Top 10 Dog Friendly Places to Visit: London, England
Finding dog friendly places to visit is not always easy. There are hidden gems in every city that you and your pug will want to visit from pug meets to dog cafes, beaches to bars, events to shops and a whole lot more. Discover the top 10 dog friendly places to visit: London, England.
London is full of dog friendly places but they’re often quite tricky to find – and they change too! So, if you’re planning to arrive with friends, and more than one dog, it’s always best to ring ahead and check so that you can reserve your spot!
When out and about with pooches in London, we sadly find there is a real difference between “dog friendly” and “dog tolerant”!
We have often found, upon arrival at a café or restaurant, that we’re curtly appraised of a “Paws on the Floors” policy. I haven’t yet been so bold as to ask to see such a policy but advise in taking great care not to assume that fellow diners, in establishments welcoming you in from the often cold wet weather of London, actually love dogs quite as much as you and I! Restaurants and Cafes professing to be dog friendly have been known to swap allegiance in a snap should any other diners disapprove. We’d so hate you to be turfed out into the unpredictable British weather!
Everything begins with Walkies!
The fabulous Royal Parks, in London, are all dog friendly (as long as one is seen to flamboyantly scoop the poop). I was recently scolded for leaving a deposit on a walk way and even though I promised faithfully that not only would I never do such a thing, and neither would my dogs, I ended up scooping a poop that wasn’t ours. Some arguments just aren’t worth having.
So, ever seeking the good citizen award, we are rightly greeted warmly at the large open spaces of Regent’s Park, Green Park, St James’s Park and Hyde Park. Their outdoor cafes are welcoming too – outdoors!
Green Park and Regent’s Park both have welcoming monthly weekend Pug gatherings that anyone can attend – see the social media site “Meetup” for Pug Meetup details online. I have seen up to 40 pugs sharing fun zoomies at such events and it is pure madness!
And, just ‘above’ Regent’s Park is Primrose Hill – a very pretty park, with great views over the city and a wealth of dog friendly small independent places to shop, dine and drink just moments walk away.
We also love Battersea Park. It’s a very dog friendly outdoor space and has a truly fabulous dog friendly café, by the lake, which warmly welcomes dogs inside! The Pear Tree Café serves superb home made café food with outdoor and indoor seating as well as accessible toilet facilities.
London is a very large and sprawling city. So, depending upon where you’re based, it might be best to look at various good dog blogs for what’s current and happening whilst you’re in town – this will help you organise a geographically manageable day’s itinerary.
We’re instagram fans of London bloggers @citydogexpert (warm and friendly in responding to requests for ideas – with such a great write up on Mercato Metropolitano that you might well come to London for her ideas alone!); @thedogvine (holding an absolutely fabulous calendar of ‘not to be missed’ London dog and dog friendly events); @missdarcyandme (for a comprehensive, detailed and up to date list of dog friendly London establishments, accommodation and eateries); and @thepetspyjamas (offering a breadth of dog friendly London knowledge). And, there will be more! We also love @thepawpost, and @pawsacrossbritain for their London snippets but they aren’t quite so London specific as those previously mentioned.
Travelling from A to B!
Dogs freely travel around London on buses, trains, underground tubes and taxis. And, if you’re instagram savvy, take a post for @mindthedogs and @dogsonthetube . But, please be careful if getting an uber – their drivers aren’t often prepared for you to travel with a dog (even if kept on your lap) and may well decline your fair.
Sleeping & Snoozies!
The Hari (Belgravia), Egerton House (Knightsbridge), The Ampersand Hotel (South Kensington) and Rubens Hotel, (Victoria)– are all smart places that welcome you and your fine pooch. And, if you like to be very central, The Rosewood (Covent Garden) is so very stylish and very welcoming too.
If you’re on a different budget altogether, or want to save your dosh for other things, then there are many Travelodges and Holiday Inns scattered throughout central London – they’re a particularly affordable way to stay right in the midst of all the action and only charge a small ‘extra’ for staying with a dog.
Always mention, upon booking, if you’re planning your stay with a dog.
Yummy Scrummy Eating :o)
Depending on budget and occasion, there are some widespread dining options for you to share with your sweet pooch. As said, London is enormous – so it might be best to find an eatery and park close together and make a plan for a geographically negotiable day. And, if you’re stuck for ideas – see earlier mentioned London bloggers!
Treat time and tea time!
Egerton House, Knightsbridge – famous for it’s doggy afternoon tea
Rubens Hotel, Victoria – a hop, skip and a jump from Buckingham Palace
The Hari, Belgravia
The Rosewood, Covent Garden
The Ampersand Hotel, South Kensington
Any time faves!
