Set on the tranquil banks of the River Avon in Warwickshire, you and your pack are sure to go barking mad for the historic town of Stratford-upon-Avon. This beautiful little corner of England is perhaps most famous for being the birthplace of Shakespeare and many of the heritage sites celebrating this iconic playwright welcome dogs within the grounds.
And if Shakespeare isn’t enough to make those tails wag, there is also a treasure trove of pet-friendly places to dine and drink, a fantastic array of unique shops, exciting attractions and glorious gardens, and a wealth of scenic walkies along the river and the surrounding Cotswold countryside.
Take the lead and discover all the best things to do with our guide to dog-friendly Stratford-upon-Avon. And if you’d like to paw through our collection of dog-friendly holiday cottages in Stratford-upon-Avon, just click the button below.
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Great dog-friendly days out in Stratford-upon-Avon
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust properties
Best for poetic pups: Stratford-upon-Avon is the town where the renowned English playwright William Shakespeare was both born and buried. Every year, millions of people make a pilgrimage here to celebrate his life and visit the places that inspired his work. Luckily for four-legged family members, they can join you on a tour of the grounds of some of the town’s most important museums, now in the care of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. While they aren’t able to accompany you inside, dogs on leads are allowed in the outdoor areas of Hall’s Croft, Shakespeare’s New Place, Shakespeare’s Birthplace and Anne Hathaway’s cottage.
Why your dog will love it: They will feel like they’ve scampered back in time as they sniff out the flower-filled gardens where The Bard himself once strolled.
Best for furry water babies: One of the best ways to experience the beauty of pet-friendly Stratford-upon-Avon is by hopping aboard a sightseeing cruise with Avon Boating. The whole pack are welcome on board one of this famous fleet’s traditional vessels as it glides along the River Avon towards Alveston. Certainly one of the top dog-friendly attractions in Stratford-upon-Avon, you’ll enjoy fine views of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Holy Trinity Church as well as some of the most unspoilt stretches of navigable river anywhere in the UK.
Why your dog will love it: They get to ride on these wonderful Edwardian passenger vessels free of charge!
Best for historical hounds: For those who appreciate a little history, one of the best dog-friendly things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon is a ramble around the parkland of this spectacular Victorian home. Charlecote Park has been the Lucy family home for 900 years and while tufty-pawed pals aren’t able to explore its interiors, which are filled to the brim with art and antiques, they are welcome to wander the wider parkland with its glorious views over the River Avon. And if the humans fancy a little bite to eat, there are a few spots offering takeaway drinks and snacks en route.
Why your dog will love it: There is a specially marked dog walk which you can access from 9am, perfect for early morning walkies away from the hustle and bustle later in the day. Plus, there are plenty of water bowls dotted about if your pup gets thirsty.
Wonderful dog-friendly walks in Stratford-upon-Avon
Stratford-upon-Avon River Walk
Best for riverside rambles: One of the most popular dog walks in Stratford-upon-Avon is the trail alongside the babbling river. The route on the far bank has some big open spaces for zoomies and provides splendid views of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the stunning All Saints Church. There are several walks on offer along the riverbanks of varying lengths, starting or finishing in the town centre. Why not bring a picnic and make a day of it?
Why your dog will love it: From bobbing ducks to colourful rowing boats, there are plenty of fun things for canine explorers to spot along this walk – and on a warm day, they will love jumping in the water to cool off.
Best for wildlife wanders: If your pup pal has lots of energy to burn, then a bound across the Welcombe Hills is sure to go down a treat. One of our favourite dog-friendly places in Stratford-upon-Avon, this rolling nature reserve offers acres and acres of open green space, peppered with flower-rich grassland, woodland and ponds. If you fancy uncovering the fascinating history of these hills while your canine adventurer explores, there is an audio trail that you can listen to online. Or simply make the most of the abundant wildlife, keeping your eyes peeled for great spotted woodpeckers, sparrowhawks and treecreepers.
Why your dog will love it: Happy hounds can run for miles here, with a variety of terrains to make escapades even more exciting.
