A walk in the countryside with your dog, among rows of grapevines and breathing clean air: if this is how you’d like to spend a day out, this season is the perfect time for a day-trip to a dog-friendly vineyard near London, before harvesting time. We got onto a mission to discover wine estates’ dog policies and find the best dog-friendly vineyards near London for a dog day out. This is what we found.
Dog-friendly vineyards near London for a dog day out
Surprisingly, dogs are not welcome at every vineyard. I grew up spending time visiting my grandparents in the countryside, surrounded by vineyards, helping to harvest grapes at the end of the Summer, and vineyards in the area seemed to either have dogs or be very relaxed about them as long as they were cleaned after, however near London restrictions apply. A few vineyards ban dogs completely, like Ridgeview and Hush Heath (they only allow guide dogs as per legal requirement). Other estates have adopted quite restrictive dog policies, such as Stanlake Park Wine Estate (they recently reviewed their policy (which previously established a blank dog ban) to admit dogs on leash in their cellar garden (where their humans can enjoy a glass of wine), but they still don’t allow dogs on their vineyard tours, justification being that “the winery [which is an integral part of the tour] is considered a food producing plant and therefore animals can’t enter the facilities.”)
To date we haven’t found a 100% dog-friendly vineyard yet, as each establishes at least some restriction for dogs in terms of areas that can be entered at the wine estate, but you can visit a number of vineyards with your dog for a nice stroll. Many of the vineyards allow both self-guided walks and host guided tours too. Rather than a region order, we are listing wine estates from the most dog-friendly to the least.
Albury Organic Vineyard (Surrey Hills)
Albury Vineyard is located in Surrey Hills near Guildford. When we reached out to them, Albury Vineyard staff told us that dogs are allowed on leads during the vineyard tour and in all outdoor areas. Wine tastings are held outdoor anyway, so your dog will be able to join on all parts of the experience.
Where: Albury Vineyard, Silent Pool, Shere Road, Albury GU5 9BW, Surrey Hills
Further information: www.alburyvineyard.com
Denbies Wine Estate (Surrey)
Denbies Wine Estate, in Dorking, Surrey, seems to have an impressive land. It is open to the public for visits and also runs a number of outdoor tours of the vineyard (they even host a “land train” tour of the vineyard) and some indoor tours. Its dog policy states that dogs are permitted on the estate grounds but not inside the main building (apart from guide dogs that are welcome in all areas). It adds that owners are requested to clear up after their dogs and remove responsibly from the estate, and there is a £1,000 fine for failure to adhere to this policy. We are seeking confirmation about whether dogs are allowed on the “land train”.
Black Spanish rescue dog Lugo with her owner Fiona visited it twice, in June 2018 and at the end of February 2019, without going on one of the organised tours. Fiona recounts, “In the Summer you can order wine, food and ice cream at a little outdoor counter, which is what we did in June. We bought a bottle of wine from their shop (bring your own bottle opener if you want to do this) and some food from their farm shop which we enjoyed as a little picnic.”
“The best thing about going in February were the braeburn apples from the farm shop, by far the best apples ever, I was tempted to go back the following weekend just to buy more. [However,] I preferred going in June, as the vines are covered in leaves and fruit, which gives a more peaceful and secluded feel,” she adds. “Despite it being a warm and sunny Summer day, it wasn’t crowded. There’s so much land to walk around and a lot country walks that you can do from the vineyard (some bridle paths too) but we didn’t see horses on either occasion. They have a terrace that’s dog friendly. Dogs need to be on a lead amongst the vines and pathways, but are fine to be off lead when you’re on some of the trails surrounding the vineyard. It’s a perfect way to spend a day walking your dog (they can still get plenty of exercise running off lead on the nearby trails), as well as enjoying some wine and snacks.”
Where: London Road, Dorking, RH5 6AA, Surrey
Further information: www.denbies.co.uk
Bluebell Vineyard (East Sussex)
As the name suggests, Bluebell Vineyard is a great place to spot bluebells in Spring. Dogs are allowed on leads on the vineyard and woodland trail, which from photos looks absolutely lovely, and we confirmed that Bluebell Vineyard allows dogs on the rest of the estate apart from the tasting room (they suggested to tie them outside).
