The UK

Towns and cities

The UK's most dog-friendly towns and cities

Kate W 18 March 2024

The UK is packed with vibrant and exciting towns and cities where you can explore historic quarters or stand at the very top of the country’s most modern buildings – often within the same city walls. And more and more of them are welcoming four-legged guests with open paws.

With dog-friendly pubs and cafes, plenty of green spaces to roam, and even some cultural attractions too, there are plenty of things to do with your pup in the UK’s most dog-friendly towns and cities.

We’ve sniffed out several of the best, so whether you’re looking for a cultural trip with your highbrow hound or a foodie weekend with Fido, you can find some inspiration for your next pet-friendly UK getaway below.

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Dog-friendly places in North of England

Known for its rich industrial heritage, it may come as no surprise that the North of England is full of impressive hubs for you and your doggo to explore. From beautiful, historic sites to exciting attractions, discover some of the best dog-friendly towns and cities in the North of England in this guide, or click the button below to get inspired by our North of England pet-friendly cottages collection. 

Malton, North Yorkshire

View of Kirkham Priory over the River Derwent, and St Michael's Church

Malton is your typical, charm-filled, county town filled with quaint cottages, independent shops, and stunning surroundings. While the majority of businesses are dog friendly, if you’re visiting Malton with your faithful four-legged friend, we’d recommend sniffing out Malton Museum and Eden Camp Modern History Museum first to step back in time together at these dog-friendly attractions. 

Head out on a leg-stretch in the grounds of lovely Scampston Hall, certain areas of the parkland welcome dogs and it's a very special place to get out in the fresh air. Further afield, visit the picturesque grounds of Nunnington Hall or explore the scent-filled fields of Yorkshire Lavender. Head out on long walks into the North York Moors National Park to discover a stunning landscape before returning to the traditional, country pubs and quaint cafes of this Yorkshire foodie capital. To explore further afield and work up an appetite, head out on one of these fantastic Yorkshire dog walks.

Newcastle, Tyne and Wear

Tyne Bridge over Newcastle, and a bandstand in Exhibition Park

Newcastle might have gone under the radar on your list of dog-friendly cities to visit, but you should embark on an adventure there. The whole city is yours to explore with your pup, as dogs are allowed on the metro system for free! There are plenty of dog-friendly places to eat and drink, including brewery tap Wylam Brewery which is perfect for a pit stop after walkies around Exhibition Park and The Town Moor. Get salty toes and paws on the beaches at Tynemouth or South Shields too. 

On your way to Tynemouth, pop in at Doggy Delish in North Shields, a dedicated dog bakery selling hand-baked treats and cakes that your pup will go mutts for! Or if your dog hasn’t got a sweet tooth, head to City Tavern where he can make friends with the pub’s four-bar hounds and choose something from the gourmet dog treat menu (don’t worry, there’s food for humans on offer too).

York, North Yorkshire

York Cathedral and The Shambles

Yorkshire turns up a few times on this list as there's so much for our canine pals across this magnificent county, and York is a particular delight with historic places and parklands to discover on a pet-friendly break. From crooked pubs down ancient streets to scenic gardens full of interesting scents to sniff out, York is bursting with fantastic places to visit on a dog-friendly city break. 

Take your four-pawed friend along with you to visit Yorkshire Air Museum, the enchanting gardens and shop of Treasurer's House, and the beautiful, riverside, heritage York Museum Gardens. Make sure you take a trip to wander the winding streets of The Shambles, where you'll discover timber-framed and jettied buildings, some dating as far back as the 14th century - you'll find a selection of dog-friendly cafes and pubs. There are plenty of photo opportunities in this remarkable York gem. 

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Old City Hall reflecting on water and statue of Robin Hood

This Midlands city is one of the best places to take dogs if they love walkies (and what dog doesn’t?) as there are plenty of open spaces you can visit together in the city centre. As you explore these attractions, you won't necessarily feel like you're in the city until you decide to make the most of the easily accessible multitude of pet-friendly pubs, cafes and restaurants. 

