Dog friendly days out in the Cotswolds

As you know we live in the Cotswolds and absolutely LOVE it! We get so many messages on Instagram from people planning to visit the Cotswolds with their dogs and they’re after recommendations of places to visit. So here are some of the places we would absolutely recommend you pay a visit too!

Bibury

This is just outside of Cirencester. It’s a nice small village that’s famous for their row of Cotswold cottages which are featured inside your passport. As I said it’s quite small so you’ll be able to have a good look round for about 40-60 minutes so it’s a good stop off on the way to somewhere. There’s also a trout farm there which you can pay to enter, look around the gardens and feed the fish. Dogs are allowed in there on lead.

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Cirencester

A large town that is the capital of the Cotswolds, filled with lovely shops, cafes and restaurants. Cirencester Park is good for dog walks where they can run off lead as you walk down the avenue of trees on the Bathhurst Estate. Then in the town Jacks is our favourite dog friendly cafe. But most places are Dog friendly there so you won’t have to look far for good food.

Just outside of Cirencester is South Cerney. There’s a great circular walk around one of the lakes or along the canal. For this you can just park at the Cotswold Outdoor shop and walk from there. There’s a cafe opposite which you can stop at on the way back and dogs are allowed outside of here,

IMG_3953.jpgOn the way to Cirencester from Stroud or Nailsworth is Jolly Nice Farmshop. Amazing burgers and food, again dog friendly where you can sit in the yurts or benches outside in the summer. In the winter they turn their paddock into a Christmas tree field and it’s brilliant for festive photos.

Cheltenham

If you go to Cheltenham then Archie’s of Cheltenham is a Dog cafe and has a gorgeous dog boutique downstairs. I’ve also written about it here in a bit more detail. On the outskirts of Cheltenham Crickley Hill is a lovely walk with woodland, fields an a fantastic view over Cheltenham, you just pay for parking. Or the other side of Cheltenham is Cleeve hill.

Similar to Cleeve hill but in a different direction are Rodborough and Minchinhampton common, which are excellent for walking off lead. There are cows out on the common part of the year if you have dogs that aren’t good with livestock, but you can easily spot them and just go to a different part to walk.

Other Cotswold towns which are beautiful to visit and will all have dog friendly shops and cafes are  Stow-on-the-wold & Moreton-in-marsh.

Stroud

As mentioned before Rodborough and Minchinhampton commons in Stroud are excellent for a walk, similar to this is Selsley common as well. A favourite of mine is Haresfield Beacon, that is a common type place with views all the way over to Wales, but also a gorgeous woodland which is a brilliant spot for Bluebells. There is a national trust car park here where you can pay and display or free if you’re a member. But most people just park on the lane outside which is free.

Painswick Rococo Gardens

In Painswick is THE best place you’ll ever see Snowdrops. From late January – February is the best time to visit Rococo Gardens to see the Snowdrops, although their gardens are open all year round and a different section comes to life each season. Dogs on leads and a lovely dog friendly Cafe. There is an entrance fee but often in November dog owners go free.

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Read our Snopdrop blog here.

Lower Slaughter

This is a favourite of mine as I love places with water running through. The village isn’t far from Stow-on-the-Wold so also great to visit on the same day. I’ve previously written a blog post about Lower Slaughter here.

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Bourton-on-the-water

Another good tourist spot with water running through the centre of the village. There are lots of bridges which make a great photo opportunity, I want to see your photos of your dogs on the bridges!

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The Stump is a Restaurant based on the main road to all of the best Cotswold towns. They serve the best Pizza and Pasta and are dog friendly. They also have accommodation, so it’s a great spot to stay and travel for days out. My favourite place to eat out!

Broadway

Broadway is another of my favourites, the main high street is lovely & I highly recommend a meal or stay at the Lygon Arms. They have luxury dog friendly accommodation we wrote about here or you can just go in for a meal or drink.

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On the way to the town you’ll drive past Broadway Tower which is worth stopping at and having a little wander. They also have a cafe on site which is great for lunch or a snack. There’s a car park there which you can pay to park in, or you can just park on the side of the lane for free [Saves you money to spend on a slice of cake].

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Cotswold Lavender

Not far from Broadway is Cotswold Lavender farm. During the summer one of their fields is open to the public and it is gorgeous! It’s quite big so you could easily spend a few hours wandering around. There’s so many types of Lavender plus a wildflower section which is so colourful. Across the road is there Cafe which has an outdoor terrace you can sit in with dogs. Dogs are allowed in the field, but must stay on lead. But the rows are perfect to get them posing in! Read our Cotswold Lavender blog here.

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Westonbirt Areboretum

Westonbirt arboretum is beautiful and super dog friendly. Once you get through entrance there’s a whole woodland that they can go offlead in and explore. THE place to go in the Autumn months! Tetbury is the nearest town and I’d reccomend cafe 53 or the blue zucchini for dog friendlyness.

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Similar to Westonbirt is Batsford Arboretum which is just outside of Moreton on marsh I think but I’ve never been. It’s a bit smaller and dogs stay on the lead but the colours will be beautiful.

Cotswold Wildlife Park

This is based in Burford just on the outskirts of the Cotswolds in Oxfordshire but is a fantastic day out. I actually used to work here and was quite shocked when I found out it was dog friendly as places like Zoo’s aren’t known for welcoming dogs. There are a few areas out of bounds to dogs, such as where there are free ranging animals or indoors because having dogs up close can startle the animals. But the majority of the park is dog friendly to dogs on leads. I’ve never actually been with my dogs  but it’s on the list to visit! I especially love the images people share of their dogs peeping over the wall to the penguin enclosure watching them.

Castle Combe

This is another classic Cotswold postcard with beautiful cottages and tea rooms. For the perfect shot of the bridge into the village I’d recommend getting there early in the morning as it will soon fill up with tourists and cars driving over the bridge.

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You will need a car to get you to and from your accommodation. Some of the bigger towns may have public transport, Cheltenham and Moreton-in-marsh have train stations. But getting to and from each place will be very tricky as most places have no or irregular bus services, and you’ll have to book taxi’s in advance [Ubers don’t exist here].

I’m sure there’s places we love but I’ve forgotten right now or new places we’ll discover, so I’ll add to this over time. If you’re ever in the Cotswolds you can just check back to find somewhere to visit.

Thanks for reading,

Megan, Woody & Wilma

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