Delamere Forest in Cheshire is the UK’s most picturesque spot for dog walks, according to Instagram data.
The north-west’s top dog walking hotspot has 62% more Instagram posts per mile (13,879) than the UK’s second most-snapped location, West Wittering beach in Chichester (8,591 posts per mile), and nearly double that of the third-placed Hardcastle Crags in West Yorkshire (7,274 posts per mile).
The team at YuMOVE analysed over 265,000 Instagram hashtags from the UK’s favourite dog-walking trails to highlight the most photographed spots.
Locations across the UK have made it into the top 20, with notable inclusions including Ninesprings Country Park in Somerset, Cobtree Manor Park in Kent and Holcombe Hill in Cumbria.
Some 14 of the top 20 walks are in forests, where you can also get a glimpse of wild animals, and find complete peace and quiet for self-reflection. Beaches are another popular choice for dog walking, with picturesque Instagram favourites including Holkham Beach in Norfolk and Fraisthorpe Beach in Yorkshire.
No. 1 Delamere Forest Walk
Easily accessible from both Manchester and Liverpool, Delamere Forest has a variety of trails, including some ideal for families. As well as being a great place to spot birds, visiting dog walkers can also enjoy views of Liverpool’s famous skyline.
No. 2 West Wittering Beach Walk
This expansive golden sand beach sits just six miles south of Chichester. The sands extend for miles at low tide and facilities include a car park, picnic areas and a café, making the beach ideal for a long walk with your dog.
No. 3 Hardcastle Crags
With dense forest, ponds and rivers all to be found in this wooded valley, it’s not hard to see why so many Instagrammers can’t resist sharing their snaps of Hardcastle Crags. Situated in West Yorkshire, this National Trust site has over 15 miles of footpaths to explore with your dog.
How to walk your dog safely during winter
As temperatures drop, it’s important that dog owners consider the impact of adverse weather conditions when walking their pets. Here are some tips for keeping yourself and your canine friend safe.
- Train your dog not to pull on the lead, so they don’t cause you to fall on ice, and wear shoes with good grip
- Buy a winter coat for short-haired or hairless breeds, making sure it’s not too tight
- Look after your dog’s joints by giving them a warm place to sleep, and consider joint supplements
- Watch out for grit, making sure none gets stuck in your dog’s paws
The YuMOVE team says, “We’re very lucky to have such incredible scenery in the UK. And dog owners often get out to enjoy it more than most. Up and down the country, it’s clear that dog owners see some truly stunning places – and post them online.
“While locations like forests are undeniably beautiful during winter, it’s important that dog owners – especially new ones – think about the effects of winter on their dog. It’s crucial to keep them stimulated at home if they’re put off walking by the cold. And all breeds will need their paws checking for ice, grit and other foreign matter.”