Nottingham Arboretum has over 800 trees and is said to have been the inspiration for J.M. Barrie’s Neverland – your dog is welcome to explore but has to be on a lead in designated areas. Or you could visit Wollaton Hall and Park, which was Wayne Manor in The Dark Knight Rises – you can both walk around the park where there are often lots of deer, so keep your batdog on a lead!

Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Higger Tor and view over Sheffield city

According to Sheffield City Council, Sheffield has more public parks and green spaces than most other European cities, and also has the Peak District National Park within its city boundary, making it one of the best dog-friendly cities to visit with your pup. One such area of green space is Sheffield Botanical Gardens, spanning 19 acres of Grade II-listed gardens where your dog is welcome on a lead. Or you could walk the 3-mile Norfolk Heritage Trail and learn about the city’s fascinating history.

If all that walking has worked up an appetite, head to the Coach & Horses – it’s situated in front of the world’s oldest football club, Sheffield FC, and has free dog biscuits on the bar. If you and your pup pal have any time left between all your Sheffield days out, take a look at other fantastic places to visit in our Canine guide to Yorkshire

Norwich, Norfolk

Norwich Harbour and the 15th-century arch of Pulls Ferry

You and your canine chum will love pottering around this elegant and ancient city in Norfolk. For a dog-friendly city break, Norwich is hard to beat, providing a real mix of historic pubs, attractions, and outdoor spaces where four-pawed guests are welcome to join you. The region is famed for the beautiful Norfolk Broads Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so we'd recommend you start there with a long, scenic dog walk or even a boat trip, with your pup pal joining you aboard. 

An iconic feature of the Norwich skyline, Norwich Cathedral is a magnificent Romanesque building that began life as a monastery over 900 years ago, and dogs are welcome! Bring your canine pal along to admire the impressive architecture and wander the grounds together. Take a dog walk down Elm Hill, the most famous street in Norwich – with medieval properties, thatching, merchants' houses, and a cobbled street, it's filled with charm and character. Head to Norwich Market with your dog to pick up artisan foods, fresh fruit and veg, flowers, and handmade crafts from the creative stallholders there, or Whitlingham Country Park, a magical landscape with wildlife, lakes, cycle trails, and plenty of space to enjoy a relaxing, picturesque dog walk. Check out our dog-friendly Norfolk guide too for even more ideas of great pet-friendly days out in this stunning setting.

Dog-friendly places in South of England

A host of picturesque, dog-friendly towns and cities are dotted throughout the South of England, boasting cobbled streets, centuries-old pubs, and even sandy beaches, ensuring a wealth of adventures with your holidaying hound. Read all about our favourites below or, if you're keen to begin your break, click the button and browse our South of England holiday lets.  

Gloucester, Gloucestershire

Gloucester Docks and the ruins of St Oswald's Priory

Escape with your pup to the beautiful town of Gloucester, right on the edge of the enchanting Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the perfect getaway for picturesque walks, elegant architecture, and characterful, pet-friendly pubs. It's a real gem, and as it's famed for the honey-coloured stone used throughout the region, you'll always be surrounded by a backdrop of pretty cottages and buildings. 

In this ancient market town, you can explore the magical ruins of St Oswald's Priory, the pristine landscape of Hillfield Gardens, and the grounds of Llanthony Secunda Priory with your canine pal. Our four-pawed friends are also welcome within Gloucester Prison, and inside the National Waterways Museum – you and your pup pal will be sniffing out history all over this stunning destination and you can find more days out in our guide to dog-friendly attractions in the Cotswolds

Bristol, Somerset

Dog in front of Bristol city with a view and photo of the Clifton Suspension Bridge

Bristol is jam-packed with paw-friendly attractions and plenty of green spaces so it’s definitely one of the best places for dogs in the UK. Your pup is welcome to take to the water on a harbour trip with Bristol Ferry Boats or roam the 850 acres of land at Ashton Court Estate if city life gets a bit too much - you could also explore our guide to top Somerset dog walks if you and your canine pal fancy a day out of the vibrant city and soaking in the stunning rural countryside. 

