There’s nothing better than exploring a new area with your pooch in tow – being outside does wonders for canine mental health, as well as your own.
But you don’t need to leave the city for a little wilderness: amazing dog walks are right on your doorstep. Ok, maybe not literally – but they’re a stone’s throw away!
Take a look at our list of the best dog walks in South London and grab the essentials: Lead – check. Treats – check. Poop bags – check. You’re ready to go!
A beautiful Victorian park sitting beside the Thames, Battersea Park is one of Wandsworth’s standout hangouts.
There’s plenty of open space for pooches to have a good ol’ roam in this 90-hectare gem, sniffing around woodland, a boating lake, bandstand and fancy water fountains.
A haven for art-lovers, Battersea Park is well-known for its beautiful sculptures; shoutout to the Brown Dog statue, a canine celeb of sorts which sits in the middle of the park.
There’s plenty of space for physical activities (tennis courts, all-weather sports ground, running track) and a rather adorable children’s zoo. Round off the trip at Pear Tree Café, the ideal lakeside spot for a cup of tea.
There are some dog-free zones, so keep your eyes peeled.
How to find Battersea Park:
- Sat nav: SW11 4NJ
- Tube: Sloane Square (21 mins walk)
- Train: Battersea Park (10 mins walk) or Queenstown Road (11 mins walk)
Crystal Palace Park
Craving rural wilderness? This Grade II* listed park boasts 80 hectares of gorgeous wildlife and historic features, as well as an on-site café.
Energetic pups will have a ball trying to solve the Crystal Palace Park maze with you. Expect a bark or two when they spot the dinosaur statues dotted throughout the lakeside trees!
The Crystal Palace may have burnt to the ground in 1936, but its gorgeous Italian terraces still stand, boasting panoramic views across Kent and the park itself. Other perks include dinosaurs (yes you read that right), an urban farm, skatepark and boating lake.
How to find Crystal Palace:
- Sat nav: SE20 8DT
- Tube: We wouldn’t advise it
- Train: Crystal Palace (2 mins walk) or Penge West (5 mins walk)
With its stunning views and abundance of long-distance trails, you and the doggo can really stretch your legs in this lovely Lambeth-based park, designated a Local Nature Reserve. The Common is part of the Capital Ring, a lengthy, circular walk that guides you all around Greater London.
For a little botanical glitz, head to the formal garden, The Rookery, finishing off with a delicious treat at the on-site Rookery Café.
Do note: the children’s play area is doggy-free.
How to find Streatham Common:
- Sat nav: SW16 3BX
- Tube: We wouldn’t advise it
- Train: Streatham (6 mins walk) or Norbury (18 mins walk)
Morden Hall Park
You and your furball will have a ton of fun roaming the 50 hectare stretch of Morden Hall Park. Formerly a country estate, this scenic National Trust site is a South London stunner.
Choose from a variety of dog walks winding around the River Wandle, and visit the rose garden, arboretum and wetland, which is inhabited by a diverse array of wildlife.
Have a tasty snack at the lovely riverside café or bring your own picnic (weather permitting) – tables are provided. Pooches are welcome but must be kept on leads around the rose garden and buildings.
How to find Morden Hall Park:
- Sat nav: SM4 5JD
- Tube: Morden (11 mins walk)
- Train: Tramlink to Phipps Bridge (3 mins walk)
Richmond Park is the largest enclosed area in the city, incorporating wide open spaces, ponds, woodlands and, most famously, deer.
This ever-popular National Nature Reserve is one of South London’s most iconic sights – and for good reason: it has some of the best dog walks in the capital (plus an on-site café).
Nature enthusiasts will love the Isabella Plantation, a stunning woodland garden sitting within a historic Victorian plantation – hounds will need to be kept on leads here. Look out for other restricted areas, too, as the park is home to rare wildlife.
It’s advised that pooch owners steer clear of the park during deer rutting and birthing seasons (Autumn and Spring respectively).
How to find Richmond Park:
- Sat nav: TW10 5HS
- Tube: Richmond (23 mins walk)
- Train: Richmond (23 mins mins walk)
This 171-acre green paradise is home to meadows, woodland, grassland, wetland, lakes and a bustling community of wildlife – sniffing heaven for pooches!
Wandsworth Common offers a wide open space that’s ideal for long games of fetch and chase. There’s even a ‘trim trail’, incorporating outdoor gym equipment, as well as tennis.
Follow your hard work up with a reward at the on-site Skylark Café. Prefer an artisanal bakery? No worries, Toast Rack serves up the finest pastries and coffee around.
Canines are welcome, but must be kept on leads when lakeside and are not allowed in the water – pooches and watersports don’t mix.
How to find Wandsworth Common:
- Sat nav: SW18 3RT
- Tube: Balham (10 mins walk) or Clapham South (20 mins walk)
- Train: Wandsworth Common (2 mins walk) or Balham (10 mins walk)
One of the prettiest London parks, dog walking at Wimbledon Park is full of interesting sights, sounds and activity. With bustling woodland, hedgerows and a large lake, kingfishers, frogs, dragonflies and more call this oasis home.
Another stop on the Capital Ring, visitors can take advantage of grade-A walking trails, a beach volleyball court (yes, you read that correctly), athletics track, crazy golf, tennis courts and much more.
A buzzy on-site café serves up ice creams and snacks, while the kids can enjoy two different playgrounds, plus a paddling pool.
How to find Wimbledon Park:
- Sat nav: SW19 8AU
- Tube: Wimbledon Park (3 mins walk) or Southfields (8 mins walk)
- Train: Earlsfield (18 mins walk)
One of the largest South London parks, Burgess Park is the biggest green space in Southwark, covering 56 hectares. You’ll be sure to enjoy some fabulous views, as the park splays out in all directions, from Camberwell to Peckham.
Your pup will love the hustle and bustle of the park, which includes a lake, on-site café, 5km running route and the renowned Chumleigh Gardens.
Dogs must be kept on a lead in the Gardens and by the lake – no ‘quick dip’ for doggo!
How to find Burgess Park:
- Sat nav: SE5 0AL
- Tube: Elephant and Castle (27 mins walk) or Kennington (27 mins walk)
- Train: South Bermondsey (20 mins walk) or Elephant and Castle (27 mins walk)
Enjoy your dog walking adventure
Dog walking is a great way to bond with your pooch, as it’s the ideal time for fun and games. Feel a little apprehensive about outdoor play? Check out our top doggy playtime tips here.