The first place in England to see the sunrise over the sea is in this magical county that has inspired artists over centuries. It is the birthplace of music’s greats, Benjamin Britten and Ed Sheeran, as well as the Sport of Kings, horse racing. Its heathland, river, Broads and coastline makes it a desirable doggie destination, so you will need to know where the best dog-friendly pubs in Suffolk are.
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You can visit the medieval village of Lavenham, location of the birthplace of Harry Potter; take a trip up the River Orwell that inspired the pen name of one of our greatest writers, George Orwell and drop in the the old coaching inn in Bury St Edmunds where Charles Dickens stayed and mentioned in his Pickwick Papers. Many Suffolk pubs that allow dogs also provide their customers with walking routes in the area. You are spoilt for choice with riverside, countryside, heathland, reedbed and coastline trails.
Even top attractions such as the Suffolk Punch Trust invites pooches to experience their facilities, as long as you keep your charge on a lead. The trust is a refuge for the county’s very own breed of horse and has 500 acres to explore. On the subject of horses, a visit to Suffolk could only benefit from a trip to Newmarket. If the horses aren’t on the race course’s breeze-ups and gallops it is safe to let your dog explore.
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty abound and dogs are welcome to enjoy the scenery with you. Pubs that take dogs aren’t in short supply either with many of the landlords and landladies having fur babies of their own. Other than a warm welcome for you and Fido, the pooch-friendly pubs are proud to present pub grub with a seasonal slant.
Our Top 7 Choices
Find below 7 of the best pet friendly pubs in Suffolk
1. The Dog, Gundisburgh
The clue is in the name at this pet friendly pub in the heart of Suffolk which has its own dog walk. The young owners have three pooches of their own and have taken the time to plan a dog friendly route that goes through scenic countryside and rolling hills for four miles. It takes an hour, walking at a leisurely pace. Advise such close gates behind and “the only thing you should take are photos and the only thing you should leave are foot and paw prints”. Back at base a warm welcome, cold water bowls and treats are going to get your pooch’s tail wagging.
2. The Shepherd and Dog, Hollesley
Set in the heart of Suffolk’s prime heathland it is definitely in the category of pubs that welcome dogs. Even visitor attractions in the area are more than dog-friendly. Take the Suffolk Punch Trust, a refuge for shire-type horses, gives pooches access to all areas on its 500-acre farm. It urges visitors not to keep their dogs in the car, especially during summer and their fresh water for Fido in the café. It even has two routes specifically designed for people and their pooches. Walk back to the Shepherd for some seasonal pub grub and a pint of local ale.
3. The Dolphin, Thorpeness
Close to the sea this dog pub is a hub of the community and an ideal place to rest up weary feet and paws. After a walk on the beach or in RSPB Minsmere expect a bowl of fresh water for Fido and a refreshing pint for you. The garden with its colourful borders and manicured lawn has plenty of comfy seating and shade to keep your fur baby cool. The nearby Minsmere Nature Reserve is 2,500 acres in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is suitable for non-excitable breeds such as Shih Tzus and spaniels. Look for the dramatic switchback Marsh Harrier display flights over the reed beds.
4. The Ship Inn, Dunwich
Just a stroll from the beach, this quintessential dog friendly pub has log fires in winter and sun traps to keep you and your dog more than happy. Its interior has a distinct nautical theme and retains a good few traditional pub features. It is a destination dog pub thanks to its pub grub which is “of the season and of the place”, case in point is its fresh-from-the-sea beer battered fish and chips. Close to the famous harbour towns of Aldeburgh and Southwold (where Orwell spent many a holiday), you will appreciate a pint after a day of beach huts, beacons and bustling harbours.
5. The Greyhound, Woodridge
Foodies swoon when it comes to this historic inn, one of the area’s best pet-friendly pubs. The landlady, Louise, cures her own salmon and conjures up innovative game dishes with venison fresh from her parents’ estate. Husband Stewart, a Scot, makes sure there is a good selection of single malt whiskies and keeps a good real ale cellar. There are three walks that end at the Greyhound taking in some stunning scenery and historical edifices such as St Peter and St Paul, the church famed for its medieval stained glass windows. Treats and fresh water await your four-legged companion at the end of the walks that are between 2.5 miles and five miles long.
6. Sailors Home, Kessingland
Right in the heart of a beach village where thousands flock each year to take advantage of the stretch of soft sandy beach and calm ocean, it is a conveniently dog-friendly pub. It has become well-known for its open air live music every Saturday evening and Sundays. After a long walk along the coastline, the Sailors is the perfect stop for some hearty pub grub and real ales. The pub offers daily boat hire too for leisure or fishing trips. The Cleveland Princess is a six-berth boat where your seadog can sit at the helm while you fish. The pub also provides a “catch and eat” option.
7. The Dog and Partridge, Bury St Edmunds
A Greene King pub, not far from the brewery’s Westgate site, you can be sure of a range of fine cask ales. Another certainty is its “dogs are welcome” policy that is at the forefront of the team’s meet and greet. There is likely to be Greene King IPA on tap from a superbly kept cellar. King Old Speckled Hen and Abbots Ale fans won’t be disappointed either. If you don’t want to leave Fido alone then the brewery tour might not be for you. Instead, explore the ruins of the abbey, once one of the richest Benedictine monasteries in England or take a trip to Newmarket, birthplace of horse racing, just 14 miles down the road.
From highland and heathland to some of England’s best beaches, Suffolk is an easily accessible region with plenty of dog friendly pubs in seaside villages and rural towns. All have pub grub menus that take the surroundings, not forgetting serving real ales from the country’s biggest brewery.
Suffolk dog friendly pubs are ideally situated in areas where there is plenty to do for both you and your furry-legged family member.