Follow in Elsa's paw-prints as she explores London for the very first time...
Day 1 | Saturday
Getting to London | First Class all the way with Virgin Trains! Parking in Central London can be tricky, especially for an overnight stay, so the train is a good, and dog-friendly, option. We booked in advance and managed to find some reasonably-priced first class tickets so we decided to treat ourselves to some extra space (and access to the first class lounge with free refreshments for humans)! The journey to Euston station took us approximately 90 minutes.
Travelling around in London with a Dog
The Tube | Dogs are allowed on the Tube, but they do have to be carried on escalators which can be challenging if you have a big dog. (The Londog has a great blog post about about avoiding escalators when travelling this way with large dogs, more info below.)
Black Cabs | Double check with the driver, but we’ve heard that most will allow dogs
Bus | Again, most will allow dogs but please check with the driver
Addison Lee | Our friend and PaB Pack member, Doug the Pug Therapy Dog, suggested that we try this ‘executive car’ company. After downloading the mobile app and seeing how easy it was to book a pet-friendly car, we decided that this would be the best option for us! The cost was similar to travelling by taxi and you can pay in advance via the app or with cash. We would highly recommend Addison Lee if you are looking for a quick and easy way to get around London with a dog. The pet-friendly cars all have large boot spaces, suitable for dogs of all sizes | www.addisonlee.com
First Stop, SHOP! Purpelbone | Notting Hill
Treat your pooch to a souvenir in this famous dog shop which has been visited by the likes of Olive, Coco, Scarlet and Barnaby a.k.a: The Beckham’s Pack!
There is an on-site grooming salon too but you’d have to book well in advance as they have a long waiting list!
Paws at Kensington Palace Gardens and make some new friends…
This park is huge and on a sunny day you will find lots of dogs enjoying the grassy expanses in the shade of the trees. We arranged to meet a couple of the Paws across Britain Pack members for the very first time, so it was an exciting occasion for us! Barnaby and Miss Darcy brought their friends George and Freddie out to play too.
It was easy to forget that we were in the middle of one of the world’s busiest cities as we chatted away in the warm afternoon air while the dogs socialised. Many of the dogs in the park were off-lead which meant that there were quite a few gatecrashers at our picnic! There was such a wonderful, relaxed and friendly atmosphere amongst the dog owners here, definitely worth a visit and it gave Elsa the opportunity to stretch her legs and enjoy herself before we headed to our hotel.
Rest, Relax & Indulge at Hotel Indigo & Theo’s Simple Italian | Kensington
Based in the aptly-named ‘Barkston Gardens’ area of Kensington, Hotel Indigo is an ideal place to stay if you visit London with your dog. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming, we were made to feel right at home straight away. Elsa got her own special pillow, food bowls, a water fountain and complimentary treats in the room too. Other dog-friendly features included air-conditioning (which we were all grateful for on a hot day!) and a walk-in shower, perfect for cleaning off dusty/ muddy paws.
The on-site restaurant, Theo’s Simple Italian is also dog-friendly, so we had no need to go out roaming the streets looking for somewhere to eat with Elsa. The food was absolutely delicious and, although there were no special treats on the menu for dogs, Elsa was quite content catching up on some sleep under the table while we enjoyed our meal and a few glasses of fizz!
Day 2 | Sunday
Start the day with a peaceful walk in Brompton Cemetery | Kensington
A cemetery may not be the first place you think of when looking for somewhere to walk your dog, but we found that most of the garden areas in Kensington are actually gated off and only available to the local residents, so we had to think ‘outside of the box’!
A quick Google search listed Brompton Cemetery as the closest green space that was open to dogs, and we also read that the cafe near the entrance made a good flat white so we had to check it out! Interestingly, the cemetery has featured in a number of films including Johnny English, Finding Neverland and Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes.
Back in time for breakfast!
After working up an appetite we headed back to Hotel Indigo for a delicious breakfast. We still had an hour or so until we had to check out, so Elsa was able to have her ‘morning nap’ before we set off.
Spoil your Paws at Love My Human in Chelsea
We’d heard such lovely things about this shop that we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit it ourselves and we were not disappointed! Love My Human has a great combination of everyday, practical essentials intermingled with luxury items for dogs, cats and humans too!
So much to do, so little time…
After we left Love My Human we were torn trying to decide what to do next… We had a few hours before we had to get back to Euston Station so we walked down to Chelsea Embankment to have a look at the view over the Thames.
Battersea Park was beckoning us from across the bridge, but we also wanted to see a few more sights and landmarks. Elsa was already starting to tire a little and it was quite a hot day so we opted to book an Addison Lee pet-friendly car to take us somewhere very special…
Spot a Corgi at Buckingham Palace!
We couldn't leave London without getting at least one photograph of Elsa with an iconic landmark, and Buckingham Palace is about as good as it gets! Here is our best attempt with a very hot and impatient Elsa...She wasn’t in the mood to pose for long, so we retreated to St. James’s Park to cool off, rest and have some lunch. Sadly the Corgi’s didn’t come out to play...
The Long Walk Home … well, back to the train at least!
We were only 45 minutes walk from Euston Station, so we decided to make our way back there on foot via Covent Garden with a final stop in Russell Square before catching our train home.
There is so much to do in London, and many more places that we’d like to visit, so this was certainly the first of many trips that we will make with Elsa!
We packed light but took one extra item with us to help us get around London with Elsa...a Reisenthel carrycruiser. This is actually a shopping cart, but it is light and easy to carry around when it’s empty. The large rubber wheels make it very smooth to pull along, even when the ground is slightly uneven. It made navigating the most crowded areas incredibly easy, and gave Elsa a chance to rest when we needed to keep walking to the next destination. We also packed her cooling coat which kept her nice and chilled too.
We’ve found a few sources that were really helpful to us when planning our trip to London:
We hope that you've enjoyed this guide! Please let us know if you can recommend any dog-friendly locations or events in London by leaving a comment below...