Heading to Somerset with a furry friend and wondering where to grab a pint and a bite to eat? This county is just full of pretty pubs so there’s no reason not to bring your best friend along on your next jaunt. From stylish gastropubs in the ancient city of Bath to rural boozers where locals and their dogs congregate—we’ve compiled a handy guide to a few of Somerset’s most dog-friendly pubs.
If you’re visiting Somerset and don’t want to drive, take the train! You can take up to two dogs with you on all British trains free of charge—find out more in our article Can I Take My Dog on the Train?
1. The White Hart Inn
Address & Map: Pulteney Road, Bath, BA2 6AA
The White Hart is a veteran of Bath’s gastropub scene and it’s earned a reputation for its exciting menus. Their food is seasonal, locally sourced and uncomplicated, and the atmosphere, warm and unpretentious. Though the dining room is off-limits to dogs, they’re more than welcome in the bar area and the pub’s sublimely beautiful walled garden that makes for a wonderful alfresco dining spot in the summer.
While the little fella enjoys a dog biccy, you’ll have to make do with crispy squid with a pea shoot and herb salad and romesco sauce or perhaps beetroot risotto with goats curd, root crisps, rocket and walnut pesto. If you and your little buddy aren’t hungry, plenty of locals and their dogs also congregate at the bar for a pint of well-kept local real ale or a glass of wine from their superb list, so pull up a chair and make some new friends (furry or otherwise).
2. Inn At Freshford
Address & Map: The Hill, Bath, BA2 7WG
The Inn at Freshford is a traditional country pub with a contemporary vibe. The chic 16th century village gastropub located on the banks of the River Frome on the outskirts of Bath has original timber beams, open fires, and an inviting, split-level beer garden. If you fancy escaping the city with your furry drinking buddy, head to the inn after a day out in the surrounding countryside which is part of The Cotswolds Area Of Outstanding Beauty.
Dogs are welcome throughout the bar area and the garden, and while they aren’t allowed in the restaurant, they do have plenty of tables within the bar area available for dog walkers to dine with their four-legged friends. While the dogs tuck into their complimentary biccies and have a drink of water, you can enjoy the pub’s first-rate food, made with produce from local suppliers. If you just fancy a drink, you’ll find a range of local ales, quality lagers, and a varied wine list.
3. The Rising Sun
Address & Map: Knapp Road, Taunton, TA3 6BG
This 15th century pub tucked away in the tiny hamlet of Knapp in rural Somerset serves a good range of real ales, proper ciders, lager and wine, as well as good pub grub like their popular Sunday roasts. Your dog will be treated to cold filtered water from the bar and lots of attention. While away the hours in the The Rising Sun’s sunny little front terrace or inside beside one of its enticing inglenooks with woodburners.
As well as pub quizzes and live music, The “Riser” as it is affectionately known hosts monthly Woofs ‘n’ Wellies community dog walks. If you’d like to take part, pop down to enjoy a hot drink and a breakfast bap, then head off on a guided walk across the Knapp and North Curry area before returning for a well-deserved roast dinner. A pound from every person goes to St Giles Animal Rescue Centre, so what’s stopping you?
4. The Cottage Inn
Address & Map: Bridgwater, TA5 1HZ
The Cottage Inn is a traditional pub with a cosy, friendly vibe. It serves real ales, real ciders and proper pub grub like sausage and mash, fish and chips, and burgers—but that’s not to say there aren’t vegetarian options too. Dogs are made to feel like special guests here and they’re allowed in all areas of the pub so you can drink and dine with your best friend by your side. If you’re worried they’ll feel left out while you’re eating, don’t be—there are dog treats on the bar and plenty of water bowls to go around. The landlady regularly fawns over four-legged guests and has been known to do a little dog training in between serving their humans.
5. Kings Head
Address & Map: 1 Silver Street, Cheddar, BS27 3LE
If you’ve hit the tea rooms, explored the cathedral-like caves of Cheddar Gorge, and eaten your fill at the Cheddar cheese factory you might feel like stepping off the beaten path and ditching the tourists. The Kings Head is the perfect place for those seeking a quiet pint with the locals, and their dogs. Val the landlady welcomes all good boys and girls on leads and will be sure to offer them a nice bowl of water and some treats.
The charming, partly thatched 17th century inn is the oldest pub in Cheddar. They offer real ale and cider on tap as well as a small selection of bar snacks. There’s a small covered outdoor seating area, plus a larger secured lawned beer garden beyond that dogs can socialise in. You can also get in on the action if you’d like to take part in one of their quiz nights or simply pull up a chair and enjoy some live music or a sports event with the other punters.
