The villages around Stratford-on-Avon have some fantastically dog-welcoming pubs, and the countryside is ideal for a long walk too. You won’t find any steep hills in this rolling countryside!
First up is Henley-in-Arden. This pretty village is just a few miles from the M40 or the M42 and combines one of the DwD motorway walks with some dog-friendly fine dining.
The Bluebell, on Henley High Street, has won several food awards and, unusually for a gastro pub, welcomes well-behaved dogs inside and out. Space is limited, and the pub is very popular, so it’s a very good idea to call in advance to book a dog table. Contact The Bluebell at 93 High Street, Henley-in-Arden B95 5AT. Tel: 01564 793 049
Just down the Warwick Road from Henley is The Crabmill in Preston Bagot. Dogs are welcome in the spacious bar area, and food can be served here. There’s also a large outside seating area for warm days. Reservations necessary for the dining room (no dogs): The Crabmill, Preston Bagot, Claverdon B95 5EE. Tel: 01926 843342
One dog walk near The Crabmill is along the canal towpath, and if you turn left and walk far enough you’ll see the very impressive flight of 21 consecutive locks at Hatton. Great fun to watch the barges working their way up or down!
Stratford-upon-Avon gets really busy in the summer and dogs are often safer out of town. Two great exceptions are the Dirty Duck (White Swan) and The Garrick Inn.
The Dirty Duck is on Waterside, just past the theatres, and overlooks the river. It’s still a favourite with actors, and the background sounds are of well-tempered vowels. There are outside tables at the front of the pub, and a good selection of real ales and some fine wines.
Walking the dog?
Best to take the chain ferry near the Dirty Duck across to the other side of the river and then walk away from the town on the grass by the river. Even when the town is busy, it’s usually quiet here.
Dirty Duck, Waterside Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6BA Tel: 01789 297312
The Garrick Inn is in the middle of town, and a welcome refuge in summer. Very friendly people here, and lots of little rooms so that dogs can lie safely under a table. The Garrick Inn, 25 High St, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6AU. Tel: 01789 292186