Is Britain really that Dog Friendly?

Having a great day out with the family and the dog is the perfect way to spend the day.

Mon 12 Mar 2018

By Judy

Is Britain really that Dog Friendly?

Having a great day out with the family and the dog is the perfect way to spend the day. But is your dog welcome at some of the most popular tourist attractions in the UK or will you have to leave your four-legged friend behind?

Kew Royal Botanic Gardens

dogs not welcome at kew gardens

Kew Gardens is a favourite attraction for gardeners, but sadly your canine friend is not welcome in the world famous gardens. The exception of course is for registered disability assistance dogs.

The Eden Project - Cornwall

Another gardeners’ paradise is the Eden Project, set in the beautiful county of Cornwall. The Eden Project opened in 2003 and boasts the largest indoor rain forest in the world. Your dog is welcome to explore the  miles of beautiful outdoor paths at the Eden Project, but not permitted in the Biomes or other undercover areas. However, your dog is able to access the Visitor Centre, ticket office and even the shop. Rules do apply, and owners should keep their dog under control and on a lead. Dogs must keep to paths and stay away from play areas. Owners should ensure they clean up after their dog and dispose of waste in the special bins provided. The Eden Project also provides water for dogs, shaded parking shelters, complete with water taps and even an undercover doggie dining area on the terrace outside the Eden Bakery.

London Zoo

London Zoo opened in 1828 and is the oldest zoo in the world. Visitors will have to leave their dogs at home and enjoy the huge array of animals on display instead, as dogs are not allowed on the zoo premises.

This rule appears to extend to guide dogs too, and the zoo recommends contacting the contact centre to make alternative arrangements.

Chessington World of Adventures - Surrey

Chessington World of Adventures is a popular theme park in Surrey, and attractions include a zoo, aquarium as well as the multitude of adrenalin-fuelled rides for children to enjoy. Sadly, your dog won’t be able to enjoy the fun, as they’re not permitted anywhere in the park. Disabled visitors can take their registered assisted dogs into Chessington, but they are not permitted on the rides!

London Eye

The London Eye is a large ferris wheel that sits on the South Bank of the River Thames in London. In fact, it is currently the largest ferris wheel in Europe.  Since opening in 2000 it’s become one of the most famous attractions in the country. Visitors can enjoy spectacular views of the city from one of the 32 passenger capsules, but dogs other than assistance dogs are not permitted on the London Eye.

Crufts Dog Show – NEC Birmingham

Crufts is the biggest annual dog show in the world, but sadly only dogs qualified to enter the competition or performing in displays  are permitted, except of course registered assistance dogs.

Stonehenge – Wiltshire

dogs at stonehenge

Stonehenge, the mystical prehistoric monument is situated just outside Salisbury in Wiltshire. The new £27 million visitor centre opened in December 2013 which is located around 1.5 miles from the ancient stones and visitors are offered the choice of walking across fields or taking the shuttle that drops visitors off close to the monument.

Dogs on leads are allowed around the outside of the visitor centre and surrounding fields on National Trust land, but not allowed into the actual monument field or shuttle bus, the exception is for assistance dogs.

The Tower of London

dogs not welcome at the tower of london

This historic castle is situated on the north bank of the River Thames in London, and is famed for its ravens and beefeaters. Only assistance dogs are allowed inside the Tower of London, and the world famous  attraction has no facilities for leaving dogs outside while you visit.

Centre Parcs - various location throughout the UK

Centre Parcs offer weekend and short breaks in attractive forest settings in 6 locations in the U.K. and offer a wide range of activities for the family. Dog friendly lodges are available at a surcharge, and there are designated exercise areas, but dogs must be kept on the lead outside your lodge.


Travelodge are renowned for a friendly welcome and comfy accommodation at great value for money, with hotels covering the UK, Ireland and Spain. Pets are welcome, at the discretion of the hotel management, so do check before making your booking.

There’s normally a limit of 2 domesticated pets per room, and pets must not be left unaccompanied in the room or cause a disturbance to other guests. The cost is £20 per pet per night, which is payable in advance when making your booking.

Pets at Home

With over 350 stores around the country, Pets at Home prove they really are dog friendly by welcoming dogs in all their stores. What’s more your 4-legged-friend will receive a free dog biscuit at the till too! Many stores now feature veterinary care and grooming salons.

National Express Coaches

No dogs or other pets except assistance dog are allowed on National Express coaches.

Eurotunnel Le Shuttle

Since the introduction of the Pet Travel Scheme, Eurotunnel Le Shuttle has proved itself to be at the forefront of pet travel. Over one million pets have enjoyed the short trip of just 35 minutes across the Channel to France. Dogs stay in the car for the crossing, but there are designated exercise areas, trained dog-friendly staff, and even complimentary dog waste bags. The 365 days per year service cost just £18 per pet each way (assistance and guide dogs go free) and your dog only needs to go through the Pet Control check when returning back to the UK at the Calais Terminal. Your pet’s passport must be in place and valid for your entire journey.