Discovering London Dog Exercise Areas

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When I first moved to London from the continent, I was very impressed by the fact that, in most parks, dogs could run off-leash. That is great if you have a very-well-trained and obedient dog. But what if your dog is not yet there (because maybe has a high drive, a bad recall, does not get along well with other dogs), or simply the park overlooks busy roads and you don’t want to take any risks?

Having a dog with a high drive myself (despite our continuous training), I could not trust Argo off-leash in open parks. So I began looking for enclosed dog exercise areas and mapping them out. I will tell you more about it in this blog post!

This post will be updated adding each new dog area review I publish on the blog. To keep up to date I also advise you to follow The Londog on Facebook, to be alerted when a new review is live.

Mapping out London dog exercise areas

The first thing I found when I started looking for enclosed dog areas, was a Facebook page listing fenced dog areas across the UK. Unfortunately, the map was not comprehensive and no entries were shown for the London area.

So I decided to develop my own research project.

Mapping out London dog exercise areas took quite a long time. When I commenced, over a year ago, I thought that the job would have been quite straightforward. My expectations suddenly changed when I initiated my first online searches. For many Boroughs, official information was not available online, in other cases I soon noticed that it was out of date, so I could not rely on what I found. Other online sources were scattered, incomplete and completely unsatisfactory.

So I structured my research plan in three phases:

1. Information collection

First of all, I collected all information I could retrieve both online and from pleople I knew, and I then contacted each London Borough to confirm the existence and location of any enclosed dog areas.

2. Field work

In the second phase I personally went and visited each dog area I had on my list, in order to check that the information was accurate, add more details, and take pictures. Until today, I visited over 35 dog areas all around London and counting.

Of course Argo has been very enthusiastic about this project, having accompanied me to most of the dog exercise areas I have visited! He plays The Londog’s official dog areas tester and every time he has a blast!

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Finding a close by dog exercise area

Starting from December 2016, I will share with you my reviews of the dog parks in a chosen area, providing you with all the useful information for you to assess whether they are worth paying a visit with your dog. You can find a list on the reviews published so far BELOW in this post.

I hope that this will help all dog owners that do not feel confident in leaving their dogs off-leash in open areas and make their lives easier!

I am always very glad to hear about your own experience and any comments you may have! So feel free to leave a comment below or get in touch at hello(at)thelondog.com!

Testing a North-East London dog area
Testing a North-East London dog area

Dog Exercise Areas in London

reviews published so far:

West London Dog Areas

southpark1South Park (SW6)    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

South Park is a lovely park located off Peterborough Road, in the Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, at a convenient distance from Parsons Green [READ MORE]

Hurlingam Park (SW6)   ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Hurlingam Park is located in Fulham and the nearest tube station is Putney Bridge. It has a large dog area [READ MORE]

South London Dog Areas

stgileschurchyard1St Giles Churchyard (SE5)   ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

The quiet St Giles Churchyard is situated off Camberwell Church Street and hosts a large dog area which also has a picnic table [READ MORE]

 

Pasley Park (SE17)    ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Pasley Park is located off Chapter Road in Walworth and hosts three dog exercise areas of various sizes [READ MORE]

NEW! Just added to the website: 12 South London dog areas reviews

East London Dog Areas

Sir John McDougalls Gardens (E14)    ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

If you walk around Canary Wharf and you are looking for a fenced dog park, you can find and enjoy a dog exercise area in Sir John McDougalls Gardens [READ MORE]

Higham Hill Recreation Ground (E17)   ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Higham Hill Recreation Ground, which is located in Waltham Forest, hosts a humongous and well mantained dog exercise area [READ MORE]

North London Dog Areas

Camden Square Gardens (NW1)   ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Camden Square Gardens host a 1,811 square meters large well maintained dog exercise area. [READ MORE]

Judd Street Open Space (WC1H) ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

Judd Street Open Space hosts a 690 square meters enclosed dog exercise area [READ MORE]

