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7 of the Best Dog Friendly Pubs in Essex

Anyone from Essex will tell you that this is the county where it is all happening from glamping to glamorous girls and bronzed boys. It has also been blessed with miles and miles of coastline with “islands” of Canvey and Mersea, idyllic countryside and lush fHere we give you some of the best dog-friendly pubs in Essex.

The Best Pubs in Essex where Dogs are Welcome

Essex is on the edge of London, only 20 minutes by train in some places. This makes it a huge contender for holiday destinations. There are those of us who would prefer to take our pooches with us and as a result we are going to be looking for accommodation in an area best suited to our preferences and Essex pubs that allow dogs. Once we are all set and packed and our pooches are in the car or on the train, we will be heading for a county that has so much to offer.

Where to start? Perhaps there will be time to do a bit of designer shopping in either Lakeside in Thurrock, Braintree Village or Bond Street in Chelmsford. Then there is 350 miles of coastline and 18 beaches that are going to be perfect for our furry wagtail’s workouts. Take a walk on the world’s longest pier in Southend-on-Sea, overlook the Thames Estuary at Leigh, have some lobster on Canvey Island, take a nature walk in Epping Forest and discover historic sites as you go. Dogs are welcome in most locations and you will find you are in good company, meeting hundreds of owners and their fur babies en route.

You will find pet friendly pubs in both coast and country, with some having Fido-friendly gardens with plenty of sun traps and shaded areas. Essex has a temperate maritime climate with typically warm rather than hot summers. It rarely experiences extreme weather meaning it is visited by thousands throughout the year. So, whether you are heading for the coast; visiting the zoo at Colchester; doing a bit of ghost hunting at Chelmsford’s Borley House; taking long woodland walks or shopping until you drop, it is almost certain you will be a guest in one of the many pubs that accept dogs.

Our Top 7 Choices

Find below 7 of the best pet friendly pubs in Essex

1. Olde Dog Inn, Herongate Tye

The Olde Dog Inn at Herongate Tye is a typical weather boarded inn found in many parts of Essex. It dates back to the 1500s when its mission to provide its drinker with good beer began. A wealth of traditional features will delight you from low-beamed ceilings to exposed fireplaces. What will please you even more is that the Olde Dog is happy to teach yours new tricks as it’s “give paw” for tasty treats. Voted by OpenTable diner as one of the best in the region tuck into its haddock in IPA batter or Mr Buckles Cumberland sausages.

2. Peterboat, Old Leigh

Estuary views and great fresh seafood pub grub. A glorious outdoor area which has fast become a pooch’s paradise. On days when the weather permits you are sure to see hoards of hounds and their chaperones making the most of the glorious sunshine on the Peterboat’s expansive decking near the Boardwalk. This dog friendly pub serves fresh crab with a squeeze of lemon and cockles that can be washed down with Cockle Row Spit craft ale. You might use this dog-friendly pub as a start or end point after a visit to the Old Leigh Heritage Centre or after a brisk walk along the Thames Estuary.

3. The Lobster Smack, Canvey Island

This “diamond geezer” of a gaff is going to be a treat for your trusted companion as the staff here all have a penchant for pooches. A dog-friendly pub might not be hard to find in the area but few offer succulent seafood and shellfish dishes that they do here at the Lobster Smack. There are haddock cakes Florentine or a retro prawn and lobster cocktail for starters and the fish pie with lobster is a great hit with pescetarians. The Smack changes its real ales regularly and it has at least 17 different types of gin on offer. It also has Brewdog’s Nanny State 0.5%ABV for designated drivers.

4. The Owl, Loughton

This dog-friendly woodland tavern has been a McMullen pub since 1898 and was rebuilt in 1975. So it is no surprise that it offers a great range of McMullen Brewery’s beers on tap. A firm favourite is the honey gold Cyclops Bitter 3.8%ABV with a berry and spice aroma and a malty, fruity taste. It is a go-to pub for locals and visitors to Epping Forest alike. It has warm open fires and comfy seating and dining areas where dogs are welcome. Sunday roasts are this dog pub’s speciality and the homemade pub grub is especially welcome no matter what walking trail you opt for.

5. Shepherd and Dog, Rochford

This is a Rochford institution and has been awarded South East Essex CAMRA Country Pub Award four years running. It has a fireplace to warm paws in the winter and a landscaped garden that is full of colour in the summer. You can expect ales such as Theakston’s Peculier and Caledonian’s Coast to Coast. Its pub grub menu makes it a destination dog-friendly pub. Examples include the king prawn and chilli starter and the loin of venison with red wine just or Cajun cod fillet for mains. The menu is farm, forage and fishing boat to fork based.

6. The Dog and Pheasant, East Mersea

Nestled in the idyllic countryside of East Mersea this dog-friendly pub is just a stone’s throw from seemingly endless stretches of golden sand. After you have taken your pup for a frolic in the waves and good work out on the beach it is time to visit the Dog and Pheasant where you will certainly find dogs in most areas and perhaps, in season, a pheasant on your plate. Inside the dogs are welcome in most parts and there is also generous helpings of treats and fresh water for the bowls. For you there are daily specials to choose from like mushroom linguine or the homemade steak and ale pie with seasonal vegetables.

7. The Anchor Danbury, Chelmsford

The Anchor in Danbury is the epitome of a traditional English pub, boasting traditional beams and provides time-tested favourite ales from its Cask Marque cellar such as Greene King’s IPA and Old Speckled Hen. For something different it offers and Traditional Afternoon Tea on Fridays and Saturdays. This is a one of the few dog pubs that even has its own designer hike, The Anchor and Danbury Commons walk. This circular five-mile trail takes in the river and the National Trust’s Blake’s Wood. Back at the Anchor dogs are welcome in some areas and the colourful garden is a hit for hounds and owners alike.

Last Word

Essex is a thoroughly modern county with shining new shopping centres, a spanking new city but it’s heritage can be traced back to Roman times in most of its seaside villages, cities and towns. There are more than a handful of Essex dog pubs that are going to give your visit here that extra dimension.

This selection of Essex dog friendly pubs will help you decide exactly where it is you want to go in this country with your canine companion at your side.

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