Dog-friendly days out in the Cotswolds

By Blogs
CuBlack flat coated retriever in a beautiful purple lavender field.

If you’re looking for a dog-friendly destination in the UK, look no further than the Cotswolds. As an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the whole region is a veritable haven for walkers and their faithful friends – but perhaps it will surprise you to learn that there’s more dog-friendly fun to be had in the region than walking alone!

Many of our lodges allow guests to bring pets, so we’ve compiled a round-up of some of our favourite places to go when you’re holidaying in the Cotswolds with your dog.

Batsford Arboretum

Located near the historic market town of Moreton-in-Marsh, Batsford Arboretum is a gorgeous botanical garden that spans 56 acres and offers incredible views across the Evenlode Valley. No matter what time of year you visit, you’ll be greeted by a spectacular seasonal display of flowers, trees and shrubs, and dogs are welcome to accompany you as you wander the grounds.

A small group of people with dogs walking through a park with dogs in autumn

Westonbirt, The National Arboretum

When it comes to world-famous tree gardens, it’s safe to say we’re spoilt for choice here in the Cotswolds! Westonbirt is another spectacular setting and home to more than 2500 different tree species from all over the world. Dogs are allowed off the lead for a run in Silk Wood and are welcome to join you on The Downs on a lead.

Dog looking out of a steam train window

Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway

This volunteer-run heritage railway allows you and your well-behaved dog to travel a 28-mile round trip through some of the Cotswolds’ most picturesque scenery and quaint villages. Its steam and diesel trains run throughout the week between Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway, and a journey in one of the carriages is like stepping back in time. For obvious reasons, the buffet car is out of bounds for canine customers!

man standing on the bank of a river fishing with his dog

Bibury Trout Farm

If you’re a would-be angler and fancy trying your hand at catching your supper, Bibury Trout Farm should be on your list. Set in the historic village of Bibury, this working trout farm (England’s oldest, no less) features a beginners’ fishery from March to October – though do check the website for exact dates and times before you travel. All equipment and a demonstration are provided, and dogs-on-leads are welcome to cheer you on from the banks of the river. You can even hire a barbecue if you’d like to cook your catch and dine al fresco!

CuBlack flat coated retriever in a beautiful purple lavender field.

Cotswold Lavender

Another spectacular setting for paw-fect pictures is Cotswold Lavender: a third-generation family farm just south of the charming village of Broadway. From mid-June, the farm’s lavender crop spans over 90 acres and is breathtakingly beautiful. Visitors are welcome to wander the fields with dogs on a lead, and you can also visit the distillery to see how the harvested lavender becomes lavender essential oil. There’s a shop too, selling the farm’s popular range of lavender gifts and toiletries – all of which are made with the beautifully aromatic oil.

Dog-friendly restaurants in the Cotswolds

You’ll never struggle to find somewhere dog-friendly to dine when you’re in the Cotswolds! There are so many pubs, cafes and restaurants that welcome dogs, and some go even further and roll out the red carpet for them! Here are a few of our favourites:

Small black dog in a basket

The Red Lion, Castle Eaton

Positioned right on the banks of the River Thames (so perfect for a mid-walk pitstop) is The Red Lion at Castle Eaton – a popular pub that strikes the perfect balance of cosy country retreat and contemporary gastropub. A well-stocked gin bar, an impressive wine list and a unique indoor/outdoor dining patio are just a few of this pub’s many attractions.

Three women at a pub table with two dogs

The Seven Tuns, Chedworth

A 17th-century village pub that’s been tastefully modernised and is famed for having the best wine cellar in the region, a selection of real ales and a menu that’s packed full of locally sourced, seasonal produce. And of course, a warm welcome for dogs!

Old English pub exterior on a sunny day

The Bell, Sapperton

Sapperton is a charming village situated between Stroud and Cirencester, and at its heart is this multi-award-winning pub. Described as “idyllic” by The Times, it has something for every season; cosy fires in the winter and a beautiful garden for al fresco dining in the summer. Dogs aren’t the only animal welcomed here – there’s even ‘horse parking’ on site!

Cotswold pub exterior next to a road

Duke of Wellington, Bourton-on-the-Water

When it comes to quintessential Cotswolds villages, Bourton is one of the jewels in the region’s crown. And nestled right in the centre is the Duke of Wellington – an ideal choice to sit back and soak in views of the River Windrush while enjoying a bite to eat. Your dog will be greeted by friendly staff, fresh water and biscuits, while you’ll get to choose from a delicious range of British pub grub.

White dog sitting on steps to pub entrance

Gardeners Arms, Tewkesbury

Situated in the lovely village of Alderton, this 16th-century pub is surrounded by idyllic countryside (perfect for walks) and has a reputation far and wide for treating dogs like valued customers. Resident dog Teddy is often front of house to give other dogs a warm welcome, and you’ll be greeted warmly too by both Teddy and the human staff.

The well-stocked bar is complemented by a varied menu of home-cooked delights, and the bespoke ‘Yappetisers’ menu includes tempting treats for dogs. Teddy’s recommendation? The Quarter Hounder, followed by doggy ice cream and a ‘pupcake’!

Dog-friendly accomodation in the Cotswolds

Looking for dog-friendly holiday accommodation in the Cotswolds? Many of the country properties and lakeside lodges here at Watermark welcome pets, and they all make an excellent base for exploring the Cotswolds with your four-legged friend.

If you choose one of our lakeside retreats, you can look forward to being nestled right in the heart of the Cotswold Water Park: a stunning wetlands landscape with no shortage of activities for your human contingent and miles and miles of scenic walks for you to enjoy with your canine companion. The source of the River Thames is just down the road from us in Kemble, so you’ll also be able to take in some leisurely walks along the Thames Path, which snakes through some of the loveliest Cotswolds villages and towns, including Cricklade, Castle Eaton and Lechlade.

Spring is a glorious time to stay in the Cotswolds – and we still have limited availability in our dog-friendly properties! Contact us now to enquire