6. Hall & Woodhouse
Address & Map: 1 Old King Street, Bath, BA1 2JW
Originally an auction house built in the 1960s, Hall & Woodhouse is a stunning three-storey bar and restaurant in the heart of the ancient city of Bath. After a stroll around the city centre, you and your little mate can head to the spacious street-level space where you’ll find the Copper Bar, built from the old brewing coppers from Hall & Woodhouse brewery in Dorset and after which the building is named. Along with Badger beers and ales—crafted in an independent, family-owned brewery in the heart of Dorset—they serve a fantastic selection of lagers, ciders, wines, local gins, malt whiskies, and an ever increasing range of cocktails. The staff adore dogs so yours will be offered a refreshing bowl of water and probably a cuddle or two.
You can also enjoy the casual dining experience of the Pantry—also located on the ground floor—which serves some great dishes such as their award-winning steak and Tanglefoot (beer) pie, the H&W burger, a variety of sarnies, and a great selection of brunch options. The dining room on the second floor—where they serve slightly posher nosh—and the rooftop terrace are unfortunately off-limits to dogs.
7. The Railway Inn
Address & Map: 55 Long St, Williton, Taunton, TA4 4QY
This 16th century coaching inn is just a five minutes walk from the West Somerset Railway Station at Williton—the longest preserved railway in the country—so as well as locals and their dogs you may meet a few commuters popping for a beer between their trains. First established as a public house in 1850 the traditional boozer in has two bars, a small lounge, and a games room, as well as skittle alley and an outdoor seating area at the back. The pub hosts its own quiz on Monday nights and even enters teams in the local pool, darts, and skittles leagues.
The CAMRA accredited pub owners clearly know a thing or two about real ales, and pride themselves on the quality of the beer they serve. They also offer classic pub grub, and while you build your own burger or tuck into a nice bacon butty, your dogs will be offered a bowl of water and some delicious treats to chow down on.
8. The Nightjar
Address & Map: Nightingale Close, Weston-super-Mare, BS22 8SX
This family-friendly, modern pub in the seaside town of Weston-Super-Mare gives all types of dogs and their owners a very warm welcome. Its general manager, Di Bradley, has also been known to foster strays until they find their forever homes. Four-legged customers are catered for with bowls of water and lovely treats, and they’re welcome both in the pub’s inside and outside areas but asked to be kept on their leads. A lot of dogs pop in to the pub on a regular basis so the team decided to create a Facebook photo album dedicated to their furry visitors.
The Nightjar is truly a community pub; it hosts various activities for locals such as coffee mornings, arts and crafts workshops, and events to support “The Seashore Centre” children’s ward at Weston Hospital. They serve real ale, show sporting events on their big screen, and host quiz nights on Sundays, and live music on Fridays.
9. The Windmill Inn
Address & Map: 58 Nore Road, Bristol, BS20 6JZ
After beginning life as a fully functional windmill and before it existed as a pub, The Windmill Inn’s other incarnations included a headquarters for the home guard during World War II, a golf club house, and a hideout for smugglers. Situated smack-bang on Portishead’s waterfront, the pub overlooks the Severn Estuary, and is in a prime spot for dog walkers making the most of the beach directly in front.
And after bolting around on the sand, four-legged patrons can look forward to a much needed bowl of water and a treat to boot. You can order a nice pint and position yourself towards the glass wall which makes the most of the pub’s outstanding views. Their line-up of six real ales includes two guest ales which normally come from local breweries and change regularly to give locals something new to sample each time they come in. Hungry? You’ll also find a menu of British pub favourites that are home-made using fresh ingredients that are locally sourced where possible. The dining area is a dog-free zone, however, they’re more than happy to welcome your furry four-legged friends in the bar area and the garden.
10. The Rose & Crown
Address & Map: High Street, Bath, BA2 7SN
Dogs and country walks go hand in hand together. The Rose & Crown is a late 18th century inn just south of Bath that’s surrounded by acres of country highways and byways which provide ample opportunity for doggy adventures. Once you’re both tuckered out from exploring, head to the pub to refuel. They have an impressive selection of real ales, beers, and wines, as well as home-made meals and afternoon tea. Your dog can sit with you while you eat and will be offered a nice treat of his own.
Though it’s been updated, the late 18th century watering hole still retains its traditional charm. Oak-panelled walls and a stone fireplace with a wood burner make the open plan bar and restaurant area a gloriously inviting space. There’s a large terrace at the back that captures the sun well into the evening and regular entertainment in the form of quiz nights, bingo and live music. If your dog’s having too much fun to leave, make a holiday out of it and stay in one of their six dog-friendly B&B rooms.
While these pubs are super dog-friendly, not all watering holes are as welcoming to our furry drinking buddies, so if you’re not sure whether a bar is dog-friendly it’s always worth calling, Tweeting, emailing, or just stopping by without your dog to ask and make they won’t be turned away. If you’re worried about the music or punters being too loud for your dog in the evenings and would prefer them to be tucked up in bed you can find a great local dog sitter who offers dog boarding in Bath on Rover.com.
Featured image: Hall and Woodhouse