Once the ancient capital of England, Winchester is now a vibrant town packed with history and culture perched on the edge of the South Downs.
It’s the starting point for some fabulous walks in the AONB, along the crystal-clear waters of the River Itchen, or leisurely strolls around town to take in the sights such as the medieval walls and cathedral.
It’s also home to some fantastic pubs, many of which welcome pooches, including these 15 wonderful dog-friendly pubs in Winchester.
One of the prettiest pubs in Winchester, the Golden Lion marries modernity with Victorian charm. As well as being dog-friendly, they have a separate doggy garden where you can sit out the way and give your pooch a chance to meet some new friends.
This is on the edge of town towards the South Downs, so it’s the perfect place to start or end a countryside stroll.
Opening Times: Mon-Sat: 11:00-23:00 / Sun: 11:00-18:00
The Wykeham Arms might look like an old backstreet boozer, but this 18th-century coaching inn is both a beloved dog-friendly pub in Winchester and a well-established friendly hotel too.
It’s sandwiched in between the cathedral and the old college, and it can be easy to think you’ve stumbled onto a period drama set when you find it. The Arms are brimming with tons of vintage charm, and one of the best drink selections in town.
Opening Times: Weekdays: 12:00-23:00 / Sun: 12:00-22:00
If you’re on a walk to visit the Hospital of St Cross, you’ll want to stop by Bell Inn. These guys proudly welcome dogs “no matter how muddy” and there’s always free treats at the ready for furry visitors.
The inside is airy but cosy, especially when the fire’s lit, and it’s easy to spend as long here as you did wandering the meadows and waterways. The kids will love it come summer as well, since there’s a bouncy castle every weekend.
Opening Times: Mon-Fri: 11:30-23:00 / Sat: 11:30-23:30 / Sun: 12:00-22:30
The staff at the Black Boy fuss any dogs through the doors, doing occasional rounds to hand out gravy bones. It’s a busy backstreet boozer with the quirkiest decor, where antiques and oddities clutter from taxidermy animals and WW1 prosthetics clutter every inch, and you’ll notice something new every visit.
Be sure to keep an “eye” out for the ladies loo. (You’ll see why!) It’s also a great stopping point after you and the pooch have explored the river walk.
Address: 1 Wharf Hill, Winchester, SO23 9NP
Opening Times: Mon-Fri: 12-14:30 & 17:00-23:00 / Sat: 11:00-23:00 / Sun: 12:00-22:30
The Old Vine is another historic, dog-friendly pub in Winchester allowing people and pups to relax in the bar or flower-filled patio. However, no dogs are allowed in the restaurant or guest rooms.
You won’t be missing out though, since you can still order food and the small terrace is smoke-free and sun-filled in the summer, and in the winter you can warm up beside a roaring fire.
There’s water bowls for Fido and a great range of real ales, so neither you or the pooch will go thirsty.
Opening Times: Every day: 11:00-23:00
If you hadn’t already noticed, most of the pubs in Winchester have a historic look and feel. The King Alfred is another charming and characterful pub and hotel a few minutes walk away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.
It’s run by the same group who manage other Winchester favourites The St James and The Mucky Duck, as well doggy fave The Foresters Arms in the New Forest, so you can expect the same exceptional local food and friendly service!
Address: 11 Saxon Road, Winchester, SO23 7DJ
Opening Times: Mon-Fri: 12:00-22:30 / Sat: 12:00-23:00 / Sun: 12:00-22:00
About three miles out of town in the quaint village of Littleton is The Running Horse. Surrounded by countryside, this traditional inn is a great stopping point for you and the dog to have dinner and a drink after a walk through the meadows.
This lovingly restored village pub offers up fine ales, simple, scrumptious food, and a warm welcome for any visitor whether they’re human or hound.
Opening Times: Mon-Sat: 08:00-23:00 / Sun: 08:00-22:00
For beer fanatics, you need to head to The Queen Inn. Not only does this dog-friendly pub in Winchester regularly feature in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide, there’s a minimum of 10 real ales available at any time.
