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10 dog days out of London

Wind in their hair, the smell of the sea air, new paths to discover, and friends to be made.


If you’re reading this, this is your sign to give your dog a change of scene...


From day-trips to staycations, keep scrolling for our top 10 dog-friendly trips out of London.


Hastings

Why? Picturesque hikes, dog-friendly beaches, meandering alleyways in the quaint old town, and independent cafés and restaurants to boot. This coastal town has plenty to offer for a weekend away.

Not to miss!

For sensitive paws, avoid the shingle beaches and take a short drive to Camber Sands for a jaunt in the dunes.


Click here for Visit 1066's list of dog friendly activities.


Margate

Why? Another picture-perfect beach town a stone's throw from London. The centre is jam-packed with restaurants, vintage boutiques and exceptional bars and pubs. Although the Turner Contemporary gallery isn't dog-friendly, there's a thriving contemporary art scene here.

Not to miss!


Stay overnight at The Libertines' hotel, The Albion. Don't miss Quench Gallery for your art fix, and be sure to dine at Dory's (little sister to Angela's).


Cambridge

Why?


A vibrant city filled with history. Although many of the historic sites and institutions are not dog friendly, there are plenty of parks, cafés, restaurants and independent shops to explore.


Not to miss!


Book a pup-friendly punting tour of the River Cam.

Whitstable

Why?


We promise this list isn't all seaside towns... But it turns out we're spoilt for them. Almost all the pubs and cafés are dog friendly here, and pups are free to roam the stoney beaches.


Not to miss!

The seafood! Head down for the Whitstable Rocks Oyster Festival (dates not yet announced for 2024 – so keep your eyes peeled) for unrivalled oysters and live music.

New Forest

Why?


The New Forest National Park offers more than 140 miles of tracks and footpaths – it's the ultimate getaway for high-octaine pups. FYI, ponies, cattle, donkeys and deer roam free – so your canine companions are best kept on leads where possible.


Not to miss!


Visit Hurst Castle for a coastal walk on sandy beaches, and say hello to Poppy and Lily – the two castle dogs!


Bristol

Why?


The ultimate city to city break – Bristol isn't shy of amazing dog friendly cafés, restaurants and pubs. Head to Bristol’s historic harbourside and explore Wapping Wharf for food al fresco, or meander streets lined with Georgian houses and buzzing bars in Clifton.


Not to miss!


Don't miss the dog-friendly Bristol International Balloon Fiesta 9–11 August 2024, at Ashton Court. The best time to get there is for 6am, or watching it from Observatory Hill. Head to Bristol Barkers for more top tips.


Maldon

Why?


Located on the Blackwater estuary in Essex, you may already be familiar with Maldon through its namesake salt. Maldon itself is especially famous for the Hythe Quay, home to many of the remaining Thames Barges – Viking Saga allow well-behaved dogs on board for short tours of the estuary. Maldon is also home to the world-famous Mud Race, with a packed calendar of festivals, events and pop-ups on the promenade.


Not to miss!


The Canine Dip and Dive: an outdoor 32ft swimming pool for dogs. Get in touch ahead of your visit to book!


Southwold

Why?


Southwold is a quintessentially British seaside town in Suffolk, with its sandy beach and charming beach hut-lined promenade. It's also home to Southwold-based brewer and distiller, Adnams – so you won't be short of great coastal pubs for a post-walk pint.


Not to miss!


The Southwold Sausage Walk – no date has been announced for 2024, but last year it took place in October, when 2,200 Dachshunds descended on the beach! Follow them on Instagram for updates.


Leigh-on-Sea

Why?


Leigh-on-Sea is a short jaunt from London – a mere 45 minutes on the train from Fenchurch Street. The town is full galleries and craft shops, showcasing work from local artists. Head to the Broadway to explore independent boutiques and plenty of dog-friendly cafés.


Not to miss!


Fish and chips from Fish to Go on Bell Wharf Beach.


Epping

Why?


This ancient woodland spans a massive 2,400 hectares and straddles the border between London and Essex. Check out the routes recommended by the City of London Corporation, which manages the forest to plan your walkies ahead of time. Swing by Theydon Oak Village for a true country pub experience (and yes, they're dog friendly).


Not to miss!


Although bluebell season has now passed, be sure to visit Bluehouse Grove in Chingford next year to see the bluebells in bloom (from late April to early May).

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