Weekends with the dog: The Wye Valley

The Wye Valley is a beautiful place to head to for a weekend with the dog, full of winding forest paths and riverside stops for great food. There’s enough to fill weeks of adventuring and exploring, and this itinerary is just a suggestion of what a few days in the Wye Valley with your dog could involve, from stick-chasing walks and hopping hill climbs to the places to get a scratch behind the ear with your lunch. We’ve based it on a Friday and Saturday stay and assumed you’re not arriving too late on Friday night. We’re also sticking to the southern end, around Tintern, because too much dachshund about doesn’t make for a very relaxing few days.

Written by Chris Elmes

5-minute read

Friday night

If you arrive in time, then head for dinner at The Anchor Inn. There’s been some kind of hostelry on the site for centuries and it even used to be a part of Tintern Abbey itself, the impressive ruins of which you can see as you dine. Dogs are welcome in the bar and the garden, if it’s a warm night. At time of writing, food service closed at half eight on every day except Sunday, which is eight o clock.

Saturday morning

Start your day, after the obligatory morning outing for the dog, with breakfast at The Old Station - a café and bakery built into what was once the Tintern station’s ticket office. Then it’s time for a walk and fortunately, there are plenty to choose from. If you’re up for a short sharp climb, head to the Upper Wyndcliff car park and get the dog to drag you up the 365 steps to The Eagle’s Nest, an understandably popular viewpoint. For a longer hike, the six-mile Lancaut Loop takes you up to the equally dramatic Wintour’s Leap, named after a nobleman who supposedly rode straight off the cliff while fleeing parliamentarians.

Saturday afternoon

By now, you’ll be feeling like lunch, so head for the Tudor Farmhouse Hotel, described as “a culinary oasis” by Tatler magazine. It’s only twenty minutes or so from the hike’s start/end point and can serve you anything from pork belly to simple but sumptuous sandwiches.

Saturday night

Here we recommend a bit of post-lunch downtime or a walk round Clearwell Castle. Later on, if you’re really lucky, the Kingstone Brewery will be holding an event, perhaps a pizza night in their garden, where the smoky flavours of the wood fired oven compliment their range of great ales. If not, then try the Pig & Apple. The space isn’t much to look at but the food will wow you and dogs are liable to get seriously fussed over.

Sunday morning

For a perfect start to your day and end to your trip, you might want to drop into Abbey Mill, in Tintern. You can get good coffee and there are shops selling the work of local craftspeople in case you fancy picking up something to remember the weekend by.

Where to stay

Our inspectors have found some truly dog-loving places for a really special holiday in and around the Wye Valley.

Hornbeam at Cyenfin Retreats, Clifford, Herefordshire sleeps 4 humans, 1 dog

Walden, Bromyard, Herefordshire sleeps 2 humans, 2 dogs

Written by Chris Elmes

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