You can’t visit Bristol without seeing the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge either! There's so many impressive buildings and sights across the city to uncover and that’s without mentioning the many delicious places to eat and drink dotted throughout the streets too. Bristol has a huge range of eateries to suit every taste, but we’d recommend coffee at Small Street Espresso between city adventures.

Brighton and Hove, East Sussex

Cuckmere Haven and Brighton seafront and beach

One of the best dog-friendly cities in the UK, Brighton and Hove is rumoured to have more dog meet-up groups per head than any other city in the country. With a huge beach and the South Downs on the doorstep, the city is great for walkies but there are plenty of dog-friendly businesses to visit too.

For example, you can have a wander around the Brighton Pavilion gardens with your four-pawed pal. Or you can take your pup on a seafront train ride on the 19th-century Volk’s Electric Railway, enjoy a glamorous afternoon tea at Metrodeco, or visit the Laughing Dog Café – half café, half art gallery, but 100% dog friendly! You could also time your visit to coincide with the city’s many pup-friendly events – like Saltdean Lido Dog Swim, Paddle Dogs or the annual Pride Dog Show. A visit to Brighton and Hove with your dog will never be boring! There are many more places just outside this city too, including Birling Gap and Alexandra Park, both featured in our guide to dog-friendly days out in Sussex

Ventnor, Isle of Wight 

View of Ventnor Beach and close-up of Godshill Model Village

A classic seaside resort, perfect for beach days with your four-pawed pal, Ventnor on the Isle of Wight is a real delight and a sought-after, dog-friendly destination. Ventnor Beach is beautiful and welcomes canine friends in the off season, while neighbouring Bonchurch Beach offers a similar, wide, sandy shoreline and is dog-friendly all year round. Cove is also a brilliant year-round beach for dogs, half a mile from the centre of Ventnor. Check out our guide for more dog-friendly Isle of Wight beaches

Even though the Isle of Wight is best known for its wonderful coastline – it's an island after all! – Ventnor earned its dog-friendly credentials due to the number of fantastic dog-friendly attractions found here. Blackgang Chine, The Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary, Ventnor Botanic Garden, Ventnor Park, Appuldurcombe House, and Model Village Godshill all allow your waggy-tailed friends to join you. 

Dog-friendly places in Scotland

Best known for its wild and rugged Highlands and impressive, craggy coastline, the charming and dog-friendly cities of Scotland are sure to surprise you! In these cities, you'll discover lush, green spaces filled with plants and wildlife, iconic Scottish heritage sites that have survived centuries of change, and inspiring architecture to admire. Click the button below to browse our pet-friendly holiday homes across Scotland, or read on for our top dog-friendly city picks. 

Edinburgh, Midlothian

The Royal Mile in Edinburgh and a dog overlooking Edinburgh

Edinburgh is an extremely dog-friendly city, where your pup can join you in exploring iconic sites such as Holyrood Park, Arthur’s Seat, and the Royal Mile. But there is also a whole range of more unusual dog-friendly places to visit in Edinburgh – for example, you could catch a film at a dog-friendly showing at the wonderful independent cinema, The Cameo.

Edinburgh has made it even easier to identify where your four-legged best friend is allowed – just look out for the ‘Dugs Welcome’ stickers in the windows of the city’s pubs, bars, restaurants, shops, and cafes. There are hundreds to choose from, making this one of the best dog-friendly cities in the UK - we even have a full guide on dog-friendly Edinburgh to inspire your city break!  

