If you love to involve your dog in many activities, but you are starting to feel bored about doing the usual things, this is for you. In this post you will find dog-friendly London inspiration for 7 original and unsual things to do with your dog in town, many of which also happen to be free! Reviewed and tested for you with the help of Argo The Londog!
*This post has been updated by adding more experiences from the original 7 featured (and will continue to be updated).
Things to do in London with your dog
#1. Visit a Dog-Friendly City Farm
Surrey Docks City Farm
When you walk into Surrey Docks City Farm it is like entering another dimension, and if it wasn’t for Canary Wharf’s skyscrapers standing out in the background, you would say you were in the country side or in one of Beatrix Potter’s books. The farm is dog-friendly, so you can bring along your well-behaved pooch and have a tour to see the farm animals. Unfortunately the dog-friendly Piccalilli Cafe on the farm grounds has recently closed down, but waiting for a new cafe to open you can visit the farm’s lovely shop (full review coming soon).
Where: Surrey Docks City Farm (Rotherhithe-Surrey Quays – 18 mins walk from Surrey Quays Overground station)
Mudchute Farm: Meet alpacas, sheep, cows, pigs, goats, hens and other small animals at Mudchute Farm (there are over 100 of them at the farm!). You can also stop by with your dog for having brunch at the dog-friendly Mudchute Kitchen, right next to the Equestrian Centre, and you can even enter a competition to make your dog the pet of the month. On the grounds dogs are required to be on leash, but there is a very large fenced area that dog owners normally use to give their dogs some good off-leash runs. A little paradise in the heart of Isle of Dogs!
Where: Surrey Docks City Farm (Rotherhithe-Surrey Quays – 18 mins walk from Surrey Quays Overground station), Mudchute Farm (Isle of Dogs – few mins walk from Mudchute DLR station)
#2. Bring your Doggie to a Dog Beach in London
Wait for the sun to be out and pretend to be in another country without leaving London at Ruislip Lido’s doggie beach. The water may not resemble the colour of the tropical beaches of your screensaver, but your dog will have a blast and make many new dog friends! Bring a towel for you and one for your dog and appropriate shoes!
Where: Ruislip Lido, dog beach (from Ruislip station – Metropolitan and Piccadilly lines – take bus H13 to Ruislip Lido)
More about it: Things to Do(g): Visiting a Dog Beach in London
#3. Take your Dog to a Dog-Friendly Cinema Screening
Dog-friendly cinema screenings have become a must for London dogs! After they started at Picturehouse Central in Piccadilly, dog cinemas have been popping up everywhere (you can find the next events listed in the Dog Events Calendar). Good news is that there are also some always-dog-friendly outdoor cinemas you can take your pup to: all about them in our guide to dog-friendly cinemas in London (updated to 2018, 2019 dates will be added as soon as they are confirmed).
#4. Enter a Fun Dog Show or Another Dog Event
Did you know that there are fun dog shows and other dog themed and dog-friendly events taking place in every part of London every week? Chiswick House Dog Show, Pup Aid, Halloween Dog Walk and Show, Canary Woof, are only some of the most famous ones. You can now
How to find London’s upcoming dog events:
- browse our Dog Events Calendar to discover what’s coming up
- Like The Londog Facebook page to receive London dog events weekly round-ups directly in your feeds, and join the London Dog Events & Things to Do Facebook Group. Prefer emails? Join our weekly newsletter (sign up form at the bottom of this page).
- Still unsure about which one to choose? Have a flick through our reviews of past dog events.
Where: Various venues in London
#5. Try a Dog Agility Trail at the Park
Fancy giving your pup a go at agility obstacles but you’re not able to committ to a course? Don’t worry: there are 6 public dog agility trails in London parks you can take advantage of.
Do you live in East London? Then visit Mile End Park’s agility course. Are you based in West London? Check out Chase Lane shiny Bark Park. Is North London the place where you walk your dog? Then you can’t miss Higham Hill Recreation Ground dog exercise area with its newly installed equipment, or you can the (more basic) metal jumps and weave poles in Angel at Barnard Park or venture up North East to Lee Valley Park. Finally, if you are in South London, this means you can discover Geraldine Harmsworth Park’s dog agility trail (update February 2019: this agility trail has been removed due to renovations to the park).
