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Summer. The season of sunshine, ice cream, and sunglasses you keep losing only to find that they’re on your head. A time for lounging in the garden, meeting friends for a cool Gin and Tonic and taking long walks across countryside and coast. A time of year where stunning seasonal produce is showcased all across restaurants, cafes, and eateries in the city of Norwich. Delicious local ales, beers, wines and spirits fill the pubs and bars, whilst our independent stores are full of unique gifts and the latest seasonal clothing from up-and-coming designers. And who says the family pooch can’t get involved in the fun? There are plenty of dog-friendly venues for you and the pup to enjoy in Norwich, from restaurants and bars, to country parks and even hotels! Here’s our rundown of some of the best dog-friendly places in Norwich.
Offering stunning, spacious views over the Norwich skyline, Mousehold Heath is a favourite amongst local dog walkers. Just a short walk away from the grounds of Norwich Cathedral (another dog-friendly spot in the heart of Norwich, but we’ll get to that in a minute!), Mousehold Heath boasts over 184 acres of woodland and walkways for you to enjoy. The area is rich in wildlife and locally is very well known for its significance during Kett’s Rebellion in 1549.
A beautifully kept heritage park and one of Norwich’s most historic public sites, Eaton Park has been serving the people of Norwich for nearly a century. A true community space and popular haunt for locals, Eaton Park offers a plethora of truly great activities for all ages. Enjoy the large model boating lake, tennis courts, or just simply take a stroll around this beautiful 80-acre park. Plenty of new experiences and smells for your pup to enjoy! After a day of exploring the park, enjoy a coffee and a bite to eat at the Eaton Park Café, right in the centre of the park. Dogs welcome too!
Norwich Cathedral & The Close
All are welcome at Norwich Cathedral. Visitors of all faiths and none – and dogs! This magnificent Romanesque cathedral boasts the second tallest spire and largest monastic cloisters in England, as well as beautifully-kept grounds for you to enjoy. Once you have finished exploring The Cloisters and The Labyrinth with your pooch, head out to discover The Close – a 44-acre haven surrounding the Cathedral. Explore large green spaces, over 80 listed buildings and stunning riverside walks around the picturesque Pulls Ferry and Cow Tower.
Sainsbury Centre Sculpture Park
A world-class museum of art from around the world, the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts houses some of the most ground-breaking displays and exhibitions in the UK. Unfortunately, dogs aren’t permitted in the Sainsbury Centre (although we’d love to hear their thoughts on the Art Deco exhibition!), but are welcome at the Sculpture Park – 350 acres of attractive parkland open to everyone. Situated on the grounds of the University of East Anglia (UEA), visitors can explore art, architecture and the natural environment. Enjoy important works by Henry Moore, Elisabeth Frink, Lynn Chadwick, Liliane Lijn and Antony Gormley. Make sure to take a walk around the University Broad and Yare river valley too, a perfect outdoor adventure for you and your pup!
Norwich Playhouse Bar
This unique city centre venue is renowned for its brilliant shows and ever-popular bar. As well as its incredible range of local drinks and the ‘Ceilingopolis’ above the bar, Norwich Playhouse boasts a stunning riverside terrace that stays open until midnight. Dogs on leads are welcome in both the Playhouse Bar and outdoor terrace area.
Whilst there is no live theatre taking place, Norwich Playhouse have cleverly converted the main theatre stage into a bar, complete with tables and chairs. So now you can grab a drink and tread the boards in a slightly unconventional way!
A perfect choice if you’re looking for a great venue just outside of the city, or if you’ve just enjoyed a long dog walk around Whitlingham Country Park. Redwell Brewing is both a fully-functioning brewery and a spacious bar. Sitting amongst the stainless steel beer vats is a truly unique place to have a drink! Redwell are also big on community, using their spacious venue to support local businesses. They regularly host free family events, workshops, music events and food & drink pop ups. You’ll often find Brick Pizza here, serving up their famous wood-fired pizzas and garlic breads. Beer and pizza, a match made in heaven! And as Redwell put it, “dogs are almost mandatory”.
One of Norwich’s most-loved pubs, The Garnet has been serving locals and visitors since 1861. This stunning venue boasts three floors packed full of history and personality, and incredible views of Norwich Market for those sitting on the top floor. With a hand-picked menu of local ales, beers, wines and ciders, The Garnet is a favourite amongst those looking for great quality, locally-sourced drinks. As well as fantastic local drinks, The Garnet has a delicious food menu with small plates and sharing platters. During lockdown, they also converted the downstairs space into a shop, selling local beers, ales, wines, condiments, homeware, and teas & coffees. Pop in for a beer and a bite to eat with your pooch, or for a quick browse of the new store!
The Maids Head Hotel
The Maids Head is a stunning 4-star hotel known to be the oldest hotel in the UK, with a history dating back more than 800 years! And it’s certainly come a long way in those 800 years, now boasting 84 stylish bedrooms and suites, and a 2AA Rosettes Restaurant ran by award-winning head chef, Magic, finalist in the National Chef of the Year 2020 competition. For guests looking to unwind, we’d recommend booking the ‘Friday Feeling Hideaway’ package – a stunning double room, complete with full breakfast on Saturday morning, a complimentary bottle of red or white wine, and a cheese board delivered to your room, all for £140! And for just an extra £20 per stay, a comfy dog bed and bowl of water will be provided on arrival for your pooch, so they can join in on the fun (maximum of 2 dogs per room).
Norfolk Mead Hotel
The Norfolk Mead Hotel – a beautiful Georgian Grade II listed country house set in 8 acres of private grounds within the Broads National Park. Enjoy stunning rooms, delicious food, and peaceful walks around the grounds. They even have their own private boat, offering tours of the River Bure and surrounding Broads. Guests with dogs can stay in the stunning Juniper or Crab Apple suites, or the Sweet Chestnut cottage, which sleeps up to four guests.
A 3 star Country House Hotel just outside of Norwich, the Stower Grange is a perfect base for exploring the city and Norfolk with your canine pal. It boasts an AA-Rosette restaurant, a bar, and has 11 well-appointed bedrooms. Plus, it’s own lovely grounds make for an ideal short walk with your dog to enjoy. Prices start from only £90 B&B per night.