The best dog-friendly pubs in Northumberland

Wide sandy beaches to dig, mountainous dunes to climb and sea-battered castles to sniff, the Northumberland Coast is a joyful playground for happy dogs. And inland is just as enchanting. Romp along Hadrian's Wall, explore the forests of the Northumberland National Park and swim in the vast lakes of Kielder Water. Of course, all this romping works up quite a thirst – for hounds and their humans. Luckily, Northumberland is not short of a fine boozer or two, where soggy paws and waggy tails are always allowed. Here are a few of our favourite dog-friendly pubs in Northumberland...

Written by Tracey Davies

5 minute read

The Bamburgh Castle Inn, Seahouses

Famous for its dramatic castle perched on a rocky headland, Bamburgh keeps bagging the prize accolade of best seaside town in Britain, thanks to its beautiful wild beaches, cutesy prom and charming pubs, most of which are dog friendly. After creatively digging up the sand dunes in Seahouses, sandy hounds and their humans are very welcome to hunker down in front of the fire with a pint or two in the Bamburgh Castle Inn. Overlooking the harbour and with the clinkety-clink of fishing boats in the distance, this seaside pub welcomes dogs with a fine menu of dog snacks, alongside British pub classics for their people.

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Beadnell Towers, Beadnell

A scamper along the sands from Seahouses is Beadnell Bay, a horseshoe-shaped beach banked by dunes. Although most of the beach is dog friendly all year round, there are some restrictions during the summer months when seabirds are nesting. The best place to shake off those sandy paws is Beadnell Towers. Despite its upmarket interior – petrol-blue walls, mustard furnishings, exposed brick and driftwood – it’s remarkably dog friendly and its four-legged guests are welcome anytime. Friendly staff are on hand to dole out snacks and scratches, while the parquet floor is remarkably resistant to muddy paws. As for humans, well, the excellent gastropub menu – North Sea haddock and hand-cut chips, anyone? – will certainly make their tails wag.  

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The Crown and Anchor, Holy Island

Add some timely tidal thrills to your holiday with a dog walk around Holy Island. Reached only by a causeway, this tiny tidal island gets cut off from the mainland twice a day. But with the backdrop of Lindisfarne Priory and the choppy North Sea, a pint and a pie in The Crown and Anchor is well worth the risk. One of only two pubs on the island, the 18th-century Crown and Anchor has been slaying the thirst of islanders and four-legged visitors with their fine Northumbrian tipples for nigh on two centuries. Dogs are welcomed in the bar – where they can snooze by the fire or sample a range of doggy snacks – and in the beer garden for when those rare sunny evenings hit the coast.

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William de Percy, Otterburn

Perched on the leafy fringes of the Northumberland National Park, William de Percy is as welcome as a cold wet nose on a warm summer’s day. There are dozens of exciting walking trails nearby, perhaps a gambol around Otterburn Mill or for the more confident pooch, walk the length of Hadrian’s Wall. With its flagstone floors, low-slung beams and squidgy sofas, this cute country pub is extremely dog friendly and promises plenty of tummy scratches, water bowls and tasty treats for every four-legged visitor. Humans can carb-load on some cracking pub grub, including battered North Sea cod or a hot roast crêpe from the Creperie menu.

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The Blackcock Inn, Hexham

Part of the Northumberland Dark Sky Park and close to Kielder Water and Forest, the Northumberland National Park makes a fantastic base for a dog-friendly holiday. After a scamper around the forest and cheeky dip in the lake, this family-run country pub in Falstone is the perfect spot to rest tired paws. Aside from the exposed oak beams, roaring log fires for snoozing by and team of friendly staff, the 16th-century coaching inn also serves some proper hearty pub grub like slow-cooked beef stew and ginger pudding, as well as top notch ales from The First and Last Brewery.

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The Black Swan, Alnwick

The magical market town of Alnwick is well worth making a detour off the Northumberland Coast Path. Not least because Harry Potter fans will instantly recognise the medieval Alnwick Castle as Hogwarts from the first two Harry Potter films. While hounds are not allowed in the castle or its grounds, they are warmly welcomed in the oldest pub in town. Opened in 1744, The Black Swan – all exposed brick walls and cast-iron fireplaces – boasts a celebrity history of its own. The former coaching is where legendary Scottish poet, Robert Burns, used to stay on his travels. No doubt it was the well-kept beers, wood-fired pizza and the fact he could bring his beloved dog, Luath that kept him coming back.

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Written by Tracey Davies

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