Embrace summer in the city with your best furry friend in tow. London parks are simply bursting with colour at this time of year, with flower-filled beds and leafy trees in abundance, plenty of lovely river walks, and a scattering of charming dog-friendly pubs and cafes along the way.
We’ve put together a list of some of the best Summer dog walks you and your canine companion will love – most with plenty of shady areas to keep your dog cool. We recommend early morning walks in the heat and avoiding taking your dog out in the midday sun. And always remember to take plenty of water and a collapsible water bowl with you to keep your dog cool and hydrated!
One of our favourite parks at PetsPyjamas is Richmond Park. Park at Roehampton Gate where there is plenty of parking and a cafe to stop for breakfast or a cool drink before you begin. Take the shady path along to Richmond Gate (about a forty-minute walk) remembering to keep your dog on the lead.
Exit at Richmond Gate and walk down the hill to dog-friendly Petersham Nurseries to stop off for a welcome coffee and homemade cake. If you start out early you should manage to make it back to Roehampton before midday.
Walk along the towpath from Fulham to Barnes
Start your walk in Fulham on the north side of Putney Bridge, walk over the bridge and turn right onto the towpath. Pass the famous boathouses and the Leader’s Gardens on the left before moving onto a more rural shady path along the River.
Take a turn on the left signposted the Wetlands Centre and continue on until you reach Barnes. Cross over and head along Barnes High street until you reach Gale’s Bakery where you can reward yourself with a coffee and pastry sitting by the pond on Barnes Green.
On the opposite side of the river to Chelsea, Battersea Park provides plenty of lovely shady walks and a chance for off-lead frolics with your four-legged friend. It’s a 200-acre park with lots of open spaces, Gorgeous flowered gardens plus a boating lake. Stop off for brunch or a coffee at the charming dog-friendly Pear Tree Cafe – a hot spot for dog walkers in the summer.
A 350-acre park with lakes, meadows and plenty of space for your dog to let off steam, Again lots of shady areas where your dog can run off the lead. Best to keep to the paths where bicycles are not allowed as these are a lot safer.
There are plenty of dog-friendly cafes but our favourite is the Lido cafe which has stunning views along the Serpentine and a large alfresco dining area where you can watch the Swans and signets swim by, If you fancy a spot of culture you can visit the new Serpentine Pavilion which is opening this month which also has an outdoor pop-up cafe.
One of the most popular spots in North London for people with pooches is this ancient park which covers an amazing 800 acres to roam and featuring one of the highest points in London at Parliament Hill. You’ll be rewarded with wonderful views on your dog walk, the park runs from Hampstead to Highgate and features a swimming pond where your dog can cool off. There are a number of dog-friendly cafes on Hampstead Heath including dog-friendly Parliament Hill Cafe.
Just a short walk from Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood offers 70 acres of ancient woodland much of it providing plenty of shady spots in the summer. A haven for wildlife and lovely walks it his history dates back to prehistoric times. You will feel like you are fully immersed in the countryside with plenty of opportunities for off lead walks. Enjoy a spot a coffee at the dog-friendly Pavilion Cafe which features a wisteria clad picket fence and large outdoor terrace.
A haven for dogs and photographers alike, Highgate Wood takes over 69 miles of ancient woodland in North London and in springtime, welcomes a beautiful growth of bluebells. Filled with both history and adventure, you’ll feel like you’re deep in the countryside.
Alexandra Palace & Park
The park surrounds magnificent Alexandra Palace with 196 acres of parkland including a mixture of woodlands and grassland with a lake and ornamental gardens plus lots of rare and interesting wildlife. There are wonderful views of London from the top of the hill. For a fabulous cappuccino visit the Grove Cafe or enjoy views of the lake at the Lakeside Cafe.
Chiswick House & Gardens
A wonderful 65 acre wilderness which features fountains, ponds, a conservatory with the 18c palladian villa – Chiswick House in its midst. Although dogs are not allowed in the house the grounds provide a blissful oasis for your dog to roam off lead in many areas.
The gardens have the mysterious charm of the ‘Secret Garden’, where you can follow overgrown paths and suddenly stumble on unexpected delights of crumbling architecture. There is a lovely al fresco area outside the dog-friendly Chiswick House cafe for light bites and cake.