Days Out with the Dog
It's a shame to leave your dog out, so if your family is planning a day out is always handy to know which destinations are 'dog-friendly'.
If you’re bored of the same walking route, or fancy going a little further afield, here are some ideas of where to take your four-legged friend:
1. Wyre Forest
Everyone loves a day out in the Wyre Forest. There are way-marked trails ideal for walking and riding your bike along, as well as a small play area. See if you can spot the Gruffalo on your travels! Your dog will enjoy exploring the wooded pathways, and if he gets too muddy, there’s even a mobile ‘dog–wash’ on site!
2. Himley Hall and Gardens
The 17th century stately home houses events throughout the year. The surrounding gardens and woodland offer a great place to walk the dog. There’s a tarmacked drive away which is a great place for little ones to ride their bikes down. The café on site serves hot and cold refreshments and always has a bowl of water outside for passing pooches.
3. Baggeridge Country Park
Located on the edge of the Black Country, the whole family can enjoy a day out here – with an adventure playground, lake for pond dipping, green space for picnics and games, a mini railway and a café that welcomes dogs. There are lots of different walking paths and plenty of water bowls scattered around for your dog.
4. Dog Friendly Pubs
If your dog fancies a pint, how about taking him/her to the Royal Oak in Evesham, voted the most dog friendly pub in the Midlands? Dogs are also welcome in the bar area of the Bell in Belbroughton. The Forresters Pub in Wollaston is run by dog owners and so they keep a well-stocked jar of dog treats behind the bar. Their own labradors are often in the bar area, always keen to make new friends. Walk your dog in the surrounding woodlands and pop in for a drink afterwards. The beautifully decorated Roe Deer in Lawnswood is surrounded by open fields, perfect for walking. Dogs are very welcome in the bar area and can cosy up by the open fire.
5. Clent Hills (National Trust)
The café at the Nimmings Wood entrance always has bowls of water ready for dogs that have just enjoyed a run around on the hills. They also sell dog treats (and delicious bacon sandwiches for the owners!) Nearby the Hill Tavern at Clent welcomes four legged friends, in case you have worked up a thirst.:
6. Eastnor Castle
Eastnor Castle, in Ledbury, is very proud of its dog-friendly status and is one of the few stately homes in the country that welcomes dogs both in the grounds and inside the house. Dogs must be kept on a lead but there is an ‘off the lead’ area where they can roam around the trees. They even sell special Waggy Dog ice cream in the ice cream parlour so you can treat your best friend! Children will love the adventure playground here and the family-friendly activities held each school holiday.
7. Cotswold Water Park
Whilst dogs aren’t allowed on the beaches, there is a designated swimming area for dogs (perfect for water-loving Labradors!)
8. Arley Arboretum
Well behaved dogs on the lead are welcome to explore the beautiful grounds of Arley Arboretum. Nearby in the village of Arley, you could take the dog for a swim in the river Severn, whilst you enjoy an ice cream from the riveside Post Office.
9. Habberley Trail
The newly opened Habberley Trail in Low Habberley, near Bewdley, has acres of open space and woodland that your dog will love! Your children will love discovering the swings and rides along the trail, and your dog will enjoy roaming the fields. ON selected days, dogs will be allowed in the cafe.
10. Avoncroft Museum
The museum near Bromsgrove is perfect for a family day out as there’s a lot of space for children to roam around. Explore the old buildings from different periods of history and marvel at the collection of phone boxes – which includes the Tardis. Dogs are welcome on a lead and they even host a special Dog Day in January!
11. Cotswold Wildlife Park
Dogs may be brought into the Park provided that they are kept on a lead and under adult control at all times. Dogs may not be taken indoors or into the Bat Belfry, Reptile House, Children’s Farmyard and any areas with free ranging animals.
12. Compton Verney
Compton Verney acknowledge that many of their visitors their dogs are part of the family, and so want to take them with them. There are some areas that dogs have access too and others that are restricted. See the Dog Walking Code on their website.
13. Hellens Manor
The gardens at Hellens Manor are now open 10am – 6pm on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Stroll our beautiful gardens and have fun in our yew labyrinth! Families, children, and dogs are all welcome. Facilities are open, although the house and tearooms remain closed, there is a safe water bottle refilling station just by the entrance to the garden. Dogs must be kept on leads in the formal gardens but can be allowed off lead at owner’s discretion throughout the meadow and woodland. The meadow has a large lake – ideal if your 4-legged friend wants to cool off, so do bring a towel if your dog is likely to dive in! Entry is currently free, but donations are welcome.
14. Brobury House and Gardens, Herefordshire
While Brobury House remains closed, the gardens are now open 10am – 5pm daily. Why not bring a picnic and enjoy our 8 acres of beautiful gardens? Dogs on leads are welcome. Adults £6, Children 16 – 11 years £3, 3-10 years £1, under 3’s free.
15. Queenswood Country Park and Arboretum, and Bodenham Lake Nature Reserve in Herefordshire are both popular with families and dog walkers. Dogs are allowed off lead, but must remain under owners control at all times, and are not permitted in the children’s area. While car parking charges apply, admission is free.
16. Habberley Valley
Not to be confused with the Habberley Trail, Habbereley Valley Nature Reserve is located North West of Kidderminster and North East of Bewdley on the B4190. It's the perfect place for your dog to let off some steam. There's a circular walk you can take from the car park. Finish off with refreshments in the newly refurbished Tearooms.
17. Susie's Cafe at The Other Place, Stratford
Susie's Cafe Bar is located at The Other Place, a short distance from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford Upon Avon. It's a nice, informal place to eat, where both dogs and children are welcome. Monday to Saturday from 9.30am - fully licensed.
18. Webbs Garden Centres
Dogs on a lead are very welcome in the three Webbs Stores (West Hagley, Wychbold and Cheltenham). They even sell dog-friendly ice cream at Wychbold!
Why not enter our competition to win a lovely new dog lead for your four legged friend? Click here to enter.
NB This is just a guide. As of May 2020, some of these venues may be temporarily closed due to Covid-19. Please check with the venue before setting off.
Editor of Raring2go! Kidderminster & Stourbridge since 2008. Local font of knowledge. Mother of two and wife of one.