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire 

Aberdeen's Duthie Park and Aberdeen Beach

As Scotland's third most populous city, known as the ‘Granite City’ for the solid, grey-stone buildings that line the streets, you may be wondering what makes this such a dog-friendly destination. Behind the austere facade, it's surprisingly green and our canine pals are welcome in a host of beautiful gardens and parks throughout this vibrant and bustling cityscape! 

Dogs are welcome at Duthie Park, including in the magical David Welch Winter Garden, Hazlehead Park where there's a maze, azalea garden, and children's playground, and Johnston Gardens with ponds, waterfalls and rockeries. The beautiful, sandy shores of Aberdeen Beach welcome pup pals all year, with just partial summer restrictions, and in the city itself, we recommend your canine pal join you as you navigate the streets of historic Old Aberdeen, boasting dog-friendly pubs full of character and heritage. And our full Canine guide to Scotland will provide more ideas for days out with your dog if you fancy a trip out of the city during your stay. 

Dog-friendly places in Wales

A land of castles and fairytales, this magical country has no shortage of beautiful landscapes for you and your canine companion to investigate, and you're sure to find plenty of enchanting, dog-friendly towns and cities in Wales. Read on for a couple of Wales' most sought-after, pet-friendly destinations, or click the button below to check out our collection and get some holiday cottage inspiration. 

Cardiff, South Wales

Cardiff Castle, and the River Taff in the popular dog-walking spot of Bute Park

Wales' capital city will not disappoint if you're planning a city break with your dog – bursting with wonderful outdoor spaces and quirky places to eat with your dog, this historic destination is perfect for your next break. The first place to visit with your waggy-tailed companion is the wonderful Cardiff Market, a fantastic Victorian building filled with stalls offering a whole host of delights. With vintage clothing, artisan coffee, street food, second-hand records, handmade crafts, and plenty of fresh fruit and veg, it's a great place to stock up at the beginning of your holiday. 

Your canine pals will adore a stretch in Bute Park or Victorian-style Roath Park; both riverside landscapes which are perfect places to stretch your legs and get back to nature during your city break with the dog. The beautiful grounds all around both Llandaff Cathedral and Cardiff Castle are ripe for exploration with your hound, and for iconic Cardiff scenery, head out for a stroll along Cardiff Bay and Mermaid Quay. Along here, you'll find a host of charming pubs and cafes where you and your dog can rest and refuel between city adventures. If you have time to spare between your Cardiff adventures, you can get more ideas for days out with the dog in our Canine guide to South Wales

Tenby, Pembrokeshire

View of Tenby from above and couple with dog on a Tenby beach

Head to this ancient town for heritage and beauty spots galore! On the southern coast of Pembrokeshire sits this colourful and characterful seaside getaway, with medieval town walls and the ruins of Tenby Castle overlooking the sandy beach, there's plenty of places where you and your waggy-tailed companion can soak up the area's history.

A real highlight of this town is the coastline that surrounds it – the Pembrokeshire Coast is a national park. You can venture out on multiple dog-friendly beach days and seaside walks during your town break – the shores of Manorbier Bay and Monkstone Beach are both within 6 miles of town. Finally, Tenby South Beach is the most dog-friendly beach in Tenby, with some restricted areas in summer and an area where dogs are very welcome to roam year round. Carew Castle and Tidal Mill, and Lamphey Bishop's Palace are both within 7 miles and provide delightful days out for you and the dog. Read our full guide to dog-friendly Tenby to find out more about this superb holiday destination and check out our Pembrokeshire pubs guide for great places to eat locally with your hound.

Towns and cities for pups and pup parents! 

If these dog-friendly towns and cities have got your pup’s tail wagging in anticipation of your next UK break, take a look at our complete range of dog-friendly cottages too.

With sleek apartments in city centres where you can shop ‘til you drop, to big townhouses where you can bring the whole pack, we’ve sniffed out the best UK dog-friendly accommodation – check out our range below. 

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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