Whether you’re a dog owner or not, dog-friendly pubs often have a certain charm that’s hard to replicate. The relaxed atmosphere which tends to accompany the ‘dog-friendly’ label makes them an ideal place for a date, however, finding a good one is key. Here are our favourite dog-friendly pubs around the UK…
Best if you’re dating an ale enthusiast: The Watermill Inn
Ings, Near Staveley. Kendal. Cumbria LA8 9PY
The Watermill Inn is a charming pub in the quiet Cumbrian village of Ings. It’s a great place to relax after a long day walking the fells, and its 2013 Cumbrian Tourism Award is well-deserved.
The diverse menu caters for all tastes, featuring everything from traditional fish and chips to bang bang prawns, as well as Watermill specials steak & ale pie, chilli & coriander burger and local Cumbrian steak.
Beer lovers are in for a treat, as The Watermill Inn is home to an acclaimed micro-brewery of the same name. But if you don’t fancy a local brew, a large selection of World beers are also available.
Man’s best friend is well catered for too, with bowls of fresh Lakeland water and dog biscuits available in the main bar. And if you’re looking to stay overnight, dogs are welcome for just £4, with £1 of this donated to the Dogs Trust.
Best for foodie dates: The Wild Rabbit
Church Street, Kingham, Oxfordshire, 0X7 6YA
Situated in the tranquil Cotswolds village of Kingham, The Wild Rabbit opened its doors in September 2013 after an extensive renovation of the Georgian building which houses it.
Dogs are welcome in the bar area, while owners can enjoy a selection of artisan beers and foodie bar snacks, such as potted rabbit with tarragon and grain mustard.
The foodie theme continues on the main menu, where Sunday lunch has been given a gourmet upgrade. Roast beef is served with bone marrow, while roast pork is accompanied by toffee apple puree, smoked crackling and cheek croquette.
Best for a traditional pub date: Bridge Inn
Grinton, Richmond, North Yorkshire, DL11 6HH
Situated in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Bridge Inn was once a Coaching Inn dating back to the 15th century. Today its roaring fires (and outside seating for warmer days) make it a retreat for walkers, locals and dogs.
Landlord Andrew Atkin welcomes muddy boots (and paws) with a mouth-watering selection of dishes created from truly local ingredients. He’s so passionate about fresh food that he often shoots the game himself, turning it into tasty specials such as whole roast grouse served with game chips and a red wine sauce.
Tipple-wise there is a large wine list (all of which have been personally selected by Andrew) and selection of CAMRA award winning guest ales, such as Cockerhoop and Snecklifter.
Best if you’re dating a cocktail lover: The Beckford Arms
Fonthill Gifford, Tisbury, Wiltshire SP3 6PX
Just 20 minutes from Stonehenge or 2 hours from London by car or train, the stylish yet traditional Beckford Arms is located on the edge of the beautiful Fonthill Estate in South Wiltshire.
Run by self-professed dog-lovers (and owners of pub dog Elsa), The Beckford Arms welcomes canine friends with water and bones, while a dog bath is provided in the garden area to hose down mucky pups.
Menus change frequently based on seasonal produce, but favourites include whole suckling pig spit-roasted on the bar’s open fire and game pie with homemade pastry and aged Wilshire steak.
To drink there is a selection of local ales and even local wine, but the real winner is the cocktail list. 'The Beckford Belini' uses locally produced peach liqueur while 'The Beckford Bloody Mary' contains horseradish grown in the pub garden.
Best for a seaside date: Gara Rock
East Portlemouth, Kingsbridge TQ8 8FA
And now for something completely different… Though technically not a pub, we couldn’t leave out the Gara Rock hotel and restaurant – you’ll see why.
Situated just off the South Devon coastal path (fantastic for dog walking), the sunny terrace is the perfect spot to catch some rays while sipping a cold drink. On colder days wrap-around windows provide panoramic views of the breath-taking coast.
Despite the lux décor the atmosphere is friendly and relaxed. The entrance to the main building is proceeded by a mudroom where guests are invited to remove their boots and enjoy the underfloor heating.
A tempting selection of coffee and cake is available from 11am, while rustic home cooked dishes are served between 12 noon – 2.30pm, and from 7pm onwards. Afternoon tea is available from 3-5pm.
Dogs are not left out in the cold (or in the mud room) – they’re welcome in the restaurant and water & biscuits are provided for hungry hounds.