Brr – it’s cold outside, but your doggie still wants to go out. If you’re going to explore further afield than your local park or beach, what are the options for dog-accompanied excursions this winter?
Make the most of our heritage
English Heritage cares for more than 400 historic monuments, buildings and sites all over England. A lot of those places are dog-friendly too, so why not explore a bit of our history and heritage in the company y of your four-legged friend? There are Roman forts, abbey ruins and more you can see. Check out individual properties to scope their dog suitability. In most cases, dogs should be kept on a lead at all times.
Visit a battle site
Still on the English Heritage theme, why not visit the location of the last successful invasion of the British Isles? The Battle of Hastings (1066) is preserved at Battle Abbey, Hastings in the South-east. You can listen to an audio tour as you walk the site, imagining the scale and magnitude of the invasion while your doggie entertains himself with sniffing and exploring.
Treat your dog
For humans, January is often seen as a spa month – a time to get healthy through diets, exercise and laying off the alcohol. If you want to treat your pet at the same time, why not book a pampering session? In London, you could visit Hair of the Dog, a specialised dog grooming parlour in Highgate, North London. The salon promises a gentle, relaxed and calming experience for your pet. Elsewhere, Pets At Home has branches all over the UK. Options include nail clipping, a full bath and blow dry, microchipping and trims. The Groom Rooms are open seven days a week, so it’s easy to fit in an appointment.
Here’s an idea for the brave! All over the UK are spots where you can try out wild swimming. Kit yourself up in a wetsuit and head off for the open waters with your dog. Country Living offers this guide to the best ten spots for wild swimming in the UK, including locations in the Cairngorms, Skye, Cornwall and the Brecon Beacons. Wild swimming is supposed to offer health benefits, such as getting the blood pumping and improving circulation, better sleep, boosting the immune system and giving you a natural high. Your dog loves it too!
Go to the pub
Not taking part in Dry January? You can offset your guilt by going for a long walk and at the end of it, taking in a pub lunch in the company of your four-legged friend. The Good Doggie Guide lists dog-friendly pubs in London and elsewhere in the UK where you can enjoy a slap-up meal and a pint or two. We love the sound of The Stonhouse in Clapham with its log fires, dog biscuits and water bowls.
Go to the cinema
Yes, there are places that run dog-friendly film screenings. The Picture House Central in London’s next dog welcoming screening will take place on January 21. They provide blankets, so your pet can sit next to you. What could be nicer?
Finally, do you have a pug? Then, February’s pug parade is the perfect thing for you. The event takes place in London on 10 February and is organised by We Love Dogs. Find out more here.