However, the jewel in this queen’s crown is their own microbrewery so you can even sip on a bev brewed onsite. It’s also perfectly positioned by the river and Keat’s walk so you and the pooch can stretch your legs after a pint.
Opening Times: Mon-Sat: 11:00-22:30 / Sun: 11:00-20:00
Not far from the King Alfred or the train station is the Jolly Farmer. Jolly by name and nature, this super friendly pub had a surprisingly dark past. As the noose by the bar hints, rumour has it prisoners were held here before being hung on nearby Gallows Hill.
The execution site is unknown, but they reckon it could be by the car park outside. Spooky! Thankfully, there are no grisly tales recently, only rave reviews of the atmosphere and grub.
Address: Andover Road, Winchester, SO22 6AE
Opening Times: Every day: 11:00-00:00
The William Walker takes its name from the diver who saved Winchester Cathedral and their sign is a real vintage diver’s helmet. This family and dog-friendly pub in Winchester is right in the shadow of the cathedral and is the best spot to sit and admire the ancient architecture.
Plus, it makes for a great escape from the busy centre with tasty food and drinks, cheerful service, and even some board games. (Just in case you needed an excuse to stay for longer!)
Address: 34 The Square, Winchester, SO23 9EX
Opening Times: Mon-Thur & Sun: 12:00-22:30 / Fri: 12:00-23:00 / Sat:12:00-23:30
Another exceptional pub run by the Little Pub Group, you can expect the usual easygoing attitude, quality food, and vast drink range at The Mucky Duck. (The gin list alone is beyond belief!)
Like it’s sister pubs, the Duck is both beautiful and modern inside with a twist of antique charm. This dog-friendly boozer makes a cool and casual hangout for you and the pooch to kick back in at any time of day.
Address: 84 Hyde Street, Winchester, SO23 7DW
Opening Times: Various
Sister pub to The Mucky Duck and King Alfred, the St James is further down the road and offers yet another traditional and dog-friendly pub in Winchester.
This watering hole has more of a “proper pub” vibe, especially when compared to the Duck. It’s also a favourite with furry visitors and plenty of local doggos “pup” in after walkies. Plus the pub’s own pair of labs, Basil and Maya, might be there to make friends with.
Address: 3 Romsey Rd, Winchester SO22 5BE
Opening Times: Various - Check here - closed Mondays.
If you’ve been walking along the river and not yet stopped at a pub, (or fancy one more,) the Bishop on the Bridge is, funnily enough, right beside the bridge. The terrace looks out over the river, perfect for a pint on a sunny day watching the world go by.
It was recently refurbished and looks fantastic, but the wide range of beers and home-cooked pub fare are the real crowd-pleasers. Your pup won’t go hungry either, as there’s always a stock of free treats for furry patrons.
Address: 1 High Street, Winchester, SO23 9JX
Opening Times: Mon-Sat: 12:00-23:00 / Sun: 12:00-22:30
If you find yourself further down the river in Shawford, or looking for a pit-stop after a walk on the South Downs, stop by the Bridge. This spacious country pub welcomes families and furballs and is worth a visit for the mouth-watering menu.
There are even some choice snacks for your dog, with tubs of doggy ice-cream on sale plus free treats and big fuss from the staff. It’s a little out of the way if you’re staying in central Winchester, but perfect to “pup” in if you’re nearby.
Opening Times: Mon-Sat: 11:00-23:00 / Sun:11:00-22:30
Another family and dog-friendly pub in Winchester’s high street, The Crown and Anchor aims to be a crowd-pleasing and welcoming pub with great British grub. It has the perfect view of the Guildhall across the street, but the homely food is what captured my attention.
Despite being on the busy broadway, the pub still has a beautiful “yarden” tucked away out back, where you and the pup can sit in the sun if you don’t fancy sitting by the bustling bar.
Opening Times: Every day: 12:00-22:30
More pubs: Shrewsbury, Bath, London