15 Excellent dog friendly pubs in Essex

Dog friendly pubs
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Essex is the perfect place to head for walkies whatever scenery you’d like, as between the large expanse of coastline, extensive forests, and areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there’s always something new to explore.

You can sniff out some history too, as there’s Roman ruins, Viking relics, Norman castles, and Medieval market towns scattered throughout the county.

Whether you and the pooch have commuted out of the city for some culture, or you’re exploring some of the beautiful countryside, here’s 15 delightful dog-friendly pubs in Essex where you and the pooch can kick back, relax, and refresh after walkies.

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The Plough

The Plough sits in the heart of Debden metaphorically and geographically and is a staple of village life, including hosting their annual village potato growing competition. (Yes, you read that right.)

There’s proper food made from local ingredients, real ales and a CAMRA accreditation to boot, and good dogs are welcome in the bar. Debden is often overlooked in favour of nearby Saffron Walden, but it’s worth visiting for some of the lovely local walks.

The Owl

This family and dog-friendly pub in Essex is perfectly positioned beside Epping Forest, making it the ideal oasis for people and pooches enjoying one of the best dog walking spots in the county.

The Owl has a large, grassy garden in case you haven’t had enough fresh air, but dogs are allowed in the bar too.

Speaking of your four-legged friend, they’ll go mutts over the place as they have their own doggy menu. (Including pooch-friendly Sunday roasts.)

King William

The landlords at the King William are barking mad about dogs and have had a host of their own pub dogs over the years, including the current pair Mini and Tamu. (Mu for short!)

It’s a small pub and they don’t do food, but it’s a great spot for making friends and enjoying a social drink. There’s also plenty of bar snacks to tide over any rumbling bellies.

Hanover Inn

This 300 year-old pub is one of the best in Hanover, proven by their CAMRA pub of the year in 2019. However last year, uncertainty loomed for The Hanover as the landlords considered converting the pub into flats.

The future of this historic venue looks more certain now, and they’ve had a cracking refurb, so do try to “pup” in and enjoy this traditional English pub while you can.

Plus you’ll need to get your paws on the positively mammoth Sunday Roasts they offer.

The Golden Lion

This dog-friendly pub in Essex has won numerous awards over the years, including a recent CAMRA pub of the year.

If you like your pubs to have a historic feel, you’ll love it here because The Golden Lion has character in spades. Plus, there’s almost always a pooch or two hanging out, so you might make some new friends.

There’s a lovely little garden for those sultry dog days of summer, and regular events throughout the year should you need some extra tempting.

The Fox Inn

The Fox Inn won the Colchester Gazette Restaurant of the Year award last year, and it’s the best place in Mersea to “pup” in for some delicious, hearty grub and good pint.

Pooches don’t miss out either, as this dog-friendly Essex pub allows dogs in the bar area and there’s a jar of free treats on the bar and bowls of water to be dished out to thirsty doggos.

The Red Cow

The picturesque Red Cow is a traditional country pub with a warm and welcoming atmosphere for humans and hounds alike. The scrummy, seasonal food is always the talk of the town, especially their super Sunday lunches.

They also have pet-friendly accommodation available, and they’re more than used to having walkers and pooches turn up to refresh themselves after walkies in the gorgeous local countryside.

Foresters Arms

The Forester’s Arms is another excellent choice for refreshments for anyone out walking in Epping Forest, including your furry friend.

This pub isn’t just barking mad about mutts, this dog-friendly Essex pub even stocks doggy beer to quench your pup’s thirst. Family-run and recently refurbished, this pub is a beautiful, laid-back hangout with a great location right on the doorstep of Epping Forest.

The Sun Inn

The Sun Inn stands out thanks to it’s appropriate yellow livery, and welcomes dogs to join their owners in the garden, front and back bars, and the oak room to relax.

It’s the perfect pit stop after walkies around the astonishing countryside in the Stour Valley and Dedham Vale. Not just retro and relaxing, their food is featured in the Michelin Guide so it’s not to be sniffed at.

Plus, there is a dog-friendly guest a room available.

The Fox & Raven

The Fox & Raven is run by Vintage Inns so there’s a a great menu of countryside classics and comfort food plus a wide range of drinks.

And like most Vintage Inns, pooches are welcome to join you in the bar so they are another dog-friendly pub in Essex.

It’s lovely and cosy inside and very welcoming, so you and the pup are sure to feel perfectly relaxed as you rest your tired feet and paws.

Lobster Smack

Maybe it’s my visual mind, but this pub’s name always makes me chuckle. It’s mentioned in Charles Dicken’s Great Expectations too, so it clearly stood out to him as well.

As you would expect from a pub that’s stood long enough to get a literary nod, the Lobster Smack is a traditional pub with a cosy and accommodating vibe, and it allows doggies inside.

That being said, you might want to nab an outside seat though to enjoy the sea-views.

Cock Inn

Titters at the name aside, The Cock Inn is a fabulous pub whether you’re alone or with the dog. Your pooch can join you in the public bar or the sun-soaked garden.

It’s considered a bit of a hidden gem in Harlow, offering a traditional “proper” pub where you can sit and watch some sport, play pool, or just nurse a pint with good company.

The Queen’s Head

The Queen’s Head is a dog-friendly pub in Essex with multiple awards and a super community vibe that’s beloved by locals and visitors alike.

A proper backstreet boozer, you’ll always find a warm welcome for you and your furry friend.

There’s water bowls and a jar of free treats on the bar for any canine customers, and the pair of you can cosy up by the log burner or sprawl out in the large garden while you enjoy some of their ales on offer.

The Dog and Duck

Despite being only 10 minutes from the airport, The Dog and Duck is a handsome village pub that feels like a country escape.

They’re child and dog-friendly so the whole family can head inside to enjoy a drink and a bite to eat.

The menu boasts hearty pub classics as well as some comfort cuisine, perfect for filling up before a walk around the picturesque village.

New Bell Inn

The New Bell Inn has a lot of history and character features, despite its name. This real-ale pub has won the CAMRA pub of the year gong twice, a testament to the range of brews and the staff’s knowledge. (They also regularly stock Lillies cider, which is a personal favourite.)

Meanwhile, your pooch won’t miss out since the lovely landlords provide plenty of fuss, treats, and water.

Like other town favourites The Hanover and The Alma, this is a dog-friendly pub on Essex’s coast you can’t miss.

More pubs: Kent, Liverpool, Nottingham