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The Cotswolds is Britain’s largest designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with its glorious wolds countryside and honey-coloured villages stretching across five counties - Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. Well-endowed with scenic dog-walking routes along the Cotswolds Way, an overwhelming choice of pet-friendly visitor attractions, and a wealth of dog-friendly country pubs to stop for a well-earned lunch, the Cotswolds makes an ideal destination for a holiday with your canine companion.
Whether your four-legged friend loves sniffing around ancient woodland, swimming in lakes, exploring ancient monuments or enjoying a gentle stroll through quintessentially English chocolate-box villages, he or she will definitely enjoy the Cotswolds and feel as welcome as you.
Dog-friendly attractions in the Cotswolds
Tails are sure to be wagging in delight with a trip to Broadway Tower, one of the Cotswold’s top dog-friendly attractions. Standing at 65ft high, this unique Capability Brown Folly Tower is the second highest point on the Cotswold escarpment. It was built in the late 18th century by the renowned architect James Wyatt for the Earl of Coventry, and from the top you can survey commanding panoramic views over 16 counties. Located on the Cotswold Way, Broadway Tower is a great place to start a dog-friendly walk, be it a short circuit or a hike and there is a dog-friendly café to relax in afterwards serving a fine selection of afternoon teas and local specialities, as well as tasty treats for happy hounds.
Home to 56 acres of wild gardens, winding pathways and babbling streams, Batsford Arboretum and botanical garden in the heart of the Cotswolds is an absolute must-visit for canine companions. From the first buds of spring to autumn’s natural fireworks display of auburn leaf colour, it’s a great place to visit any time of the year. Doggie visitors can enjoy a wander on the lead amongst over 2,850 specimens of plants from around the world including its famous collection of Japanese Flowering Cherries. They can even join you for a delicious lunch or afternoon tea in the Garden Terrace Café when it’s time for a rest.
Take your pup on a grand day out in the Cotswolds and visit the monumental English country house, Blenheim Palace. A masterpiece of Baroque architecture and a true national treasure, the Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built over 300 years ago and is the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Although dogs are not allowed in the Palace or formal gardens, they are welcome to explore and sniff on the lead the 2,000 acres of surrounding parkland. Embark on one of the park’s suggested picturesque walks and don’t forget to bring a picnic!
Cotswold Water Park
Awash with scenic walking trails to explore, Cotswold Water Park is a wonderful wetland of 150 interconnecting lakes spread over 40 square miles. This park should be at the top of every dog’s wish list with the UK’s largest dog-friendly inland beach and a plethora of beautiful circular walks ranging in distances from one to 11 miles. A day well spent in the outdoors, you and your furry friend can amble around the well-marked routes and either stop for a picnic and soak up the views or relax in one of the many dog-friendly country pubs, tea rooms and bars within the park.
The Cotswolds Way
It would be remiss to indulge in a pet-friendly holiday in the Cotswolds and not explore the rich bounty of dog-friendly walks on offer. The Cotswolds Way boasts over 100 miles of magical walking trails from Chipping Campden to Bath with a labyrinth of historical sites, picturesque villages and breath-taking views to soak up along the way. Off-lead frolics abound and there are plenty of country pubs with warm log fires to enjoy a bite to eat in afterwards whilst tired pooches rest their paws.
Dog-friendly places to eat in the Cotswolds
The Kingham Plough, Chipping Norton: Your dog can dine with you in the smart bar area where there is plenty of water and treats to keep them happy as you sample the gastronomic delights of the kitchen headed up by Emily Watkins, a former junior sous chef at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck.
The Potting Shed, Malmesbury: Exceptionally dog-friendly, canine companions can eat with you anywhere in the pub and there are tasty dog biscuits at the bar. Set in two acres of gardens, this pub is particularly lovely in the summer when you can lounge under weeping willow and apple trees in the sunshine.
The Porch House, Stow-on-the-Wold: Enjoy pub classics in the oldest inn in England as your pooch rubs noses with other Cotswolds canines in the bar and conservatory area.
The Duke of Wellington, Bourton-on-the-Water: Sample good food and a variety of real ales as your furry friend is treated to some complimentary biscuits and water.
The Fleece Inn, Bretforton: Pooches are positively encouraged at this award-winning 15th century pub bequeathed to the National Trust. There are dog treats behind the bar, water bowls available and they even have two types of Dog Beer!
The Eight Bells, Chipping Campden: A traditional Cotswolds Inn serving fine wines and excellent food where dogs are warmly welcome throughout, including the restaurant area.
The Red Lion, Long Compton: Pups can curl up by the fire as you devour freshly prepared dishes using locally sourced seasonal ingredients.
The Crown & Trumpet, Broadway: This traditional 17th century inn welcomes dogs in the bar area near the open fire and boasts a fine selection of local ales and good pub grub.
Horse and Groom, Bourton-on-the-Hill: A true Cotswolds country pub which welcomes dogs with open arms and serves award-winning food and drink.
The Fuzzy Duck, Armscote: You and your dog can dine in comfort and luxury in this 18th century coaching inn. There is complimentary water, doggie biscuits and pig’s ears for those with four legs and the pub even provides a Hunter wellington boot loan service if you fancy a walk and it’s muddy outside.
We hope that you and your pet have been inspired by all of the wonderful things that you can do together, so why not delight your faithful friend with a dog-friendly holiday in the Cotswolds this year? Treat your canine companion to a stay in one of our cosy dog-friendly holiday cottages in the Cotswolds and make the most of this beautiful region.