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.
1. The Crown
Address: Little Walden, CB10 1XA
Telephone: 0179 952 2475
Price range: £
Recommended dish: Cold Seafood Platter
The Crown 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: 68 King St, CB1 1LN
Telephone: 0122 335 1464
Price range: £
Recommended dish: Only bar snacks sold here!
The Champion of the Thames’ name hails back to the 19th Century when an oarsman who won a rowing race on the Thames and lived on King Street. 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.
Address: 54 High Street, Chesterton, CB4 1NG
Telephone: 0122 331 8077
Price range: £
Recommended dish: Pizza
Roll up to The Haymakers on a sunny afternoon and your dog will be given a warm welcome by the staff, 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 its popularity.
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, the Cambridge CAMRA pub of the year in 2021 has 8 real ales and 3 real ciders for you to choose from
Address: 7 Prospect Row, CB1 1DU
Telephone: 0122 336 8337
Price range: £
Recommended dish: Their famous scotch eggs
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: 35-36 Clarendon St, CB1 1JX
Telephone: 0122 377 8272
Price range: ££
Recommended dish: Slow baked shoulder of gammon
They aim to give the dogs their drinks before the owners at The Clarendon Arms, and the treat tins are always fully stocked! There’s no area that’s off-limits to dogs at the city centre pub 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: Midsummer Common 11, CB4 1HA
Telephone: 0122 335 4327
Price range: £
Recommended dish: Woodland Mushroom & Ale Pie
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 fish and chips or one of several pie 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.
Featured image: Champion of the Thames