Coming to London and can’t bear the thought of leaving your four-legged friend at home? We don’t blame you! Fortunately, if you’re travelling to London, you can bring them along as the city is more dog-friendly than you might think. It’s a good thing, too, as man’s best friend will enjoy his or her time in the city as much as you will.
Bringing your dog to London simply requires a little forward-planning, so here is our guide to help you plan your visit, which covers a few logistics and advice on where you can explore with your dog.
Boarding for your pup
Whilst we do not currently allow pets to sleepover at the Park Grand Hotel Paddington, worry not – your dog can be taken care of by a local dog sitter. Fur-tunately, we have some of the most cost-effective hotel deals in London, to offset the cost of covering his expenses.
Gudog provides a lodging service for dogs, so you can leave him with a dog-loving sitter who will take care of him overnight as well as out for walks during the times that you are visiting non-dog friendly sites or have any business meetings.
If you are coming with your partner, you can meanwhile take advantage of romantic stay packages in London and be welcomed to your hotel room by wine, chocolates and flowers and truly relax feeling assured your dog is just around the corner being pampered in a cosy home.
Getting around London with your dog
Dogs are welcome to travel on the buses as well as the London Underground and Overground, provided they remain on their lead the whole time. They must be carried on the escalators, due to the risk of them hurting their paws. Guide dogs are exempt from this rule, as long as they have been issued with a special pass that confirms they have been trained in using escalators.
Dogs are allowed in black cabs and app-based taxis at the driver’s discretion, so do check before jumping in.
Make sure you always have a stash of bags with you for cleaning up after your dog. If you are spotted leaving behind your dog’s mess, you may face an automatic fine. There are even fees in place for not carrying waste bags with you so come prepared!
Strengthen your bond at Dog Yoga
If you really want to perfect your downward dog, what better a way than to practice your daily vinyasa with your pooch? Mahny Djahanguiri runs Doga classes in London – yoga for you and your dog.
Doga welcomes yoga pros and newbies alike, and dogs are welcome to be mischievous during their class. The concept is to strengthen the bond you have with your dog, and Mahny’s approach has numerous health benefits for your dog, including decreasing their risk of anxiety and depression, increasing their life expectancy and lowering their heart rate. It gives them a chance to socialise with local London dogs too and make some new furry friends!
Take a Royal walk
There are eight parks across London which are managed by The Royal Parks and are free for the public to visit, and dogs are welcome in all of them! These parks consist of Hyde Park, St James’s Park, Green Park, Kensington Gardens, Bushy Park, Greenwich Park, Regent’s Park, Brompton Cemetery and Victoria Gardens.
However, you must pay close attention to the signs indicating where they must be kept on their lead, or special areas where they are not allowed – such as near children’s play areas, cafes, around vulnerable wildlife and near water.
Go on an urban adventure
Dogs will have a bark-tastic time in Epping Forest, with 2,400 acres of ancient woodland, lakes and ponds to explore! It’s only a short tube ride from the Park Grand Hotel Paddington, and there are plenty of walking trials to make this a real day out and get some fresh air.
Another alternative is the sprawling Hampstead Heath, with big ridges to climb up for views of London and they even have a swimming pond specifically for dogs to have a splash around in.
Test your dog’s agility
A couple of dog agility courses have popped up around the city where you can give your dog a chance to show off their ability to crawl, jump and weave through, under and over obstacles. Mile End Park and Geraldine Harmsworth Park (next to the Imperial War Museum) are two of the central options. It’s the trying that counts!
Visit Tower Bridge
Be sure to book yourself in for a visit to the Tower Bridge Exhibition, dogs are welcome at this iconic attraction!
Take your dog 42 metres above the Thames and get some photos of him sitting at this historic site on the glass floor, which looks down over the river. Be careful to avoid going when it’s very busy (such as weekends and school holidays) or when it is very hot. Most of the museums only admit guide and assistance dogs, so this is a rare treat.
Go to the cinema
The open-air cinema at the Bussey Building in Peckham welcomes dogs to their summer screenings, so be sure to pick up a bag of his favourite treats when buying yourself some popcorn.
If you visit London during winter or a rainy spell, the Picturehouse cinema chain host dog-friendly screenings in their theatres, and provide blankets to keep the seats clean for future, two-legged guests. Your concierge at the Park Grand Hotel Paddington can help you find a dog-friendly showtime.
Paws for a pint
If you want to stop for a pint or a Sunday roast, many of the pubs in London do welcome dogs – particularly those that are located near the big, open parks slightly further afield, such as Hampstead, Richmond and Greenwich. You’ll find that any of these have excellent beer gardens, so your dog can enjoy the fresh air and mingle with other dogs whilst resting his paws.
Alternatively, if you plan to enjoy a meal at The Grand Restaurant Paddington, a local dog walker will be able to keep him busy.