Whilst the Cotswolds offers wonderful walks along the Cotswolds Way and gorgeous dog-friendly villages and market towns, there are also numerous dog-friendly family attractions that will delight your dog even more!
Explore the fabulous grounds of Blenheim Palace, take a dog-friendly steam train and discover the only dog-friendly wildlife park in the country!
Blenheim Palace and Gardens, Woodstock, Oxfordshire
This is one of our favourite attractions in the Cotswolds and a definite must-see. Birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and one of the grandest houses in the country it is steeped in history. Now home to the Duke of Marlborough it possesses a definite WoW factor. The house was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh and Nicholas Hawksmoor and whilst dogs are not allowed in the house itself (although you can take turns to visit) – you and your dog are welcome to explore the fabulous estate. The grounds are wonderful and include woodlands and a magnificent tree-fringed 40-acre lake designed by Capability Brown. There are plenty of outdoor cafes and a charming shop.
Broadway Tower, Broadway
Broadway Tower is a Georgian folly built in 1794, designed by Capability Brown and is set above the delightful Cotswolds village of Broadway. The Tower is the second-highest point in the Cotswolds with fabulous views at the top where you can see up to 16 different counties. Dogs will love the walk up to the top – take the 4-mile circular walk from Broadway and stop off at the Morris and Brown Cafe which has a stunning location and is very dog-friendly. There is also a dog-friendly gift shop and a new dog agility course. Dogs will love the fabulous walk to the top and you will love the fabulous views!
Great Western Steam Railway, Cheltenham
Climb on board a steam train with your four-legged friend! Enjoy the fabulous Cotswolds countryside in a heritage steam train running from Gloucestershire to Worcestershire, offering a 28-mile round trip. It uses part of the route of the former Great Western Railway’s mainline from Birmingham to Cheltenham which used to run via Stratford on Avon and now operates between Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway. From the train, you can enjoy wonderful views of sleepy Cotswolds villages and hamlets taking in fabulous views of the Malvern Hills and beyond.
Westonbirt Arboretum, Westonbirt
Dogs love Westonbirt! A magical place to relax with over 2,500 trees from the far corners of The Globe and a fabulous way to spend a few hours in the outdoors communing with nature and marvelling at the awe-inspiring collection of trees. Dogs are welcome in the central downs area and off lead in Silk Wood. The Arboretum is split into three sections – Silk Wood and Central downs, cafes and shops and the Old Arboretum.
There’s a treetop walkway that offers amazing views of the wooded landscape as well as many tree-lined trails. Whatever season you visit you are in for a treat and make sure you stop for lunch at the cafe in such a beautiful setting.
The Cotswold Lavender Farm open between 15 June and 7 August July is well worth a visit as the fields of lavender are truly spectacular! The best time to visit is early to towards the end of June and through July. The lavender gets harvested when the plants are at their peak. Dogs on leads are welcome around the lavender fields and love the gorgeous sights and smells. There’s a gift shop and dog-friendly tearoom with very friendly staff. You can come away with bundles of lavender, soaps and even lavender-infused chocolate All tickets need to be booked in advance.
Batsford Arboretum, Batsford
As well as Westonbirt Arboretum we also recommend visiting Batsford Arboretum situated just at the northern end of the Cotswolds. Batsford is home to one of the finest botanical collections in the country. With 56 acres of gardens with trees and shrubs from around the world for you and your dog to explore – there’s also a cafe and large garden centre, so you can buy trees and shrubs to bring home. See over 2,800 labelled specimens which include about 1300 different trees and shrubs including the national collection of Japanese flowering cherry trees, Japanese maples, bamboo, magnolia and mountain ash varieties.
Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens, Burford
The only dog-friendly wildlife park in the country, Cotswold Wildlife Park makes a fabulous family-friendly outing where you can meet exotic animals including Giraffes, rhinos, camels, porcupines as well as ostriches and penguins. There are naturally certain restrictions in place as to where you can take your dog and you will need to make sure your dog is on a lead. The Park is set in 160-acres of landscaped parkland and there is a train, gift shop as well as a restaurant selling snacks and ice cream.
Explore Cotswold Water Park, with over 40 miles of public footpaths crisscrossing the beautiful wetlands landscape; and home to an abundance of amazing wildlife. The perfect place for walking your pooch!