With its honey-hued villages and miles of trails and footpaths through glorious countryside, the Cotswolds make for the ideal weekend away for dog owners. We love dogs here at Country Creatures and all of our places welcome them. Here, we’re sharing some of the best dog-friendly days out in the Cotswolds for you to enjoy this Autumn before returning to us for a delicious meal and a good night’s sleep.
Discover this romantic Victorian walled garden set in 40 acres of parkland near Cheltenham, roughly a 40-minute drive from The Swan and The Chequers . A labour of love created by the late Lady Angus and her daughter, Barbara, the Cerney House Gardens have been beautifully restored to their former glory but in a relaxed and organic style. Explore the working kitchen garden set amongst the overflowing herbaceous borders, and your dog will love running around the parkland. Make the most of this exquisite garden before it closes on 31st October for the Winter.
Not an obvious choice for a day out with your dog, but Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens in Burford has over 160 acres of stunning gardens and parkland and welcomes dogs on a lead. Roughly a 20-minute drive from The Swan and The Chequers, the park is home to more than 260 species of animal – one of the largest zoological collections in the UK. Your dog can come face-to-face with lions, penguins, rhinos, giraffes and a whole host of other exotic animals and is allowed everywhere apart from indoor areas, the Bat House, Reptile House and Children’s Farmyard.
With 17 miles of trails set within 56 extraordinary acres, Batsford Arboretum in Moreton-in-Marsh makes for a glorious day out with your dog. About a 20-minute drive from The Chequers and 30-minutes from The Swan, Batsford is home to one of the most prized botanical collections in the country. With over 2,850 labelled specimens including about 1,300 different trees, shrubs and bamboo, its prized specimens of Acer, Sorbus and Quercus are a riot of colour in the Autumn months. Dogs are welcome throughout the arboretum and café, provided they are kept on a short lead.
Roughly a half-hour drive from both The Chequers and The Swan, Blenheim Palace in Woodstock is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with vast Capability Brown-designed parkland for your dog to explore. Although dogs are not allowed inside the house or the formal gardens – not surprising considering Blenheim is the birthplace of Winston Churchill and the principal home of the Dukes of Marlborough – there will be plenty to interest them. As with most private estates, dogs are must be kept on a lead to protect the estate’s wildlife and livestock.
If your dog loves nothing more than a car ride, they’ll love a visit to the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway at Toddington station. About a 30-minute drive from The Chequers and 40-minutes from The Swan, the GWR is a preserved steam and diesel heritage railway which offers a round-trip of 28 miles between Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway through some of the most spectacular countryside in the Cotswolds. Well-behaved dogs are welcome in standard class carriages.