Stratford Upon Avon
In a Nutshell
It may be a must on every overseas tourist's itinerary, but Stratford delivers on dog friendliness too with plenty of parkland, good walks, shops and attractions.
Parking and Pooping
Stratford lies west of the M40 in South Warwickshire and is a bustling market town on the banks of the River Avon, famous for its Shakespeare connections. The town centre parking can be busy, but we prefer to cross the bridge heading south out of town and park either in the Swans Nest or Recreation Ground car parks. Both car parks are adjacent to the extensive parkland on the south bank of the river so there is plenty of grass for pup and public toilets too.
From these car parks you have the option to stroll the south bank of the Avon, where you have pathways and numerous benches to sit and enjoy the river views, or you can cross the footbridge over the canal basin and stroll in front of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre towards the town centre. Even on hot day, you can find shade under the broad trees on the extensive green or along the river side.
Around the centre the pavements are generally wide and from the roundabout on Bridge St runs the pedestrian Henley St, so walking is generally easy, even during the busy tourist season.
Keeping the Humans Amused
There is plenty to see and do in Stratford. You can stroll the river, hire a boat by the hour or soak up the history of the town. Ghost walks are popular and a great way to see the town. Shakespeare's birthplace is on Henley St and whilst not dog friendly, there are plenty of places to perch outside and people watch on the pedestrian street while the family check out the history.
As you would expect there is a wide range of shops, from high st brands to independents, plenty of gift shops, curios and crafts and an extensive antique centre off Sheep St. We noticed many of the shops have dog bowls outside, so you're never far away from a water top up as you walk round.
You're spoiled for choice in Stratford when it comes to food. As you cross the footbridge over the Avon you'll see the many riverside pubs with extensive patios and outdoor seating. The Garrick pub on the High St, the Old Thatch Tavern on Greenhill St, the Dirty Duck on Waterside and the Bear near the Butterfly Farm are all dog friendly.
Henley St hosts a number of cafes with pavement seating and is great for people watching and getting a good fuss from the passers-by. Bensons Tea Rooms welcome dogs inside as does Act V on Sheep St, and we're sure there are many others and will add them to the page next time we visit.
Of course, there are plenty of places to pick up some fish and chips and find a bench by the river and even McDonalds is just a stones throw from the large green by the canal basin.