Holiday inspiration & travel tips

Cheddar Gorge

5 dog friendly days out in Somerset

The west country is renowned for being a perfect day out for families, walkers, nature-enthusiasts and – you guessed it – dog walkers. Head to any of these activity-hotspots to make the most of your time with your dog in this majestic part of England.  

Mendip Hills

Mendip Hills

This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are limestone hilltops with spectacular views of the Chew Valley. Think sharp rocky outcrops, expanses of billowing greenery and a variety of wildlife. A welcome addition to the wildlife is your very own fury family members, who are almost better suited than us for enjoying this spectacular part of the world. Though there are no strict lead-based rules, you are asked to walk your dogs responsibly. This means picking up after them, keeping them under your supervision and not letting them run too far ahead of you, as well as putting them on their leads when nearing livestock, as cattle and sheep are critical in maintaining this Site of Special Scientific Interest. The surrounding farmers, villagers and townsfolk all walk their dogs in this area, proving that it’s not only a must-visit but a local gem.  

Visiting with dogs:

Dog walkers are welcome & must keep their dogs under close control and take their dog waste home.

Website: Mendip Hills

Mendip Hills

Cheddar Gorge and Caves

Cheddar Gorge

Cheddar Gorge and Caves are considered some of Britain’s most incredible natural landmarks, with sweeping views, prehistoric history, mesmerising cliffs and a centre for caving and rock climbing. Though the rocky paths, cliff edges and high vantage points are what make it such a remarkable place to explore, it adds an element of danger to the experience with dogs if you don’t keep them on their leads and under control. Otherwise, there is so much open space for you and your dogs to enjoy and explore. This is the perfect day out for those looking for a combination of outdoor beauty and cultural enrichment, given the sentiment and history of the area. 

Visiting with dogs:

Cheddar is dog friendly. All well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome.

Website: Cheddar Gorge and Caves

Cheddar Gorge

Dunster Castle

Dunster Castle

Sitting perched on the hillside surrounded by beautiful trees, poking its ancient spires from the treetops and subtropical gardens, Dunster Castle looks straight out of a brochure of why you should visit the UK and Somerset specifically. Dogs are not permitted inside the castle itself, but there are a number of activities they can enjoy on the grounds. From allowing them to splash about by the old-school watermill on the bank of the River Avill after walking along the River Garden, to the parkland, keep and South Terrace, you’ll hardly notice a loss from not being allowed in the castle or tearooms. There are waste bins around the grounds, which are demarcated on the ground map that’s available at reception.

Visiting with dogs:

Dogs welcome across the site on short leads, with the exception of the Watermill Tearoom and castle interior.

Website: Dunster Castle

National Trust

Montacute House

Montacute House

Another National Trust Property means another prime spot to take your dogs for a day-out. The house itself is a tribute to Elizabethan Renaissance architecture and design at its finest, with its walls of glass and glowing ham stone. Though your dogs are only permitted to enjoy the architecture from the outside, that’s not quite what they’re there for, is it? Well, rest assured that the expansive, beautiful gardens are just as special as the house itself. When exploring set paths in the gardens, your dog needs to remain on its lead however once you hit the parkland area, they’re welcome to frolick to their heart’s content… Or at least until they encounter some livestock, at which stage you are required to put them on their lead and keep them under control. Ask at reception for any dog-based needs you may have – they’re suitably equipped to help and inform. 

Visiting with dogs:

Dogs welcome in the park

Website: Montacute House

National Trust

West Somerset Railway

West Somerset Railway

Exploring these parts are always best done with a railway – it gives you so much more scope for the expansive area than you could ever get just walk, and is a route far more remarkable than driving on the roads as it shoots right through the countryside. You get a bit of history and heritage as well as just a magnificent view of unspoilt villages and sweeping hills and valleys whilst on the train, and then have free reign of the surrounding countryside for walking your dog when you reach the top. Dogs ride for £2.50 and must remain on the floor of the train, and are not permitted in carriages where food is served. The real treat for them is when you get to the top, while you are able to enjoy both – what’s a good doggy-day-trip if not one that keeps your interests in mind, too? 

Visiting with dogs:

Tickets for dogs can be purchased for £2.50. Dogs must remain on the floor of the carriages and can not travel on the seats.

Website: West Somerset Railway

West Somerset Railway

It isn’t hard to find somewhere for your dog to enjoy as much as you when you’re using Somerset as your frame of reference. However, some are better than others and these five spots are particularly special and accommodating. Five-paw review! 

Dog Friendly Cottages in Somerset

The Barn

The Barn
Welcoming 2 guests & 1 dog, The Barn is available to book from £336 per week.

Lovelace Cottage

Lovelace Cottage
Welcoming 4 guests & 2 dogs, Lovelace Cottage is available to book from £378 per week.

Shephards Retreat

Shephard’s Retreat
Welcoming 2 guests & 1 dog, Shephard’s Retreat is available to book from £284 per week.

View all our dog friendly cottages in Somerset