Kilburn Grange Park (NW6) ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

The dog exercise area of Kilburn Grange Park develops in lenght and measures 823 square meters [READ MORE]

Purchese Street Open Space (NW1) ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Purchese Street Open Space’s dog exercise area appeared one of the worst maintained we have visited [READ MORE]

Central London Dog Areas

Westbourne Green Open Space dog area | TheLondog.com copyright

NEW on the blog! Reviews of 4 fully enclosed dog parks in Central London [READ MORE]

27 thoughts on “Discovering London Dog Exercise Areas”

  1. If you let me know the locations of any of the confirmed enclosed spaces aka ‘dog parks’ near me, I’d be happy to test them out and give you my thoughts. I borrow a variety of dogs from BorrowMyDoggy including a gorgeous Akita/Malamute mix, a poodle, a cockapoo, and an ex-racing greyhound. I live in Blackheath, SE3.

    Cheers,
    Eleanor

    1. Hi Eleanor, many thanks for your message! There is a dog park in St Giles Churchyard in Camberwell you can read about on the blog (www.thelondog.com/dog-area-london-st-giles/), it should take around half an hour to get there from where you are, I reckon. You can also reach the Sir John McDougalls Gardens’ dog park quite easily with the DLR (you can find a review of it on the blog as well). I am currently putting together a post about other South London dog parks that will be of interest for you 😉

    2. Hi Hun
      I leave in dartford and have a deaf dog and need some where I can let off in secure area , could you help plz
      Sandie

      1. Hi Sandie, many thanks for your message. I am afraid that I am unaware of any enclosed dog areas in Dartford, however making a search on dogwalkingfields.co.uk I found that there may be one in Jeskyn Woodland, DA12 3AN. I hope this is of help. All the best.

  2. Do you have any knowledge of fenced in spaces in north London? We have recently adopted a retired greyhound, and she desperately needs a proper run, but we can’t let her off the lead in an unfenced area (yet!). The internet has come up with nothing nearby. Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi! Many thanks for your message. Lovely to hear that you have adopted a retired greyhound. I have sent you an email with some first information which I hope could be of help, if you let me know the area you are looking at, I can provide you with a more tailored answer and tell you about dog areas nearby.
      All the best, Cristina – The Londog –

      1. Hi I’d like info please. We live in north London. My dogs almost 14, and needs exercise. The local dogs are too hyper for her and she’s getting grumpy. Also taken in mums dog who’s very energetic but not good with other dogs. Any idea where we can go please x

        1. Hi Elizabeth, sure.
          Whereabout in North London? You can have a look at the one in Camden Square Gardens in case it is close to you (you can find the review in the North London dog areas blog post). Otherwise you can also have a look at the one of Higham Hill Recreation Ground in Waltham Forest. Let me know and I can send you more tailored suggestions. Best wishes

  3. Hello!
    I have to tell you that your blog is incredible! I am so grateful that somebody is going through what I’m going through in the search of dog areas! I have a 40 kilos husky that is super excited so i have to keep him in enclosed fields! So…
    Any chance you know any areas around Hackney ( or close by)? The ones you put up in the East are about 1 hour walk away and since I don’t have a car things are tricky.

    1. Hello Eirini, thanks for getting in touch! Unfortunately the Borough of Hackney does not have any official dog exercise areas, however I have sent you an email with a list of dog areas/gardens nearby that could be handy for you, let me know if this is of help at all 🙂

  4. Hello,
    Recently moved from Canada with two Labradors who were used to going to the dog park every weekend as they are not trained to be off leash. Now in Crystal Palace and cannot seem to find anything close by. We don’t have a car yet, and they would not do well on trains as they have never seen or heard one before! Any help finding a fenced in area to walk to or drive two within 20-30 mins would be appreciated. Or setting up doggy play dates as we have a big garden.

