Dog-friendly attractions in the Cotswolds holiday cottages

Days out

Dog-friendly attractions in the Cotswolds

Ed Roberts 17 September 2019

Stop one moment and make a mental checklist of all of the things your dog likes to do most. Is it running, eating, sniffing, sleeping or being cute? Well, it’s a good thing dogs are portable because they can do all their favourite things just as well in the Cotswolds. This beautiful part of England has enjoyed its well-deserved status as a top domestic holiday destination for decades.


Treat your dearest and best, especially your dog, to a dog-friendly holiday in the Cotswolds. There are many pet-friendly attractions across this exceptionally attractive region of England. We have scratched high and low to find some of the most welcoming and dog-loving family attractions up and down the Cotswolds, from National Trust-managed beauty spots and landmarks to historic stately homes and estates. Read on for an inspiring pet-friendly holiday break for you and your family.

Dog-friendly family attractions in the Cotswolds

Broadway Tower and Park, Broadway  

Broadway Tower & Park

For dogs that love a good run, head out to Broadway Tower and Park. Situated above the Cotswolds town of Broadway, with its charming honey-coloured stone houses, this country park is a superb choice for a rewarding constitutional. Characterised by its historical landmark, Broadway Tower is a three-storey Georgian folly, designed by extraordinary talent Capability Brown and built back in 1794. Located at 312 metres above sea level, it is the second-highest point in the Cotswolds. Dogs can enjoy the park but are not allowed to accompany you inside the tower or the bunker. Still, a visit to Broadway Park is about the views and the space to run like the wind.

Why your dog will love this: There’s lots of space to play and exercise.

Best for: Excellent views across the Cotswolds. Even without climbing to the top of the tower, you can see for ever on a clear day.

Cottages nearby: Stay at Broadway House, Broadway. Welcomes 1 dog and 4 humans.

Gloucester Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR)


Clamber aboard a steam train with you trusty hound and see how travel can be fun. Your dog will love the bewildering cacophony of sound, movement and smells aboard a steam train. Once upon a time, the GWSR was a part of the Great Western Railway and it linked to Birmingham via Stratford-upon-Avon. As the track runs through gorgeous countryside, you will be able to take in some fantastic views across to the distant Malvern Hills. The surrounding Cotswolds countryside is lush and green, and a window-side seat is one of the best ways to enjoy a visit to the region.

Why your dog will love this: The sounds and smells, as well as wonderful sights, will be a treat for outgoing dogs.

Best for: Brave dogs that also won’t get spooked by the new surroundings.

Properties nearby: Hoglets, Bredon (8.5 miles away). Welcomes 1 dog and 2 humans.

Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens, Burford 

Cotswold Wildlife Park

How many zoos can you take your dog to? Well, they are most welcome to come and meet new and exotic creatures galore at Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens. There are some reasonable restrictions in place, but they are mainly common-sense ones that include keeping your furry pal on a tight lead. Pretty much all of the park is unrestricted except for the free-range sections. So why not take your four-legged friend to hang out with the animals on your trip to the Cotswolds?

Why your dog will love this: Because they will get to see quite how big the animal kingdom really is.

Best for: Well-behaved dogs with equally smart owners.

Properties nearby: Bedwell Cottage, Lechlade (4.5 miles away). Welcomes 3 dogs and 4 humans.

Dog-friendly National Trust (NT) attractions in the Cotswolds

Crickley Hill Country Park, Birdlip 


Just a few miles east of Gloucester is Crickley Hill Country Park, one of the Cotswolds’ best-loved beauty spots. It’s also an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) because of its rich grasslands, wildflowers, swathes of woodland, scrub and rocks. Wildlife spotters should be on the lookout for uncommon butterflies and moths. It’s a wonderful place to go for a wild amble with your dog.

It’s unlikely you’ll encounter any, but the scrub and rock slopes are basking areas for adders. The Cotswold Way National Trail passes over Crickley Hill and through neighbouring Barrow Wake. As the hill is access land, your trusty pet must accompany you on a lead between 1st March and 31st July to preserve the local flora and fauna. There are good facilities at Crickley Hill that include a visitor centre, café, toilets, Wi-Fi and a picnic area.

Why your dog will love this: If your dog is happy on the lead, this makes for a great companionable place for lovely strolls in a varied landscape with great views.

Best for: Young pups and dogs that are comfortable on the lead.

Properties nearby: Halfpenny Retreat in Badgeworth (4.5 miles away). Welcomes 2 dogs and 2 humans.

Woodchester, near Stroud


Woodchester Park could become your dog’s favourite memory of your trip to the Cotswolds. There are endless acres of woods and parkland for your hound to explore, plus scent trails to follow, squirrels to puzzle at and a beautiful environment to enjoy. Because of the presence of grazing animals, Fluffy is expected to be put on a lead so they don’t get you in deep water for sheep worrying. However, don’t let the limits of control put you off visiting this wonderful National Trust property. If you love woodlands, this is a superb choice for a day out.

Why your dog will love this: Woodlands are a great hiding place for squirrels. And dogs love watching squirrels.

Best for: Woodland walkies!

Properties nearby: Shears Cottage in Nailsworth (4 miles away). Welcomes 6 dogs and 2 humans.

