Leeds is a city in West Yorkshire which comprises part of one of the UK’s most populated built-up areas. However, there is still plenty of unspoilt nature to explore, too: located on the River Aire, the centre of Leeds is just 10 miles to the southeast of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Originally coming to note as a market town and wool trading hub, Leeds expanded hugely during the Industrial Revolution thanks to its mills, iron foundries and engineering. Today it is fast becoming one of Britain’s most fashionable and trendy cities, thanks to an influx of new media and digital industries.
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Dog Friendly Leeds Must Sees
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Located about 18 miles to the south of Leeds, near Wakefield, Yorkshire Sculpture Park is one of the country’s largest outdoor art exhibits. Set in a stunning 500 acre site of landscaped gardens, fields and woodland areas, the park features work by Ai Weiwei, Barbara Hepworth, Anthony Gormley, Henry Moore and Joan Miro among many others plus regular guest installations.
Sitting to the north west of the city, Kirkstall Abbey was first established in 1152 by an order of Cistercian monks. Disestablished by King Henry VIII in 1538, the ruins of the Abbey are now one of Leeds’ most famous tourist attractions. While your dog may not be particularly fascinated by the centuries of history surrounding the monument, they will definitely enjoy the 7 acres of grounds that they can explore.
Founded in 1758, the Middleton Railway is the world’s oldest continuously working railway service. Since 1960 it has been run as a heritage railway for steam engines, running a 25 minute service from its headquarters at Moor Road, Hunslet every weekend. Dogs travel for free.
Home to the Tudor-era Temple Newsam House and a rare breed farm, your dog is likely to be far more interested by the vast scale of the site’s 1,500-acre gardens, including the popular Temple Newsam Circular walking trail.
A country house estate located to the east of Leeds, near the village of Aberford, Lotherton Hall boasts a deer park alongside its landscaped gardens, walking trails and bird garden. With a playground and plenty of woodland to explore, it is a great place for all the family to spend a day.
The Best Dog Friendly Walks in Leeds
The 700-acre Roundhay Park is the most famous park in the city of Leeds, as well as being one of the largest in Europe. Your dog will be able to find something new to explore every time you visit, with grassland, woodland, formal gardens and lakes to discover. You’ll find Roundhay to the north-east of the city centre.
A 72-acre park in the Headingley area to the north of the city centre, Meanwood is a park of two halves. The southern portion comprises open grassland for galloping, ball chasing and games while the northern section has woodland for your pooch to explore.
Another huge green space, found to the south of the city centre, Middleton Park is a 630-acre site, over 200 acres of which is woodland. It also boasts a playground, fishing lake, bowling greens and a cafe.
A picturesque reservoir near to the town of Tingley, just a few miles to the south of Middleton Park. The site stands on the fringes of the wider urban area and comes complete with a circular walking trail around its perimeter. If your dog particularly enjoys the reservoir experience, you could also try Eccup Reservoir, a larger site a few miles northwest of Roundhay Park.
Golden Acre Park
Located six miles to the north of the city centre, Golden Acre Park is a spectacular place to walk your dog. It comprises 179-acres of mature woodland and landscaped gardens surrounding a lake. The only thing missing from your furry friend’s dream day out is an unattended sausage van.
Otley Chevin Forest Park
Located about 10 miles to the north and west of Leeds city centre, the sprawling forest park at Otley Chevin stands on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The site comprises 445-acres of criss-crossing forest trails, open spaces and dense woodland, with some spectacular views across the local area.
Dog-friendly Cafés and Restaurants in Leeds
6 Mill Hill, LS1 5DQ
Bundobust is a burgeoning local success story, with new locations beginning to pop up around the northwest of England as well as further afield. Its speciality is pairing modern Gujarati-style vegetarian and vegan street food with the best local craft beer. It makes for an addictive mix.
Outlaws Yacht Club
38 New York Street, LS2 7DY
A European-style cafe/bar, Outlaws also describes itself as “an exhibition space, music den, hair salon and creative hangout”. They forgot “record shop”, because they do that, too. A great place for a coffee, beer, cocktail or milkshake, as well as light bites such as grilled cheese sandwiches or charcuterie platters.
North Star Coffee Shop and Roasters
Unit 32, The Boulevard, LS10 1PZ
Wherever you go in Leeds for a coffee, there’s a reasonable chance it was at least made from beans roasted by North Star. So why not cut out the middle men and visit their home base? Also on the menu you will find a freshly baked selection of sweet and savoury treats from their Nova Bakehouse. If your hound plays their cards right, they may even make it onto their Instagram as their Dog of the Week.
43 Call Lane, LS1 7BT
18 York Place, LS1 2EX
14 Vicar Lane, LS2 7JF
42 Call Lane, LS1 7BT
If… have three coffee shop locations in central Leeds, each offering slightly different things. Their main store in Call Lane is a great place for all-day brunches (including bottomless brunch), lunches and cocktails. The store in Vicar Lane is a speciality coffee house, while their York Street location is a bakehouse and lunch spot with workspace areas. Finally, in the evening you can return to Call Street and visit If…By Night, a bar and event space.
