This area that comprises East and West Sussex is considered the flagship of south east England. From east to west this corner offers up an area of delights from the South Downs to the Brighton pier. It has its fair share of castles and pretty villages where it proved that dog-friendly pubs in Sussex are up there with the best in the land.
7 of the Best Dog Friendly Pubs in Sussex
Second only to the Isle of Wight for being the sunniest section of the UK, it goes without saying that most of Sussex’s visitors descend on its coastline with its shingle beaches and vibrant towns. There is more to this sprawling county than its seaside because there are large parts of it that are just up a dog owner’s footpath. Seven Sister Country Park is a case in point. Nestled in the South Downs National Park it is an idyllic spot to go walking and a bonus is the lovely beach that fringes it. Dogs are welcome in these taverns as long as they are well-behaved because the park is a working farm.
You don’t have to visit Kew in London to get your botanical fix because Wakehurst that manages the The Royal Botanical Garden, Kew is in a stunning slice of Sussex. In its 465 acres it has ornamental and botanical gardens, woodland, a nature reserve and a mansion. There is also a play area for children and dogs are welcome.
For castle enthusiasts there are few that match the spectacular Arundel, rising majestically above woodland. It’s milky white turrets and towers can be seen for miles. Not far from here is the Roman town of Chichester and then there is Goodwood with its horse racing track, Festival of Speed and classic cars. In this part of Sussex you can bring Fido too because you will be sure to find dog pubs in all the strategic spots.
Our Top 7 Choices
Find below 7 of the best pet friendly pubs in Sussex
1. The Shephard and Dog, Henfield
This beautiful dog friendly pub, deep in the country, sits at the foot of the South Downs where dogs and their chaperones spend endless hours clocking up the paw miles. Refuelling is essential and what better way to do it then by visiting this 18th century inn? Winner of the 2020 Brighton’s Best Pub in Sussex Awards it has an open fire to chase away the chills and the large garden is on a novel upward slope. The pub makes good use of its outdoor space by having beer, jazz and gin festivals where humans and hounds make merry.
2. The New Inn, Hurstpieroint
This Grade II listed inn is one of the Sussex pubs that allow dogs that is certainly not short on space both inside and out. Its pub grub is of the gastro variety, a treat for two-legged guests with fresh fruit and vegetables from its garden. Its josper grill produces tasty dishes from locally sourced meat such as the Goodwood Estate’s Gloucester Old Spot-Saddleback cross pork and Trenchmoore Sussex beef. It also has a separate vegan menu and wine from the nearby Albourne Estate. Fido has access to the contents of the biscuit tin behind the bar and can enjoy a pint of ice-cold water in a bowl.
3. The Better Half, Hove
It is conveniently situated just off Hove’s seafront and it is an ideal pit stop after a bracing walk on the promenade. Just take a detour one street up from the seafront and you will find one of the area’s best pet friendly pubs. Here you and Mutley can mingle with other dogs and their owners because this is a place that is popular with locals who regularly pop in for a pint or to a plate of posh pub grub. Owner Simon Stern is at the helm and the kitchen team have come up with a plant-based pub grub menu for vegans that includes winter apple and squash Panzanella Salas with smoked dairy-free mozzarella.
4. Sussex Ox, Polegate
Whether you just fancy a pint of a locally sourced ale with a plate of traditional pub grub or you have made a beeline for the Ox for its famous Sunday roast, your fur baby is going to be straining on the leash to pitter patter over the threshold. Set on an organic farm its pub grub dishes are straight from the farm to fork. This pub, a short drive from Brighton, is a dog heaven. In attendance are the golden retrievers Max, Elmo and Ozzy and Lyla the Jack Russel, all Rovers-in-residence who have a run of the place and might take your fur baby on tour of the farm.
5. Camelford Arms, Brighton
For the past six years this delightful dog-friendly pub has been awarded the Best Sunday Lunch in Brighton by the Golden Handbag Society. It is a great meeting place for locals for lunch and dinner all through the week and with them come their four-legged friends. The pub owners opened it with a “dogs are welcome” policy at the forefront of their plans, a vision that has been embraced by regulars and visitors alike. It serves local brewery ales such as Hepworth, Arundel and Harveys at Lewes, as well as Snuffles beer, designed for dogs.
6. The Fox Goes Free, Chichester
The Fox Goes Free offers everything you need from a quintessential dog-friendly pub. Going back 400 years it has oak beams, exposed flint and brick walls, blackboards brimming with daily specials, cosy seating near open fireplaces, wood and stone flooring overlooking a suntrap of a garden and the South Downs of West Sussex. At the foot of the Levin Down it is just a mile from the Goodwood Racecourse with the Chichester city centre nearby. The Fox Burger (made from Hayland Island salt marsh beef, not fox), a firm favourite that can be converted to a vegetarian option, replacing the meat with an apple and butternut squash patty.
7. George Payne, Hove
There are dog-friendly pubs in Sussex by the dozen and then there is the George Payne. Tucked behind Portland Street its owners unabashedly admit to preferring their four-legged visitors to the two-legged variety. So much so it has a A-La-Bark pub grub menu dedicated to dogs. Dishes include a rawhide cigar, great for canines who groove on chewing and there is even a doggy ale. For you there is Tempura Cod Cheeks with Jerusalem artichoke puree and classic fish and chips. It has a bright interior with a coastal feel and a large rear garden complete with heated huts and a children’s play area.
Sussex from east to west with its South Downs and seaside towns is a piece of England that has attracted visitors from far and wide thanks to its diversity. Ramblers and hikers will head for the Downs, whereas walkers and their dogs are likely to go for the stretches of seafront and shingle beaches in pretty Victorian towns.
In Sussex dog friendly pubs are on every corner and country lane. There are a few that have pushed out the boat for our barking buddies, adopting a policy dedicated to making their doggie guests welcome with treats, water and even a half pint of beer in their bowls.