Dog-friendly attractions in Liverpool: Pubs, walking routes & more
As warmer weather approaches and 1 April marks the beginning of National Pet Month, do we really need another excuse to explore the Liverpool City Region’s top dog-friendly attractions?
From the best routes for walkies to the finest pubs and cafés where pooches are permitted, Your Move has put together a guide to the perfect day out with your pedigree chum.
Words by Mark Langshaw
Events & Initiatives
One of the best things about dog ownership for many is the social opportunities it brings, and here in the Liverpool City Region there are numerous events and initiatives to foster them.
The Sefton Park Dog Jog is a run and fun outing for you and your pet, set to take place on 12 August. It’s a friendly, non-competitive 5K event where entrants will enjoy fresh air, exercise and the chance to mingle with fellow dog lovers.
Meanwhile, pooch owners with a penchant for all things quirky will be barking up the right tree at the New Brighton Seaside Festival, as this year’s event includes a Doggie Fancy Dress Parade.
Organised by Wirral Animal Sanctuary, the May Bank Holiday Monday showcase is a chance to dress up your pup in a hilarious costume, all in the name of charity.
If that’s too offbeat for your taste, community group Dog Lovers Liverpool organises regular social walks so dog owners can meet likeminded individuals and raise money for local animal charities.
The organisation, which arranges outings at destinations including Sefton Park, Walton Hall Park, Formby Beach and Calderstones Park, can be found on Facebook or at www.meetup.com/DogLoversLiverpool.
Pubs & Restaurants
No pooch owner likes to encounter the dreaded ‘No Dogs Allowed’ sign, and luckily there are plenty of food and drink venues in the Liverpool City Region where canine guests are more than welcome.
Located in the leafy heart of Calderstones Park, The Reader Café is a top pick for anyone who prefers breakfast with their pup by their side, incessantly begging for scraps no doubt.
Opening at 8.30am, which may tie in nicely with the morning walk, this dog-friendly venue serves up everything from tea and toast to specialist veggie dishes and only closes in extreme weather.
Elsewhere in South Liverpool, Lark Lane’s Milo Lounge is a good shout for a laid back lunch after a long dog walk in Sefton Park.
Large open windows mean your pet won’t feel cooped up inside and the venue’s diverse menu caters for all tastes, whether you’re after tapas, a hearty main or a veggie dish.
A short walk from Formby Beach and its golden sands, The Freshfield pub is widely regarded as one of the region’s best alehouses, and punters on four legs are just as welcome as those on two.
While you wash down high-end pub grub with real ale, your furry friend can enjoy doggie delicacies from a treats menu. There’s even a designated dining room for dogs and their owners – the ‘Freshie’ wasn’t shortlisted for a National Pub of the Year award for nothing.
Those seeking the hair of the dog treatment near Liverpool city centre should look no further than The Caledonia, a venue which was recognised as the region’s most pooch-friendly in the DogBuddy blog’s Dog-friendly Pub Awards 2016.
The Caledonia Street tavern is said to be so dog-friendly that non-pooch-owning regulars often turn up with pockets full of treats to engage with both human and canine customers.
Dog owners are spoilt for choice when it comes to walking routes in the Liverpool City Region, where lush green spaces compete with sandy beaches.
You can’t beat a bark in the park and Merseyside has plenty of these where you and your canine companion can stretch your legs, including Wirral’s 60-acre Royden Park.
Owned by Wirral Council, this picturesque parkland is something of a mecca for local dog owners, complete with canine-friendly café Barking Mad and designated areas for off-lead frolics.
Areas where your pooch must be placed on a leash are clearly sign-posted and dog waste bags are provided at the café and car park, encouraging owners to clean up after their pets.
Moving into sandier territory, Formby Beach is top dog for sunny day jaunts. The nearby pine woods provide ample shade for your pup and there’s an entire coastline for them to explore.
The site is managed by the National Trust, which has provided self-filling water bowls near the public toilets and parking areas, and the organisation maintains picnic areas where dogs are welcome.
All dogs must be kept on a lead while passing through the squirrel reserve but if you forget to bring yours along, the National Trust rangers can provide a spare at the entrance kiosk.
“Dog owners are spoilt for choice when it comes to walking routes in the Liverpool City Region, where lush green spaces compete with sandy beaches.”
If your canine chum is starting to look like something the cat dragged in, it might be time to consider a visit to a grooming salon.
There is no shortage of these in the region but few are as prestigious as MuckyPups on Allerton Road, a parlour opened by Scouse comedy legend Ricky Tomlinson in 2012.
Along with treatments such as grooming, nail clipping and de-fleaing, the South Liverpool salon provides a wider range of pet services, including micro-chipping.
Delivering a similar array of services in the city centre, DogOne is also well equipped to cater for pampered pooches. Liverpool ONE’s only pet grooming salon even stocks organic treats and food as well as accessories like snazzy leads and collars.
If your pup isn’t a fan of being hauled off to a strange location, why not bring the pampering to them? The Dog Wash Company runs a mobile grooming service which operates across Liverpool, Wirral and Ellesmere Port.
Transporting the necessary equipment in specially converted vans, the firm – which also has a salon on Marcus Street in Birkenhead – is always on hand to spruce up your pooch at home.