Dogs are a fully-fledged member of the family and nothing makes a country walk more satisfying than having a beloved four-legged friend as a companion. Claire Zambuni has sourced some of the best pubs and hotels, some a short drive away and others specialising in dog-friendly stays, from a mini retreat in Suffolk to a ‘Fido Gastro Retreat’ on the south coast of Devon.
Close to home…
The Duke of Cumberland, Surrey
A beautiful sixteenth century pub perched on the side of a hill with breathtaking views. From the gardens, on a fine summer’s day, it’s just possible to see Leith Hill. During the summer months there’s always a seasonal dish on the menu with produce from the vegetable garden. Today’s Duke retains much of its original charm: inside are flagstones, brick floors, wooden scrubbed tables and local ales. The Duke is renowned for its spectacular Sunday roast with a self-carving tradition.
Simon Goodman, chef patron, says: “Dogs are at the heart of the rural community and are thoroughly welcome. We host many seasonal shooting parties and gun dogs are always welcome.”
Over the border…
The Welldiggers Arms, West Sussex
An original country pub with a spacious dining area featuring large windows overlooking the South Downs, this 300-year old, dog-friendly inn boasts bespoke oak furniture, reclaimed art and a welcoming log fire. Much of the produce is sourced locally: from the fresh seasonal game, particularly the South Downs’ venison, to the fresh vegetables and herbs from local producers. The pub has an extensive bar with anything from West Sussex Real Ales and fine wines to a refreshing Sussex Chilgrove Gin. The inn features 14 en-suite bedrooms, six of which are located within the pub and eight in a separate annexe. For an extra £15, bring the pooch and a fresh dog bed and bowl will be provided in the room.
Worth travelling to…
The Jack Russell, Faccombe
This newly refurbished inn, located in Hampshire, offers unpretentious luxury in a tranquil countryside setting. Its 11 contemporary bedrooms, named after different breeds of dog in keeping with The Jack Russell include The Great Dane, The Bulldog and Spaniel. There are three rooms in the pub and eight in a bespoke courtyard lodge, perfectly designed retreats for rest and relaxation.
Cary Arms and Spa, Devon
Sitting in the sunny, sheltered haven of Babbacombe Beach on the south Devon coast, the Cary Arms exudes all the charm and fun of a good old English pub with the style and comfort of a luxury boutique hotel. Gastro pub food, real ales, exceptionally dog-friendly facilities and roaring log fires. Plus, eight deluxe beach huts and suites with amazing views. There is a dog-friendly beach open all year round on the doorstep!
Dine with your dog: The Cary Arms pub offers real ales, quality food using locally sourced Devon produce, with daily specials reflecting Devon coast and Devon country in equal measure. Doggie dinners are also on offer with lots of treats for four-legged guests. Book through Pets Pyjamas for the Fido Gastro Retreat.
Newton Hall, Suffolk
Enjoy a dog-friendly mini retreat with a difference and escape the hustle and bustle of daily life by combining a passion for horses with satisfying fitness schedules at Newton Hall.
Spend time in stunning scenery at Newton Hall Equitation Facility, Suffolk’s pre-eminent riding school, specialising in riding lessons for all ages and abilities and individuals.
Qualified personal trainers are on hand to devise a personal fitness programme and alongside this there are local walks for visitors and their dogs to enjoy nature.
Newton Hall House, which is onsite, is a romantic fifteenth century cottage offering an authentic, rural experience. With plenty of space, it makes for an ideal stay for couples, families, small groups and, of course, dogs.
Visitors have the option of adding activities such as pampering from beauty therapists, clay shooting or golf at one of Newton Hall’s three partner courses.
Essential dog travel accessories
Orvis Quilted Hose-Off Hammock Seat Protector
The easiest way to keep car seats clean and dry! Orvis designed a durable seat hammock specifically for the dirtiest dogs. Crafted of heavy-duty polyester, the protective hammock features a water-resistant coating on both sides to ensure that no moisture gets through to the vehicle’s upholstery. Available in three colours and two sizes from £109 to £139.
Orvis Field Collection Folding Travel Dog Crate
Designed to keep a dog comfortable and safe on the way to and from the field. The lightweight crate collapses easily for storage and travel. Sizes small to large from £99 to £139.