With more and more canine pals heading on days out with their families, we’ve scoured Sussex for the best dog friendly activities and events that the whole pack can enjoy together. Whether you’re seeking an education into our counties rich history, or an excuse to jump in at the deep end, these dog friendly days out will ensure no one will miss out and you'll never have to leave your beloved pet at home!
1. Tackle the Muddy Dog Challenge at Eridge Park in East Sussex
Welcoming humans and their dogs to take part as a team, the Muddy Dog Challenge is a 2.5km or 5km obstacle race to raise money for the dogs and cats at Battersea. Taking place on 11th September 2021 for its third year running, the beautiful country estate of Eridge Park is on the border of Kent and Sussex, near to Tunbridge Wells. Boasting breath-taking views across the Sussex Weald, it promises to be a fun-filled (and filthy) family day out that you and your furry friends will also enjoy.
2. Enjoy a Vineyard Tour at Bolney Wine Estate in West Sussex
Located in the heart of rural Sussex, Bolney Wine Estate is one of the oldest and most beautiful vineyards in England. Pioneers of English wine, they offer visitors and their dogs the chance to stroll through acres of vines and marvel at the many different varieties of grapes that go into their award winning wines. Make a day of it with a vineyard tour followed by a sit down meal at their Eighteen Acre Café. Dogs are allowed to join you as you tuck into their locally sourced menu whilst enjoying the views from their spectacular balcony overlooking the ripening vines.
3. Ride the Kent & East Sussex Railway Together
Enjoy a trip back in time as you and your dog ride the Kent and East Sussex railway together. The very first ‘light railway’ to be constructed in 1900, this fine example runs between Tenterden and Bodiam in around 50 minutes. With a unique collection of trains offering guests the chance to ride in a old-fashioned carriage compartments - some of which are approaching 150 years old but still going strong - its a day out that the whole family can enjoy. Dogs are welcome to book a ticket along with their owners, providing they are well behaved and remain on a lead during their visit.
4. Paddleboard with Your Pooch Across Sussex
Paddle boarding with your pet has become a popular way to enjoy some one-on-one time together out on the water. With over 90 miles of coastline to explore, Sussex boasts some of the best beaches and prettiest riverways for outdoor water activities. Start out with some lessons to perfect your technique so that once your confidence is high, you can take to the water with your enthusiastic crew mate and glide into brand new adventures together!
5. Visit the Weald & Downland Museum in West Sussex
A hidden gem nestled in the stunning Lavant valley between the villages of Singleton and West Dean, the Weald & Downland Museum is like no other museum we have ever visited. An immersive insight into what life was really like for people living in years gone by, visitors and their four legged friends are invited to see, touch and even smell how life once was for our ancestors.
With a calendar of activities suitable for humans of all ages, dogs are welcomed to enter most of the Museum’s buildings, cafés and can spend time enjoying the outdoor deck. Plus with over 40-acres of stunning natural beauty waiting to be explored, their walking trails are ideal for you both to get up close to the history of this extraordinary living museum.
6. Join a Dog Swim at Saltdean Lido in East Sussex
If you have an aqua-pup that loves to play in the water, then Saltdean Lido might have just the thing! The UK’s biggest and best dog swim event, DOGTEMBER is back for 2021. Taking place over three weekends from the 11th - 26th September, all profits from this event will go towards the Saltdean Lido restoration fund to bring back the listed building to its former glory. Both owners and dogs must purchase individual tickets and swims have been broken into categories to suit pups of all size. So book your place now before they sell out for a swim in the sunshine to look forward to!
WILD CARD: Day Trip at Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens
Although it's a little further afield, we couldn’t not mention this incredible day out that the whole family will enjoy. Winner of the ‘ ‘Be Dog Friendly’ Awards for two years in a row, the Cotswold Wildlife Park has been welcoming dogs since it first opened in 1970. The only large zoological collection in the UK to allow your canine friend to join you on your ‘walking safari’, all well-behaved dogs, and humans, can get close to the the spectacular wildlife that roams this carefully landscaped park set in the beautiful Bradwell Grove Estate.
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The Best Dog Friendly Stays across the UK
Offering everything from gourmet treats to complimentary welcome packs, these pet friendly retreats will provide a well-deserved break that your dog will enjoy as much as you do!
Image credits: Muddy Dog Challenge, Bolney Wine Estate, Chris Hardy via Unsplash, Kent and East Sussex Railway, Jamie Street via Unsplash, Tyler Kissner via Pexels, Elise Bunting via Pexels, Nima Sarram via Unsplash, The Weald & Downland Museum, The Good Dog Guide, Saltdean Lido and the Cotswold Wildlife Park