14 of the best dog friendly pubs in Essex

PUBLISHED: 10:54 20 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:32 02 July 2020

The Lobster Smack, Canvey Island (c) diamond geezer, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The Lobster Smack, Canvey Island (c) diamond geezer, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


Finding the perfect pub that happens to be dog friendly is no easy feat. So with that in mind we’ve found 14 places you can enjoy lagers with your lab, Pims with the pug or beers with your Bichon Frise

1) The Travellers Friend, Epping Green

The Travellers Friend in Epping is a family owned, locals pub with a warm and friendly atmosphere. Expect traditional pub food such as scampi and chips, gourmet burgers and home cooked, honey roast ham with fried eggs.

The bar stocks an impressive range of drinks from draught and bottled beers, real ales that are changed regularly, and a great selection of gins too. With the sprawling Epping Forest nearby as well, you'll have endless options for a pre or post pint walk.

2) The Finchingfield Lion, Finchingfield

Renovated by new owners in late 2016 The Finchingfield Lion has been transformed into the perfect example of a countryside pub. With a fresh new look for the outside and in, as well as a complete overhaul of the garden, it's a wonderful location for a relaxed drink or an evening meal.

The menu consists of simple classics such as steak and Guinness pie, bangers and mash and scampi and chips all cooked superbly and very reasonably priced. Dogs are more than welcome to be in the pub and the garden but are not permitted to be in the restaurant.

3) The Victory, Mersea Island

Enjoying a stunning waterfront location as The Victory has beautiful views of the Blackwater Estuary and the North Sea. The menu features incredible seafood dishes using fish that are delivered daily from the Mersea Island Fresh Catch as well as a host of contemporary pub favourites and a Sunday roast that's been hailed by locals as a real treat.

Just ten minutes from the centre of West Mersea, The Victory is an ideal stop off after a casual stroll or island exploring - and Fido's welcome too!

4) Forester's Arms, Loughton

Tucked away in Loughton, The Forester's Arms can be found on top of Baldwin's Hill with a fantastic outdoor seating area that has stunning landscape views and, at the right time, breathtaking sunsets.

With its quirky atmosphere and vintage décor this pub oozes character and the food is great too. Using the best seasonal ingredients and constantly working to keep the menu current, you'll find plenty to choose from. What's more, they also stock a huge selection of real ales.

5) The Queens Head, Maldon

Well known for its incredible riverside location and the stunning views that come with it, on a fine summer's day you'll be hard pressed to find a better place for a drink and a bite to eat than The Queens Head in Maldon.

Sit back and take in the vistas whilst enjoying delicious fresh food, all cooked to order with your choice of local ale such as Adnams, Maldon Brewing Company and Darkstar. There are numerous walking routes running near the River Chelmer and further out to the Heybridge Basin so you can tire out the pooch as much as you like before heading in for a drink.


Some more places for a beer in Essex:


6) The Olde Dog Inn, near Brentwood

The Olde Dog, perched between Ingrave and Little Burstead, is said to date back all the way to the 16th century and the evidence of this can be seen all over the inn from the low beamed ceilings to the rustic exposed fireplaces.

As a family-owned freehouse, The Olde Dog offers a huge variety of different beers and an ale collection that changes frequently. They even serve their very own "Olde Dog IPA". As the name would suggest, dogs are always welcome in the pub but must be kept to a special section that is known affectionately as the 'The Dog House'.

7) The Owl, near Loughton

The Owl is the perfect destination for foodies. The food served caters to all tastes, featuring fresh baked pizza, juicy steaks, and mouth watering, traditional Sunday roasts. All of this delicious food can, and should be, accompanied by a pint of the pub's many traditional ales.

Not only is The Owl ideal for families, the dog will love it there too. The huge beer garden with its incredible views gives them plenty of space to roam and they even have their very own doggy menu that's full of delicious doggy treats they'll love. A quick search on Google Maps shows that there are dozens of walks stretching from King George's Reservoir on one side and to Loughton on the other.

8) The Alma Inn, Harwich

Proudly serving the people of Harwich since the 1850s, The Alma Inn offers contemporary British food often with an Iberian twist. Tuck into fresh lobster, locally caught fish, oysters, crab and even a Spanish platter.

Wine plays an important role at The Alma Inn and their selection on offer is extensive and picked to complement the food on the menu. They also have a large variety of craft beers, real ales and ciders to choose from all sourced from local areas. The pub is just a couple minutes away from the Ha'penny Pier and your pup would certainly enjoy stretching their legs their or down the coast at Dovercourt Beach.

9) The Anchor, Danbury

The Anchor in Danbury is a quintessential English countryside pub. Its rustic décor and low hanging, traditional wooden ceiling beams create a cosy, relaxing atmosphere perfect for a quiet drink in the evening.

Outside, the spacious garden area is great for the kids and pups to enjoy while the abundance of flowers and greenery make it a wonderful spot to sit back in the sunshine. The food served is traditional pub fare, comforting classics that we all know and love - they even offer a delightful Afternoon Tea every Friday and Saturday.

10) The White Hart Inn, Margaretting Tye

If you're searching for somewhere to sit back and soak up the sun with a pint of real ale in hand, then look no further than The White Hart Inn in Margaretting Tye. The menu is mostly traditional pub grub but also features a lot of seasonal dishes too making use of the wealth of incredible produce that is available locally.

For beer lovers there is even a summer beer festival with over 80 real ales, beers and ciders as well as gin, champagne and a hog roast. On their website the pub has also chosen a number of local walks that have easy access to this top-quality location.


Spots for a day out in Essex:


11) The Old Windmill, South Hanningfield

It's said that The Old Windmill in South Hanningfield has been serving food since 1799 and the current owners who purchased it in 2011 have gone to great lengths to preserve its historical character and charm. Even though your four-legged friend may not appreciate that heritage, it will certainly love the expansive outside area.

Ancient wooden beams, authentic wood burning fires and solid flagstone floors make for a wonderful atmosphere. In contrast to the historical setting is the food: modern and fresh, the menu is comprised of both British classics and more exotic flavours that you might be surprised to find in a countryside pub.

12) The Hoop, Stock

The Hoop dates back to around 1460 when it was originally used as three weavers' cottages and it was converted into an ale house roughly 100 years after that. Although we can't be sure, we'd like to think that dogs have been accompanying their owners for that long as well.

Today, the pub is a handsome, traditional gastro pub with timber frames throughout and charming brick fireplaces that are lit during winter months. The food at The Hoop is fresh and homecooked including battered cod, toad in the hole or pie and mash.

13) Lobster Smack, Canvey Island

This classic seaside pub on Canvey Island is great whatever the weather. Guests can take in the sea air on a sunny day or escape the chill by the fireside in the "Drifter Bar" upstairs. The Lobster Smack is teeming with history and devoted literature fans may know that it gets a mention in the Charles Dickens classic 'Great Expectations'.

The estuarine views up Holehaven Creek are well worth walking for while the dog will love getting their nose in the stretching green areas.

14) The Bull, Lower Langley Green

First established in 1780, The Bull in Langley is a charming country house with a warm and welcoming local pub atmosphere. Located around 30 minutes drive from Saffron Walden, it's the perfect pub to visit when you're taking the pub for a secluded countryside stroll.

On Fridays between 6pm and 9pm they mix things up with Indian street food from Arjo Bhaji Box, allowing you to enjoy that end of the working week takeaway from the comfort of one of Essex's most traditional pubs.


Follow Essex Life on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Latest from the Essex Life