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5 Best Dog Walks in Somerset [Tried & Tested]

Written by

Edited by Adele Horwood
Fact-checked by Ben Crookes

The best dog walks in Somerset range from easy strolls to challenging hikes for energetic pups.

I’ve spent years exploring the picturesque landscapes of Somerset with my trusty four-legged friend.

It’s a county that’s blessed with a diversity of dog-friendly walks, from the rugged Quantock Hills to the tranquil Somerset Levels.

If you’re a dog owner in search of the perfect walk, you’re in the right place.

Somerset’s rich tapestry of rolling hills, ancient woodlands, and charming coastal paths make it a paradise for dogs and their owners alike.

In this article, I’ll be sharing my top picks for the best dog walks in Somerset. Whether you’re after a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, I’ve got you covered.

So, lace up your walking boots, grab that lead, and get ready to discover some of the most delightful dog walks Somerset has to offer.

Let’s embark on this adventure together, shall we?

My 5 Favourite Dog Walks in Somerset

Quantock Hills – A Scenic Stroll

In my explorations of dog-friendly walks in Somerset, the Quantock Hills have stolen a piece of my heart.

Rolling hills, expansive heathland, abundant wildlife – these elements mesh together to form an unforgettable walking experience.

The marked trails in Quantock Hills are a delight for dog walkers.

The walks are easy on the paws, with predominantly grassy paths, though there are sections of rocky and uneven footing that require a bit of care.

Witness it in all its glory from several beautiful viewpoints along the varied paths through this area.

Truly, Quantock Hills is a place where nature’s unspoilt charm reigns supreme.

But it’s not just the landscapes that make this place exceptional.

The wildlife found here is simply astonishing.

Deer darting through bracken, butterflies buzzing between wildflowers, and birds singing from the treetops— Quantock Hills is a sanctuary teeming with life.

And if you’re patient, you might even catch sight of the famous Quantock Red Deer.

Choosing a particular route can be overwhelming owing to the extensive network of paths at Quantock Hills.

From leisurely strolls to longer hikes, there is something for every nature lover and dog enthusiast here.

My personal favourite would have to be the Holford Combe to Seven Springs loop, a delightful 5-mile adventure that offers a good mix of woodland, valley and open heathland.

For those interested in historical landmarks, make sure to visit the Dowsborough Iron Age Hillfort.

Located on the outskirts of Holford village, it offers a fantastic insight into the history of the area, while providing beautiful panoramas of the Somerset landscape.

Filled with so much to offer, a visit to Quantock Hills will give both you and your four-legged companion a memorable day of exploration.

Just remember to prepare adequately – don the right gear and pack some essentials for your day out.

It’s all about enjoying the journey and losing yourself in the charm of Somerset.

Cheddar Gorge – Exploring the Natural Wonder

Next on our dog-friendly walks in Somerset tour is the astounding Cheddar Gorge.

One of the UK’s greatest natural wonders, it provides a dramatic backdrop for a memorable stroll with your pooch.

Now, fancy a unique ramble across the rugged terrains of Cheddar Gorge?

If you’re nodding, keep up with me!

Enveloped by the Mendip Hills, Cheddar Gorge boasts awe-inspiring cliffs reaching up to 450 feet.

It’s a feast for the eyes, with panoramic views of expansive landscapes dived by a deep gorge.

Fully carpeted with lush vegetation, this archaeological hotspot forms home to a myriad of wildlife species, enhancing your dog’s run into a thrilling nature pursuit.

It’s fun times for your furry friend here! A 3-mile circular walk takes you around the top of the gorge.

There’s plenty to keep your dog curious – from the bustling wildlife, ragged cliffs to picturesque views.

Therefore, keep your lead handy; we don’t want your four-legged chap dashing off to join a goat herd on the rugged plunges!

That said, the fun isn’t reserved for your pup alone!

History buffs, you’re in for a treat!

The gorge is rich in historical significance, home to Britain’s oldest complete human skeleton, affectionately known as ‘Cheddar Man’.

The Cheddar Gorge Museum is a short stroll away, a chance to delve deeper into the area’s intriguing mystique.

Embarking on this walk, wearing sturdy footwear is paramount, given the uneven terrain.

It’s equally essential to bear in mind that some parts of Cheddar Gorge reside on private land.

Adherence to the countryside code: respect, protect and enjoy, is not just encouraged – it’s essential.

In the heart of Somerset, this extraordinary gem, Cheddar Gorge, offering both beauty and raw wilderness, sits just waiting for you and your dog to explore.

Shall we stride on to our next pit stop?

Somerset Levels – Wetlands and Wildlife

Stepping away from the heights of Cheddar Gorge, we now explore the flat, enchanting landscapes of the Somerset Levels.

A vast expanse of wetlands, teeming with wildlife, this site is a haven for dog walkers seeking tranquillity and an escape from city life.

Picture-perfect scenes greet you, complete with winding waterways, untouched grasslands, and panoramic views.

