15 of the most dog-friendly places across Suffolk
- Credit: Archant
A dog is a man’s best friend – there’s no doubt about that.
With pet ownership soaring across the country thanks to lockdown – growing numbers of places are now becoming more dog-friendly and welcome you to bring your pooch with you.
With this great weather set to continue over the coming weeks - grab the lead and get exploring Suffolk with your furry friend in tow at one (or more) of these canine-friendly locations.
5 dog-friendly beaches
Located near Benacre National Nature Reserve, this fairly-secluded beach is perfect for letting your dog off its lead.
With stretches of unspoilt, sandy coastline for miles on end, it doesn’t get much more dog-friendly than this. And with driftwood scattered about, there’s plenty of sticks for your dog to play fetch with.
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This idyllic beach is accessible only via foot or bicycle, and anyone who arrives by car should park up by the nearby St Andrews Church before heading down.
Tucked away on the Suffolk coast between Dunwich and Thorpeness, Sizewell’s beach is great for your four-legged friends as there are no restrictions on dogs all-year-round. There is also a car park right next to the beach.
And if you’re looking for refreshments, Sizewell Tea near the beach car park is operating as a takeaway, serving a variety of drinks, cakes, and breakfast baps and boxes.
Quieter than its neighbour Southwold, Walberswick is another picture-perfect beach that welcomes dogs on its shores throughout the year.
With a mix of sand and shingle, your pooch will have a blast running up and down the grass-covered sand dunes before leaping into the crashing waves.
Walberswick is also home to The Anchor Inn, one of the county’s most dog-friendly pubs. Why not head there for a few drinks with your four-legged friend – or better yet, make a whole weekend of it by staying in one of its canine-friendly rooms?
If you’re near Lowestoft this summer and looking to take your dog out, neighbouring Kessingland beach is a great alternative.
Relatively unspoilt and rural, dogs are allowed on this beach – and there’s plenty of space for them to have a run around. Parking is available along Church Road, and there are a number of eateries on and near the beachfront where you can grab refreshments from, including cafes, a fish and chip shop, and a tea room.
Once a thriving sea port, this tiny village remains home to a fantastic beach that you can take your dogs to this summer. Backed by crumbling cliffs, Dunwich is both picturesque and stunning, making this a great day out for you and your four-legged friends.
In addition, Dunwich beach is just a stone’s throw away from Dunwich Heath, a National Trust-owned nature reserve that allows dogs on-site. Dogs are welcome inside the tearoom at designated pawprint labelled tables, and there are also water bowls, taps, spare leads, treats, and waste bags provided.
Between March 1 and August 31, pooches must be kept on a lead and stay on the footpath at all times when on-site, in order to protect ground-nesting birds. Seals are also known to sometimes nest on the beaches, so please ensure your dogs keep their distance.
5 dog-friendly hotels
The Anchor at Walberswick
Located in the charming Suffolk coastal village of Walberswick is The Anchor, an award-winning inn and restaurant that welcomes dogs with open arms.
The inn has three dog-friendly chalets, each with direct access to the back garden. The rooms have tiled floors for ease of cleaning, and there is a hose pipe under the large tree in the back so guests can wash down their dogs after any muddy or sandy walks. When dining, dogs are allowed in the bar, family room, and outdoor terrace if kept on a lead.
The Anchor allows a maximum of two dogs per room, and while there is a charge of £10 per dog per night, additional charges may be applied to any damage incurred. Dogs should be house-trained and a minimum of one-year-old. Dogs are not permitted on the beds or furniture, and guests are advised to bring their own pet bedding.
Letheringham Water Mill Cottages, Letheringham
Situated just a stone's throw away from Woodbridge, Letheringham Water Mill Cottages is home to four riverside cottages set amongst the grounds of a historic mill of the same name. Established by Jacqui Gooding and her late husband Richard Gooding OBE, it was their dream to create a place of ‘few rules and luxury’.
This rural and idyllic getaway welcomes dogs – with pooches allowed to roam free in the canine-friendly gardens and meadows the sprawl throughout. There is no limit on the number of dogs guests can bring, and there is no extra charge.
Dogs are even welcomed with a 'Welcome Crate', which contains a towel, blanket, waste bags, treats, and a bowl.
Mollett’s Farm, Benhall
If you’re looking for self-catered accommodation in the heart of the Suffolk countryside this summer, Mollett’s Farm in Benhall is the place for you – and your dogs.
