Things to Do with Your Four-Legged Friend in the Cotswolds

For many families, their dogs are so much part of the family. So, when booking a holiday, having lots of dog-friendly activities nearby is just as important as what restaurants, historical sites and fun for the kids their chosen holiday destination can offer.

In addition to the wonderful countryside to explore with miles of footpaths and bridleways, the Cotswolds is full of amazing attractions and activities that you can take your dog to. We’ve listed just a few of the lesser-known pet-friendly attractions below to give you a selection of historic houses, gardens and museums that will help you plan your stay with Orion Holidays.

Broadway Tower

Designed by the great Capability Brown, the Broadway Tower is a unique Folly Tower built in an inspiring location. At 1024 feet (312m) above sea level, it is the second highest point on the Cotswold escarpment and allows visitors to have amazing views of a 62-mile radius and 16 counties.

The tower has three floors with exhibitions and displays about its history and the people that lived there, as well as a roof viewing platform. On certain weekends you can also access the former Cold War Monitoring Bunker for a 45 minute guided tour.

Broadway Tower is also the perfect place to start a walk with your four-legged friend. With 50 acres of woods and parkland surrounding the tower, there are plenty of scenic walks and cycle routes.


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Batsford Arboretum

Open all year round, Batsford Arboretum is a beautiful parkland set in 56 acres and containing a wide range of plants with an emphasis on the Far East. Since 2002, Batsford has held the National collection of Japanese Flowering Cherries – so, spring is a particularly stunning time to visit. Other collections include Acers and Bamboo.

Dogs are welcome in the arboretum as long as they are kept on a short lead at all times. They are also allowed in the main building and the cafe if they are well behaved. Water for your dog is available at several points around the grounds and the streams and ponds are fed by a natural spring. If you’ve got young children, there is also a children’s play area and a special trail to help them explore the Arboretum and keep them entertained.

Cotswold Wildlife Park

Looking for a day out for all the family, including your doggy friend? Cotswold Wildlife Park is a short drive from our holiday homes on the Cotswold Water Park and is a fantastic day out for all. Set in over 160 acres of beautifully managed parkland the whole family will enjoy the diverse collection of species that are housed there. From the Rhinos on the front lawn to the penguins, from the Iguanas to the wallaby’s, there are hundreds of animals to discover.

Dogs are allowed into the park as long as they are on a lead and under the control of an adult at all times. There are some areas which are dog-free zones such as the reptile house and the children’s farmyard so it’s best to check the website for more details before heading out.


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Cotswold Lavender

If you are into your natural oils and remedies, why not visit the Cotswold Lavender farm. With 40 different varieties and 140 miles of lavender rows the farm is quite spectacular when the plants are flowering, not to mention the aroma. The farm also grows chamomile and has a shop which sells the many products made from the plants.

Dogs are welcome in the fields with you and whilst they are not allowed in the shop or the tea room, there is outdoor seating and water bowls provided. The lavender flowering period is only a few weeks long, so do check when the farm is open.


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Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway

Fancy taking the weight off your feet and having a change from walking?  Then why not take a  train ride on the steam and heritage diesel trains of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway (GSWR). Running from Cheltenham through Winchcombe to Broadway, your journey will take you through some spectacular Cotswold scenery of sleepy hamlets and views across to the Malvern Hills.

Dogs are allowed to travel on the trains on a short lead and on non-carpeted areas. See the website for more information. Why not make a day of it and hop off the train at another Cotswold attraction such as Hailes Abbey?

Hailes Abbey

Dating back to 1246, Hailes Abbey is a tranquil ruin and memory of monastic life in the Cotswolds. It is the perfect place to relax, enjoy a picnic, and soak up the history. The museum has been recently refurbished and displays interesting site-finds, stonework and sculptures.

There is also a free audio tour which really brings to life the monastery, the monks and lay brothers who lived there.


Painswick Rococo Garden

Designed in the 1740s this pleasure garden within a hidden valley offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and unusual garden buildings. Painswick Rococo Garden is the only surviving rococo garden in the country. It will take you back to the elegant and sophisticated early 1700s, when gardens provided beautiful, stunning and unique backgrounds to elaborate garden parties.

Try and find the centre in the unusual maze and enjoy homemade cakes and dishes in the café. There is plenty for families with younger children including a quiz, a rustic play area and a beautiful tree carving of Schloss Neuschwanstein to spot. Dogs are actively welcomed into the gardens but will need to stay on a lead so that they don’t chase the ducks and chickens!

Newark Park

This hunting lodge began life 450 years ago and is now owned by the National Trust. Originally built for a courtier as a base for his hunting parties, it was restored in the 70s by an American architect who took 30 years to restore the house and uncover its period features.

Dogs aren’t allowed in the lodge itself but are welcome in the gardens and estate. For the rest of the family, there is a dressing up room and puzzles in the house as well as trails around the ground and garden games on the lawn.


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Plenty to Do with your Dog in the Cotswolds

There is much more to discover in the Cotswold, but the above gives you a feel for the diverse attractions you can do with your doggy friend in tow. Don’t forget to also take a look at our dog-friendly holiday page for more information about bringing your dog on holiday to the Cotswolds as well as our blog on the top 10 places to walk in the Cotswold Water Park itself.

If you want to discuss which dog-friendly property might be the best option for you and your four-legged friend just give us a call on 01285 861839 and we can help you find the perfect holiday home.

Pug sat at Dog Friendly Pub Cotswolds

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