Dog-Friendly Bath: Visiting Bath with a Dog

Bath is best known for its historic Roman-built baths and elegant Georgian townhouses. But it’s also a very dog-friendly destination – I saw so many dogs around the city on my most recent visit! There’s plenty to do in Bath when visiting with a dog, read on to find out more…

Dog-Friendly Bath

Dog-Friendly Sightseeing in Bath

While some of the most popular attractions in Bath are off limits to four-legged visitors, including the Roman Baths and Bath Abbey, there’s still plenty to do with your dog on your visit. Add some of these to your itinerary…

Exterior of the Roman Baths in Bath
While the Roman Baths are off limits to pet dogs, there’s plenty more to do

#1 Tour the Beautiful Buildings of Bath

If you’ve never been to Bath before, it’s a must to just simply wander the city’s streets and take in some of its grandest buildings. Constructed with golden-hued Bath stone, particularly during the Georgian period, I dare say Bath is the most beautiful city in all of England.

Luckily it’s no problem to take in the grandeur of Bath with your pup in your side. Make sure you check out both the Circus (a ring of townhouses constructed by John Wood the Elder between 1754 and 1768) and the equally grand Royal Crescent (constructed by his son, John Wood the Younger, between 1767 and 1774).

The Crescent Bath
The curving sweep of the Royal Crescent

On the eastern side of Bath is the Pulteney Bridge, crossing the River Avon. Also completed in 1774, it was designed by Robert Adams in the Palladian style and is one of only four bridges in the world to have shops lining both sides.

Pulteney Bridge Bath
The Pulteney Bridge in Bath

It’s no wonder that Bath is the only complete city in England that has been World Heritage listed, thanks to its long history and grand buildings.

#2 Explore the Parks of Bath

During the Regency period, when Bath was a popular destination for high society, taking a stroll around the park was both a daily occurrence and social occasion. Thanks to this, Bath is home to many fine parks, many that date to this period – something your dog will also appreciate!

When visiting Bath, take your pick between these gardens and parks for a fashionable stroll with your pup:

Royal Victoria Park: This extensive park is overlooked by the Royal Crescent, plus a larger section also extends to the west. Opened by the then Princess Victoria in 1830, the park is home to bowling greens, a playground and more. The large expanses of lawns and paths in the western section are a great spot to let your dog off leash in Bath.

Flower Display at Royal Victoria Park Bath
Flower displays in Royal Victoria Park
Royal Victoria Park Bath
Plenty of room for off-leash dog walks in Royal Victoria Park

Bath Botanical Gardens: Dogs are not permitted in many botanical gardens in England, with these botanical gardens on the western edge of Royal Victoria Park a rare exception. The main entry is on the ring road, but there’s also a convenient gate on the eastern side. Dogs need to be kept leashed. Don’t also miss the wooded Great Dell across the road.

Pond in Botanical Gardens Bath
The pretty Botanical Gardens

Sydney Gardens: This landscaped garden behind the Holburne Museum was a favourite of Jane Austen, who lived nearby. Unfortunately, the historic 18th-century pleasure gardens lost some of their charm when it was cut through by both the railway and a canal – it’s a handy starting point for the canal towpath walk to Bathampton.

Sydney Gardens
The Kennet & Avon Canal passes through Sydney Gardens

Henrietta Park: Thanks to not being as historic as Sydney Gardens, the nearby Henrietta Park is a quieter spot to let your dog enjoy some off-leash time, underneath the towering trees. Just keep your dog leashed inside the King George V Memorial Garden of Remembrance with its tranquil pool.

Henrietta Park Bath
Off-leash walks in Henrietta Park
Memorial Garden at Henrietta Park Bath
The King George V Memorial Garden of Remembrance

Queens Square: This elegant square and the Palladian buildings that surround was an early construction of John Wood the Elder, dating to 1728. It’s a welcome but small patch of greenery in the city centre, with a grand obelisk at its centre.

Queen Square Bath
Elegant Queen Square in the centre of Bath

Alexandra Park: Head to this park on the southern side of Bath for off-leash walks plus its excellent lookout offering views of the entire city. There’s a walkway heading up to the park starting at Calton Street – be warned it’s quite steep!

