A small, pretty and endlessly photogenic city to the west of the Cotswolds, surrounded on all sides by glorious Somerset countryside, Bath has been one of the most popular locations for a UK city break since centuries before the term “UK city break” was first coined. Today, Bath is one of the UK’s most treasured urban areas – and indeed the world’s: the whole city is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Bath is, of course, most famous for the Roman baths which give the city its name and which can still be visited today. Unfortunately, unless your four-legged friend is an assistance dog, they won’t be allowed in. This shouldn’t present too much of a disappointment for your furry pal, mind you. Not only do a lot of dogs not like baths anyway, but there’s plenty of other things to see and do that should prove to be much more up their street.
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Dog Friendly Bath Must Sees
Simon Christie’s Photo Tour
A professional photographer of over thirty years experience, Simon Christie now runs a walking photo tour of Bath where he will pass on some of his best tips and help you get the most out of documenting your time in the city. Specialist equipment or prior experience are not required, and even more importantly, your dog is welcome to join you. In fact, they will probably help you with your composition.
Dog-friendly cinema at The Little Theatre
Bath’s Little Theatre Cinema is owned and operated by Picturehouse Cinemas, one of the more forward-thinking and flexible cinema companies in the UK. It’s always worth keeping your eye on the listings, because dog-friendly film screenings are one of their regular specialities. If you’ve never been to one of these, take it from us: they are well worth it.
City Sightseeing Tour
I’m starting to feel a little bit like a stuck record, recommending all these bus-based City Sightseeing Tours. However, for as long as all of the most notable sights in the UK’s best-loved cities remain closed for “all dogs except for assistance dogs”, they are the best way for you and your hairy mate to have a look around and make sure you don’t miss anything.
American Museum and Gardens
Located just outside of Bath at Claverton Manor, a Grade I Listed Georgian mansion house set in the magnificent Cotswolds countryside, the American Museum is the only museum dedicated to Americana outside of the United States. There are 600 years’ worth of American history to explore in the exhibits, plus 125 acres of woodland, parkland and formal gardens.
The Best Dog Friendly Walks in Bath
Royal Victoria Park
Bath’s most famous park, located not far from the Royal Crescent that you’ve seen in a million and more Instagram photographs. Royal Victoria Park was opened in 1830 by the Princess Victoria when she was just 11 years old, seven years before she became Queen. As such, the 57-acre site holds the historical distinction of being the first of many, many places in the world that are named in her honour.
Bath Skyline Walk
Operated by the National Trust, this six-mile walking trail will take you and your furry friend out into the meadows and woodlands that surround the city. You’ll be able to enjoy the fresh air of the Great British countryside, combined with matchless views out across Bath.
Kennet and Avon Canal Path
The River Avon runs through the centre of Bath and provides a number of great walking opportunities for dogs who love to get their feet wet. In total, the Kennet and Avon Path is 83 miles long: should you and your dog wish to, you can take on the 13-mile hike to Bristol along the Bath and Bristol Railway Path.
Now a Grade II Listed monument, Sydney Gardens is the last remaining Georgian pleasure garden left in the UK as well as being the oldest park in the city of Bath. Originally opened in 1795, it has been a favoured haunt of the British royal family as well as serving as a muse for Jane Austen. Whether or not your dog will be similarly inspired is unknown, but they’re bound to enjoy having a sniff about.
The Two Tunnels
A 13-mile long circular walking trail which starts near Bath Spa railway station. As the name suggests the route takes in two tunnels, one of which – Combe Down – is just over a mile in length and is the UK’s longest tunnel given over exclusively to walkers and cyclists.
Combe Down tunnel is also home to art and light shows as well as places to sit or take photographs. This spectacular route also takes in the viaduct at Tucking Mill and the aqueduct at Dundas on the Kennet and Avon Canal.
Dog-friendly Cafés and Restaurants in Bath
Sweet Little Things
6 Lower Borough Walls, BA1 1QR
A cafe and bakery just a few minutes walk from the Roman Baths, Sweet Little Things offer breakfast, lunch and dinner options as well as an array of fresh baked treats.
Canal Visitor Centre, Brassknocker Hill, Monkton Combe, BA2 7JD
Located in the Cotswolds AONB just outside of the city, just south of the Dundas Aqueduct on the Kennet and Avon Canal, The Angelfish serves European food and offers plenty of car parking space and outside seating, as well as fantastic views across the Somerset Coal Canal and Limpley Stoke valley.
Unit R4, Southgate Place, BA1 1AP
An increasingly popular restaurant chain, Cosy Club offers a wide variety of menu options located in a series of quirky and character-laden surroundings. Bath’s Cosy Club is located a few hundred metres from Bath Spa railway station and offers tasty food in opulent, Roman columned, surroundings.
