Cotswold Hotels - A Guide for Dogs
The Cotswolds area is made for dogs and it has been a real pleasure to watch Cotswold hotels gradually adapt to - and these days really embrace - canine guests. Some have acres of space within their own grounds but, either way, there are miles of walks for dogs and owners.
Here’s our guide to walks and dog experiences in the area - many of which revolve around a good dog-friendly pub.
Dogs love to explore and there are enough suggestions here to fill your Cotswold hotel time with hours spent experiencing unique views and village locations, with no need to stick to the same walk every day. Despite the area’s almost manicured appearance, there are over 3000 miles of public footpaths and bridleways across the Cotswolds. This really is dog-country, as evidenced by the respect and love for dogs - you’ll see Saturday afternoon village dog shows throughout the summer (we suggest you stick around long enough to enter, it’s a good way to socialise your dog) and a welcome at many attractions and gardens.
Usual dog walker rules apply in the Cotswolds, keep dogs on a lead near sheep,especially lambs, show the usual consideration in pubs and check for ticks after a walk where sheep graze.
Here are some great spots for dogs:
Broadway Tower. This famous beauty spot overlooks Broadway and has view for miles around. There’s a great circular walk from Broadway village and you can also explore the Cotswold Way from here. Cafe on site. Stay at Russell’s of Broadway or Cotswold House in nearby Chipping Campden.
Also in the area, Cotswold Lavender. Instagrammers make a beeline for this most photogenic of Cotswold attractions. It’s a corner of the Cotswolds that will for ever be Provence.
Hailes Abbey is a bit of a hidden gem. Dogs can roam around a destroyed Cistercian abbey (another casualty of Henry VIII’s struggle with Rome), an atmospheric place that is, incidentally, greta for a spot of conker hunting in the Autumn. Gloucestershire’s two
arboreta Batsford and Westonbirt really come into their own at this time of year too, although the two do get very busy at peak autumn colour time.
Cotswold Wildlife Park, with its white rhino and giraffes, might seem a bit of a surprise inclusion, you might expect dogs to be banned, but this popular attraction has so much space, including some beautiful gardens that it’s not an issue.
To escape the crowds head to one of the Cotswolds ancient monuments. Belas Knapp, near Winchcombe, for example, is a Neolithic site. The walk has a steep start and leads to a secluded burial mound with views back towards Sudeley Castle. Further south near the pictureseque village of Painswick (home of the mighty Painswick Hotel), Painswick Beacon is a local beauty spot with stunnign views over the Bristol Channel and views over to Wales.
When you’re setting out from your Cotswold hotel for the day with your dog it’s a good plan to have a plan for lunch in mind. Cotswold pubs are part of the experience of any Cotswolds day out. The good news is that dogs are positively encouraged in so many. So, here we give ten of our favorites:
Ebrington Arms, Nr Ebrington Arms has a great atmosphere and a quiet village location. Bonus points for the open fire and good food. The Carpenter’s Arms Miserden is a proper old Gloucestershire pub, with a cider menu and a largely avocado and quinoa -free menu. Lunch or dinner here is hearty, supported by vegetables from the pub’s own garden. The Black Horse at Naunton is set in the hugely undiscovered piece of Cotswold perfection that is the Windrush river and its accompanying valleys. The Lion Inn, Winchcombe is handy for nearby Sudeley Castle. It’s a bit of a newcomer, but the food is great and the pubs reputation is soaring. The Snowshill Arms is in the heart of this lovely village (it was used for the Winter locations in Bridget Jones’s Diary) and serves Donnington Ales, from the nearby village - surely one of the most beautiful breweries in England. The National Trust Snowshill Manor is within walking distance.
The Kingham Plough is a classic Cotswold pub situated on the village green. Ingredients tend to be very local indeed. We once saw a guest ask where the cheese was from and the waitress pointed through the window and said “over there”. Alex James, “the cheese bloke from Blur” also lives nearby, as does Jeremy Clarkson and (whisper it) David Cameron, although he, er, seems to keep a low profile these days. Nearby, the King’s Arms in Bledington also sits on the village green, complete with maypole.
We can vouch for the rooms at the wonderfully named Village Pub at Barnsley, which is everything a village pub should be. Barnsley, not to be confused with the northern Barnsley, is near the ‘must see’ village of Bibury, with its slow-flowing trouty streams and wooded valley slopes. If you go, take the short walk to Ablington to experience a bit of old Cotswolds.
Not so far away, we love the New Inn at Coln and it appears on most ‘Dog-Friendly’ but keep an eye on how the new owners adapt to doggie clientele. the Hollow Bottom at Guiting Power is a tried and trusted gem - another proper Gloucestershire pub set in farming country. Adam Henson, the BBC Countryfile presenter farms nearby. Bring your dog and be prepared to talk about horseracing and you’ll fit in fine here. Speaking of horse racing, the Plough Inn Ford is so close to Jackdaw’s Castle (home of Jonjo O’Neill’s racing stables) that the jockey’s and trainers have their own short cut to the pub. If you’re in the area in asparagus season, don’t miss asparagus, home made ham and new potatoes here - one of the great Cotswold experiences.
Finally: props to Lords of the Manor, not a pub, but this hotel is the 2019 Good Hotel Guide Editor’s Choice Dog Friendly Hotel of the Year.
Hopefully you’re inspired to bring your dog to the Cotswolds now. you can be sure of a warm welcome.