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Our List of Dog-Friendly Day Trips from London

The city escape both you and your fur-baby deserve.

If you’re a dog-owner who lives in London or is thinking of moving to the capital, then you’re probably wondering what you can do in the big city that includes your four-legged friend. Of course, London has plenty of parks, walks, dog-friendly pubs and other spaces that mean you won’t run out of ideas. But, what if you want to get out of the city and escape to somewhere a little less noisy and crowded?

Because you can take your dog on the train (including the tube), day trips from London with dogs are easy. That means, when you want a break, there are plenty of options out there. So, whether you want to take your dog to the beach, experience some history and culture, or just go on some amazing walks outside of the hustle and bustle of the city, there are heaps of places to choose from.

In this post, we’re going to list our top dog-friendly places so you and your best pal can escape for the day and see something new.

What do you need to take your dog on a trip?

Any time you head out on a day trip with your dog, there are a few things to remember so you’re not caught short. The last thing you want is to be hiking across the countryside and your dog squats, only for you to realise you left the poo bags at home. Not ideal.

So, here are a few things you should keep with you when out exploring with your dog:

  • A collar with an ID tag that includes a phone number
  • A lead, even if you don’t usually use one
  • Dog poo bags
  • A water bowl
  • A spiral stake, especially if you plan on stopping at a park or beach to relax
  • Doggy-friendly suncream
  • Treats
  • Paw protection, especially if the weather is due to be hot
  • Wet wipes

Places to take your dog on a trip

Whether you’re interested in a spot of history, a trip to the beach or fancy relaxing in a pub somewhere far from home, there are plenty of places to do so and enjoy the company of your pooch. Below are just a few of our favourites.

Canterbury

Why not take your dog along to Kent and make a few Canterbury tails (get it?) of your own? Canterbury is absolutely jam-packed with things to see and do, which makes it a wonderful place to visit.

Canterbury is home to masses of history, with a glorious Cathedral in the centre of town. During the summer of 2023, the Cathedral trialled allowing well-behaved dogs inside with their owners, which is something we’re hoping continues. Even if it doesn’t, the outside is still something you just have to see during your visit, with jaw-dropping 6th-century architecture.

Not only is Canterbury a stone’s throw from the coast at Whitstable and Herne Bay, you can get to it via train from London in under an hour, which is perfect for a flying visit. The area is rich with brilliant walks, with masses of dog-friendly pubs along the way, like The Two Sawyers, The Unicorn Inn and The Thomas Becket, which even has its own dog-centric menu.

Brighton

For some sun, sea and sand stones, Brighton is a brilliant spot to visit with your dog. Of course, a walk along the beach is a must-do, and you’ll be spoilt for a choice of places to stop off for a coffee, beer or doughnut while you’re at it. Because the beach is stony rather than sandy, it means your dog won’t take half the beach back with them on the train or in the car. The only thing to note is that during the summer months, dogs are only permitted on certain beaches, so check the council’s website for more information.

The centre of Brighton is home to the Royal Pavilion, a ‘pleasure palace’ built by King George IV. While dogs can’t venture inside, the gardens are great and still offer you plenty to see. It’s also a great spot for a picnic if you want to lower your chances of being ambushed by seagulls.

Having a mooch around town also offers a lot to see, such as the famous Lanes which are home to cafes, boutiques and shops, many of which are dog-friendly. If all else fails, why not enjoy a drink or bite to eat in one of the many dog-friendly pubs and restaurants, like the Black Lion and the Brighton Cocktail Company

Oxford

Oxford is packed with history and is of course home to the world-famous university. Walking around the city offers plenty of things to see, and is home to lots of international students who’ll be excited to greet your four-legged companion.

You could check out the 2,000 acres of parkland at Blenheim Palace, or Christ Church Meadow which is cut in two by the River Thames. Or, you could check out Cotswold Wildlife Park, a zoo that’s home to over 160 species of animals and is totally dog-friendly so long as you keep your dog on a lead.

For something a little more chilled, there are also tons of dog-friendly pubs. There’s BrewDog (of course it’s dog-friendly, it’s in the name), The Kings Arms and The Head of River among many others.

Whitstable

If you enjoy a spot of seafood, you can’t get much fresher than what’s offered in Whitstable at the huge selection of shacks and restaurants. Then, take a stroll on the beach, which is mostly stones and shingles, but welcomes dogs year-round.

If you enjoy retail therapy, Harbour Market is a haven for independent boutiques and retailers, with plenty of them happy to allow you to browse in the company of your dog.

There’s also Whitstable Castle, which isn’t technically a castle even though it does resemble one. While dogs can’t go inside, you can take them to explore the grounds – and it doesn’t cost you a penny to get in.

Then there are the walks, with Crab and Winkle Way being a particular highlight as well as having a distinct and delightful name. You might also want to pay a visit to Reculver Towers, a medieval church ruin that has been used as a navigational aid for ships for centuries.

When it’s time to take a load off, you and your little furry friend could enjoy the 1960s decor of Revival; the teeny tiny micropub, The Black Dog (especially if you have a black dog); or enjoy the welcoming vibe of The New Inn.

Dunstable Downs

Dunstable is a rather unassuming place to consider visiting with your dog, but the Dunstable Downs offers unrivalled views of Bedfordshire and the surrounding countryside, which makes it totally worth it.

It might be a little tricky to get to unless you drive, but it is still accessible via train and taxi – and it’s definitely worth it. Bedfordshire isn’t exactly notorious for its mountain ranges, but the unassuming rolling hills of the Dunstable Downs allow you to see for miles and miles. Because of the wind, it’s also a great spot to watch people fly kites and practice flying themselves from the nearby gliding club.

There’s also a visitor centre and cafe, so you can stop for a spot of rest after a few miles of hiking across glorious National Trust land.

Renting in one of UNCLE’s dog-friendly London properties

If you’re a dog owner and looking to live in the capital, why not consider one of UNCLE’s fully serviced London flats that are totally dog-friendly? For more information, contact us today.

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