Nothing beats being able to bring the whole family with you when you go travelling - four legged friends and all! It can be tough to find activities that are suitable for dogs, but luckily we're here to share some top tips for visiting Colchester with your furry friend.

While there are plenty of places to visit further afield, there's just as much to do in the heart of Colchester. Keep reading on for more information about where to eat and what to see while you're visiting with dogs!

Getting to Colchester with Dogs

Whether you’re travelling to Colchester by Car or Train, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Colchester if you’re if you’re travelling with a pup. While a car would be best if you're staying at accommodation which isn't accessible by public transport, taking the train to Colchester is also a great option.

With direct links from major cities including London and Norwich, you can take the train to one of three stations: Colchester North Station, Colchester Town Station or Hythe. Colchester North Station is the largest of the three, but Colchester Town Station will drop you right in the heart of the city. If you do take the train, you can travel on Greater Anglia trains with up to two dogs, free of charge, provided they do not occupy a seat (correct as of July 2024).

Another way to reach Colchester is via bus. Many of the major bus companies operating within Colchester do allow dogs on their services - including First Bus, Arriva and Hedingham and Chambers – but this offering is subject to rules and may incur additional charges, so be to research individual services beforehand to ensure you’re not caught out.

Dog Friendly Things to Do in Colchester

Once you arrive in Colchester, you'll be able to enjoy a number of outdoor activities. You have plenty of outdoor green spaces which welcome dogs, although they may be slightly further from the city centre so be prepared to walk or drive.

One option is High Woods Country Park, which is a beautiful, sprawling outdoor area with free parking which is loved by visitors and locals alike. Although not an official annual event, keep an eye out for the ‘Colchester Westie Walk’, where up to 80 Westies have been known to traverse the woodland paths!

High Woods Country Park

High Woods Country Park is a lovely outdoor green space, suitable for all seasons.

If you’d prefer to stay close to the city centre, there are some very good options and spots to explore, including the city centre. Local shops will have individual rules as to whether dogs are allowed, but many coffee shops and cafes offer outdoor spaces suitable for dogs (keep reading for more information on dog friendly outlets!).

Although Upper Castle Park is not accessible for dogs, Lower Castle Park is an open green space located in the heart of Colchester, less than 5 minutes from the High Street. While Dogs are not allowed to enter the water of the boating lake or the river, they can enjoy a run around the field and are allowed to join you for a coffee or a puppuccino from Putt in the Park, the mini-golf café located at the top of the hill. Please be aware, dogs are not allowed on the course.

From Lower Castle Park, you'll also be able to begin a self-guided walk alongside the city's Roman and Medieval Gates. This route is entirely accessible for dogs and can be found digitally online

Video Thumbnail - vimeo - Colchester's Roman Walls

The self-guided 'Walk the Roman and Medieval Gates' walk is fully accessible for dogs.

Pup Friendly Places to Eat in Colchester

Around town, there are many dog-friendly cafes, pubs and restaurants, including the laid-back Romano Lounge, Cafe 21 with it's lovely secluded garden, and the tasty No 10 Museum Street Cafe, which has dog-friendly snacks available - they even have dog friendly ice-cream sometimes! You can see even more restaurants and cafes on the Dog Friendly Colchester page.

If you enjoyed this itinerary, be sure to check out our other dog friendly destinations, and our Dog Friendly Colchester page for more inspiration. Remember while you're exploring, be sure to adhere to local and venue rules to ensure the safety and comfort of others and clear up after your dog using the waste bins provided.

Why not visit our other 'dog friendly day trip' blogs for more inspiration? Other destinations you may enjoy include Chappel and Mersea Island!