Dogs love beauty as much as we do. Don’t you think it’s cute when dogs take in the scent of flowers on your long walks together? We do. We ignore the fact that they are really tracking the scent of other dogs that may have passed the same way earlier, to find out about their diet and health, and instead entertain ourselves with fantasies that our dearest and best are sharing our appreciation for a lovely stroll amongst the flowers.
So where can you take your dog this year to see some of the brightest displays of flowers? We have compiled a short guide with some of the best pet-friendly gardens across the UK. Here are some other great ideas for days out with your dog in the UK.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall
Well-behaved dogs on leads are most welcome to accompany you to one of the UK’s most famous dog-friendly gardens. Fully restored after becoming overgrown and derelict for decades, The Lost Gardens of Heligan, near Mevagissey and St Austell in Cornwall, is a real treat for fans of landscape gardens that tell a story. Spanning tropical valleys, woodlands and walled gardens, Heligan is vast and makes for a wonderful day out if you are in the South West.
Facilities: Farm shop, gift shop, cafes, WCs, parking, disabled access around most of the grounds, dog waste bins, free maps
Additional info: Please note that dogs are not permitted inside the tearooms, although they are allowed in the sheltered eating area and surrounding grounds.
Lowther Castle and Gardens, Lake District
Lowther Castle and Gardens in the Lake District National Park is a superb dog-friendly destination where you and your pet can explore the grounds, without restriction, to your heart’s content. Similar to Heligan, the gardens at Lowther Castle were hidden away for over 70 years, but now they can be enjoyed by everybody. The castle was demolished in the 1950s but its façade remains leaving an iconic ruin – it’s an intriguing day out for garden lovers and their dogs to enjoy the spring and summer blooms.
Facilities: Cafe, exhibition, play park, parking, WCs, disabled access to castle, bike hire
Additional info: Dogs are to be kept on leads. Lowther Gardens has uneven surfaces, steep drops and steps, deep water and areas that become slippery. Stout footwear for all ages is advised.
Batsford Arboretum – The Cotswolds
Batsford Arboretum in the Cotswolds recognises that dogs are important visitors. Dogs will love this famous and gorgeous garden full of exotic, rare, and beautiful trees. It’s especially colourful when the trees and bushes are in flower. Dogs are allowed to accompany you throughout the arboretum including its garden centre and café.
Facilities: Garden centre, WCs, disabled access, parking, dog bowls, free dog waste bags
Additional info: Extendable leads are not permitted. Dog drinking water points are found throughout the park.
Ardmaddy Castle and Garden, Scotland
Ardmaddy Castle and Gardens near Oban in Scotland is a 15th-century castle with fantastic sea views across to the Isle of Mull. The landscaped gardens are spectacular and include a walled garden and a water garden, as well as the well-known Clock Garden. Ardmaddy is a great dog-friendly garden to visit for all seasons as it’s full of flowers which dazzle you with their technicolour spreads and bewitching scents. If you are passing by during spring, be sure to visit the wonderful bluebell woods on-site too.
Facilities: Cafe, parking, WCs, shop, partial disabled access with assistance, plant sales, pre-booked tours
Additional info: Dogs on leads. There is a good local pub for meals and teas called Tigh an Truish at nearby Atlantic Bridge.
Bwlch y Geuffordd Gardens, Wales
Take your four-legged buddy to Bwlch y Geuffordd Garden near Aberystwyth in Wales and discover a realm of gorgeous flower gardens, ornamental ponds, waterfalls and bridges. The plants and flower gardens at Bwlch y Geuffordd range from Mediterranean and tropical to Japanese and formal. There are sculptures and statues galore too at this wonderfully vibrant public gardens. Bwlch y Geuffordd Garden is located at an altitude of 1,000 feet making it an unusual location for gardens such as this.
Facilties: WCs, limited parking, picnics welcome, pre-book a catered tea party
Additional info: This small gem of a garden welcomes dogs on leads. Check the website for updates, as Bwlch y Geuffordd Garden is a family-run project and dog access maybe subject to temporary change.
Chippenham Park Gardens, Cambridgeshire
The stunning Anglo-Dutch style gardens at Chippenham Park in Cambridgeshire are especially wonderful when the snowdrops cover the huge lawns. Dogs are most welcome to accompany their owners around the canals, waterways, and parklands of Chippenham Park Gardens. It’s a fantastic destination if you are in love with roses and daffodils.
Facilities: WCs, parking, refreshments, good disabled access to most of the park
Additional info: Dogs on leads are welcome in all parts of the park except for inside the café.
Sherborne Castle and Gardens, South Coast
With gardens designed by one of the best-known landscape gardeners of all time, Capability Brown, Sherborne Castle in Dorset has flower borders for days. The stately home of Sherborne Castle was built for the explorer Sir Walter Raleigh and is a set with 42 acres of grounds which include landscaped formal gardens. Spring is a great time to go to see all the tulips and daffodils, the winsome herbaceous borders, and the stunning walks around the lake.
Facilities: Cafe, WCs, disabled access, parking, house tours, gift shop
Additional info: Dogs on leads are allowed throughout the grounds but not inside the house.
Longframlington Gardens, North of England
Your hound is bound to love Longframlington Gardens a 12-acre garden and arboretum near the Northumberland coast at Morpeth. There is a contemporary flower garden and a formally landscaped one that has been maintained to original specifications. The former illustrates the effects of climate change on plants, flowers and our environment. Set in the gorgeous Northumberland countryside, this is a lovely place for a day out with your four-legged friend.
Facilities: Refreshments, nursery, good disabled access to most of the park, WCs, parking
Additional info: Dogs on leads
Mottistone Manor Garden, Isle of Wight
This National Trust-managed Mottistone Manor Garden on the wonderful Isle of Wight is a great dog-friendly garden to visit. Marvel at the neat flower borders, shrub-filled terraces and the views of the English Channel. Set in a sheltered valley, it’s a wonderful, quiet garden to explore with your pet all year round. Because of its temperate location, on the south side of the island, several exotic flowers, plants and trees have been able to thrive in the uncharacteristic climes; there is even an olive grove.
Facilities: Cafe, parking, WCs, good disabled access to most of the park, visitor centre
Additional info: Dogs on leads
Chatsworth Estate, the Peak District
Pups that relish a bit of pomp in their lives should visit the roving gardens of elegant stately Chatsworth House in the Peak District. See where the TV hit Downton Abbey was filmed as you gad about the gorgeous grounds looking for flowers to sniff and photograph. Like most historic properties around the UK, pets cannot be taken into the main house but the estate does welcome them on leads in their gorgeous grounds.
Facilities: Cafe, gift shop, parking, WCs, disabled access, tours, dog drinking stations.
Additional info: Dogs are not permitted in the farmyard or children’s playground.
Please pick up after your dogs without fail at all of these places on the list, and always deposit it into a bin yourself.
Stay at one of our dog-friendly cottages
After you have decided on which dog-friendly gardens to visit on your holiday, why not visit our ‘Dog-friendly Index’ to find further places to visit in and around your chosen destination? Take a look at our collection of dog-friendly holiday cottages where you and your pet will find features that are bound to make a holiday close to one of these wonderful pet-friendly gardens unforgettable.
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.