You won’t need to spend much time in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead before noticing that our four-legged friends are both plentiful and very welcome!
With so much open, green space right on the doorstep, there are countless opportunities for some fantastic dog walks. Windsor Great Park, the Thames Path, acres of National Trust land and a network of widely-used footpaths and byways give access to some of the loveliest countryside and finest reaches of the River Thames.
The Queen has long been associated with Corgis. Most people had never heard of the breed until 1933 when they saw a photograph of a seven-year-old Princess Elizabeth holding a Corgi puppy at Glamis Castle.
The Queen has had Corgis and the cross breed, Dorgies, ever since. She still has four, but in 2015, she let it be known that she would not be getting any new ones.
Take a walk down to Bachelors Acre to see the statue The Windsor Lady (The Queen and her Corgis) which depicts The Queen somewhat informally dressed and surrounded by six pet dogs.
Image courtesy DogFest
It's nigh on impossible to list every great walk here – there are so many options – so here are some of our favourites.
Long Walk, Windsor Great Park
The Long Walk is easily accessed from Windsor town centre and is a great place for dogs to have a run and socialise. Pedestrian access via Park Street or Brook Street and walk towards the Copper Horse. Or park on the free car park on the edge of the town on the A332, cross the road follow the path adjacent to the deer park and at the deer park gates turn left towards Windsor Castle and the town centre or turn right and head towards the Copper Horse (dogs on leads in deer park, off leads/under control elsewhere).
Windsor Great Park
With over 4800 acres of parkland at Windsor Great Park, there is always a fresh smell, new friend or stretch of grass for your dog to discover.
Our lakeside walks, wild forests and open fields offer an unrivalled variety of short and longer walks along good quality trails and tracks – to keep your boots (mostly!) mud-free and your dog feeling happy.
There are many walk options – Virginia Water, Obelisk Lawn, Smiths Lawn, the Deer Park, the Valley Gardens – so check out the Windsor Great Park website for details on where to park and how to best enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
The Thames Path
Or park in the free car park in Hurley and enjoy the river from here. Hurley lies halfway between London and Oxford, being 55 miles from each by river.
Park at Cookham Moor and walk along the river to Cock Marsh where dogs can get their feet wet in the Thames. The Bounty pub is just after the railway bridge and offers relaxed riverside refreshment.
Jubilee River Eton Dorney
The Jubilee River is an artificial river channel which was designed to prevent flooding in the Windsor and Maidenhead area. There is a 10.5 mile circular path formed by the Jubilee River and the river can be crossed by pretty footbridges via a network of paths.
How about walking your dog at Dorney Lake, the outstanding 2012 rowing venue where the first Great Britain gold of the London 2012 games was won?
Although it’s a privately-owned site, access to members of the public is allowed almost all year round (please check event calendar for details in case there are restrictions on event days).
Everyone is welcome, being asked only to adhere to basic guidelines of safety and consideration and to adhere to the rules on removing their litter and any pet fouling from the parkland. Many people enjoy visiting the beautiful park and arboretum where there have been substantial plantings, explained by the story boards that are placed around the area. During the summer our main gates open at 7am and close at 8pm.
Nearby Dorney Court Kitchen Garden is a dog-friendly garden centre and cafe where dogs are welcome in the walled garden and the nursery area. Although dogs cannot go inside the cafe, visitors can walk dogs through to get to the outside area of the cafe.
Although it’s known for being the historical site of the sealing of the Magna Carta, there are many great adventures you can have at the National Trust’s site at Runnymede. Bring the dog and pick a trail at Runnymede or at neighbouring Ankerwycke. Dogs are welcome all year round.
Cliveden is looked after the National Trust and there are over 300 acres of woodland, fields and riverbank that are open to dogs and their owners.
Park in the Woodland car park for direct access to the dog walking areas or park in the main car park and follow the dog walking path that connects to the woodlands (please note dogs are not allowed in the formal gardens).