Megan’s – Kings Road, Chelsea
Poilane Cuisine de Bar – Cadogan Gardens, Sloane Square
Wulf and Lamb (vegan) – Pavilion Road, Sloane Square
Tom’s Mess – Fabulous meat and meat free burgers, Eccleston Street, Belgravia
Thomas Cubitt, Elizabeth Street, Belgravia – downstairs bar only
The Grenadier, Wilton Row, Belgravia – bar only
The Star Tavern, Belgrave Mews West, Belgravia – lovely log fire!
M Victoria Street, choose the dog menu and support Battersea Dogs & Cats Home
Farm Girl Café – Chelsea, Notting Hill and Soho
The Shake Shack – many central locations
Le Vieux Comptoir – Moxon Street, Marylebone
Andrew Edmunds, Lexington Street, Soho
Sketch, Mayfair (Parlour only) dress code “art smart” well behaved dogs under 10kg welcomed between 7am and 4pm!
Brew Dog London – many central locations
The Queen’s – Regent’s Park Road, Primrose Hill
Pig & Butcher, Liverpool Road, Islington – essential booking for the best Sunday roast ever!
Shane’s on Canal side – Stratford London E15
Mercato Metropolitano, Farmer’s Market – Southwark
Many small, independent, stores often allow you to be accompanied by your dog. Larger London department stores aren’t usually so welcoming. Currently, Selfridges, Liberty and Peter Jones all allow a dog that ‘can be held’. And, for those indulging their four legged friends, visit Bow Wow Wow in Covent Garden, Purple Bone or Pet Pavillion in Chelsea, or for those of the bottomless purse, Mungo and Maud’s in Belgravia.
The final top ten!
So, in a nutshell, not in any preferential order, our top ten London faves are listed below! But, please do check before you travel!
A walk around the lake and Peace Pagoda in Battersea Park, followed by a trip to their Pear Tree Café. Access by bus, taxi or car (ample paid parking available) the underground has not quite reached Battersea ….yet.
Sloane Square’s “Wulf and Lamb” – (inspired by Aesop, to encourage living together in harmony, regardless of prey or preference). Serving ‘fiercely kind’ vegan food and lusted after by all discerning foodies of any camp. Delightful welcoming staff, the Wulf pack welcomes all. Their chilli non-carne is superb and the red velvet cake is the finest ever tasted.
A monthly pug meet in Regent’s Park, followed by a wander in the pretty streets of Primrose Hill and a bite to eat at one of their many welcoming pubs, restaurants or cafes. The Queen’s is a delight, with wonderful views from their upstairs outdoor terrace.
A monthly pug meet in Green Park, followed by an ice-cream in a deck chair, a photo call outside Buckingham Palace and then a 10 minute walk to Victoria for a meat/veggie burger at Shake Shack. Walk a little further to Eccleston Street and enjoy a more intimate experience at Tom’s Mess and their out door Bunker Bar. Or, for finer dining, stop off at ‘M’ in Victoria Street and choose from their dog menu to support Battersea Cats and Dogs Home!
Brunch at Poilane Cuisine de Bar (either inside – or downstairs in their small outdoor dining area), followed by a ten minute walk up to Hyde Park for an ice cream outside the Serpentine Bar & Kitchen café. Perhaps do this via the ultra smart Sloane Street, where many of the smart designer retailers welcome dogs – or via The Star Tavern in Belgrave Mews West (where the Great Train Robbery was plotted) or The Grenadier in Wilton Row for some old cobbled mews haunted charm.
A gastronomic wander round Mercato Metropolitano market, in the aptly named “SoBo” area of Southwark – perhaps followed by walkies, 10 minutes away, at The Imperial War Museum where there is a lovely orchard and dog agility area. Local gal Kimberly of @citydogexpert can advise on any other current local dog friendly ideas for the perfect combo!
Shane’s on Canal Side is dog friendly – both inside and out – with a menu to match! See their website for events which often are dogcentric. Follow with a visit to the large and vibrant Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with lots to do and see.
A truly pawfect rainy day option would be a luxurious afternoon tea at Egerton House Hotel in Knightsbridge. This small luxury town house hotel has an impressive special dog menu and your pampered pooch will be catered for beautifully. And, they cater beautifully for those following a gluten free or vegan diet too. See their website for pawsome details!
A wander round Covent Garden Piazza watching street performers, listening to opera singers and classical musicians, and generally soaking up the atmosphere. Follow with a drink and snack in the lower courtyard bar of The Crusting Pipe (outside only) or the downstairs bar of The Lamb and Flag (a favourite watering hole of Charles Dickens), or a burger at a Shake Shack in either Leicester Square or Covent Garden!
Breakfast at Sketch, Mayfair, would be a delightfully opulent and luxurious start to the day. Follow with a ten minute walk to Green Park and then across the front Buckingham Palace to St James’s Park for coffee or lunch outside Inn the Park, perhaps on their roof terrace for views over the London Eye.
Enjoy exploring all of the best dog friendly places in London, England. If you know of another hidden gem for dogs to take their humans in London, be sure to let everyone know in the comments.
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