Dog-Friendly Windsor, UK: Visiting Windsor with a Dog

The historic town of Windsor in England is best known as the home of the royal residence of Windsor Castle. Just a short distance west of London, it’s an ideal day trip destination. But what can you do when visiting Windsor with a dog? Check out my tips following my recent visit to Windsor.

Dog-Friendly Windsor

Dog-Friendly Sightseeing in Windsor

There’s plenty to see and do around Windsor when visiting with a dog – more than enough to occupy a whole day or more! Consider ticking off some of these sightseeing ideas…

#1 View the Exterior of Windsor Castle

Of course the highlight of a visit to Windsor is viewing Windsor Castle, one of the official residences of the British monarchy. The oldest and largest occupied castle in the world, the original castle on the site dates back to the 11th century.

Not surprisingly, pet dogs are not allowed to join you on visits inside the castle walls, only guide, hearing and assistance animals. The castle is open to visitors year round, except for on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with the main attraction being St George’s Chapel and the state apartments.

Windsor Castle Exterior
The walls of Windsor Castle along Castle Hill

However, you can still see plenty of the exterior of the castle, including it’s towering walls and turrets. A great spot for a selfie with your pup is the King Henry VIII Gateway on Castle Hill. Also consider visiting on a quieter Tuesday or Wednesday, assuming you won’t be entering the castle.

#2 Watch the Changing of the Guards

There is one item of royal pageantry though that you can still partially see from outside of the castle with your pup by your side: the Changing of the Guard.

Generally the Changing of the Guard takes place on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays each week, weather permitting, starting at 11am. Check the Household Division website in advance to confirm it will take place when you visit – I was quite disappointed to miss it as I visited on a Wednesday!

While the actual changeover takes place inside the castle and requires an entry ticket to see, you can still see the guards marching to the castle. They depart from Victoria Barracks on Sheet Street, then march up High Street. The best places to see them are on High Street or on the Corn Exchange under Windsor Guildhall.

#3 Walk Along the Long Walk

When viewing Windsor Castle, don’t forget to head around to the other side of the castle and the start of the Long Walk, accessible off Park Street through a gate that is locked overnight.

The Long Walk is a 2.64-mile long tree-lined avenue that was created during the reign of Charles II, leading up to the State Entrance of the castle. Situated outside of the castle boundary but inside Windsor Great Park, it’s a great spot to visit with your dog.

Windsor Castle from Long Walk
View of the State Entrance of Windsor Castle

When visiting the Long Walk with your dog, signs request that you keep them under “strict” control or on a leash, plus they are not allowed to “foul” paths or any mown grass. Enjoy some off-leash time on the lush grass, also a great spot for a picnic, or walk along the long path with your pup.

Long Walk Windsor
Enjoying some off-leash time at the Long Walk

At the far end of the walkway is a statue of King George III and his horse, also known as the “Copper Horse”, deep inside Windsor Great Park. It’s possible to explore more of the park with your dog.

Dogs are allowed in all publicly accessible areas (some areas are private), except for in The Savill Garden and Virginia Water Pavilion. Also keep them leashed in the The Valley Gardens and the Deer Park – it’s prohibited for dogs to annoy the deer.

#4 Follow the Thames Path

Another great dog-friendly walk to follow in Windsor with your dog is a section of the Thames Path. This long distance path is 185 miles long, starting at the source of the Thames in the Cotswold and continuing to Woolwich.

In Windsor, the path is on the southern bank of the Thames to the east of Windsor Bridge, looping around the edge of Home Park. You can see a sign for the path near The Boatman, a dog-friendly pub. At Windsor Bridge the path crosses over the Thames and continues through The Brocas and further west.

Thames Walk Windsor
The Thames Path to the east of Windsor

See detailed descriptions of the walk downstream from Windsor and upstream from Windsor.

#5 Enjoy a Riverboat Trip

For a different perspective of Windsor Castle, head out on the Thames River, with multiple dog-friendly boat trips available.

French Brothers operates regular riverboat cruises on the Thames. The most popular option are their 40 minutes trips to Boveney Lock, which offer views of Windsor Castle and Eton College. Cruises depart regularly throughout the day from February to October, plus on weekends in November and December.

French Brothers Riverboat Trips Windsor
The wharf for French Brothers riverboat cruises

French Brothers also offer longer 2 hours cruises, either downstream to Windsor Weir or upstream to Bray. These cruises depart daily during a shorter season.

The lady at the ticket office assured me dogs are welcome onboard. All cruises depart from their wharf at the Windsor Promenade, near Alexandra Park.