View from Alexandra Park
Taking in the view from Alexandara Park

Note that pets dogs are not permitted in both Parade Gardens, a garden with a small entry fee next to the River Avon, plus the petite Georgian Garden, behind one of the Townhouses on the Circus and accessible from The Gravel Walk.

#3 Join a Walking Tour

One of the best ways to learn more about the rich history of Bath is to join a walking tour. There are many walking tours to choose from; one free daily option are the walking tours led by the Mayor of Bath’s Honorary Guides.

I’m currently confirming whether pet dogs are welcome to join the tours – well-behaved dogs are likely allowed, as long as they don’t disturb other participants. The two hour long tours take place at 10:30am and 2:00pm from Sunday to Monday, plus 10:30am on Saturdays and 6:00pm on Tuesday and Thursday evenings over summer. Meet at the sign outside the Roman Baths, with no bookings required.

For an after-dark walking tour with a chance of a scare, make a booking with Bath Ghost Tours. Operating multiple nights per week except during the winter months (see the website for the latest details), very well-behaved dogs are allowed on the tours, although the organisers just request only one dog each.

Another alternative is to book a ticket for the City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus in Bath. Like their sightseeing buses in all UK cities, small, well-behaved dogs are allowed on board. Live English commentary is provided along the route, plus pre-recorded audio guides.

CitySightseeing Bus in Bath
Small well-behaved dogs are allowed on the City Sightseeing buses

The Skyline route to the countryside is useful for accessing the sights of Bath outside of the city centre, including Prior Park Landscape Garden (see below).

#4 Browse the Boutiques

Bath is a popular destination for shopping, and many shops will welcome well-behaved, clean dogs to join you, at least in part of the shops. (Although, unfortunately larger dogs may not be as welcome as small dogs.) Look out for signs, or ask at individual boutiques.

Sobeys Bath
Sobey’s Vintage in Bath

Vintage clothing store Sobey’s has a sign in their window welcoming dogs, while Topping & Company Booksellers is extra welcoming – they even offer treats and water inside to pups!

Topping & Company Booksellers Bath
Dogs are welcome at Topping & Company Booksellers

#5 Hike the Bath Skyline

There are plenty of dog-friendly walks around Bath of various lengths. One of the most popular walks is the Bath Skyline Walk, thanks to its wonderful views of the city and surrounding countryside.

This moderate 6 mile (9.6km) loop trail starts at the corner of Bathwick Hill and Cleveland Walk. Along the way it passes through multiple woods and across Bathampton and Claverton Downs. It also passes close by Prior Park Landscape Garden and the American Museum and Gardens (see below).

Views from Skyline Walk Bath
Views from the Bath Skyline walk

Allow up to four hours for the walk, without diversions along the way. Note that the path can be muddy in sections, especially through the woods – ideally wear boots after rain. Make sure you keep your dog under close control, plus on leash around grazing animals and in the Woodland Playground Area.

#6 Visit Prior Park Landscape Garden

While there are many wonderful gardens in Bath itself, it’s also worthwhile heading just outside the city to the delightful Prior Park Landscape Garden, run by the National Trust.

Constructed by local entrepreneur Ralph Allen in the mid-18th century, with influence from Alexander Pope and possibly help from Capability Brown, the natural-style garden sweeps down the slope below Prior Park mansion. The highlight of the garden is its superb Palladian Bridge, one only four of its design in the world.

House at Prior Park Bath
Views of the Prior Park mansion
Prior Park Landscape Garden Bath
Hillside carpeted with wild garlic at Prior Park
Palladian Bridge at Prior Park Bath
The gorgeous Palladian Bridge

The gardens are open daily most of the year, but only on weekends over the winter months. Dogs are welcome on a short leash throughout the gardens, with water bowls provided near the kiosk.

There is only limited accessible parking at the gardens. To walk directly to its entrance from the centre of Bath, it’s about a mile long walk uphill from the train station, largely along Prior Park Road and Ralph Allen Drive. The return walk is shorter, with the exit at the bottom of the garden onto Church Lane.

