Summertime “and the livin’ is easy, dogs are jumping and the grass is high”… What better time to discover new places and engage in new activities with your dog? If your dog is a high energy type, a great (free!) activity is exploring one of the dog agility trails in London. Argo and I found five of them all around London and we went and tested them for you. It doesn’t matter if you are based in North, East, South or West London: there is at least one public dog agility trail in each. Of these, a couple are also fully enclosed. You won’t probably compete in Crufts after exercising with the agility equipment available, but lot of fun is granted (and for free)!
1. Chase Green’s “Bark Park”
Where: West London, Twickenham, Whitton, TW2 7NN
Chase Green (just off Redway Drive and busy Chertsey Road (A316)) hosts the “Bark Park”, a fully enclosed dog agility area which was developed at the end of 2014 and includes different types of agility equipment. The Bark Park’s course is a very enjoyable attraction. It includes a tunnel (or ‘crawl through’), a jump through, some weave posts and an obstacle for jumping. At the time of our visit the area looked very well maintainted and cared for; somebody also left a dog bowl chained to a tree, with a bottle of water. There is also a bench, in case you want to have a rest after the runs around!
We loved the area. The only downside being that it is on a main road, so you’ll hear/see traffic.
- Where: West London, Chase Green Bark Park is located of Chertsey Road in Whitton, TW2 7NN
- How to get there: Chase Green Bark Park will be your local if you live in Whitton or Twickenham. If you have to travel by public transport, Whitton’s railway station is less than 10 minutes walk far from Chase Green’s Bark Park.
- Why to visit: A safe space with new sleek equipment
- Dog-friendly things to do nearby: Head to Twickenham for a walk along the river
2. Mile End Park Dog Agility Trail
East London, Mile End, E3 4RL
Mile End Park’s dog agility course is located in a quiet spot in the South West part of Mile End park, next to the football pitch, just off Copperfield Road.
In terms of equipment, it is quite good and: there is a high A frame, two jumps through of different heights, jumps of various heights, a dog walk ramp and two wait tables, all of which Argo enjoys very much every time we visit. The equipment is made of wood, apart from the metal jumps.
The area is perfect for some exercise sessions if you have an active dog, however it is not fenced off, so it would better suit a dog with a good recall. You can still try some equipment with your dog on leash, just be very careful that the leash/collar does not get tangled in the equipment.
You can combine your visit with a
- Where: East London’s Mile End Park, just off Copperfield Road, E3 4RL.
- How to get there: The area will be local if you live in Mile End, Stepney Green, Limehouse, Bow. If you travel by public transport, the closest tube station is Mile End, served by the Central, District and Hammersmith Distric lines, from there you have to walk South towards Copperfield Road.
- Why it is worth visiting: a good range of agility equipment, great for large dogs
- Dog-friendly things to do nearby: Have a good walk along the Regents Canal towards and visit the Yurt Cafe or hire a dog-friendly kayak at Moo Canoes. Alternatively, walk along the canal towards Victoria Park and then head to the People’s Park Tavern pub or to a dog-friendly eatery in Bethnal Green.
3. Geraldine Harmsworth Park Dog Agility Area
South London, Lambeth, SE1 6HR
The Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park dog agility area, previously located just behind the Imperial War Museum, has been moved in another area of the park further to a big refurbishment. The agility facilities include two dog walk ramps, some weave posts, a jump through, a tunnel and some obstacles.
4. Lee Valley Park’s dog activity trail
North-East, Cheshunt (outside the M25)
We previously talked about Lee Valley Park and its agility trail course. This huge park is the perfect destination for a weekend trip with friends or family, where to have a picnic, a walk, and give your dog a blast. The agility trail includes jumps, a woody weave, an A frame, hoops, a tunnel and high walks, so plenty to try out! The agility equipment is well spaced-out so, in order to try them all, my partner and I had a good run too!
- Where: Lee Valley Park, Cheshunt, EN8 9AQ
- How to get there: Get the train to Cheshunt, from the station, turn left after the bridge and go over the rail track, the dog activity trail is near the entrance. If you are travelling by car, sat nav is EN8 9AQ and there is parking at Cheshunt Station.
- Why to go: Lee Valley Park is a great place where to immerse into nature.
5. Higham Hill Recreation Ground agility course
Agility equipment was installed in Higham Hill Recreation Ground’s dog exercise area after we published this post. We had finally time to go and check it out this weekend. Personally, I love that this agility course is in a fully enclosed dog park, for your peace of mind (please just note that part of the wooden fence on the border with the gardens of the residential areas have been burnt down so there are some holes at the moment; apparently the council is aware of this), and one of the largest we visited in London!
Argo and I went along with Vulric the wolfdog (on Instagram @wolfdog_of_london), Lyanna the Tamascan and Noodle the Australian Shepherd to try it out and had a great fun. The equipment is exactly the same of Chase Green’s Bark Park (see above), with a tunnel, weave, obstacle and a jump through.
E N J O Y!