And we’re back! It didn’t take much convincing for us to come back to the Cotswolds, easily one of the most beautiful areas in the UK, with contenders for the best dog-friendly restaurants, hotels and playtime activities all around. With our time in the North Cotswolds over, we’re moving on to what delights the south of the region can bring you and your four-legged friend.
The dog-friendly South Cotswolds attracts visitors from all over the world, and is well-known for its spectacular landscapes, parks and famous monuments. Chedworth and Cirencester both have relatively in-tact Roman ruins, Fairford sports a beautiful stain-glassed Medieval church and Painswick (or ‘Queen of the Cotswolds’) has some of the best walking routes in the valleys. Pups will love the bright surroundings, fresh air and the endless frolicking hotspots. One particularly great play area is the Bathurst Estate in Cirencester. These fabulous estates, dating back to 1716, were once owned by Lord Bathurst and Alexander Pope, and a regal, pristine stretch of 5-mile parkland – known as the Broad Avenue – connects them. The area is perfect to dip into for a light stroll, or you could enjoy the day exploring the many leafy nooks and crannies.
For those looking to stay in bustling market town Cirencester, the The Kings Head hotel, perfectly positioned at its heart, is an entirely unique place to stay, with its mix of Tudor and medieval architecture. With a splash of country cool, the hotel incorporates bare brick with traditional tartans and blanket laden furniture. It has an inviting, laid back charm you and your pooch will relish for a weekend away from it all. Dogs up to the size of a retriever can be accommodated, and you and your pup will be able to sit back, relax and enjoy the lounge and bar together.
A truly tempting place both you and your pup can rest your weary after-walkies heads is The Painswick Hotel, in Painswick. Beautifully situated, the interiors here are everything you’d dream of for a Cotswolds stay with style; the hotel is tastefully decorated with hand-painted furniture, unique fittings and sumptuous, hand-picked linens. Perfect for bedding down, tuck your pooch up with you as dogs are welcome in a number of the rooms upon request. Another great resting place is The Close in Tetbury. Welcoming, historical and easy on the eye, The Close boasts a fine dining menu, uniquely designed, stand-alone bathtubs and William Wallace-esque fittings. Pups will love the hotel’s courtyard and its location, near to wonderful parkland and seemingly endless greenery. Pooches can also dine with you in the bar areas – a definite bonus.
Feeling hungry? The South Cotswolds will spoil you for fantastic dog-friendly eateries. One of our yummiest picks is The Wheatsheaf in Northleach. This lovely, seventeenth century inn is clad in wisteria and vines, with cottage-style gardens. A number of the rooms are also dog-friendly here, and the menus are excellent, offering quality locally sourced ingredients with a very boutique vibe. The wine lists are also very good for a well-deserved tipple or two!
Elsewhere is the Hare & Hounds on the outskirts of Tetbury, which is right next to the Westonbirt Arboretum, a simply glorious spot to escape with your pup for walkies, full of interesting woodland and mapped trails. Jack Hare’s Bar here has a tasty menu, and also a dog menu your pup will love.
The South Cotswolds truly is one of the most magical places in the UK, and with so many areas to discover, it’s high time you grabbed your pooch and made a long weekend (or a little longer!) of it. Pack plenty of yummy snacks to take on long walks, welly boots and, if the air is chilly, a dog jacket for Fido.
Don’t miss out, make sure you’ve read all about the dog-friendly North Cotswolds with Part One in our Cotswolds Series.