube: Hampstead (10 mins walk), Golders Green (10 mins walk) or Kentish Town (14 mins walk)
- Train: Hampstead Heath (8 mins walk) or Gospel Oak (8 mins walk)
For wanderings through a wild, diverse and vast chunk of nature, head to Hackney Downs, nestled in the heart of the borough.
A popular Green Flag London park, your furball can leap through gorgeous meadows, which bustle with a wide variety of butterflies, bees and other wildlife during mid summer.
The park also has basketball courts, a football pitch and a children’s play zone – off-limits to eager doggos. There’s no on-site café, so if you reckon you’ll get peckish, bring snacks.
For a slice of Hackney hipster culture, head to Hackney Downs Studios afterwards, a collective of artsy studios and shops – it has a café dedicated to cereal (named Cereal Killer), need we say more?
How to find Hackney Downs:
- Sat nav: E5 8NP
- Tube: We wouldn’t advise it
- Train: Hackney Downs (1-4 min walk) or Rectory Road (6 mins walk)
One of the best things about London? The walks are super interconnected.
Not far from Hampstead Heath lies Highgate Wood, an ancient mecca for wildlife and bluebells galore, with a lineage stretching as far back as prehistoric times.
The 28-acre woodland is chock-a-block with beautiful walks for you and the pooch to try out, as well as a fantastic playground.
Tired walkers (yourself included) can enjoy a gourmet snack at the renowned Highgate Wood Café, sitting on the outskirts of the main field.
How to find Highgate Wood:
- Sat nav: N10 3JN
- Tube: Highgate (8 mins walk)
- Train: We wouldn’t advise it
The best London parks offer both owner and pooch points of interest. Your furry pal can have a real sniff-fest at Trent Park, poking around woodland, meadows, lakes and brooks, which date back to, y’know, the olden times.
The park has a juicy historical past, housing the remains of Enfield Chase, once a royal hunting ground frequented by the likes of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I – there’s even a moat, guys.
Bear in mind, if your pup loves nothing more than a good chase, the park is populated by rabbits, pheasants and Muntjac deer!
There’s also a tea shop, café and a children’s play area – no dogs allowed on the climbing frames etc.
How to find Trent Park:
- Sat nav: EN4 0PS
- Tube: Cockfosters (10 mins walk) or Oakwood (15 mins walk)
- Train: We wouldn’t advise it
Obsessive about London parks holding Green Flag awards? Us too, and Haggerston Park is a worthy recipient, hidden in the south west corner of Hackney.
Another dog walking hotspot, visitors and dogs alike flock to this lovely green space.
It’s a good choice for older or nervous dogs, as parts of the park are walled, giving the place a serenely secluded feel, à la The Secret Garden.
There’s a variety of foodie hangouts to choose from in the local area, so you can tuck into a ‘virtuous’ snack after your vigorous dog walking jaunt.
Hounds must steer clear of the sports facilities and kids’ play area – you know the drill.
How to find Haggerston Park:
- Sat nav: E2 8NH
- Tube: Bethnal Green (17 mins walk)
- Train: Hoxton (9 mins walk) or Cambridge Heath (12 mins walk)
Fancy going dog walking in the largest park in Islington? Highbury Fields is well worth a visit, as your pooch will have plenty of space to really stretch their legs – is there a better sight than your dog blissfully running free (not after a rabbit or jogger)?
Extending across 11.75 hectares, the park has a pool, bandstand, tennis courts and Oasis Café, ideal for a slab of cake at the end of the day.
Kids will love the new adventure play area, which contains a self-propelling circular train, an impressive slide and climbing structures designed to thrill tiny daredevils.
How to find Highbury Fields:
- Sat nav: N5 1AR
- Tube: Highbury & Islington (4 mins walk) or Holloway Road (12 mins walk)
- Train: Highbury & Islington (4 mins walk) or Drayton Park (7 mins walk)
Now you’re armed with our awesome list of North London walks, you and your pooch are probably raring to go. Want to venture West London way next? We’ve got that covered, too. And the East. And the South!
Taking our pups on dog walking adventures isn’t always possible – life gets in the way. Gudog is here to help. Our team of seasoned walkers are just waiting to explore London’s parks with your four-legged friend – you can find them here.
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