Where: Glenmore Farm, Slider’s Lane, Furner’s Green, Uckfield TN22 3RU, East Sussex
Further information: www.bluebellvineyard.com
The Mount Vineyard (Kent)
At the Mount Vineyard, in Shoreham, Sevenoaks, Kent, dogs are welcome in the vineyard and courtyard. As their FAQs state, “We are very happy to welcome well behaved dogs on leads to all guest areas of the vineyard.”
Where: The Mount, Church Street, Shoreham, Sevenoaks TN14 7SD, Kent
Further information: www.themountvineyard.com
Biddenden Vineyards (Kent)
We confirmed with Biddenden Vineyards that dogs on a lead allowed in vineyard, but not in the shop or winery, where the tasting is held. This means that dogs are not allowed on parts of the tour and you will need to find an alternative solution.
Where: Gribble Bridge Lane, Biddenden, Ashford TN27 8DF, Kent
Further information: www.biddendenvineyards.com
Oxney Organic Estate (East Sussex)
In Kent, there is Oxney Organic Estate, near the beautiful Rye. We confirmed with them that dogs are allowed in the vineyard, but can’t access the winery, and they are fine in other areas as long as considerate. They added that on group tours they may ask visitors to put their dog in their car when there are many people, but if you go alone it should be fine. Leaving dogs in cars is very dangerous for dogs who can overheat in minutes and die, so please make sure you check beforehand about your chosen tour.
Where: Hobbs Lane, Beckley, Rye TN31 6TU, East Sussex
Further information: www.oxneyestate.com
Bolney Wine Estate (West Sussex)
Bolney Wine Estate, in West Sussex, possibly has the most detailed dog policy we found. They allow dogs at a number of conditions and with a few relevant restrictions, including not allowing them on guided tours. Namely, Bolney Wine Estate provides that “Well behaved dogs on leads are more than welcome in The Eighteen Acre and if you need fresh water for them please ask one of our members of staff who will happily fill up one of our dog bowls. We ask if you kindly only let dogs drink/eat out of a designated dog bowl. We do not accept dogs on our tours due to hygiene and out of respect for other tour guests. We accept dogs at our wine bar but they must remain outside on the balcony. For our special events we ask that no dogs are brought along as these can be busy and potentially not the right environment for a dog.”
Where: Foxhole Lane, Bolney, Haywards Heath RH17 5NB, West Sussex
Further information: www.bolneywineestate.com
Gusbourne estate, in Appledore, Ashford, Kent (TN26 2BE), which is open daily from 10 to 5pm, has a wide vineyard and hosts lunches too. Their dog policy provides “You are welcome to bring your dogs on a vineyard tour, but please ensure dogs are kept on a lead whilst on Gusbourne land, and please do clean up after them. We’re sorry, but we don’t allow dogs into the tasting room or the winery.” We will confirm whether they are allowed on the lunches too.
Where: Husbourne, Appledore, Ashford, Kent (TN26 2BE)
Further information: www.gusbourne.com
Chapel Down Winery (Kent)
Chapel Down Winery, in Tenderden, has a restrictive dog policy. In fact, while dogs are allowed on a lead around the vineyard, you won’t be able to bring them along if you participate to a guided tour. In addition, dogs are banned from the shop.
Where: Tenterden Vineyard Park, Small Hythe Rd, Tenterden TN30 7NG, Kent
Further information: www.chapeldown.com
Painshill is a beautiful landscape garden, which happens to have a small vineyard. It welcomes dogs on short leads and is open to the public. We recently visited it and you can read all about it in this post. You can visit paying an entry ticket (dogs go free), and enjoy the whole park.
Where: Portsmouth Road, Cobham KT11 1JE, Surrey
More dog-friendly vineyards near London
We have reached out to more vineyards to check their dog policies. In addition, website The Great British Vineyards Guide lists a few dog-friendly vineyards on a map, although unfortunately this doesn’t provide any information about applicable dog policies.