Dogs can run and play freely across large areas, making full use of their boundless energy.

For breeds that love water, it’s a dream come true with plenty of water-based fun available.

Hundreds of bird species call the Somerset Levels home.

Be sure to bring a pair of binoculars along – birdwatching here is an absolute treat.

From elusive bitterns to soaring marsh harriers, you’ll be amazed at the diverse birdlife that thrives in this unique habitat.

There’s a chance to delve into history too.

The Somerset Levels have been inhabited since the Stone Age!

Many heritage sites dot the landscape, bearing testament to the area’s rich past.

You’ll be walking in the footsteps of our distant ancestors while your dog explores new smells.

Safety is key when visiting the Somerset Levels.

With its marshy ground and deep waterways, you should always keep an eye on your dog.

Make sure they have good recall skills and that they’re strong swimmers if they decide to take a dip!

With its extensive foot trails, plentiful wildlife, and picturesque landscape, the Somerset Levels offer a unique dog-walking experience filled with memorable sights and sounds.

Just remember, while you’re enjoying the beautiful scenery with your canine friend, respect the wildlife and make sure you leave no trace of your visit.

Brean Down – Coastal Charm

Venturing out from the tranquil wetland expanse of the Somerset Levels, there’s an unexpected juxtaposition that catches your eye – Brean Down.

It’s a magnificent limestone promontory shooting upwards from the flat landscape, covering a sprawling area of 1.2 miles and reaching a startling height of nearly 100 metres above sea level.

This natural pier into the Bristol Channel provides a compelling coastal route for dog walkers.

With miles of open space, your dogs can enjoy the freedom and excitement of land-meets-sea landscape.

And let’s be honest, there’s nothing quite like the whiff of salty sea air to get those doggy tails wagging in delight.

To begin with, I’d recommend the National Trust’s circular walk, which encompasses the best of Brean Down.

This roughly 3-mile path traverses the beautiful cliff tops, winding around the fort and returning via the sheltered south side.

Bear in mind, however, this coastal wonder also poses some challenges.

Brean Down’s craggy cliff path might not be the best choice for older dogs, or those with issues in mobility.

Steep in parts, the terrain can be quite demanding.

It’s also worth noting, there are precipitous edges where the footpaths skirt along the cliff top, so keeping dogs on a lead is a prudent move.

Adding to its natural charm, Brean Down doubles as an historical site with the Brean Down Fort at the summit.

A stroll around this ancient Palmerston fort is sure to pique your interest.

It dates back to the 1860s yet carries with it an air of timeless history.

Imagine it, exploring this coastal marvel with your canine companion, the heady blend of unwinding history and pulsating wildlife all around you.

The allure of Brean Down is not just in its dominant natural beauty or the extensive dog walks it offers.

It’s an embrace of raw, untouched wilderness, punctuated by echoes of ancient human activity, that makes it a unique blending of the past, with the joys of the present.

Mendip Hills – Hiking with a View

Picture this: you’re standing atop the Mendip Hills, wind in your hair and the soft padding of your dog’s paws by your side.

With expansive views that’ll make your heart soar, it’s hard not to fall in love with these natural landscapes.

Once you’ve had your fill at Brean Down, I’d suggest taking a 20-mile detour to the east for an equally lively adventure in the Mendip Hills.

This area of Outstanding Natural Beauty spreads across Somerset and into North Somerset. It’s a must for any dedicated hiker and their furry friend.

Walk along the Mendips Way.

Discover the startling cliffs of Cheddar Gorge.

Explore the ancient woodlands and open moorland with your loyal companion.

Reflection and calm are on the agenda here.

With a variety of routes, you’re sure to find something that suits both you and your dog’s pace.

Notably, these hills are home to wildlife, wildflowers and caves.

You have Ebbor Gorge, Black Down and Burrington Combe all offering unique hiking experiences.

And laced with history, it’s steeped in tales of Roman lead mining and prehistoric monuments.

Despite the breathtaking beauty, safety must be top-of-mind when hiking. Listed below are some precautions I’d recommend:

  • Keep your dog on a lead near cliff edges
  • Beware of grazing sheep and cattle
  • Check for ticks regularly
  • Take ample hydration and snacks for both you and your dog
  • Don’t venture off designated footpaths

Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just starting out, Mendip Hills has something to offer.

With a map in hand and your canine by your side, you’re destined for an unforgettable adventure.

That’s the beautiful thing about Somerset.

Finding The Best Somerset Dog Walks

So, there you have it.

The Mendip Hills truly are a dog walker’s paradise.

With its rich history, diverse landscapes and stunning views, it’s the perfect place to explore with your four-legged friend.

Just remember to stay safe – keep your dog on a lead near cliff edges, look out for grazing animals, check for ticks and stick to the footpaths.

With a bit of care, you’ll find that Somerset’s Mendip Hills offer an enriching experience for both you and your dog.

It’s time to lace up those walking boots, grab the lead and embark on an unforgettable adventure in one of Somerset’s most beautiful locations.

Happy walking!


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