Visit Cliveden's website for more information and to download Cliveden’s handy dog walking guide.
If you enjoy treating your dog to some new kit or a pristine new toy there are a couple of pet shops in the area you might like to try.
There is a Pets Corner concession in Windsor, a Wyevale Garden Centre.
You might also like to try Wolf and Leo (formerly Wags Boutique) on Eton High Street – a luxury lifestyle store for all your dogs’ needs.
Shopping and Dining
Upon asking, you will find that many shops are more than happy to allow dogs inside to browse alongside their owners, and pubs happy to have doggies under the table. For instance in Eton, the George Inn has a completely dog-friendly restaurant and bar area.
In the warmer weather, cafés with outside tables and chairs – in King Edward Court, Peascod Street, Lower Peascod Street, Guildhall Island and the High Street – make it easy to enjoy an al fresco meal; in the cooler weather, places such as Windsor Royal Shopping – with their wide range of eateries – mean you can still enjoy drinking and dining outside under Jubilee Arch or Rear Arch. Cafe Copia on Windsor's Thames Street welcomes dogs both indoors and in its fully-enclosed outside eating area too.
Well-behaved dogs, on leads, are welcome in The Savill Building Gift shop and on the terrace, excluding the restaurant.
Dogs are allowed on City Sightseeing tour buses and travel free of charge.
Dogs are also welcome on horse-drawn carriage rides with Windsor Carriages.
We are very dog friendly at The Christopher and dogs are allowed in all our ground floor bedrooms plus the bar. There is a large field at the rear of the hotel for walkies.
Dogs are always welcome at Cliveden. We pride ourselves on ensuring all guests experience the finest of stays – including our four-legged friends. £35 per dog per night.
We are dog friendly at Macdonald Windsor. Well behaved dogs are more than welcome in our bar and lounge area. Dogs can stay with us for £25.00 per stay and they get their own bed.
The Oakley Court
The Oakley Court is delighted to welcome man’s best friend and has a selection of dog-friendly rooms. Dogs are welcome in all areas of the hotel except The Dining Room and The Scullery. Our Woof’s Welcome Package costs £20 per dog and includes bed, blanket, bowl and treat for your dog.
The Runnymede on Thames
The Runnymede on Thames has three duplex bedrooms that are dog friendly and offer easy access onto the riverside, making it easy to let them out to stretch their legs. The hotel will supply dog pillows, bowls, and towels for post-walk drying off! They accept small to medium size dogs (aged 1 year and older) and charges are from £25 per stay.
Bird in Hand
The Bird in Hand’s dog-friendly breaks include dog beds, treats, access to an exercise field, water bowls and poop bins. The price of a two-night weekend break is £140 per person including dinner, bed and breakfast. Pooch stays for free.
Sheephouse Manor accepts dogs in all of their five self-catering cottages and also in the West Wing (self-catering suite). There is a dedicated dog run in the paddock and the cottages’ welcome folders features many local walks. Enjoy an amazing hour’s walk from Sheephouse Manor along the Thames Path to Cookham passing Cliveden Reach on the other bank. Walk through Cookham Vilage and back via National Trust land and Widebrook Common.
Hurley Riverside Park
If you fancy camping then two dogs are allowed per pitch at Hurley Riverside Park's touring park located alongside the River Thames and Thames Path which are great for dog walking. Dogs stay for free during the low season.
Savannah is very dog friendly and we welcome you to bring your dog to stay for a small supplement. Savannah has a lovely garden laid to lawn and flower beds which we are more than happy for you to explore. Dogs stay for £5.00 per dog per night.
Give a dog a home
Battersea Old Windsor has been open to the public since 1979. The centre operates in exactly the same way as the London site but on a slightly smaller scale, caring for an average of 36 dogs and 45 cats at any one time. Visitors are welcome to come and meet our friendly staff and the animals in our care.
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