The best dog-friendly days out in Herefordshire
5 minute read
Offa's Dyke Path
The leafy county of Herefordshire borders the Shropshire Hills, the Forest of Dean and the Brecon Beacons National Park, so it’s certainly not short of a fine walk or two. Why not go big or go home, on the Offa’s Dyke Path, one of the most famous walking routes in Britain. Running for 177 miles, linking Chepstow to Prestatyn, the ancient border between England and Wales was built by King Offa in the eighth century. There’s a brilliant circular walk from Kington to Hergest Ridge, which has 360-degree views of the Malverns, the Black Mountains and Cley Hill, plus a cool copse of monkey puzzle trees to sniff out.
One of Britain’s few historic attractions which allow dogs in the house and the gardens, Eastnor Castle is a must-see on your next dog-friendly holiday to Herefordshire. This grand 19th-century Norman Revival mock castle was built by Lord Somers. Good dogs on leads are allowed to explore the Great Hall, the Gothic Drawing Room and the State Dining Room, as well as peek Into some of the snazzy castle bedrooms. They are also free to snuffle around the grounds, the arboretum and the Knight’s Maze. There’s even an off-lead area where they can scamper through the trees.
From £14 entry
Canoeing in Hay-on-Wye
One of the most beautiful waterways in Britain, the River Wye is always best seen at duck-eye level. Dogs weighing under 20kg are welcome to join you in a scenic canoe trip down the Wye. Humans must keep their hounds under control and not allow them to swim or scare the wildlife, and leads and collars must be removed when in the canoe. After your adventures, refuel with tea and vintage curiosities at the Old Electric Shop or amongst the literary greats at Richard Booth’s Bookshop on Lion Street, a brilliant bookshop, cafe and cinema which also warmly welcomes four-legged browsers.
Up to £35 per person (dogs free)
Take a cider tour
Famous for its apple and pear orchards – Herefordshire was once the biggest cider producer in the world – it’s nigh on impossible to come and not sample the local tipple. Many cider farms offer tours and tastings, including Westons Cider Mill in Much Marcle, where thirsty dogs are welcome in the courtyard and outdoor seating areas, and on the nature walks from the mill. Do try some of the smaller craft cider farms dotted around the county, such as Ty Gwyn at Pontrilas, which has a quirky dog-friendly bar, a shop with free tastings and marvellous views of the Black Mountains.
Tours from £15
Westonbury Mill Water Gardens
Woof and smell the flowers at Westonbury Mill Gardens. Fed by the fresh waters of Curl Brook, these serene water gardens are a peaceful place to explore with your pup. Open between April and the end of September, Westonbury Mill welcomes good dogs on leads, who can snuffle around the Big Pond and Bog Garden, cross the maze-like water channels in the Cairn Garden, and trot over the ‘Monet’ Bridge and see the Lily Pond. After exploring the gardens and curious follies, including the Stone Water Tower, Giant Cuckoo Clock and Glass Bottle Dome, which is made from 5,000 coloured wine bottles, settle in with a bowl of water and some homemade cake in the cafe.
From £7 entry
There are plenty of dog-friendly National Trust and English Heritage properties dotted around Herefordshire, including Berrington Hall, the home of ‘Capability’ Brown’s final landscape, Croft Castle and The Weir Garden. But a firm favourite with two and four-legged visitors is Goodrich Castle, one of the best-preserved medieval fortresses in the country. Promising magnificent views over the border between England and Wales, good dogs on leads are warmly welcomed everywhere in the castle and its grounds, even the tearoom, where they provide water bowls and biscuits for pups and tasty treats for humans.
From £9.50 entry
Visit Goodrich Castle >