As the unseasonably warm weather signals that spring is just around the corner, more and more people are looking to spending their weekends outdoors. When enjoying one of the many scenic walks that the country has to offer, here are the pubs that would be more than happy to host you and your furry companion.
The Holly Bush – London
Hampstead Heath is one of the best and most popular places to take your dog in London. Its hilly terrain, ponds and glades means that there is plenty for your dog to explore. We recommend walking up to Parliament Hill, one of the highest points in London with a breath-taking view over the capital. The Holly Bush is located a mere 5 minute walk away from the Heath, and is the perfect spot to enjoy a post-walk drink or meal.
Settle in for a cosy afternoon in former stable block and enjoy the traditional décor and atmosphere. The food is excellent, with crowd pleasing favourites such as sandwiches, soft shell crab with smashed avocado, and of course a roast on Sundays.
The Masons Arms, Branscombe, Devon
Follow the clearly marked path towards Branscombe Mouth where you will find one of the most striking coastal features in Devon – the collapsed chalk cliffs known as Hooken Undercliff. There are also alternative options, such as taking the coast path and going through the woods. Whichever path you wish to follow, make sure you end up at the fantastic Masons Arms.
Run by husband and wife duo, Mark and Sarah Dodson, they take pride in their Michelin Star and use the freshest local ingredients. You can choose to enjoy lunch from their à la carte menu, their three course menu for £25 or a two course for £21. Beware if you are keen for a Sunday roast however – they only offer their three course Sunday Lunch on the first Sunday of each month. Highlights from the menu consist of a fillet of stone bass, pork belly or risotto, and its seasonal soufflé is a favourite amongst diners. Despite the critical acclaim of the food, The Mason Arms retains its charm in being a village local, and it is keen to remind customers that dogs are welcomed in this environment.
The Tiger Inn, East Dean, Sussex
The free car park at The Tiger Inn makes it the perfect place to start your walk along either the famed clifftops of the Seven Sisters or the quiet tracks of Friston Forest – you are spoiled for choice! Make sure you keep an eye on your dog if you opt for the cliffside walk, as the edges are sheer and crumbly.
After your walk, be sure to enjoy an own-brewed Beachy Head ale in the Tiger Inn’s rustic setting. Keep an eye out for the distinctive tiger’s head! Dogs are welcome in the bar area, where you can enjoy a varied menu – The ‘Tiger burger’ seems to be a particular highlight. Lunch is served 12-3pm during the week and 12-7pm on Sundays.
Border Hotel Kirk, Yetholm, Scotland
Famous for being at the end of the 268 mile Pennine Way, this former coaching inn is the ideal spot to finish a brisk walk just over the Scottish border. This family run pub is known for its rustic interior and wide selection of local ales and whiskies. Soak up the sun in the outdoor seating area in the summer, or sip on mulled wine by the fire in the winter. Enjoy the traditional Scottish soup ‘cullen skink’ or some fish and chips – both are excellent. Your furry friends are more than welcome in the bar area.
Stackpole Inn, Stackpole, Wales
Wander around the Bosherton Lakes, just south of the pub. A rich wildlife haunt, it is home to numerous species of birds. If you are worried that your dog might be overexcited by the prospect of a chase, you could venture onto Broad Haven and stroll along the unspoilt sandy beach. Keep walking along the coastal path to reach St Govan’s Chapel – a medieval structure ensconced beneath the cliffs.
After your stroll, settle in for an afternoon of tasting local Welsh beers and food at the bustling former post office that is the Stackpole Inn. Try the fresh fish selection or the steak – served with Welsh rarebit naturally. If you prefer a speedier lunch on the go, the pub offers a ‘walkers lunch’ of local cheeses, ham and rolls. Note that lunch finishes at 2:15.
Jolly Fisherman, Craster, Northumbria
The Jolly Fisherman is situated right on the beach, so it is perfect for a shorter stroll along the sand towards the dunes, or for a longer walk to the ruins of the 14th century Dunstanburgh Castle, which is situated 2.5km away from the pub. Afterwards you and your canine companion can relax in the sunshine in the Jolly Fisherman’s huge pub garden.
One for the ale lovers, the pub features regular cask beers, Workie Ticket and Black Sheep, alongside specially selected monthly guest ales. When it comes to food, freshly caught seafood is the natural choice. Regulars rave about the Jolly Fisherman’s crab soup and the mixed seafood platter that is the ‘Jolly Fish Board’. If seafood is not your thing, there are plenty of other options, but the beef dripping chips deserve a special mention.