Sussex is a beautiful part of the country with hundreds of well-trodden footpaths for you to explore. But not all of them are as accessible for you if you are taking your pet dog out with you. Of course, dogs have a variety of temperaments and some are better behaved than others!
Most dogs generally need at least one walk every day to stay fit and healthy. Many dog breeds can become overweight very quickly if they aren’t getting enough exercise. Other dog breeds like spaniels and huskies are known for their love of running in the outdoors. If they don’t get enough exercise, they can become very destructive when kept indoors for long periods of time.
Going out for a daily dog walk is a fun way for you to stay healthy. There’s nothing like an excited puppy waiting at the door to help get you up and out of bed. Dogs love going out on walks and can happily go around the same route again and again without getting tired of it.
But finding walks that are dog friendly isn’t always easy. With poor accessibility or a complete lack of parking some areas can make a fun day out tricky for a dog walker.
Here are some of the best dog friendly walks in Sussex.
Bewl water is a beautiful reservoir with a 12 ½ mile around route for walking. The full route takes around six hours to walk so many visitors walk shorter sections or loops. The path is well maintained and there is some gorgeous scenery for you to admire. Bewl water allows for dogs to be exercised off the lead. However, when taking your dog around our reservoir we do ask for dogs to be placed on the leash when passing through the nature reserve. We have some rare and delicate species that could be damaged by dogs off a lead.
The Seven Sisters
The Seven Sisters Country Park is an incredible nature reserve with walks down to the beach and trails that take you up to the top of the cliffs. This incredible landscape is an amazing area to take your dog for a walk and can even end with a dip in the sea. The salt marsh and the chalk grassland on the cliffs is a delicate natural ecosystem, with the river winding through the landscape and the cliff views from the beach, this walk has some stunning vistas.
Although dogs are generally allowed off the lead at seven sisters country park, there may be seasonal notices for dogs to be kept on leads, for example during lambing season or when ground nesting birds are hatching. The ecosystem is fragile so try to leave as little imprint of your presence as possible when visiting.
With over 700 acres of parkland, the Petworth Park estate holds a deer park and lovely gardens for dogs and walkers alike to enjoy. The estate itself has a beautiful collection of art and has been a family home for over 900 years. The initially medieval building has been transformed multiple times in the past; in the baroque style before being stripped back in more recent years to a more conservative form. The extended gardens now form a deer park. The estate and grounds have been maintained beautifully after being gifted to the national trust by Lord Leconfield in 1947.
The carpark and the Meadow kiosk are still open and selling takeaway drinks and cakes to weary walkers.
The Cowdray Ruins are one of the most significant surviving pieces of Tudor architecture in the country. The ruins are surrounded by parkland and ponds with most walking trails making their way down to the river Rother. This is a great opportunity for your dog to go for a dip – towels in the car may be in order.
When open, the café and farm shop have outside seating which allows dogs to stay with their owners as they have a well-deserved rest.
The Slindon Estate is made up of 3500 acres that encompasses a small village as well as parkland and forest. There are many historic places to visit on dog walks through Slindon; with a roman road, iron age lynchets as well as medieval hunting grounds for you to explore.
With meadows, orchards, forest and chalk grassland to visit, this area has some stunning and varied natural scenery for you and your furry friend to view. While dogs may need to remain on the lead while walking through fields with livestock, the woods are free to roam.
Hastings Battleground & Abbey
The Battle of Hastings in 1066 is one of the most famous moments in British history. The battlefield where William of Normandy defeated Harold of England is now a wildflower meadow with footpaths exploring the historic area. With a visitor centre and a wooden sculpture trail, the area has an amazing depth of history for you to learn about.
The walk around the battleground area is suitable for all ages, and while dogs are not allowed inside the abbey itself, they are allowed on most areas of the grounds.
Built as a protective garrison for the port of Rye by Henry VIII, Camber castle slowly became redundant and was eventually abandoned as the sea receded. The walk near Camber castle follows the Royal Military Canal path which was built to protect the coastline from Napoleon. The canal area is now home to a large number of wetland birds which nest in the area. The castle is a must see for keen dog walkers and the natural reserve which the castle is situated on is full of flourishing wildlife.
There is a birdwatching hide built near to the route for walkers and birdwatching enthusiasts to help view the local wildlife. While you can let your dog off the lead on this walk, be considerate of the nature reserve which is home to birds that could be upset by dogs running through their nests.