Well-behaved pets are welcome to stay in either one of three Stable Studios, or one of three Granary Cottages on-site, for just £25 per pet per stay. The Stable Studios are all accessible, while the Granary Cottages are set across two floors. In addition, Mollett’s Farm has its own caravan park which is also dog-friendly, but with no additional charges.
The farm’s location makes it ideal for nature lovers and dogs who love to explore, as there are a number of public footpaths, woodlands and beaches that are within easy reach via a short car ride.
The Crown and Castle, Orford
Just a stone’s throw away from the historic Orford Castle, the aptly-named The Crown and Castle is an award-winning restaurant with a number of rooms that allows dogs to stay.
The hotel welcomes well-behaved, house-trained pooches in one of its five dedicated Garden Rooms. These rooms all come with a double or twin beds, a bath with shower, TV, free WiFi, and hospitality tray. Each room also enjoys a semi-private terrace facing the lawn.
Two dogs maximum are allowed per room, and the charge is £10 per room per night. Guests however are welcomed with doggy biscuits, waste bags, and drying towels. The hotel also reserves the right to charge for any damage to carpets or soft furnishings.
Guests can also book a table for Sunday lunch on the terrace where dogs can sit with their owners while they eat.
The Westleton Crown
The Westleton Crown takes pride of place on the edge of a quintessential Suffolk village green, and is the perfect place to escape for a weekend away with the family dog in tow.
Visitors to The Crown can indulge in the Sandy Paws overnight deal, which provides you with a restful stay in one of the hotel’s stunning rooms. Also included is a cosy blanket, some treats from Pooch’s of Norfolk, and a sausage breakfast for the dog.
For the owners, there is a delicious dinner for two (with a £50 allocation towards dinner), and a freshly-prepared breakfast in the morning.
5 dog-friendly pubs and restaurants
The Norton Dog, Norton
This friendly village pub is situated within a traditional 17th century building, and is more than welcoming of any four-legged friends you may wish to bring with you this summer.
For the humans, there’s a freshly-prepared menu that you can indulge in, featuring dishes crafted from seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients. Dogs are allowed to eat with guests in the boarded area of the pub, and are provided with dog treats and water bowls. Guests can also order extra items with their meals such as sausages to give their dogs.
“We have a gallery of photos of all the regular dog visitors - and we totally dote over any new ones that come in to see us,” adds landlady Sharon Grant.
The Ship, Dunwich
Relaxed and laidback, this coastal pub is the perfect pitstop for you and your family this summer.
The Ship’s menu is hearty, flavoursome and features a range of classic coastal favourites made from local produce.
For the pooches, there’s a specially-crafted dog menu which includes a number of tasty treats – ranging from sausages, pigs ears, and dog ice lollies, to dog-friendly alcohol-free ‘beer’ and ‘wine’. The Ship also has 16 en-suite rooms – all of which are accommodating to dogs.
The Grundisburgh Dog, Grundisburgh
This Suffolk pub is one of the most pooch-friendly places in Suffolk – and has the accolades to prove it. In 2021, the pub was named as one of the top five dog-friendly beer gardens in the UK by pet-care company Webbox. It also won the award for Top Dog-friendly Pub in the UK in DogBuddy’s 2018 Dog-friendly Pub Awards.
Guests who bring their dogs can rest assured their pooches will be warmly welcomed – as they’ll be offered dog treats, blankets, and water bowls.
The Grundisburgh Dog also serves a dog roast dinner every Sunday – so both owner and pet can enjoy a delicious, lovingly-cooked meal.
The Packhorse Inn, Moulton
Over in West Suffolk is The Packhorse Inn, an award-winning pub situated in a rural village.
After exploring the local countryside with your dog, head to the pub for a delicious meal – where you can tuck into a variety of leisurely lunches, right the way through to evening à la carte dishes.
There’s plenty of dog blankets, treats, and water bowls for your four-legged friends so they’re not left out, and for anyone who wishes to extend their trip, there’s eight rooms within the pub – many of which are dog-friendly.
Easton White Horse, Easton
Set in a beautifully rustic 16th century building, the Easton White Horse sits in the Deben Valley and offers a great choice of quality beers, wines, and classic British pub food.
Dogs are welcome with their owners, and there are plenty of treats, dog bowls, and blankets for them. There is also a large beer garden for them to have a play around in.
This pub is also handily located near the dog-friendly accommodation Letheringham Water Mill Cottages.