Formerly an industrial powerhouse, today Manchester is known for its thriving art and food scenes, its football team, and as the birthplace of some of the world’s best bands including Joy Division, New Order, The Smiths, Oasis and boy-band sensation Take That. The creative hotspot offers countless entertainment options for every person…but what if you’re a dog?
Manchester has loads of great parks where your little angel can tear around till her heart’s content, as well as some great dog-friendly places to eat and drink, but there are so many other ways to spend quality time with your dog here. Here’s our list of the top dog-friendly activities in Greater Manchester in case your pet fancies an adventure.
Hit a Foodie Market
Manchester has a vibrant food scene and dogs are welcome to join in on the deliciousness at Mackie Mayor, Smithfield’s Grade II listed market which opened in 1858. Foodies won’t be disappointed by the selection at this trendy indoor food market. Look forward to sneaking your dog morsels of organic pork belly, seasonal Mediterranean fare, bao buns, local sustainably-sourced chargrilled fish, and lots more.
Channel Mr Darcy at Lyme House & Park
The Peak District has an abundance of picture-perfect valleys and dales that you can explore with your wee chum in tow. If you don’t want to venture too far into the wilderness, a nice stately home with cracking gardens might be just the thing. Lyme House is an Edwardian estate surrounded by 1,300 acres of moorland and park which is home to a medieval herd of red and fallow deer.
Remember that famous episode of the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice adaptation where Colin Firth (as Mr Darcy) dove into that pond? It was filmed here. The estate is now managed by the National Trust and dogs are allowed throughout the park all year, and in the formal gardens on selected weekends. They can enjoy a refreshing bowl of water at the nearby Timber Yard Café.
Get Creative… and Some Coffee
If you feel like getting your creative juices flowing head to one of the Northern Quarter’s most popular haunts for young, go-getter types. Takk was created to provide Mancunians with a welcoming space to work, meet, talk, and dream up big ideas. It’s also an artisanal coffee house with a massive bookcase and they’re totally cool with dogs. While you’re at it, have a piece of freshly baked cake—don’t worry, there are treats for dogs, too.
Find Puppy Love at a Dog Date Night
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Doggy Date Night is tomorrow! 💖✨Want to #win a ticket for yourself and your puppy pal? Including some pupcakes for your mutt and a slice of cake and glass of prosecco for you… tag a mate who’s got a furry friend and like this post to win your ticket 🐾🐕 #DogFriendlyManchester
Are you a single dog owner? Do you find people who like dogs attractive? 19 Cafe Bar in Manchester’s Northern Quarter hosts monthly doggy date nights where single dog owners and dog lovers can meet over a glass of Prosecco and cake, surrounded by their furry companions. (If you don’t have a dog but you’d love to meet a sexy dog owner that’s fine, too.)
Your furry little friend will be made to feel extra special here with a doggy bag full of goodies. Owner Nikita Lyle says, “As a dog-friendly venue, we wanted to invite people from all over Manchester to come together and meet other like-minded individuals for an evening of fun in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere where no one has to leave their beloved pet at home.” Let’s hope it leads to more than puppy love.
Indulge in Some Retail Therapy
There are a few dog-friendly shops in Manchester, and here are some nice spots to hit with your pet:
Betty & Butch was founded by Angel and Paul who were inspired to create a business that would enhance the lives of all dogs after they adopted Duke, a former stray who suffered from depression. These winners of Pet Store of the Year strive to bring your pet the healthiest products and offer everything from all-natural premium dog food to luxury handmade dog soaps and dog harnesses.
Afflecks is the UK’s first fully dog-friendly shopping centre and you’ll find everything there from guitars and retro clothing to art prints and handmade jewellery. Head there on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays for tarot card and clairvoyant readings at The Crystal Henge Shop.
Lifestyle store, coffee lounge, and bar all rolled into one, Porter + Cole is named after the owners’ two dogs. And if you fancy the chair you’re sitting in or the coffee cup you’re drinking from, you can buy it right there.
Learn How to Swim
Hydrotherapy literally means “water healing” and it has been recorded in ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman civilisations. Canine hydrotherapy can help your pets enjoy a full and active life, whether they’re keeping fit or recovering from surgery, injury, or illness.
Canine hydrotherapists can also teach your dog to swim if they haven’t quite mastered the skill. So if you’re in the area, head to K9 Swim, the largest hydrotherapy pool in the north of England.
The bowling alley Dog Bowl is the sister venue to Black Dog Ballroom, a New York-style bar and restaurant where dogs are warmly welcomed. Tuck into some hot dogs, burgers, and loaded fries while you bowl on one of their five full-length ten-pin bowling lanes. There’s also a nice bar, which does mean cocktails.
Your dog will want to hang out with you no matter what you’re doing so the only thing that matters is that you’re spending quality time together. And if you want to take part in an activity that your special someone isn’t allowed to join in on, don’t worry—you can find the perfect local sitter to spend time with your doggy on Rover.com while you do your thing. There are plenty of sitters who provide dog boarding in Manchester, so you’re bound to find your dog’s perfect match!
Featured image: Betty & Butch