Where: London: Mile End Park – Chase Lane Bark Park – Higham Hill Recreation Ground – Barnard Park – South London’s Geraldine Harmsworth Park – Lee Valley Park
More info: (Public) Dog Agility Trails of London
#6. Join a Dog Sport Club or Course in London
Fancy starting agility, flyball, canicross, transfor your dog in the best tricks performer, go to doga (dog yoga) classes, or a dog-friendly fitness course? Yes you can. London may not offer exactly all the dog sports you can find in the rest of the country, but there is a wide list to choose from. We collected them all in a handy guide here. If you prefer to go jogging with your dog, you can also get involved and raise money for charity by participating in the Muddy Dog Challenge, in aid of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, or in one of the Woof Dog Cancer UK events.
Find your dog sport/dog-friendly activity: How to find a dog sport club or course in London
Prices and locations: various
#7. Join a Breed-Specific Meet Up or Event
In 2017 London saw a rise in the number of pug events, with the pop-up Pug Cafe’ coming to town, as well as the lovely Pug & Pals dog cafe in Brick Lane, and a Pug Party going full on with games at Elmtree. But the sausage dogs are heading 2018 with walks all over London! While the Dachshund Cafe’ has not yet reached town, there was the great Sausage Walk London joined by some 1,000 sausage dogs in Greenwich, back in March 2018, aside from the sausage dogs Hyde Park monthly meetup, more are to come, like the Sausage Dog Parade to celebrate Smithfield Market’s 150.
Do you own a Whippet? Join the Whippet Up and the Whippet Out Walthamstow for some serious zoomies in North London. If Bulldogs are your life, then the massive Bulldog meetup hosted monthly in Central London is your must thing to do. And just French Bulldogs pacifically invade Victoria Park and Battersea Park for regular meet-ups too. A big favourite of ours? The Beagle Bonanza, organised at Elmtree Canine Country Club near Crews Hill, enclosed woodland area, games and a pack of howling hounds! Non of these breeds is yours? You can still find many more (and one good place where to start is Meetup.com).
#8. Go for a ride at Ruislip Lido Miniature Railway
One of our favourite dog-friendly activites in London has been riding the Ruislip Lido Railway. You can combine this with the Ruislip Lido doggie beach too. In the Summer it gets very packed and dogs may be refused on board, so we would recommend one some start of end of the season date, maybe going there early for the first ride and avoid the crowds. You can read all about the experience and what you need to know in this post.
Where: Ruislip Lido
#9. Take your dog for a “dogtail” at Smith & Whistle in Mayfair
From April 2018, Smith & Whistle started a canine alternative for cocktails… “dogtails” (obviously not alcoholic). In some periods they have also offered burgers for dogs.
#10. Visit Tower Bridge Exhibition and walk on the glass floor
A great one to bring your dog to, provided it is not a too crowded or too hot day (it gets quite warm up there). We casually discovered that Tower Bridge Exhibition was dog-friendly when chatting with the security at The Monument and soon paid it a visit. You can read all about visiting Tower Bridge Exhibition with your dog and walking on the glass floor here.
Where: Tower Bridge Exhibition
Price: £9.80 adults
#11. Escape the heat at a dog pond
When Summer gets too hot, give your dog a swim in one of the ponds you can find around London. Find your closest one in our guide about London dog ponds.
Where: various locations
#12. Go underground at the Brunel Museum and enjoy the Midnight Apothecary
The Brunel Museum, in Rotherhithe, is dog-friendly, and so is its Midnight Apothecary: the perfect plan for an alternative dog day out, learning about the first underwater tunnel, or for a date in front of a campfire with marshmallows to roast.
#13. Enjoy the sunshine at a dog-friendly rooftop
This Summer find your favourite dog-friendly rooftop for dog-friendly drinks and spectacular sunsets.
#14. Sail on a dog-friendly rowing boat
#15. Have a ride on Emirates Air Line cable car
Pefect for an unusual evening, get your dog on board of the Emirates Air Line cable car. You can find all about it and some inspiration for a complete dog-friendly plan in the area this blog post.