#6 Or Hire Your Own Boat

Alternatively, it’s possible to hire a boat and enjoy a private boat trip on the Thames with your dog. Also operating from the Windsor Promenade is John Logie Motorboats.

John Logie Motorboats Windsor
John Logie Motorboats hires boats

Choose between hiring a motorboat or a rowing boat, for either half an hour or an hour. Be warned that both options are rather sedate! The boat hire operates daily from April until the end of October, with no advance bookings taken. All dogs are welcome.

#7 Stroll Through Eton

On the opposite side of the Thames from Windsor is the town of Eton. Cross over the pedestrian-only Windsor Bridge to reach Eton, which I found more charming than Windsor itself, with less tourist restaurants and colourful bunting lining the high street.

Of course, Eton is most famous for being home to Eton College, the historic boys-only boarding-school founded in 1440 and the alma mater of many British statesman and members of the royal family. Head up the far end of High Street to reach the Eton College Chapel and the exterior of the other college buildings visible from the street.

Eton College
The exterior of Eton College from High Street

#8 Check Out the Corgi Sculptures

Another charming spot to check out around Windsor is The Windsor Lady Sculpture in Bachelors Acre park, down below Windsor High Street.

This sculpture of Elizabeth II and six of her corgis was unveiled in 2013 and is a great spot for photos with your pup. Although it was hard to take any photos when I visited, as a group of nursery school children were enjoying a play around the beloved sculpture!

Corgi Statue Windsor
One of the corgis in The Windsor Lady Sculpture

Dog-Friendly Parks in Windsor

Windsor and its surrounds contains plenty of excellent parks to enjoy some off-leash time with your pup. Probably my top pick is The Brocas, located in Eton just across the Thames from the Windsor Promenade.

The Brocas Eton
The Brocas in Eton

This meadow is actually part of Eton College, but has been made accessible to the public. Make sure you keep your dog under control and clean up after them, with plenty of bins supplied. The grassy verge along the banks of the Thames is particularly popular for picnics on sunny days.

In particular, make sure your dog doesn’t disturb the resident swans along the river. When I visited there was a disappointing sign reporting the recent injury of a swan in a dog attack.

Another park in Windsor to visit with your dog is the more manicured Alexandra Park, adjacent to the Windsor Promenade. This Edwardian park is also home to a bandstand and a seasonal ferris wheel.

Alexandra Park Windsor
The Edwardian Alexandra Park in Windsor

On the edge of Windsor just past the Windsor & Eton Riverside Station is also Home Park, although dogs are restricted from the many playing fields in the park. And of course there is the extensive Windsor Great Park.

Dog-Friendly Pubs in Windsor

Windsor is home to plenty of dog-friendly pubs – I only spotted a sign prohibited dogs in the beer garden of the Wetherspoons in the centre of Windsor.

Just near the gateway to the Long Walk on Park Street is The Two Brewers, a popular pub with dog owners. I enjoyed a half pint of cider on the tables outside – a great spot on sunny days, with water bowls provided for dogs. Quiet dogs on leads are also welcome inside the pub, but no children!

The Two Brewers Windsor
Enjoying a cider in the sunshine at The Two Brewers

Probably the most dog-friendly pub of all in Windsor is the Royal Windsor, close to the Windsor & Eton Riverside Station. Proudly proclaiming to be dog-friendly, they offer a menu just for dogs thanks to Sir Woofchesters, including snacks, treat pots, bowls and drinks such as the Pawstar Dog Martini!

The Royal Windsor Dog-Friendly Pub
The Royal Windsor offers a menu for dogs

In the centre of Windsor just across from the King Henry VIII Gateway of Windsor Castle, grab an inside or outdoor table at The Horse & Groom. The outside tables in particularly are a great spot to admire the castle. Dog bowls and biscuits are available free at the bar.

The Horse & Groom Windsor
Take in views of Windsor Castle from The Horse & Groom

If you’d prefer riverside views to accompany your meal or drink, instead head to The Boatman, next to the Thames near the Windsor & Eton Riverside Station. The only riverside pub in Windsor, dogs are welcome in the large beer garden of the gastropub, plus in some inside areas, but not in the glass conservatory.

The Boatman Windsor
The Boatman is the only riverside pub in Windsor

Across the river, another dog-friendly pub in the area is The Watermans Arms in Eton. Head around the back for its beer garden with umbrellas. Dogs are allowed both inside and outside of the traditional pub, with water bowls and treats provided for pups.

The Waterman Arms Eton
The Watermans Arms in Eton

You May Also Like

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.

Leave a Comment