94 Otley Road, LS6 4BA
Based in the suburb of Headingley, Fika North aim to bring the charm of Swedish coffee culture to the middle of Yorkshire. As such, you’ll find freshly brewed coffee and freshly baked sweet treats available all day long, as well as bagels, craft beer and a cocktail menu.
92 Kirkgate, LS2 7DJ
A cosy cafe-bar located not far from St. John’s Park in the centre of Leeds. Despite its exotic-sounding name, Wapentake is dedicated to showcasing the best of Yorkshire. The walls are adorned by the works of local artists and the menu is full of locally-sourced and seasonal ingredients. A one-stop shop for coffee, tea, freshly baked goods, lunches, beer or cocktails.
16 New Station Street, LS1 5DL
Unlike many of the other suggestions in this list, Laynes Espresso are dedicated to one thing: coffee. Located near Leeds Central Station, Laynes is a great place to get your java fix, done properly. They also offer a selection of savoury and sweet brunch favourites.
Dog Friendly Pubs in Leeds
Stew & Oyster
36-38 The Calls, LS2 7EW
A riverside pub on the shores of the River Aire, The Stew & Oyster is a Leeds favourite. With both balcony seating and a beer garden, the relaxed and modern bar has a menu which specialises, you will be unsurprised to learn, in hearty stews and oysters.
Whitelock’s Ale House
Turk’s Head Yard, LS1 6HB
Established in 1715, Whitelock’s is Leed’s oldest pub and remains dedicated to being dog-friendly forever. Inside you will find an immaculate and traditional tiled bar with low, beamed ceilings, plus extensive menus for both drinks and food.
Water Lane Boathouse
Canal Wharf, LS11 5PS
A large two-level modern pub with extensive outdoor seating options, the Boathouse stands on the south side of the River Aire. It boasts a wide and well-priced menu of both food and drink, plus coffee options and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.
Northern Monk Refectory
The Old Flax Store, Marshall Street, LS11 9YJ
Not far from the Water Lane Boathouse (handy if your dog loves a pub crawl), the Northern Monk is the bar for the local independent Northern Monk Brewery. The canteen-style interior has an ever-changing selection of pop-up food outlets as well as a space for live events.
76-78 North Street, LS2 7PN
A gastropub located just around the corner from Lovell Park in the city centre, the intimate dining room-style Reliance specialises in modern British cuisine and homemade charcuterie selections.
Lamb & Flag
1 Church Row, LS2 7HD
A cosy gastropub in the shadow of Leeds Minster, The Lamb & Flag offers an upstairs bar and balcony as well as a snug area and private beer garden. It has an extensive drinks selection and a menu of tasty, local, fresh food.
Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen
Cross Belgrave Street, LS2 8JP
A three-floor extravaganza, not far from the Lamb & Flag. The Belgrave, as you may have guessed, used to be a music hall venue up until the 1930s. Today it combines bars and fast food restaurants, as well as spaces – fittingly enough – for live music, comedy and cinema.
Dog Friendly Shops in Leeds
Unfortunately, there are not a wealth of independently-owned boutiques that allow dogs in Leeds. However, all is not lost: remember to check out our article on some of the UK’s favourite high street stores which (usually) do, most of which you will be able to find in Leeds.
Dog-friendly Leeds: Where to Stay
If you’re looking to stay in a dog friendly hotel in Leeds, here’s our recommendations:
Corn Mill Lodge Hotel
Pudsey Road, Farnley, LS13 4JA
A three-star hotel located about 4 miles west from the centre of the city, close to Farnley Reservoir. Corn Mill Lodge have a number of rooms that they are willing to let out to small, well-behaved dogs – at a surcharge of £10 per night – by prior arrangement only.
The Butlers Hotel
40-43 Cardigan Street, LS6 3AG
A three-star hotel set in an Edwardian townhouse close to Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s Headingley stadium. Butlers are happy to accommodate dogs by prior arrangement, for a fee of £10.
Ibis Styles Leeds City Centre
The Merrion Centre, Wade Lane, LS2 8NJ
A three-star hotel located in the city centre, ideally situated for a city break. Happily, your dog can stay with you for no additional charge.
The Bells Serviced Apartments
6 Church Row, LS2 7HD
A series of serviced 5-star individual apartments, close to St. John’s Park and Leeds Minster in the city centre. The Bell Apartments combine the best elements of staying in a boutique hotel with owning your own city centre flat. Naturally, this kind of opulence and luxury doesn’t come cheap, so it’s only an option if your dog is used to the finer things in life.
Thorpe Park Hotel
1150 Century Way, LS15 8ZB
A 4-star country hotel located to the east of the city, near to Temple Newsam. Dogs are permitted to dine in the courtyard and bar area and will receive a welcome pack including a bed, bowl and ball. You and your four-legged friend can play with the latter in the hotel’s own dedicated dog paddock.
Oulton Hall Hotel
Rothwell Lane, Oulton, LS26 8HN
Another option for people whose dogs like a spot of luxury, the 4-star Oulton Hall Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort is located to the south east of the city and stands in its own 300-acre country estate. Dogs are welcome to stay at a cost of £20 extra per night.