Ashby’s Guide To Cat Friendly Places In The UK

Hey all you cool cats and kittens! Forget the humdrum list of places you can only visit with your dogs; we’re letting the cat out of the bag (or should we say, backpack?). That’s right, today’s furr-tastic blog is all about—you guessed it—cat-friendly locations in the UK!

Say hello to Ashby (@ashby_the_aristocat) who LOVES adventure. He’s clawed his way through trails, strolled across historical sites, and let the wind rush through his whiskers all around the UK. Today, Ashby is sharing his top picks for cat-friendly adventures in the UK, so grab your cat backpack, and let’s go meow-t and about!

Croft Castle, National Trust, West Midlands

Croft Castle is a stunning National Trust site nestled in the West Midlands area. It has countless trails to explore and beautiful walled gardens. On our visit, we were welcomed in the café (Ashby was in his backpack). Dogs on leads are welcome here within the castle grounds, but it is important to note that on some of the surrounding trails they can be off-leash. I’d recommend visiting in off-peak, quieter times of the week to avoid too many dogs and people if you have a less confident cat. We enjoy visiting in the spring, so we can explore the blooming flowers of the beautiful gardens, but it is equally stunning here all year round. The historic building itself is inviting and wonderful, though it is worth noting that animals are unable to go inside the house.

Ludlow Castle, Shropshire

Ludlow Castle is one of our must-see spots in Shropshire. It is an amazing medieval castle with lots of history and some lovely local walks to enjoy along the riverside. The ruins are packed full of history and a lovely insight to the power once present they’re in the medieval times through to the Tudors. There are some parts where there are steep and uneven steps to climb to the top of the castle walls but once you’ve made it the 360-degree views of Ludlow and surrounding countryside are breathtaking (Ashby enjoyed this spot the most). We loved walking across the bridges and moats and taking in all the British history around us. Again, it can be busy in peak seasons and when the grounds are hosting any events, but dogs must be kept on lead throughout the grounds and only on any local trails outside the ruins will you find off-leash dogs. Depending on your cats adventuring confidence we recommend visiting off-peak times of the year and quieter days of the week. We enjoyed visiting in November/December and still had the best time! 

Thruscross Reservoir, Yorkshire

One of the most diverse reservoir hikes to enjoy, with walks by the water, along the dam, in woodland, and on open moorland. The circular walk is around 4.5 miles long and boasts some breathtaking views of the reservoir and the surrounding valleys. Due to the length of the walk, it would be ideal for those cats that are used to hiking (including up hills), but it’s also worth noting that frequent stops or the ability to be carried safely would be beneficial. This trail varies in hiking ability (which also depends on the weather conditions) and does allow some access to the water’s edge, though swimming is not recommended. However, if you have a cat that doesn’t mind wet feet, a little dip of their toes is okay; Ashby particularly enjoyed doing this when we had a heatwave. It is important to pay attention to any signs along the route by the water’s edge and make sure we adhere to them. With so much to do and various differing terrains (and wildlife) for cats to enjoy, we highly recommend a trip. It is important to keep in mind that it is a long, enduring trail, and in peak season or on very warm days, it can be quite popular with visitors, including off-leash dogs throughout the route. We visited on a quiet day mid-week and outside of school holidays and found it reasonably quiet, and large enough to spot incoming dogs, allowing enough time for Ashby to get into his backpack.

Northwood Pumpkin Patch, Near Wem, Shropshire

Now, this is a seasonal visit, but we try to attend every year because it is amazing fun and provides such a variety of pumpkin types at cheap prices too. On-site is a lovely Halloween trail to enjoy with plenty of photo opportunities to partake in before heading to the patch and picking your favourite pumpkins in the wheelbarrows provided. Now it can be quite muddy, so wellies are a must and it’s best to be mindful of muddy paws. Dogs are also welcome on-site and must be on lead, but the patch is big enough to keep distances. It can be busy at peak days and outside of school hours, so if you have a cat worried by crowds, we’d recommend heading over when it’s quieter. The staff are incredibly friendly and helpful and are always accommodating, making a fuss of Ashby. So, if you’re looking for a fun yearly tradition to take your cat along to, I can’t recommend Northwood Patch enough.

Ynyslas Beach, Ceredigion, Wales

Ynyslas Beach is a slice of coastal heaven located near Aberystwyth. Famed for its beautiful landscape, this sandy stretch is a hit with locals and tourists alike. During quieter seasons, you’ll find it’s large enough to give you, your pooch, and even your kitty a seaside experience away from the hustle and bustle—and more importantly, away from off-leash dogs. Ynyslas offers relaxing walks through vast sand dunes and you can catch the comings and goings of Aberystwyth from the opposite headland. Do note, the beach does attract quite a crowd at peak times.

Skinningrove Beach, Redcar and Cleveland, England

Skinningrove Beach offers its own type of coastal charm. Located in Redcar and Cleveland, England, this sandy sanctuary boasts stunning views from cliffside walks that connect to the rest of the coastline. Just like Ynyslas, Skinningrove is spacious enough to enjoy without the worry of off-leash dogs during the quieter seasons. However, it also gets its fair share of foot traffic (and paw traffic) during peak times, so keep that in mind if you’re planning a visit.

Share Your Purr-fect Adventures & Hidden Cat Havens!

There you have it, feline aficionados! A paws-down fabulous guide to some of the UK’s top spots that are not just dog-friendly, but are also cat-approved, thanks to our resident aristocat, Ashby! Check out the rest of Ashby’s adventures via Instagram: @ashby_the_aristocat.

But hey, we’re all ears (and whiskers), too! Have you explored any fabulously feline-friendly locations that had your kitty purring with delight? Spill the tea—or should we say, pour the milk! Share your whisker-twitching stories, snaps, and tips in the comments below.

So, got any cattastic recommendations or travel hacks? We’re all tail-twitching excitement to hear from you!


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