From riverside relaxing to village rambling and historical landmarks, Cambridge is famed for boat races, academics in old-fashioned robes, and of course, dog-friendly drinking holes. Step back in time and let us give you a classic English education as we wrap up the very best that Cambridge, and its surrounding area, has to offer for thirsty hounds and their human companions.
Address & Map: Little Walden, CB10 1XA
The Crown Inn is known as being barking mad, in all of the best ways possible of course. In this quiet country location near to the edges of Saffron Walden, regulars pop in for a pint with their dogs who can mingle with other well-behaved boys and girls. Pop in after a walk along the Home Farm fishing lake and you’ll be joined by the local campers who head there for a hot meal. Doggy biscuits are on the bar and are dished out to well-deserving hounds. You can also meet Sky, the resident Labrador, and her younger sister Mable. Food is top-notch pub grub and there’s real ale straight from the cask, just the way we like it. Dog water bowls are freely available and dogs can accompany owners inside or out on the patio area. In sunny weather there are plenty of parasols for shade and you can drop muddy boots off in the porch before choosing a cosy nook for the afternoon.
Address & Map: 68 King St, CB1 1LN
The Champion of the Thames’ name hails back to the 19th Century when an oarsman who won a rowing race on the Thames moved into a house on Kings Street. Because of his rowing success, he liked to be address as “Champion of the Thames”—and the name has stuck. Visiting dogs can expect a warm welcome from the staff, while water bowls are provided and treats are available. There are only bar snacks served here if you’re feeling peckish but you can enjoy The Champion’s finger food in the bar with your furry mate at your side while you both warm yourselves by the fire. Once you’ve sampled the delights of this top Cambridge pub, head across the road to any one of the city centre’s green spaces, including Midsummer and Jesus Green, where you can walk along the banks of the Cam.
Roll up to The Haymakers on a sunny afternoon and your dog will be given a warm welcome by resident Lurcher-Greyhound-something-mix, Benson, who’ll make sure you get a water bowl and will introduce you to the whole dog-squad of locals. On any given day you’ll find more than a dozen dogs dozing and enjoying the company of their humans as they relax with a pint or one of the pub’s famous pizzas. Owners are simply asked that they keep dogs on lead whilst in and around the pub as it can get very busy due to the popularity of the pub grub. The dog ‘bathroom’ is situated under a bushy tree to the back of the car park and poo-bags are supplied if your dog is caught short. On colder days the fire will soon warm you up if you’ve been roving in the nearby recreation ground or Stourbridge Common which isn’t too far away. And if you’re stopping in to whet your whistle after a walk you needn’t worry about muddy boots as it has a tiled floor.
4. The Chequers
Address & Map: 1 Town Lane, Pampisford, CB22 3ER
Situated away from the hustle and bustle of central Cambridge, village charmer The Chequers is the perfect spot to escape the city. Sourcing ingredients for their seasonal food menu from the local area, they pride themselves on their food and being a traditional community pub that welcomes families and dogs. The Chequers’ Sunday carvery is worth sampling—wash it down with one of their well-kept ales, while your dog chills under your table. The team are very relaxed about dogs in the pub, all they ask is they don’t annoy other customers or disrupt their famed food service. Your dog will get a warm greeting from Snoop the Border Collie regular who can usually be spotted playing in the garden, where there are benches and tables with umbrellas. The garden does back directly onto a small car parking area which is right next to the road, so if your dog is prone to wandering off, you might want to keep them on lead whilst enjoying the garden. Once you’re full, you can walk off your lunch in the local Cambridgeshire countryside.
Address & Map: 7 Prospect Row, CB1 1DU
The Free Press is a city-centre pub that favours fresh food and warmly welcomes people and their furry little mates. Throw your dog a treat from the jar on the counter and help them to a water bowl while you wait for some fresh-battered fish and chips or one of their famous scotch eggs. The pub is fairly small inside but as long as dogs are kept on a lead and off the furniture every well-behaved hound is welcome. On warmer days there are two outside areas with natural shading from trees and umbrellas. After lunch, stretch your legs at New Square Park or Parker’s Piece which are both nearby. Oh and you’ll want to try the Sunday Roast Beef, which is big enough to give your dog a morsel or two if they’re lucky.
Address & Map: 35-36 Clarendon St, CB1 1JX
Dogs can roam freely in city centre pub, The Clarendon Arms. There’s no area that’s off-limits to dogs and the only rule is that they should be kept on lead at all times. If you want to eat, you’re best off booking ahead, and when you arrive your taste buds will be treated to one of the very best pub fares in the area. Tuck into a delicious Sunday roast or fish and chips, wash it down with one of their well-kept ales or a thirst quenching glass of wine. After you’ve had your fill, stroll down the historic streets of Cambridge and soak up the architecture of the famous colleges on your way to the banks of the Cam, or enjoy a run around in Parker’s Piece, where it’s thought the game of football was invented, or Christ’s Pieces where you can follow in the footsteps of poet John Milton.
Address & Map: 5 High St, Fen Ditton, CB5 8ST
Recently refurbished, the Ancient Shepherds is a community-owned pub flanked by 16th century cottages. With enough garden space around the back of the building for a dog to play in, you can enjoy your pint at one of the garden tables. Head back indoors and there’s a variety of spaces to hole up in and wile away the hours with your dog at your side. The only space that’s dog-free is the restaurant area at the back of the pub which is reserved for human diners only. You can eat with your dog in any of the other areas, while your dog chills under your table, or begs for a few scraps from your plate of delicious food. With Ditton Meadows, Stourbridge Common and the River Cam towpath all within easy walking distance, you and your dog will be spoilt for post-lunch stroll choices.
Address & Map: Midsummer Common, CB4 1HA
With sections of their premises dating back to the 16th century, Fort St George is more than just a patriotically named English pub. Set on the picturesque banks of the River Cam, this is the perfect dog walking (or punting!) pitstop. The pub has wooden and tiled floors in the snug area, so don’t worry too much about your muddy boots if you’ve been for a wet ramble on Midsummer Common, Jesus Green or the banks of the River Cam. The picturesque river tow path backs directly onto the pub’s patio. Here you can soak up the summer rays while your tired dog enjoys the shade provided by the water-side weeping willows. During winter you can warm yourself by the fire in the snug while your dog grabs a nap. Hungry humans can enjoy a plate of bangers and mash or one of several burger-combo options. Well behaved dogs are allowed in the in the bar, but there’s a dog-free zone in the restaurant which is reserved for dining.
As you can see from this smattering of Cambridge’s lovely pubs, there are some nice options for dogs and their owners, but not all dogs enjoy accompanying their humans to the pub—and that’s fine. You can find lots of local sitters who offer dog boarding in Cambridge on Rover.com—it really couldn’t be easier to find someone to look after your furry little chum when you go to the pub.