dogs lying on backs in grass - dog friendly places

Dog friendly days in the UK

Looking for somewhere to visit with your pooch? If you’re in the UK, you’re in luck. Dog-friendly places are fast becoming a norm rather than a rarity.

Not so long ago, the question may have been, are there any shops, cafes and restaurants accepting dogs? Yet these days the question is likely to be, are there any shops cafes and restaurants losing out by NOT accepting them.

29th May in the USA is known as National dog-friendly day, so is our very British selection of locations around the Isles where it’s OK to take yours. As it happens, this 150 English Heritage locations. Our selection and the infographic below are a mere sample.

Dog friendly days – London and the South-East

As well as the Underground, buses and Network Rail accepting dogs for free, there are plenty of places to go in London with your mutt. It can be sometimes be tricky finding a nearby park to let them around in, but frequent buses and tubes mean you can get to some choice destinations.

Kenwood House – Hampstead Heath is a popular destination for North London dog walkers, who don’t always have the opportunity to let their pooch off the lead at a local leafy area. Originally a brick building, and redesigned by Robert Adam between 1764 and 1779, Kenwood House has surroundingng landscaped gardens. These are are open to dogs, who unfortunately are not allowed inside the house.

In South-West London, Richmond Park is this region’s equivalent of Hampstead Heath and welcomes dogs, although they have to be kept on leads between May and July – the deer mating season.

Richmond Park photo by Luke Stackpoole on Unsplash

Dogs are equally welcome in London’s other Royal Parks, which include Green Park, Hyde Park, Greenwich Park, Bushy Park, St James’s Park, Regent’s Park, and Kensington Gardens

Dog friendly days – Scotland

If you are north of the border, there are plenty of dog-friendly places to go to: There are beaches such as Cramond near Edinburgh, Loch Lamond further up beyond Glasgow, and castles, such as Blackness Castle in Linlithgow.

You could also do a road trip. According to a 2021 survey, Edinburgh to Kirkwall is the UK’s most dog-friendly route. Researchers found it included a lot of dog-friendly Airbnbs, plenty of eateries, and 90 vets!

Dog friendly days – the North

Just like Scotland, the North of England is not short of beautiful areas, and notable spots. English Heritage is keen to point out that Scarborough Castle is dog-friendly, so you could explore its ruins, while your pup runs about. Further up the coast in Northumberland are Plessey Woods – that’s 100 acres of wonderful woodland smells and sights for your dog to get stuck into, but hopefully not lost in!

Over to the North West, we just have to mention the Lake District – one of the UK’s most picturesque areas and which offers some of the best dog-walking experience. There are also abundant dog-friendly accommodation to choose from.

In Lancashire there are many locations including Morecambe Beach and several others along that coast that are open to dogs. These include Heysham and Hest Bank. There are also beaches further down around Blackpool where yours can run around.

There are plenty more locations in the North of course. Examples such as Marsden Moor estate, North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Mother Shipton’s cave and Richmond Castle are dog-friendly!

Buttermere, Lake District Photo by James Armes on Unsplash

Dog friendly days – The Midlands

Moving further down to the Midlands, you can find Himley Hall and Park, and also Baggeridge Country Park – both in the Dudley area. Birmingham also has a fair few spots suitable for your dog, including Sutton Park National Nature Reserve.

Further West, there’s the Ironbridge Antiques, Arts and Crafts in Dale End – an antique paradise with a dog-friendly tearoom / cafe.

There is also plenty of fun to be had in the East Midlands – including Beacon Hill Country Park near Loughborough, and Calke Abbey.

Entrance to Beacon Hill Country Park by Roy William Shakespeare (Creative Commons)

Dog friendly days – Wales

With some of the UK’s most beautiful landscape and scenery – a holiday in Wales could be the one for you.

The historic Pembroke Castle – the birthplace of Henry VII (the first Tudor king)has grounds open to dog to explore, while you go back in time. Conwy Morfa beach on the north coast is spacious and with a lot of dog-friendly pubs around. You could also visit Conwy Castle (see image below)

Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

Dog friendly days – The West Country

If you are around the West Country, Cornwall and Devon offer plenty of rural and beach settings to take your dog to. Featured on our map is Babbacombe Bay with a nearby Model Village. Both accommodate pooches and there are variety of lodgings for you and your furry friend.

Babbacombe Pier by (Creative Commons)

Dog friendly days – The South

Pegwell Bay Country Park is on the Edge of the South East in Kent, and it has fantastic views of neighbouring towns Ramsgate and Deal. It’s a great place to go birdwatching, or rambling, and not just that, it’s dog friendly!

Of course, there are many other locations over the South of England, as well as the rest, but hopefully this post will give you a few ideas for your own dog-friendly Britain experience.

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