#16. Sail on the Regent’s Canal on a dog-friendly electric boat
If you don’t fancy rowing, hiring an electric dog-friendly boat with GoBoat London and saling on the Regent’s Canal, from Paddington to Little Venice up and then on to Camden Lock, is a great adventure.
#17. Take part in a dog-friendly immersive experience
“The Murdér Express”, by Funicular Productions, is an immersive experience combining an acting performance and dining on board of a fictional train, hosted their first special dog-friendly show on Sunday 12th August 2018. All about the canine premiere in this post. The show has reopened after a Winter break (apparently dogs may be allowed upon request – we are going to confirm and tell you more).
#18. Take your dog to a night out at a rooftop (silent) cinema
Enjoy Summer nights from May to end of September and take your dog to the Rooftop Film Club at Bussey Building in Peckham, South London. Beautiful sunsets and views over London’s skyline, old and new films, in a silent cinema. All in our review.
#19. Go for a ride on a dog-friendly cargo bike
A great one for sporty ones. Hire a dog-friendly cargo bike and go for a ride around the canals and marshes of East London. All about it in this blog post.
#20. Bring your dog to a golf course
If you are a golfer or waiting to become one, you don’t have any more excuses: there are 15 dog-friendly golf courses in Greater London to test, as recounted by Bruce Lynn, founder of your new dog lover golfer bible DogGolf.info and owner of Grace and Rusty (pictured above in the photo courtesy of Bruce). All about their project mapping out all golf courses allowing dogs in the UK and what you need to know in this blog post.
#21. Walk among the roses at Hampton Court Palace’s garden
Hampton Court Palace (technically in Surrey, but so close and very much feeling like West London) is a spectacular palace, with a maze, gardens and woodland. You can visit with your dog (on lead) the grounds (but dogs are banned from the palace and the maze). Great for a late Spring visit, when flowers are blossoming.
Where: Hampton Court Palace, Surrey
More info: in this post
#22. Have a stroll at Ham House Garden with your dog
Back in December 2017 and January 2018, Ham House hosted a dog-friendly trial, and we joined a preview visit. Later this year, they hosted a 12 dogs of Christmas event and celebrated the permanent opening of their grounds to dogs. Ham House and Garden is dog-friendly, but with some restrictions: dogs are not allowed in the house, while they can visit (on lead) the Garden, the Orangerie Café and their shop.
Where: Ham House and Garden, Richmond
Price: £12.50 standard – £13.75 gift aid adults
#23. Take your dog to swim in an indoor pool
Not warm enough weather for a dog dip in the pond? Then you can take your dog for a fun swim in an indoor swimming pool in London and surrounding areas. If you live in West London, check out Dipping Dogs, in Uxbridge; North of London there is the Canine Aqua Centre, in Ridgmont, and there is Hainault Hydrotherapy Centre in Romford to satisfy East Londoners. All about you need to know to arrange your dog-friendly swim in this guide.
#24. Go for a dog-friendly ride on a historical steam train
Take a ride on the historical steam train of the Epping-Ongar Railway, planning a full dog day out. During the holidays there are also a number of special rides, with Santa, or for Halloween. Find out more here.
#25. Discover the Kennel Club art gallery and library with your dog
On a weekday, you can catch up some art and culture at the Kennel Club’s library (the largest canine book collection in the world) or check out their paintings and art pieces collection, bringing your dog along.
#26. Visit a dog-friendly Open House London venue
Every year, in September, a number of venues normally closed to the public open their doors in occasion of the Open House London. Some of them allow you to bring your dog along. The 2019 venues has not been announced yet, but we will tell you more about them on the blog. Check out the dog-friendly venues from the 2018 edition.
#27. Open Garden Squares Weekend with your dog
Open Garden Squares Weekend allows you to discover secret gardens across London and, great news, you can visit some of them with your dog. Last year, their booklet indicated all the gardens. For the 2019 edition, taking place on 8-9 June, you have an even easier solution: check out this map and just filter the results by clicking on “Dogs allowed on lead” from the menu. More about this coming soon on the blog.
Looking for more inspiration?
Check out our list of Things to Do With Your Dog in London When It Rains
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Cover photo in this blog: Penny, from our photoshoot with the Dogs of DTV