A visit to the gardens can be combined with the Skyline Walk (see above), although it is quite a detour to the entrance gate on Ralph Allen Drive. Alternatively, check out these walking instructions. Starting and ending at the train station, a few scenic detours are included on the walk up to the gardens, then the route joins the final section of the Skyline Walk.

#7 Or the Gardens of the American Museum

Another beautiful garden just outside of Bath you can visit with your dog are the gardens that surround the American Museum. The museum dedicated to American decorative arts was opened in 1961, situated in the 19th-century Claverton Manor that was previously surrounded by Italianate-style gardens.

Alongside remnants of the old gardens, the gardens these day contain a replica Mount Vernon Garden, New American Garden and Children’s Garden. There are 2.5 acres of formal garden amongst the 125 acres of parklands surrounding the museum.

It’s possible to buy admission tickets just to the gardens, with dogs on a leash welcome in the gardens, parklands and the cafe area. The museum is located just a short detour off the middle of the Skyline Walk (see above). Note that both the museum and gardens are closed on Mondays during term time.

#8 Walk Along the Towpath to Bathampton

If you head north of Bath rather than south, rather than climbing the hills of the Skyline you can enjoy an easier walk along the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath to Bathampton.

As well as being flat along its length (if you start at Sydney Gardens), the path is also paved – a relief during rainy weather. Its a 1.5 mile (2.4km) walk along the towpath to the quaint village of Bathampton from Sydney Gardens, or start back at the junction with the River Avon to walk an extra mile (1.5km) past the Bath Locks.

Kennet and Avon Canal Towpath to Bathampton
The towpath to Bathahmpton is an easy walk
Path in Bathampton
The village of Bathampton

Once at Bathampton, the dog-friendly George Inn is just off the canal. Or detour down Mill Lane to the Bathampton Mill gastropub with its large beer garden overlooking the River Avon. You can also add on a stroll through the Bathampton Meadows, before returning along the towpath.

#8 Hop On Board the Pulteney Cruiser

Rather than walking to Bathampton, you can put your feet up and enjoy a boat trip with your dog along the River Avon with Pulteney Cruisers to the edge of the Bathampton Meadows.

Their one-hour long boat trips depart multiple times per day from the Pulteney Weir, just below the Pulteney Bridge, in the centre of Bath. Check their website or Facebook page for their latest departures – they are not able to operate when the river is too high.

Pulteney Cruiser in Bath
One of the Pulteney Cruisers departing the Pulteney Weir

The cruise takes you along the River Avon underneath the Pulteney Bridge and past the edge of Bath, turning around just below the weir next to the Bathampton Toll Bridge, near the old mill. Try to grab a seat on the top deck when the weather is fine for the best views.

Well-behaved dogs are welcome to join you on the cruise, for no extra charge. No pre-bookings are taken – it’s recommended you just turn up 20 minutes before departure time.

#10 Ride the Avon Valley Railway

You can also enjoy an old-fashioned steam or diesel train ride with your pup not far from Bath. The Avon Valley Railway operates along a preserved section of old track departing from Bitton Station.

Either steam or diesel engines operate the trains most weekends, plus on additional days during school holidays. The six mile long round trip from Bitton takes about an hour, with tickets quite reasonably priced. The historic station can also be explored daily for free.

Dogs are welcome to join you aboard the train most of the time – just avoid some special events such as the Santa Steam Specials and Family events, plus the dining trains. There are water bowls at the station, plus I’ve also heard reports that dog-friendly ice cream is available!

Dog-Friendly Cafes in Bath

A great dog-friendly cafe to enjoy a break and a coffee or tea during your explorations of Bath is Society Cafe. All locations of this independently-run chain are dog-friendly, including their two locations in Bath, at High Street and Kingsmead Square.

Society Cafe specialises in single estate coffee. They have both a house coffee and guest coffee, with full details of each provided. They also have a wide range of hot chocolates, and there’s a display of delectable home-made cakes to tempt you.