Good Day Cafe
12 Upper Borough Walls, BA1 1RH
Located just a stone’s throw from the celebrated, historic and attractive Pulteney Bridge, the colourful and friendly Good Day Cafe offers brunch options in addition to coffee shop staples and baked goods.
Nata & Co
8 Bridge Street, BA2 4AS
Just off the Pulteney Bridge, Nata & Co are a bakery and delicatessen which specialise in the Portuguese custard tarts, Pastel de Nata. There are also a variety of lunch and coffee options.
Dog Friendly Pubs in Bath
Bath Brew House
14 James Street W, BA1 2BX
Not far from the Theatre Royal in the heart of Bath city centre, Bath Brew House is a pub which has incorporated its own microbrewery, meaning beer lovers will be spoilt for choice. There’s also food options and an impressive beer garden.
The Locksbrook Inn
103 Locksbrook Inn, BA1 3EN
A gastropub which stands on the Bath and Bristol Railway Path, with impressive views across the Weston Cut canal section of the River Avon. It offers locally-sourced food options, as well as coffee and cocktails, and seating both indoors and out.
Hall and Woodhouse
1 Old King Street, BA1 2JW
Located not far from the Jane Austen Centre, this pub and restaurant is located in the impressive surroundings of an old auction house, with four high-ceilinged airy rooms as well as a roof terrace.
The Star Inn
23 Vineyards, BA1 5NA
Nearby St. Swithun’s Church and the Museum of Bath at Work, The Star Inn is a traditional and old-fashioned British pub. There’s no food menu, jukeboxes, pool tables or any other modern distractions here – just a pleasant, comfortable and friendly place to have a drink.
The Marlborough Tavern
35 Marlborough Buildings, BA1 2LY
A gastropub with an open wood fire, the Marlborough Tavern looks to offer a warm welcome to everyone, no matter what they’re looking for. The food is particularly celebrated, but there are also an array of local beers and ciders and a cocktail menu.
Dog Friendly Shops in Bath
Try as we might, we haven’t been able to find any outstanding examples of independent stores in Bath which are dog-friendly. So it might be a good time instead to celebrate some of the British high street’s more celebrated chains which (as a rule of thumb, at least) allow dogs in their shops. You’ll find Lush, Hobbycraft, Waterstones and the Apple Store in Bath, with both Wilko and John Lewis just a short hop in the car away.
Remember, there are no specific laws in Britain barring dogs from entering shops – it is entirely a matter of preference and lies largely at the discretion of the store’s manager. So if in doubt, you can always poke your head inside the door and ask.
Dog-friendly Bath: Where to Stay
If you’re looking to stay in a dog friendly hotel in Bath, here’s our recommendations:
The Bird, Bath
18-19 Pulteney Road (South), BA2 4EZ
Located not far from Sydney Park, River Avon or the canal, the quirky and colourful Bird offers a warm welcome for both dogs and their people not far from all of the best the city of Bath has to offer. Accommodation starts from £297 per night, with up to two dogs.
8-10 Queen Street, BA1 1HE
At the heart of the city, near Queen’s Square, Harrington’s offers modern suites and a friendly welcome. Dogs are welcome in the hotel’s breakfast room and bar, while guests are also free to leave their furry friends in their room should they need to. Accommodation starts from £128 per night, with up to two dogs.
North Parade, BA1 1LF
Set in an old Georgian townhouse not far from the Roman Baths or the railway station, Abbey Hotel represents a great base to explore Bath. Dogs are welcome in both the hotel’s restaurant and its bar, and accommodation starts from £210 per night with up to two furry friends.
No. 15 Great Pulteney
15 Great Pulteney Street, BA2 4BS
More Georgian townhouse splendour, No. 15 Great Pulteney is located in the most desirable residential area of the city, close to Henrietta Park and not far from the Cotswolds. However, it is also still just a short hop over the Avon canal to the centre of town.
Ideal for pooches who enjoy a little taste of the high life, your dog will receive a gift box of food, treats and a ball upon arrival and they are also welcome in the hotel’s restaurants and bars. Prices start from £275 per night, with up to two dogs.
With Bath surrounded on all sides with some of the best that the British countryside has to offer, it’s also well worth searching around for cottages and holiday lets. You might find yourself a little way out from the city, but your dog almost certainly won’t complain when they’re chasing around the Cotswolds.
Many of Travelodge’s 570 locations in the UK are pet-friendly, including these three hotels in central Bath:
Travelodge Bath Waterside, Rossiter Road, BA2 4JP
Travelodge Bath City Centre, 6-10 Westgate Buildings, BA1 1EB
Travelodge Bath Central, 1 York Buildings, BA1 2EB