Quirky dog-friendly attractions in the Cotswolds

Westonbirt Arboretum, Birdlip...  

westonbirt arboretum

We all know that dogs love trees for a very different set of reasons to us humans. So why not share your appreciation of one of the UK’s five national tree collections? A stroll through the enchanted groves is a real outdoor treat and you can marvel at the 2,500 species of trees in the park. It originated as a private collection, created by the Holford family at the turn of the 20th century. Each season brings new joys for you to encounter, including a 1,000-year-old lime tree and many exotic trees that are rare even in their homelands. The facilities are first-rate and include a café, visitor centre and WCs. There are paved walkways as well as trails down the variety of grassy tree-lined avenues.

...and Batsford Arboretum 

Batsford Arboretum

If you like arboretums, there’s also Batsford Arboretum at the northern end of the Cotswolds. It’s possible to see them both over consecutive days if you aren’t too averse to driving across this beautiful region. You can never have too many trees in your life, so choosing Westonbirt over Batsford and vice versa is an impossible job. Batsford Arboretum is also home to a large garden centre where you can buy your own trees and plants. There are nearly 3,000 labelled specimens in the arboretum including the national collection of flowering cherry trees, Japanese maples, bamboo, mountain ash, whitebeam and a mind-boggling variety of oaks and pines.

Why your dog will love this: Whilst your hound will be at heel on your trip, it will enjoy the scents and calming environment.

Best for: Older dogs that like a more considered pace for their days out.

Properties nearby:  For Westonbirt, stay at Weavers Cottage – West End, Malmesbury (6.5 miles away). Welcomes 1 dog and 4 humans.

For Batsford Arboretum, stay at 3 Crown Cottages, Blockley (3 miles away). Welcomes 1 dog and 4 humans.

Cotswold Lavender, Broadway 

Cotswold Lavender

Between mid-June and early August, Cotswold Lavender Farm is open to the public. July is traditionally the best time of year to see the crop at its best.  The lavender gets harvested when the plants are at their peak. The distillery is also open for viewing when cropping is in progress. Dogs on leads are welcome to accompany curious visitors and it's a nice choice for those with puppies and older dogs who would enjoy a shorter and slower walk. Their noses will be hard at work, even if their feet aren’t. Facilities include a cool gift shop, tearoom and public toilets. Visitors with access and mobility requirements will be happy to know that much of the farm is level with sealed paths.

Why your dog will love this: It’s a chance to encounter a new scent.

Best for: Puppies and older dogs.

Properties nearby: The Bell Yard, Broadway. Welcomes 2 dogs and 4 humans.

Dog-friendly historical attractions in the Cotswolds

Tewkesbury Abbey, Tewkesbury 

Tewkesbury Abbey

Tewkesbury Abbey is about as old as buildings come in the Cotswolds. This 12th-century abbey stands at the end of the main street in Tewkesbury amidst lovely gardens. The prize for dogs is the spacious park, The Vineyards, to the rear of the cathedral that even has a shallow river running through it. If you don’t mind your hound going berserk and running in and out of the water to meet with other like-minded fur balls, this is the place.

Dogs on leads are allowed inside the abbey, so your dog can join history buffs on their quest for facts within the abbey’s fabled walls. Fans of 14th-century stained glass windows will already know that these ones in the abbey are amongst the best-preserved examples in Europe. There’s a great deli just along from the cathedral for a spot of lunch in the park afterwards.

Why your dog will love this: Because after behaving themselves in the abbey, the pooch can go bonkers in the park outside as a reward.

Best for: History and play.

Properties near: Pound Barn, Cheltenham (10 miles away). Welcomes 2 dogs and 2 humans.

Blenheim Palace and Gardens, Woodstock 

Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace and Gardens is a must-see visitor attraction when holidaying in the Cotswolds. Although dogs can’t visit the house itself, they are welcome to accompany you throughout the grounds with the exception of some of the formal gardens. It’s still a huge country estate with much to see – it’s perfect for small dogs and older four-legged companions as they can see just as much.

As with most private estates, you are expected to to walk your dog on a lead to help the owners protect their wildlife and livestock. Visitors should be mindful that on hot days, there’s very little shade and the shingle paths can become difficult for the dogs to walk on for long periods. Blenheim Palace is the birthplace of the former British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill, and it is the principal home of the Dukes of Marlborough. Again, you’ll be interested to know that some of the gardens were landscaped by Horace Walpole and Capability Brown. The palace itself was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh and Nicholas Hawksmoor who are also known for Castle Howard. The facilities at Blenheim Palace include a visitor centre, cafes, and numerous WCs.

Why your dog will love this: Because there are lots of places to see.

Best for: Breezy walks at heel.

Properties nearby: The Farm Retreat, Stonesfield (5 miles away). Welcomes 2 dog and 4 humans.

More ideas for dog-friendly Cotswold holidays

Before you plan your Cotswolds holiday itinerary, why don’t you visit our collection of dog-friendly Cotswold cottages? We welcome dogs into all our properties. You will find features that include enclosed gardens, cosy spots for them to sleep and in some cases, very lucky doggies will receive their very own basket of goodies on arrival. We have dog-friendly holiday cottages the length and breadth of the Cotswolds for couples, large groups and young families. Book today to find your perfect escape.


For more inspiration, visit our ultimate guide to the Cotswolds AONB.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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