A trip to the Cotswolds has been on our ‘to do’ list for a very long time. It’s one of those places that’s only a couple of hours drive away yet we never seem to go, so we decided that it was time to take Elsa on a little road trip…
We’ve heard lots of good things about this quaint little village and it did not disappoint! In fact it took us less than five minutes to stumble across the first highlight, Hamilton's Hounds! This is a cute little dog shop, owned by the same people who run Hamilton’s Sweet Shop. Both are located within a stone’s throw of each other and the sweet shop theme is carried over into the dog shop with chews and biscuits all lined up in glass jars in the window, tempting passers by with the allure of a treat. Just make sure that you don’t get the shops mixed up when you’re in the mood for a liquorice stick or you might be in for a meaty surprise!
Broadway is exactly what I expected of the Cotswolds, beautiful buildings crafted with the distinctly coloured stone that this area is famous for, lots of small, independent retailers and plenty of dog friendly eateries like The Tea Set where we could find refreshments.
Most of the shops were dog friendly, even if it meant we had to carry Elsa (Cotswold Trading)!
This area is home to the iconic Broadway Tower, a folly that looms over the village at the top of Broadway Hill. Although dogs are not allowed inside the tower, you can walk around the surrounding countryside free of charge.
We spent quite a bit of time in this village because there was a lot to see and do there, and even when we weren’t doing anything it was just a lovely place to be!
The River Windrush flows directly through the village and there are several low stone bridges crossing the shallow waters. Elsa really loved watching all the ducks. There are lots of little shops and eateries dotted along the riverside, including plenty of ice cream shops, there was even one selling dog ice cream!
A must-visit is the Cotswold Distillery shop. It’s dog friendly and you can enjoy a little taste of the gins and whiskys that are produced just a few miles away.
For lunch we visited The Cornish Bakery, it’s dog friendly and there’s plenty of indoor seating where you can enjoy freshly baked pasties and pastries.
Although we did see some blue skies on our trip, a rainy day in Britain is an inevitability and the heavens opened the day that we visited Cirencester with Elsa.
For lunch we visited an amazing place called ‘He Says She Waffles’. They have a huge selection of sweet and savoury waffles to choose from including a ‘hot dog’ waffle! The decor pays homage to this carbalicious treat so it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re a fan.
Cirencester Park is the perfect place to go for a walk if your dog likes to let off steam, it’s huge and there is plenty of space for a good run around.
As we drove through the Gloucestershire countryside we came across Rodborough Common, located just south of Stroud.
For anyone unfamiliar with ‘commons’ (this is the first time we’ve been to one), they are large, open grasslands with gentle slopes and they are traditionally used for grazing cattle. (Luckily there were none about when we visited, but I understand that you can expect to find them there from spring to autumn.) The area was crawling with dog walkers so we had to stop and investigate. Elsa had the time of her life running around and playing with all the other dogs. Even though these aren’t the sharpest images, I absolutely love these photographs because they capture the serendipitous spirit of the moment.
This ancient site dates as far back as 2,500BC and is comprised of 3 separate formations; the Whispering Knights, the King’s Men and the King Stone. The legend says that it’s impossible to count the King’s Men stones and although I did have a go, I quickly gave up when I realised there were far more of them than initially meets the eye. Elsa seems to love exploring places like this and she walked her best ‘show trot’ around the circular desire path around the inside of the stones, which we found very amusing!
We really enjoyed our break in the Cotswolds with Elsa. In addition to the places that we visited there are a number of other dog friendly attractions including Batsford Arboretum, Cotswold Wildlife Park, Birdland, the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway and Cotswold Lavender. We hope to explore these places on our next trip to the Cotswolds!
www.dogfriendlycotswolds.co.uk is a great site that lists various dog friendly services, places to eat, activities and accommodation in the Cotswolds.
For more inspiration and details of walking routes in the area, please have a look at The Outdoor Guide’s walks in the Cotswolds.
Staying in a pub is a great way to experience the local food, drink and hospitality. No two pubs are the same, they each have their own individual character and charm. Stay in a Pub, the UK’s leading pub accommodation website, has over 720 dog friendly pubs listed (and counting) so if you’re planning a trip then don’t leave your dog at home, click here to find a dog friendly pub and take your paws across Britain too!