Best for countryside capers: Treat Fido to a scenic scamper along the Stratford Greenway, a 5-mile disused railway track that runs from dog-friendly Stratford-upon-Avon to Long Marston. Perfect for bikes, scooters, pushchairs, wheelchairs, and those with two and four legs, this traffic-free W-A-L-K is wonderful for the whole family. A highlight is the Carriages Café at Milcote Picnic Area, which is set in a converted railway carriage and warmly welcomes doggie diners for a mid-walk snooze while the humans enjoy a cuppa and a slice of cake.
Why your dog will love it: This is a great dog walk in Stratford-upon-Avon for canine counterparts of all ages and abilities. If your pack has some excess energy there are several footpaths connecting to the route to extend your journey, and lots of picnic sites along the way if you just need to rest those paws for a while.
Top dog-friendly places to eat and drink in Stratford-upon-Avon
Best for canine celebrities: The Dirty Duck (also known as The Black Swan) is one of the top dog-friendly pubs in Stratford-upon-Avon. This traditional alehouse boasts wonderful riverside views and is a favourite thespian watering hole, sitting just along the road from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. The Actors' Long Bar is adorned with signed photographs of the actors who have visited the pub over the years, including a few celebrity canines too!
Why your dog will love it: What pampered pooch wouldn’t want to dine in the same pub as their famous four-legged idols?
Best for Italian: One of the top dog-friendly restaurants in Stratford-upon-Avon has to be Veeno, an authentic Italian wine bar serving a delectable array of tapas, pizza and pasta. With your pup by your side, you can browse a delicious menu featuring the finest cured meats and cheeses, and homecooked dishes featuring local ingredients. They even host wine tasting experiences where you can indulge in award-winning vino from their family vineyards in Sicily.
Why your dog will love it: There is plenty of fuss to be had from the friendly staff here and pups are welcome inside and out.
No. 37 Cafe
Best for coffee and cake: When it comes to dog-friendly cafes in Stratford-upon-Avon, No. 37 Café is a great choice. This quaint eatery is a top spot for lunch, with all manner of homemade treats from deep-filled paninis, hearty soups and generous baked potatoes to indulgent cream teas and slices of sticky cake.
Why your dog will love it: Pups are welcome inside, or outside in the cosy courtyard, and there are always plenty of water bowls available.
Exciting dog-friendly Stratford-upon-Avon cottages to stay in
The best dog-friendly cottage for a relaxing break
Winter's Tale: Sleeps 1 dog and 4 humans
For an idyllic way to spend a dog-friendly holiday in Stratford-upon-Avon, stay in this traditional thatched chocolate-box cottage, just 1.5 miles from the town centre. Rover will be in doggie heaven snoozing in the warm sunroom or lying beside the crackling fire in the lounge.
The best dog-friendly cottage for families
The Modern Shakespeare: Sleeps 2 dogs and 4 humans
Treat your pack to this ground-floor apartment, just half a mile from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Shakespeare’s birthplace. After a relaxing stroll along the canal nearby, let your four-legged family members enjoy a fun game of fetch in the enclosed garden terrace.
The best dog-friendly cottage for walking
Garden Cottage: Sleeps 2 dogs and 3 humans
On a sunny day, nothing beats soaking up the rays in the beautiful garden of this rural retreat. Light the BBQ and relax after a tail-wagging day of adventures in dog-friendly Stratford-upon-Avon, 7 miles away, or make the most of the myriad of country walks right from the doorstep.
Enjoy a dog-friendly holiday in Stratford-upon-Avon
For the ultimate backdrop to your staycation, choose one of our self-catering dog-friendly holiday cottages in Stratford-upon-Avon. Whether you are travelling as a couple, a family or a group of friends, you’ll find a wide range of pet-friendly accommodation within our collection which will place you perfectly for memorable holidays in this glorious part of the Cotswolds. You can also discover more dog-friendly things to do in the Cotswolds with our comprehensive Canine guide to this unforgettable countryside destination.
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.