Society Cafe Bath
Society Cafe on High Street in Bath

If you are interested in an afternoon tea or cream tea, a quirky spot to visit is The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. There’s multiple tables out the front of this cafe, or enquire whether dogs are also allowed inside. Previous guests report being provided with water bowls.

The Mad Hatters Tea Party Bath
The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in Bath

Dog-Friendly Restaurants in Bath

A terrific restaurant in Bath to visit with your dog is The Architect. Dogs are welcome to join you throughout most of the gastropub, including the enclosed terrace and the bar area. And they even have their own menu, thanks to Sir Woofchesters – the meal deals with a bowl, treat pot and dog drink are a great option to keep them occupied.

The Architect Bath
The Architect in Bath is a dog-friendly restaurant

Open daily from 10am to late, the latest menus are uploaded daily, with a mixture of enticing small and large plates. In particular, I recommend visiting on a Sunday to enjoy their Sunday Roasts. I couldn’t choose between the Roast Beef and the Porchetta, so selected the Mixed option, served with all the trimmings.

Sunday Roast at The Architect Bath
My Sunday Roast at The Architect

BONUS TIP: Before enjoying my Sunday Roast, I joined The Architect for their Sunday morning dog walk. Dog walks are generally held on the last Sunday of most months, although they are putting them on hold over the summer. Check the website for the latest details.

Dog Walk with The Architect Bath
The Architect Dog Walk on a Sunday morning

Another fine-dining option that welcomes dogs is The Hive Kitchen & Bar, just on the other side of the Pulteney Bridge. Open from Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner, plus Sunday Roast until 6pm on Sundays, the restaurant has a dog-friendly area upstairs – often with great views of the weir below.

The Hive Bath
The Hive Kitchen & Bar has a dog-friendly area

For something lighter, the Garden Cafe at the Holburne Museum welcomes dogs both inside and in their large outdoor area. It’s a great spot to combine with a dog walk along the canal or stroll through Sydney Gardens. Lunch options include handcrafted sandwiches, sausage rolls and daily soup and quiche specials.

The Holburne Museum Cafe Bath
The outdoor dining area at the Holburne Museum

Dog-Friendly Pubs & Bars in Bath

A great dog-friendly spot for beer lovers in Bath is the Bath Brew Haus. Located on the western side of the city centre, choose between the cosy rustic interior or their large colourful beer garden, with a retractable roof for rainy days. As well as a menu of pub classics, they also serve their own award-wining beers brewed onsite.

Bath Brew House
The beer garden at the Bath Brew Haus

Dog-Friendly Accommodation in Bath

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive commission if you make a purchase using the links. See my full disclaimer.

There’s a wide range of dog-friendly accommodation available in Bath, from luxury hotels to more affordable options and pet-friendly apartments.

If you’re after a luxury stay in Bath, look no further than the five-star Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa. Pets are welcome in six rooms (double check room descriptions and inform the hotel you will be bringing a pet). There is a maximum of two dogs or cats per room, and a £35 per pet per stay charge. All pet-friendly rooms have direct access to a private courtyard or the hotel’s gardens.

The Abbey Hotel Bath is centrally located, making it easy to walk to all the sights around Bath, and proudly a pet-friendly hotel. A single dog can be accommodate in all rooms, except the Small Double rooms. There is an additional charge of £35 per night, with dogs provided with their own bed and food bowl on arrival.

Abbey Hotel Bath
The Abbey Hotel is proudly pet-friendly

Dream Stays Bath offers multiple self-catering apartments of varying size, perfect for a quick city break or longer stay. Dogs are welcome in all of their apartments except for the City Pad apartments, for instance the one-bedroom Kingsmead Street apartments. There is an additional charge of £15 per pet per stay.

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About the Author

Photo of Shandos & Schnitzel

Shandos Cleaver is the founder of Travelnuity: Dog-Friendly Travel. She has travelled extensively with her Miniature Dachshund, Schnitzel, including to 33 countries across Europe, every state and territory of Australia except Tasmania, and 10 of the United States. She’s passionate about providing inspiration and information to others wanting to travel with their dogs, whether close to home or internationally.

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