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The ultimate guide to dog-friendly holidays in Wiltshire

Posted on 02nd September 2014

Whether on two legs or four, Wiltshire has plenty to offer those enjoying a visit to the county. From the expanses of lush green countryside to the attractions and pubs that welcome dogs, this guide will help you to plan a jam-packed itinerary of dog-friendly things to do when staying in a Wiltshire holiday cottage.

Image Credit: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (Flickr)

Endless possibilities for ‘walkies’

For those looking to stretch their legs, Wiltshire boasts more than 8,200 walking routes, many of which are suitable for dogs. Choose from a variety of gentle strolls to longer rambles, all a great way to make the most of the spectacular scenery that Wiltshire boasts.

Head to Dinton and the Nadder Valley for a picturesque five-mile walk through a river valley and wooded hillside. Wander along paths and fields on this circular route, which explores the heart of the Nadder Valley, before reaching Dinton Park where your dog can roam freely without a lead.

If your four-legged friend is partial to a paddle, then make sure to visit Shearwater Lake in Warminster, although try to avoid the main lake as this is where many people go fishing and are unlikely to welcome a dog, no matter how cute. However, there are off-lead areas where you dog is free to run around to their heart’s content, as well as pathed routes and forest walks depending on whether you wish to get muddy or not!

Wiltshire’s canals and locks offer a selection of scenic walks, including the Kennet & Avon canal, which stretches the width of the county. You could even hop on a boat with your dog and admire the scenery from the water, while also giving your legs a rest. The Devizes and Caen Hill Locks is a stretch that demonstrates fantastic British engineering and leads to the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust’s Museum.

Stop for a tipple and a bite to eat

After a busy morning or afternoon seeing all the sights of Wiltshire, why not treat yourself to a drink or meal in one of the numerous dog-friendly pubs? Whether you’re happy to sit in the beer garden, or would like your dog to be treated too, you’re sure to be able to find a pub or restaurant to accommodate the both of you.

The George & Dragon in Devizes is one of the most dog-friendly pubs in the county. You will be greeted with delicious homemade food and local ales, while your four-legged friend can enjoy a fresh bowl of water and a biscuit or two! Other pubs which treat their doggy guests too include The Bell Inn in Wylye, The Brewery Inn in Melksham and The Kicking Donkey in Westbury.

You’ll find that many pubs are near to some great walks as well, so it will be easy to reward yourself with an alcoholic drink after a bracing walk if you fancy. To name just a few, The Duke in Bratton, the Fox in Devizes and The Barge Inn in Seend are all located close by to either countryside routes or have their own gardens.

Dog-friendly sights to see

There are also a number of dog-friendly gardens and heritage sites that make great days out when on holiday in Wiltshire. Providing your dog is kept on a lead, you can visit the Westbury White Horse, one of eight hillside carvings set high on the hill top overlooking the surrounding beautiful Wiltshire countryside. Dogs on leads are also welcome at Old Wardour Castle, Old Sarum and Netheravon Dovecote, which are all English Heritage sites.

Image Credit: John Picken Photography (Flickr)

A holiday in Wiltshire wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Stonehenge, and although dogs may not be allowed on the site itself, there are still a number of walks that include the iconic stones as a picturesque backdrop.

Longleat is another of Wiltshire’s top attractions and sections of the park are dog friendly. However, the safari park is one of the areas where dogs are not allowed, but for a surcharge of £1 there are kennels where your dog can wait until you return. Nearby Heaven’s Gate is also owned by Longleat and provides a beautiful setting for a walk, with the added bonus of free parking.

When enjoying a dog friendly holiday in Wiltshire there’s still plenty for you to see and do, so why not use our guide to help plan your holiday with your four-legged friend?