It is famous for its 6Cs: cheese, cider, cliffs, caverns, countryside and coastline, but it has another claim to fame and this is that it is canine heaven, making it a destination for thousands of dog lovers every year. Here we have picked seven of the best dog-friendly pubs in Somerset to help you on your way to a holiday you and your hound are unlikely to forget.
The Best Pubs in Somerset where Dogs are Welcome
The rural part of the county is as enchanting as it gets but the cities, towns and villages have all been sprinkled with this magic dust too. There is Bath with its distinctive stone buildings and Roman history; Taunton famous for its cider and scrumpy; Wells, the smallest city in the UK; and Portishead’s perfect position at the mouth of the Severn Estuary. Every part of this magical region of England has its own unique stamp but all have one thing in common and that is dog pubs.
Make no bones about it, Somerset is a county that tops most dog lovers’ lists. This is thanks to the layout of its landscape where, from the druid site of Glastonbury Tor to Taunton where cider rules supreme and Cheddar, the big cheese of all gorges, through to Exmoor, wildlife and walkers go hand-in-hand.
Thanks to its temperate climate and its flat lands known as the Somerset levels, pubs are never short of locally sourced produce. Pubs that allow dogs near Cheddar compete for the best ploughman’s platter and those around Taunton and Yeovil serve only the best ciders and real ales.
Dogs are welcome in every part of Somerset allowing you to share your experiences and away time with your most trusted friend that can only be enhanced by pet friendly pubs.
Our Top 7 Choices
Find below 7 of the best pet friendly pubs in Somerset
1. Hairy Dog, Minehead
Following an invigorating walk on the beach this is one of those pubs that take dogs that lives up to its name and will give your hound a hairy high-five as soon as you come through the door. It is a great family pub too providing a large activity area outside for the smaller ones. While the little ones play, you can sit in the sunny garden that has picnic benches and shady umbrellas to keep your canine cool. It is well-known for its carvery, an ideal option for larger families who have to watch the pennies when it comes to eating out.
2. White Hart, Cheddar Gorge
This pet friendly pub nestled in The Bays at the bottom of the Cheddar Gorge is a perfect watering hole for you and your canine charges. In summer the extensive beer garden and play area is frequented by visitors to this part of Somerset. A highlight of its pub grub menu is (no surprises) a cheddar cheese ploughman’s platter. For meat eaters there is the option of adding slices of home cooked ham. The portions are generous so there is likely to be a titbit or two for your furry friend. There is also a range of local ales and ciders.
3. King Alfred Inn Burrowbridge
On chillier days don’t be surprised if you see “pugs in blankets”, real-life cute pedigree pooches in snazzy tartan jackets. These four-legged residents reign supreme at the King Alfred, one of the best Somerset pubs that allows dogs. Not forgetting its human patrons this free-house is famous for its Somerset Smokie, seasonal fish in a cream and herb sauce, topped with melted smoked cheddar. Wash this down with real ale such as Doombar or Bath’s Otter to complete your true Somerset country pub experience. The King Alfred is a popular pit stop for hikers up to the church ruins on Burrow Hump.
4. The White Hart, Bath
A veteran of Bath’s gastro pub scene, it has earned a reputation for its seasonal fare prepared by a talented kitchen team. The décor is effective in its simplicity with stripped back wooden floors and a gleaming bar that serves local real ale. Although the dining room is off-limits to four-legged customers, dogs are welcome in the bar area and in the stunning walled garden that makes for memorable alfresco dining in summer. The menu comprises locally sourced produce such as meat from Bath butcher, Ruby and White. So, while you pick your dish Fido will be treated to a biscuit from the bar.
5. Windmill Inn, Portishead
After a day out in the sea and sand you and your pooch can head for this converted flour mill that was once the headquarters for WWII’s home guard and even further back in time, a bolthole for smugglers. It is right on Portishead’s waterfront with unsurpassed views of the Severn Estuary. It is a Fuller’s pub so you can look forward to a perfect pint of London Pride or get into the mood of your surroundings with a jug of Seafarers, made from the aptly named Admiral’s hops. The dining area is reserved for humans, fine by Fido because its in the bar and garden where all the action is and where it’s dog-friendly all the way.
6. The Montague, Shepton Montague
This delightful pub is hidden away deep in the heart of Somerset with only access via country lanes is closer to the action than you think. An eight-minute drive from the Haynes International Motor Museum and the same drive time to the race course in Wincanton. Expect a warm, hearty welcome for you and your hounds from owners Sean and Suzy and be in for a posh pub grub treat from head chef Wayne. The bar’s picture windows overlook the terrace and garden with far-reaching rural views. If you are booking a table be sure not to mention Mutley, so that Sean and Suzy can find just the right spot for you in the bar area or garden.
7. The Sheppey, Glastonbury
Five minutes from Glastonbury and with Wells just 10 minutes away this funky pub is full of surprises. On the riverside terrace you will be impressed by the sweeping views of the county’s wetland known as the Somerset Levels, step inside and you will be blown away by this dog pub’s retro décor. There are David Hockney prints on the walls and the red faux leather booths create a Pulp Fiction vibe. The picture windows and skylights bring the outside in, creating an airy spacious feel. The menu is described as “modern European” and there is a range of Belgian craft ales as well as local ciders and ales on tap.
Some will say that Somerset has to be the most scenic country in England and it is not difficult to see why. Perhaps it is because of its landscape which the Tourist Trail describes as “varied, ranging from wetlands and estuaries, rolling hills across the wilderness of Exmoor and plunging cliffs with a network of caves and caverns”.
Pretty villages and towns make up this tapestry, each with at least one establishment that qualifies in the Somerset dog friendly pubs’ category, some of which we have highlighted here.