5 Super Dog Friendly Walks (and Pubs) in the “Shires”

If you’re the proud owner of a pooches, like me, you will understand the joy of being able to find locations where you can not only walk the hound(s) but also get a nice meal at the end in a place that welcomes dogs as much as their hooman owners.

“As the pack leader” of 2 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Bertie & Maisie, who seem to enjoy the pub more than the walkies but equally enjoy a good off the lead roam, I love getting muddy and exploring the local area – if not only to get some #dogsofinstagram snaps too!

So here’s my list of 5 Super Friendly Dog Walks, places where the pups can get a good leg stretch both on and off the lead and end of walkies pubs, all of which serve food, and have made me feel completely at home with my dogs. Also for the win they aren’t overly expensive either!

The Dog Friendly Walks and Pubs

Northamptonshire – Stoke Bruerne Canal Paths

Stoke Bruerne Canal Walk, Towcester, Northamptonshire & The Boat Inn, Bridge Rd, Stoke Bruerne, Towcester NN12 7SB

This location has easy pay and display car parking and access for pushchairs, wheelchairs and walking aids along the entire local canal route. You can walk for a short distance along the canal side on footpaths or go for a cross country off track romp around the nature reserve and fields.

The pub is located right on the canal side and dogs are welcome in the Bar area and serves traditional food. If you eat at the pub you can park your car in their car park for free – if there’s a space. This location is extremely popular in the summer months with families and the locals and has an interactive canal museum open during the week.

Warwickshire – Coombe Abbey Country Park

Coombe Abbey Country Park, Coventry, Warwickshire & The Bulls Head, 9 Coventry Rd, Brinklow, Rugby CV23 0NE

This family friendly country park offers 500 acres of beautiful gardens, woodland, lakeside walks, and bird watching as well as family play parks and open fields for you to roam. It is a popular location but has plenty of parking and picnic space – in summer it can be pretty crowded but as there is so much space it is easy to find a secluded spot for you and your family.

Car parking is pay and display with a maximum price of £7.00 fr up to 24 hours and blue badge holders being £2.00. Dogs are welcome to explore both on and off lead in various locations – there is a guide here. The Bulls Head is a 5 minute drive from the main park and is a family run, dog friendly pub which serves traditional pub food – worth booking in busy seasons and summer holidays.

Leicestershire – Foxton Locks

Foxton Locks, Market Harborough, Leicestershire & The Foxton Locks Inn, Bottom Lock, Gumley Rd, Foxton, Market Harborough LE16 7RA

These stunning set of locks have paved walks following the extensive longest and steepest staircase locks in the UK. There are long (£2.00 per day) and short stay (£2.50 for up to 4 hours) carparks and they are free after 5pm – but beware they do close the car parks at different times depending upon the season. From the short carpark it’s easy to get buggies and wheelchairs onto the footpaths.

The Foxton Locks in allows pooches in the bar area and outside on the decking which overlooks the hub of the canal basin but in busy times dogs are asked to remain outside. There is a small “traditional boathouse cafe” just across the bridge that serves snacks where dogs are also welcome indoors too – it has a log burning stove for winter warmth too!

Bedfordshire – Dunstable Downs

Dunstable Downs, Bedfordshire & The Old Farm Inn, 16 Church Rd, Totternhoe, Dunstable LU6 1RE

If you’ve a large pup who loves the open air and space to run freely then the Dunstable Downs are the place for you and your family. Exploring the land is simple you just rock up to one of The National Trust Car Parks and pay and display for the day. The main visitor centre has an indoor area especially for dog owners too!

The Old Farm in is a short 5- 10 minute drive away from the centre of the downs but means that you are just far enough away from the crowds that decent upon this stunning location in the busy seasons. It is a traditional chain pub with outdoor and indoor seating which prides itself on its “good old fashioned home cooking”.

Buckinghamshire – Rushmere Country Park

Rushmere Country Park, Heath and Reach, Buckinghamshire & The Heath Inn, 76 Woburn Rd, Heath and Reach, Leighton Buzzard LU7 0AR

This is my favourite location of the 5 listed. It is the most dog friendly country park I have ever visited and even provides poo bags should you forget yours! Parking is £3.00 all day and there are extensive woodland and open field walks. There are firm footpaths for buggies, wheelchairs and walking aids as well as off track trails to explore. There is a large visitor centre and play park as well as cycle and horse trails. If you have a water loving dog then there are 2 small pools where they can enjoy a nice cooling paddle.

During the week this location isn’t too crowded however at weekends it is a very popular spot with local families and the cafe and visitor centres at each end of the park more than cater for all your light food needs however should you want a sit down meal, away from the hubub, the Heath Inn is a 5 minute drive from the main gate and has it’s own car park – it’s best to pop in and book a table if you’re eating lunchtimes and weekends. In winter months there is a cosy sofa area with log burner that your doggies can stretch out in front of to dry off and warm up!

Get out and explore with your dog!

With plenty of green space these locations are all great places for your dog to explore and wander. All of these pub locations have been extremely welcoming towards me, Bertie and Maisie and always have treats and water to hand to spoil the pups.

Have you seen the latest range of Barbour Dog Wear?

If you like to spoil your dog(s) as much as me you will certainly want to kit them out to match you on your walks. Here at e-Outdoor we have a range of Pet Products for your pooch.

If you head out on any of the walks and end up in a dog friendly pub be sure to leave a review on trip adviser mentioning how friendly they have been towards your pooch – other dog lovers are always looking for places to take their doggies for a day out with the family.

Follow Lesley:

Marketing & Social Media Manager

I love the outdoors and I love good food. So guess what I do for a job? Yep, Marketing & Social Media for e-OUTDOOR and Director of House of Goodness Ltd.