When it comes to walk time, play time and food time, country folk often think they’ve got a better deal than city-philes. Au contraire! You’ll have no problem bringing Rex into the city, so whether you’re here for the long haul, for the day, or for a long weekend treat, grab your contactless card, hit the town and experience some of the capital’s finest dog-friendly venues.
Roughly 47% of Greater London is green space, a fact that brings us to the first stop on our central city tour: Primrose Hill. Approximately 13 minutes’ walk from Camden Town or Chalk Farm, the park is beautiful and a stone’s throw from Gordon Ramsey’s sumptuous, dog-friendly restaurant, York & Albany. This city chic, Regency townhouse is decorated with sepia photos and is full of vintage furniture that reflects its proximity to vibrant Camden.
Hop on the bus from Primrose Hill, and in 25 minutes you’ll be in Kings Cross, which is fast becoming the capital’s new tech hub. Have a look inside beautiful St Pancras Station before checking-in to the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel London. A Victorian masterpiece, the hotel offers a St Pancras Pooch Package fit for special occasions, and pups are welcome in all rooms. For a spot of pup-friendly dining, check out the impressive redevelopment around neighbouring Kings Cross and you’ll find buzzy dog-friendly eatery, The Lighterman.
From north central, we wag our tails slightly west. A leisurely walk through Fitzrovia and Marylebone, or a couple of stops on the Victoria Line, brings urban pooches to Mayfair, the prize Monopoly card. If your wardrobe suddenly feels in need of some capital cool, pop into dog-friendly Anthropologie on the way and fido might even find a treat at check-out.
Skirt south past St James’ Park and cut through Belgravia’s cobbled streets – with a quick nod to Her Majesty – towards Art Nouveau, Colbert, a stylish French cafe that gives pups a VIP, tres ooh la la taste of paw-life. For you, there’s the classic Parisian menu, which you can enjoy while feeling like you’re dining on a bustling French place de la ville. From here, take the scenic route and walk through Knightsbridge up to Kensington, through Kensington Palace gardens (a lovely, dog-friendly play area) towards two of our favourite dog-friendly London hotels. Located near the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Ampersand Hotel is a boutique, renovated townhouse-esque hotel, with pups allowed in the Drawing Rooms while you enjoy afternoon tea, as well as in specially-selected bedrooms. You’ll love the hotel’s spectacular South Kensington location. Just across the park, The Milestone Hotel’s deluxe dog offering and enveloping welcome make it a gem. For four-legged friends, they offer a range of fantastic pet-friendly services including dog sitting, dog walking, grooming, dog menus and dog first aid.
A Saturday saunter? A short hop on the tube from Kensington is west London’s Portobello Market where you’ll find delicious delis and cafe culture. Or, get a slice of London’s art and fashion scene by heading east to Spitalfields Market (use Shoreditch or Hoxton overground stations, or Liverpool Street underground), and pick up a treat for you and fido. If you’re exploring east London, we can recommend the pup-loving South Place Hotel, which has impeccable service, food and cocktails. Don’t forget to check out Columbia Road Market, famous for its flowers on Sunday.
London is certainly busy but central is surprisingly easy on paws. It is encouraged to take advantage of the green space as much as possible, and with eight royal parks alone, it’s very easy too. A final tip for those who find themselves edging – gasp – south of the river, Battersea Park remains one of London’s very best pup playgrounds. If you’re there, get a little treat at dog-friendly and ever-so-inviting, Pear Tree Cafe, nestled at the side of the lake.
And remember, always mind the gap!
For cosmopolitan canines new to the city or metropolitan mutts wanting to brush up on their travel choices in dog-friendly London, don’t miss our essential guide to transport options around the capital with your dog.
Updated June 2019