We are great advocates of shopping local, supporting local and giving back to the community, but there are times (especially in a city) when you are at a loss and just want to find something that you know will be dog-friendly. In this post we share the top 6 dog-friendly accommodation chains, top 9 dog-friendly chain eateries and top 6 dog-friendly chain activities.
Please note that none of the companies we mention below have contacted about their services, are aware of this post nor have paid anything for this post. This post is based purely on our experience and research.
Independent vs. Chain
What do we mean by ‘chain’? “A chain store or retail chain is a retail outlet in which several locations share a brand, central management, and standardized business practices.” (Chain store – Wikipedia). Independent businesses are the opposite, they are locally owned and/or managed.
In our posts we always recommend prior planning and making reservations to ensure that you have somewhere to stay, eat and things to do. We always recommend prioritising local and independent businesses so that you can support the community that you are visiting and interacting with. Wouldn’t it be awful if the world were full of faceless chain companies that don’t always benefit the local economy!
Here are some great resources for finding dog-friendly places in the UK, you can find plenty more using your everyday search engines!
- Dugs n’ Pubs Dog Friendly Guide (dugswelcome.com)
- Dog Friendly Accommodation, Places To Visit, Places To Eat and Services
- Enjoy life with your dog (dogfriendlybritain.co.uk)
- Search For Dog Friendly Places and Events – Dog Furiendly
- Dog Friendly Cottages | Over 40,000 Available Pet Friendly Canine Cottages
- Doggie Pubs | Find out where you and your best friend are welcome | Homepage
Chains aren’t all bad. There are some really great companies out there who have grown and developed through providing great services, having great principles and being liked by lots of people. Like independents, supporting those that you agree with you can encourage positive changes in the industry. Plus, knowing that an entity is going to be dog-friendly can be a great relief when you’re stuck in the pouring rain with crying and moaning dogs, children and/or partners, for example! We hope that the below comes in useful.
Top 6 dog-friendly chain accommodation in the UK
1. Hotel du Vin
Hotel du Vin’s Pet Policy states that the chain welcomes dogs over 1 year old, with some terms and conditions. They are known for their boutique hotels, popular restaurants and great locations. See their Instagram profile for more. In Bristol they have a hotel with a large (dog-friendly) terrace that has the best views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge – great for a hot drink after a long walk in the autumn!
You may be surprised to learn that the cheap and cheerful Travelodge chain is dog-friendly! Travelodge offer basic rooms at reasonable prices and can be a great base for exploring cities due to their often central locations.
3. Best Western Hotels
4. Britania Hotels
Britania Hotels are a new brand to us, but they state that they are dog-friendly and so worthy of including!
5. IHG Hotels
IHG Hotels include brands such as Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Braintree Hotels. Many, not all, of their hotels are dog-friendly and so always worth checking! They have a dog-friendly hotel search site for your convenience.
6. Youngs Pubs
Youngs are a chain of pubs that also have accommodation. You can see from their dog-friendly hotel search site that they are enthusiastically dog-friendly.
Top 9 dog-friendly chain eateries in the UK
The Lounges are a really successful dog-friendly chain that started with one tiny restaurant on North Street in Bristol. We have watched them grow across the UK and regularly visit their Bristol restaurants. Plus, they offer a fantastic vegan and gluten-free range!
2. Youngs Pubs
As mentioned above, Youngs are an enthusiastically dog-friendly. Their vast network of pubs across the UK mean that you should always find somewhere to eat wit your pooch.
3. Café Nero
There are a number of coffee shops along our ultimate Bristol dog walk, some dog-friendly and some not. The Café Neros are always dog-friendly and dog-welcoming. Something that other dog-owners appreciate too: “Winner when it comes to our coffee fix thanks to Caffe Nero Dog Policy” (Caffe Nero Dog Friendly Cafe | Caffe Nero Dog Policy | The Verdict (prettypup.co.uk)).
4. Vintage Inn Pubs
Market research revealed the struggles dog-owners have finding dog-friendly pubs. With that in mind they started a campaign to make more pubs welcome our pooches and made a statement that all of their pubs will be dog-friendly.
5. The Anthologist
BrewDog pubs, in our experience, have always been dog-friendly. For example, Liverpool, Brighton, Dundee and Bristol. They even have ‘Dog Pawties‘ where you can celebrate your pooch’s own birthday with their friends.
7. Butcombe Pubs
Butcombe have a number of dog-friendly pubs where you can grab a drink and something to eat. See their full list here.
8. Boston Tea Party
In most UK cities you will happen across a Boston Tea Party, and you may be pleased to know that they are dog-friendly! “Your four legged friends are more than welcome. All we ask is they keep off the furniture.” (FAQ (bostonteaparty.co.uk)).
9. Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants
While not UK-wide, you may be pleasantly surprised to hear that some of Gordon Ramsay’s London restaurants are decidedly dog-friendly! Great news for the foodies taking their pooches to London for the weekend.
In addition to the above, many more chains will allow dogs in their outside seating areas (e.g. Pizza Express).
Top 6 dog-friendly chain activities
1. National Trust
The National Trust owns and manages an extraordinary array of great houses, castles and outdoor spaces. While not allowed inside the buildings, most of the time, dog-walkers are welcome to visit the surrounding grounds and outdoor spaces. We LOVE the National Trust and will actively encourage you to visit their sites in our posts. The cost of visiting these places vary slightly but are usually around £9-£10, if you plan on visiting a number it might actually be cheaper to become a member. You can find equivalent organisations in Scotland and Wales.
2. English Hertiage
Similar to the National Trust, English Heritage own and manage properties and grounds of historical significance in England. They have a number of dog-friendly locations, but in our experience they tend to have less than the National Trust and so always worth checking beforehand. You can find equivalent organisations in Scotland and Wales.
Many Waterstones shops (usually separate premises and not part of a mall/shopping centre) allow dogs, such as Altrincham, Plymouth, Cirencester, Eastbourne, Lisburn (NI), Abergavenny, Llandudno, Bury St Edmunds and many more. If you have some time to kill, why not get a book a coffee and enjoy some quiet time.
Like Waterstones, many Paperchase shops (usually separate premises and not part of a mall/shopping centre) allow dogs, such as Durham, Chester, York, London and many more. A great place to waste time looking at all of the beautiful stationery.
5. John Lewis
The much loved, employee-owned, British institution that is John Lewis is unofficially dog-friendly! You can spend lots of time wandering around or just pop in quickly to grab something.
6. Dobbies Garden Centres
Let your dog help you pick out the perfect plants for your garden, home, wherever else. Or, enjoy spending time window shopping as many seem to do with garden centres. Dogs are welcome at all Dobbies stores across the UK.
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