This may be the perfect week for a dog evening out, with the glorious sunsets that London is promising to offer. Leave aside the usual walk in the neibourghood and go on an evening dog adventure in East/South London. Here you are a ready-to-use dog-friendly London plan we tested last week: starting in Silvertown for a walk and drinks, taking your dog on the Emirates Air Line cable car to Greenwich Peninsula and having dinner in a very lovely place full of plants, colourful tables and pots with a nice river view!
A dog-friendly evening plan in East/South London
Around Royal Docks with your dog
It is very easy to get to Silvertown, taking the DLR from Bank or Tower Gateway (towards Beckton) to Royal Victoria. Instead of the usual underground trips, you also get to see some landmarks on your way, like Canary Wharf’s skyscrapers. I love the DLR also because, if you are lucky to get a spot in the first rown of the front, you (and your dog) can enjoy the perfect view and even pretend to be the drivers.
From Royal Victoria station it takes just a couple of minutes walk to the Royal Docks and the area around the basin is a good place for a stroll. I didn’t know until last week that there you can do a number of water sports: there is an open water swimming club and Wakeup Docklands offers wakeboarding (with obstacles!) and stand-up paddle boarding (I am in touch with them to confirm whether you could bring your dog on the SUP, so I will let you know about it), but this is another story.
Dogs are not allowed on Royal Victoria sand beach, but you can stop for drinks at dog-friendly The Oiler Bar on the docks nearby: a lovely beer bar on a boat. From there (apart from live world cup football matches) you can enjoy the perfect view of wakeboard acrobatics.
Dogs allowed on Emirates Air Line cable car link
After a stroll, Argo, my husband and I went to get the Emirates Air Line cable car link, which is dog-friendly. According to the FAQs, animals should be carried at all times – most probably for safety reasons – (which makes sense for getting on an off from the cable car), but the staff seems very relaxed about it.
The Emirates cable cars runs between Royal Victoria and Greenwich Peninsula and, conveniently, you can use your Oyster card (or your contactless) directly. The pay as you go fare if you use your Oyster Card is £3.50 each way for adults (and £1.70 for children older than 5 years, while younger children travel for free with an adult; you can find more about the fares, discounts etc here). Please note that fares are higher in case you don’t have an Oyster Card.
When you arrive at the Emirates Greenwich Peninsula station, next to the exit you will also find a photobooth where you can get a free souvenir photo (you can choose a city background for it), which is sent to your email address.
The opening hours of the cable car are also quite convenient and we were pleased that we could make it both ways in the evening. In fact, in this season (until 27 August), the Emirates Air Line cable car is open 7-22.30pm Monday to Thursday, 7-23 on Fridays, 8-23 on Saturdays and 9-22.30 on Sundays and Bank Holidays (opening hours in other seasons are available here). In case you miss the last cable car don’t worry: it is at walking distance from North Greenwich station, close to The O2 Arena, where you can get the Jubilee line.
Our Emirates cable car dog experience
When we took the Emirates Air Line cable car with Argo I wasn’t sure about his reaction, but all went well. The cable cars move very slowly when they reach the station, so you have all the time to get on with your dog without a hassle (they are supposed to be carried).
Once you get on, just be careful until the doors shut and then you are ready for the ride. I had already been on the Emirates Air Line cable car, but without Argo, and I was looking forward to the ride. We were lucky that there were not many people waiting and we could enjoy a whole cable car all for us! This meant being able to let Argo look around and choose the more comfortable position. At the beginning of the ride Argo was very quiet and calm and he was even brave to watch the landscape from the seat, but he changed his mind as we passed over the poles at mid ride, and preferred to stay grounded on the floor of the cable car for the rest of the trip.
In general, there is one recommendation I would give: if you and/or your dog are afraid of heights (and as a dog owner you may have a pretty good idea of your dog’s limits/dislikes), this is an experience that you/him/her would want to avoid it. If, on the contrary, you have a confident hound and you like a view of the city from above, the Emirates cable car ride is something that you should definitely try. It can also be a good place for a training session if you are training your dog to getting used to all possible different environments.
When we got to the Greenwich Peninsula station, Argo was ready to get off and we decided to stop by at the photobooth for a (bit of a cheesy) snap: we managed to look awful in all the test photos and in the final one (so I won’t be sharing it!).
The dog-friendly Jetty Greenwich Peninsula
(Updated) For dinner we had planned to go to The Jetty Greenwich Peninsula, where there was the lovely dog-friendly Vagabond Food Cafe, serving breakfasts, lunches and dinners. The Jetty is just a short walk from the Emirates Greenwich Peninsula station and it was a beautiful evening to have a stroll on the river, although the first part of the path there were some works in progress on the path.
Since our visit, the Vagabond Cafe has closed down, but it has been replaced by another eatery and the Jetty is still dog-friendly.
As you walk on the jetty you start feeling in such a peaceful oasis, full of plants, flowers and colourful wood boards. The Jetty is the place for urban gardening and they have plenty of events that include urban farming, live music, supper clubs, workshops and more. They seem also very eco-friendly and even have waterless toilets (it may sound weird, but you need to check this out, and contrary to what you may think, it is odourless).
The alfresco Hej Coffee offers breakfasts and lunches, bringing coffee, food and drinks. Their Winter opening times are Thursday to Sunday 10am to 4pm, while Summer times have not yet been released
We haven’t had brunch at Hej Coffee, but we had tried Vagabon Food Cafe and were very impressed by the place: those perfect colours and designs, plants of any kind, little objects with gracious designs… it looked like a place from a design Instagram feed! To his joy, Argo received a very big biscuit from the staff and he was brought a bowl of water when we sat at the table for dinner. There weren’t many people when we visited and the service was quick.
On our way back from dinner, we again took the Emirates Air Line. Argo was more confident and looked down at the river while we were travelling back in the beautiful yellow, orange colours of the sunset.
We hope that this can inspire your evening out.
E N J O Y !
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