This year the Open Garden Squares Weekend will take place on 8-9 June: this weekend! In case you haven’t heard of it before, Open Garden Squares Weekend offers an opportunity to discover secret and little-known gardens across London, which in some cases are normally closed to the public (some of them are private gardens). The good news is that some of them are dog-friendly (dogs on a lead only) so you can go on unique explorations with your dog.
Open Garden Squares Weekend 2019 with dogs
If you want to know what to expect from the Open Square Gardens Weekend, what best description than the organisers’ one: “Gardens range from the historic and traditional to the new and experimental, and include private gardens, roof gardens, community allotments, gardens belonging to historic buildings, institutions, cafes, schools and shops.” To navigate through the large number of gardens participating.
We discovered it last year and found there is a way to find which gardens participating to the event allow dogs. Last year, we picked two of them to visit with Argo: the Temple one and the Crossrail Place Roof Garden in Canary Wharf. This year they tried to include gardens which are more centrally located, so visitors can easily visit more than one, walking from one another.
There are so many awesome places to discover and their website is really well-made, so you will be able to navigate the gardens through a handy map and click on the markers to discover more information. Finding a dog-friendly garden participating to the Open Garden Squares Weekend is easy: on the side of the map you just need to select the “Dogs allowed on leads” filter on the left hand-side (under “Access”). And voila’, you’ll have your dog-friendly gardens map.
If you want to make the most out of the weekend, discovering unusual spot, we would recommend also selecting the “Normally closed” filter, so you will be able to visit those secret gardens that are normally behind closed fences.
3 suggestions for gardens allowing dogs:
1. The Castle Garden
The Castle Garden takes on the grounds of a disused Victorian water pumping station, in Manor House. The former pumping station is now a climbing centre, and if you are into it, you’ll be also pleased to know that they are dog-friendly. There are some clear rules for dogs at the climbing centre, which you can find here. As for the other gardens, keeping them on a lead at all times and cleaning after them is the rule. Also, good to know that there is a beehive on the grounds, so be careful with that.
2. Warwick Square
In Pimlico, on the Sunday, you can visit Warwick Square with your dog. Developed in the early 1840s, it looks like a rather lovely one, and is an award-winning Grade II-listed historic garden square.
3. Carlton House Terrace
Carlton House Terrace’s garden was developed “on part of the former royal garden of St James’s Palace, when Regency architect John Nash built the surrounding Carlton House Terrace.” It will be open on the Saturday 10-4pm and you’ll be able to see statues, shrubs, trees and paths. Dogs on leads are allowed and the nearest station is Piccadilly Circus.
There are many more to explore that you can find on the map. One we visited last year is The Master’s Garden, which is part of the Temple development. Nearby there is also Inner Temple Garden (another lovely one), which, however, this year unfortunately only allows working assistance dogs.
For the dog-friendly gardens (see above for how to find the dog-friendly ones participating), the policy is that dogs must be kept on a lead and cleaned after. In general, common sense applies, so be considerate when visiting.
In order to access the gardens you will need to purchase a ticket. Each ticket gives you access to all gardens over the whole weekend and costs £15 adult, £12 student, £8 young person 812-18yrs, free under 11 yrs old, group tickets available). Check the opening times for each garden to make sure to be able to access them.