The Cotswolds has long been a firm favourite with dog owners who can’t get enough of its rolling flock-dotted hills and gentle valleys where thousands of years of history still live on. Planning your doggie staycation is going to be made that much easier armed with this list of the best dog-friendly pubs in the Cotswolds.
The Best Pubs in Cotswolds where Dogs are Welcome
The distinctive honey-coloured towns and villages of this region takes you away from the 21st century and into an era of days gone by. It is a sheep country full of churches and manor houses built by merchants who made their millions in textiles, a legacy that still lives on. Cotswolds pubs that allow dogs are loyal to this heritage that includes the Arts and Crafts movement and architecture sympathetically blended into the countryside. Each of these dog pubs have retained many of the original features, some dating back at least 300 years.
Who wouldn’t want to pack their bags, put Fido in the back and head for the Cotswolds, an area that covers almost 800 square miles and includes the five counties of Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire? This space where almost everywhere dogs are welcome is the largest of all the 38 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales.
Home to the Prince of Wales Highgrove Estate and Corsham Court, a royal manor at the top of a village high street, its history goes way further than this. Prehistoric sites such as the Rollright Stones, dating back to 3000BC, are peppered along walks and trails in this beautiful part of the world.
Our Top 7 Choices
Find below 7 of the best pet friendly pubs in the Cotswolds
1. The Cat and Custard Pot, Shipton Moyne
If felines get Fido in a frenzy, then it might be wise to keep him in the bar area because there is a moggie-in-residence. This is one of the Cotswolds pubs that allows dogs that is strategically placed between the historic towns of Malmesbury and Tetbury. You are going to be spoilt for choice from its pub grub menu and its homemade fish cakes are a hit, especially washed down with a pint from Hook Brewery ale or an Old Rosie cider. This 18th century inn has all the trappings of a traditional Cotswold pub from its honey-hued exterior to its exposed stone wall open fires inside.
2. Duke of Wellington, Bourton-on-the-Water
This is exactly how you would imagine a Cotswold pub to be and the added bonus is that it is in one of the area’s prettiest settlements with is own model village and the River Windrush running through it. Scenic views are what it is all about here and the team will supply a warm welcome for your pooch and plenty of fresh water and biscuits. You, in the meantime, can decide whether to have the homemade steak and Guiness stew or Bombardier battered fish and chips and choose what to drink from its extensive range of ales and wines.
3. Gardeners Arms, Alderton
There is no better place for you and Rover to rest and refuel than at this dog-friendly 16th century pub. The landlady and resident pooch Teddy are ready and waiting to extend you a warm and wag-tail welcome. You can expect a well-stocked bar with local ales and a good wine list too. There is a classic British pub grub menu, as well as a specials’ board with dishes made from locally sourced ingredients. A big bonus is Teddy’s Dog Menu that comprises variants of what is on offer on the main menu and if it’s raining cats and dogs, there’s towels to dry off muddy coats and paws.
4. Lamb Inn, Burford
Famous for its Burford Brown eggs this town also plays host to one of the most dog-friendly pubs in the Cotswolds. Located on the Windrush River it is renowned for its quaint shops and artists’ galleries. An inn where you and your pooch can stay the night, the Lamb goes one step further than most by providing a printed “Bark La Carte” menu. Its dishes include: Posh Pooch, tender slice of steak in gravy; Clucking Catch, a tasty chicken casserole and Hector’s Surprise, a homemade fish pie. If Fido is up for his five-a-day, then there’s seasonal vegetables too.
5. Exmouth Arms, Cheltenham
The Exmouth is on Cheltenham’s Bath Road and has a large beer garden where you and your dog can sit in shady areas or sunny spots and take in your surroundings. The garden is complete with a wood-fired pizza oven so there is no need to trek to the bar to order your food. The pub grub menu has some great light bites such as the salt and pepper squid and ham and leek mac and cheese. Sip your pint of Cotswolds Gold or Arkell’s Moonlight while your pooch is treated to biscuits and fresh water. Ideally situated for pre-Cheltenham Race Day drinks too.
6. Red Lion, Long Compton
If ever there was a wagtail welcome in the heart of the Cotswolds it has to be from Cocoa the resident Labrador at this delightful pub that is constantly winning prizes. Winner of the Family Dining Cotswolds Life Food and Drink Award, it is a “eat, drink and sleep” destination with pet-friendly rooms too. Eat in the bar with its high-back settles and open inglenook fireplace with a perfect pint in hand while Rover chews on a pig’s ear compliments of the bar staff and hangs out with Cocoa. It’s a great pet-friendly pub pit stop after your trek up to the prehistoric Rollright Stones.
7. The Woolpack Inn, Slad
This dog friendly pub was once the favourite haunt of writer and poet Laurie Lee and is a pub steeped in history that began its hospitality journey 300 years ago. It still retains much of its original features. Set in the scenic Slad Valley, it is one of the last independent pubs in the area. It has had the same owner for two decades and Daniel Chadwick and his team have a “dogs are welcome” policy, inside and out. From the bar you can enjoy unsurpassed views of the Wolds beyond and there is covered seating outside for dining alfresco in the warmer months.
Famous for its honey-coloured stone cottages, quintessentially English market towns, rolling hills and green valleys it is no wonder that this is the largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in both England and Wales. The cherries on top of this idyllic setting are its pet friendly pubs and inns.
It is the range of Cotswolds dog friendly pubs that complements a landscape that keeps visitors returning year after year and where you and your canine companion can feel right at home.