    1. Hello Sian,
      thank you for getting in touch.
      I have sent you an email with a list of dog areas that may be of interest. Also, would love to organise a play date with the dogs 🙂
      Best, Cristina

  5. Thank you so much for this blog and this wonderful information! A very excited miniature schnauzer is going to be incredibly happy! We live around Tulse Hill and walk to Crystal Palace frequently, so any other places within that area that you could recommend would be so helpful!

    Thank you so very much again!

    1. Hi Sam, I am very glad that you find this of help!
      I have got in touch via email with some information that could be useful for you. Let me know if this helps at all.
      All the best, Cristina

  6. Hi! I am doing some research for TV programme, can you recommend any places in the Enfield / Barnet area? I’d be incredibly grateful!
    Thanks
    Katie

    1. Hi Katie,
      Many thanks for getting in touch. I have sent you a private email in this regard.
      Best wishes, Cristina

    1. Hi Deepika,
      Sure. A blog post with reviews of 4 dog areas in North London will be up later this week. What area are you specifically looking at? In case feel free to send me an email at hello(at)thelondog.com and I will be happy to give you some more tips.
      Best,
      Cristina

  7. Your blog is what I need. Really. I just got a husky puppy and (really not the best way to find out) I found from Internet husky forum that I shouldn’t let her off lead in unenclosed areas because of husky nature. So now I am worry where to go with her but you gave me hope. Maybe you know where is best place fenced park/field in hackney or surroundings?

  8. We moved to crystal Palace last week and are desperately looking for enclosed area to run our 2 dogs. Grateful for any recommendations please.
    Thanks, charlotte

    1. Hi Charlotte,
      Many thanks for your enquiry, I totally understand your struggle! I am sending you a PM, hoping it will be of help.
      All the best, Cristina

  9. Hi Cristina
    I was wondering which enclosed spaces you would recommend for a retired greyhound? We’re in NW10 but will travel if it’s worth it! He needs a good run and the best we can do is the basketball court in our local park!
    Thanks a lot
    Sally

    1. Hi again. Thanks for the detailed info about enclosed spaces Cristina. We will definitely investigate. I just wanted to add something though. Whilst thinking about this whole off lead thing, I decided to buy a 10m lead and try it out in the park so that at least he could have the illusion of freedom. There were concerns obviously, given that he’s an ex-racing greyhound and he’d suddenly have an opportunity to zoom off, BUT I’d say don’t let that put you off. Unfortunately there’s more negative press out there than positive for leads like this with a greyhound, which is why it took me so long to take the plunge. It takes a lot of wrangling, simply because the lead is so long, but it’s well worth it. And it’s great for training him on recall too. I can see how happy he is trotting about by himself, albeit with me at the end of the 10m lead! Well worth a try so I just wanted to put a positive note online. Sally

      1. Hi Sally.
        You are very welcome. Sure, long lines are a good alternative and I have sometimes used them myself. However there are a few things to take into consideration.
        One thing to be extremely careful with is that there are risk involved in case your dog runs off, you hold on to the line and somebody else happens to be in the line between your dog and yourself: the other person can get seriously injured.
        Also, speaking with some dog trainers I got some advice about two other things to be wary of:
        1) if you hold on the long line and the dog notices this, it will work as a long lead, and you may end up creating an equipment-related behavioural pattern (so as soon as you take off the long line thinking that your dog is now trained you may be very surprised to see how the behaviour changes; instead, you should have a plan to avoid this and work step by step);
        2) the long line should not have a handle: if you can’t step on the line in time to stop the dog and it runs off, the handle can get caught in obstacles and you can very seriously injure your dog or worse.
        This said, I used it in some very quiet and desert fields for training and it was of help for sure.

  10. What an interesting site to read. I truly believe there is a need for safe, secure (not to mention dry and muddyless) well managed INDOOR exercise areas for the beautiful dogs of London particularly during the winter months. I am looking at setting up an indoor doggie park, I have many ideas as to how this would work and needless to say finding the right size and space in London is nothing if not difficult. I would be keen to hear your thoughts on such a project and indeed readers of your blog. Look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards,

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