7 Top Dog Friendly Days Out in Essex

Essex might feature in the hit reality show TOWIE, but it’s not all about beauty spas and nightclubs. You can shop to you drop in Colchester or Chelmsford, but there are also interesting museums, Roman sites and ruined castles to tour plus a handful of National Trust homes to look around too. With its wide range of dog-friendly days out in Essex, it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular place for dog owners.

The Best Places To Take Dogs in Essex

Walking trails criss-cross the countryside, and doggies will love a run through the forests and woods. Then there’s the 350 miles of coast to explore, dotted with traditional seaside places where you can buy fish and chips and enjoy the fun fair.

Southend, Leigh-on-Sea, Clacton and Mersea Island are some of the UK’s favourites. And with a stretch of the Thames estuary to visit too, you can enjoy a variety of dog friendly attractions in Essex as well.

Activities & Things to Do

Find below 7 of the best days out in Essex for dogs

1. Museum of Power

The Museum of Power holds a variety of things with one of the main attractions being, probably the only Lilleshall triple expansion steam pumping engine still in situ in the world!

There are also a huge number of other engines in and around the Museum a belt-driven workshop and many interactive displays. Many events, workshops and child-friendly activities are also held here. The Museum is completely dog friendly, your furry friend (or friends) are welcome in the Museum itself and it’s grounds.

If your dog wants longer walk there is plenty to see out on the grounds, we have Bluebell woods, our outdoor seating area and the Museum’s field.

2. Find Fossils At Cudmore Grove Country Park

Located on Mersea Island, this nature reserve has salt marshes, meadows, beaches and grasslands. There are also WW11 pillboxes and gun emplacements to discover plus a huge children’s play area. Man’s best friend is welcome here and there’s something for the whole family to enjoy at Cudmore Grove Country Park. This Area of Scientific Interest is also where fossils have been found in the past that dated from 300,000 years ago.

3. Stroll Around Hadleigh Castle

The ruins of Hadleigh Castle stand on a hill overlooking the Thames estuary. The views are amazing and on a clear day, you can see Canvey Island, Southend and the Kent coastline. Two impressive drum towers proudly mark the castle’s location, and the information boards explain all about this 13th-century fortification. Take your pooch and walk the circular route from the castle to a friendly café and on to Shoeburyness.

4. Take Your Dog To Chelmsford

Chelmsford is the only city in Essex and offers plenty to do and see. You can spend hours with your pooch in Admirals Park here, there are walking and cycle paths, woodlands, a formal garden and large areas of grass. Take a canoe out on the lake and let the children play on the swings, with 30 hectares there are lots of different landscapes to explore. The River Can runs through the middle as well with a footpath along one side.

5. Dog-friendly Dunes At Thorney Bay

Thorney Bay is a quiet beach close to Canvey Island that permits dogs off the lead all year round. This sandy stretch comes with views of the Thames estuary so you can watch ships go by as you stroll along the beach. At the back is an area of dunes where wildlife and birds can be spotted. There’s a car park and café plus a children’s playground on an area of grass.

6. Walk The Saffron Trail

Stretching for a total of 71 miles, this trails connects Southend-on Sea with Saffron Waldon. This route will take you past unspoilt villages, through ancient woodland and across windy hillsides. Ancient monuments can be seen in some sections of the walk, and there are plenty of dog-friendly pubs to stop at along the way. Choose a part of the trail to stroll along with the family and the pooch and enjoy the beauty of Essex.

7. Ride On A Colne Valley Railway Steam Train

Located at Castle Hedingham, the Colne Valley Railway is a lovingly restored line complete with a station, signal box, bridge and café. The period trains run on a 1-mile track that follows the River Colne. A variety of events are organised all year long along with special days for the kids, Pullman dining trips and driver experiences. Doggies can ride the trains with you for a small £2 charge, and there’s a woodland walk adjacent that they will love.

Looking at Visiting the Area

Nightlife and bling are not the only things this lovely county is renowned for there is plenty of dog friendly walks in Essex too. With beaches and miles of open countryside, it makes a great pet-friendly holiday destination. 

Holiday Cottages 

Nothing beats a holiday home where you can kick off your shoes and relax with Fido curled up next to you, that’s why we have put together a list of Essex dog friendly cottages just for you. 

Log Cabins 

Need some evening entertainment for the kids, maybe fancy a spa day or a spot of fishing, then dog friendly lodges in Essex could be exactly what you’re looking for.