London with a dog: Tips for a relaxed holiday
Diesen Beitrag gibt es auch auf:
London has always been one of my absolute favorite cities and it quickly became clear that we would like to take Frieda with us to this metropolis at some point. So that Frieda's city trip doesn't turn into a torture, we had to approach the planning from scratch this time - starting with the journey to finding the right accommodation. I can already anticipate one thing - the trip to London was an absolute dream. In this blog post I would therefore like to summarize everything I have learned about traveling to London with a dog.
- Entry requirements for dogs
- Traveling to London with a dog
- Find dog-friendly accommodation in London
- Dog friendly things to do in London
- Restaurant tips: eating out with your dog in London
1. Entry requirements for dogs in London and England: Don't forget tapeworm treatment!
In order for your dog to be allowed to go to England and London, it needs an EU pet passport, a valid rabies vaccination and a microchip. Unlike when traveling within the EU with a dog, you must also have a tapeworm treatment carried out to enter Great Britain. This may be administered no earlier than 5 days before entry and no later than 24 hours before entry. Unfortunately, getting a wormer from the vet is not enough. The wormer must be administered by the veterinarian and documented with the exact time in the pet passport. So think about the appointment in good time, otherwise you will be refused entry at the border crossing. If you are coming from the following countries, the obligation to treat tapeworms does not apply: Finland, Ireland, Malta and Norway. Good, by the way, if you're planning to travel in and out of Ireland via the UK.
2. Traveling to London with a dog: With the Eurotunnel or ferry to England?
In recent years we have always flown to London. But since this is out of the question with a dog, we decided to drive through the Eurotunnel. This was perfect for us. The process is extremely uncomplicated. The first thing you do is head to the check-in area with your car. Here you enter your booking number at the machine or with the staff and you will receive your ticket. Then it's off to the Pet Reception. In France it is a drive-in, in England it is a reception building. Here you present your dog's pet ID card (of course with the documented tapeworm treatment) and have the chip read. By the way, you can do it yourself. You will then receive a hanger for your car and can continue to passport control. With that everything is settled. Waiting times can be bridged on the specially set up dog parks before we all get on the train and through the tunnel. The journey takes around 30 minutes. Including all checks and waiting time, we needed around one and a half hours.
If you want to take the ferry to London, you can take the ferry from Calais to Dover or from Dunkirk to Dover. There are two providers: P&O and DFDS. What both providers have in common is that the dogs have to stay in the car on the approximately two-hour drive to Dover. Unfortunately, it is not possible to take them on board. But here, too, your dog's passport will be checked before departure. Tip: If you also want to travel to Northern England or Scotland, the night ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam (DFDS) is also an option. Pet cabins can be booked here. In this article you will also find all the information about taking a ferry with a dog in Europe.
Driving in London: Important information
So that you don't fall into a cost trap, you have to take care of two things before you travel to London: you have to pay the London City toll if you plan to drive in the city center and you have to book your car online for the low emission Register batch. You pay a congestion charge of £11.50 for driving in central London. And if you don't have a green sticker, you also pay a so-called Low Emission Charge (even in the entire London area). And very important: even if you have a green sticker, you have to register your car online in advance.
Click here to register for the Low Emission Charge
This way to the London City Toll for London
Driving in England: Important rules
While driving through the Eurotunnel with a dog is quite relaxed, the first time driving on the left was quite a bit of a challenge for us. Driving in London, in particular, requires concentration (and sometimes good nerves). And since we chose a hotel on the outskirts of London in Greenwich, the traffic was probably harmless compared to the city center.
I can therefore only advise you to read through all the important rules for driving in the UK before you travel. That really helped us. The most important summarized:
- Convert speeds from miles to kilometers per hour. Always 1.6
- Roundabout: Turn left into the roundabout. If you want to take the first exit, then turn left. If you're driving straight ahead, don't blink. If you take the third exit, turn right as you enter. Attention, if there are several lanes, then pay attention to the signs and choose the right lane.
- Blitzer: There are not only normal Blitzer, but also the Average Time Controll. Here your average speed is recorded over a longer section.
- Tolls: There are almost no tolls on motorways in England. Exceptions are some bridges and tunnels. You can find local toll stations here. For information on the London congestion charge, see above.
3. Dog-friendly places to stay in London
As with any trip with a dog, you have the choice between a hotel and a holiday apartment in London. We were surprised how many hotels are completely dog-friendly. So the choice was really big. However, the location is almost more important. All districts with a (Royal) Park are perfect for a trip to London with a dog. We chose Greenwich, which we can definitely recommend. We stayed in the Novotel, just a stone's throw from the park.
Dog friendly areas of London
- Notting Hill
Alternatively, of course, you can live or camp entirely outside of London and take the dog-friendly train into the city.
4. Getting around London with a dog
Even if you're traveling by car, you probably don't want to use it to get around London. Public transport is better. These can be used with dogs without any restrictions, without additional costs and without a muzzle requirement. The tube is only allowed for dogs that can be carried in a bag. Better then: bus, taxi or fall back on my absolute insider tip: the Uber Boats.
The Uber Boat (formerly Thames Clipper) connects all the major highlights along the Thames. You can get tickets at the stations or online. We had our accommodation in Greenwich and were able to drive into the city and back very relaxed. Sightseeing included.
Getting around London: Dogs are allowed here
- Tube (small dogs only)
4. Dog activities in London
London is an exciting city. And of course you have to be considerate of your four-legged friends on a holiday in London with your dog. Nevertheless, there is a lot to experience and explore together here. I would therefore like to introduce you to the most dog-friendly activities and places.
With a dog in the London parks
Your dog will thank you if you spend a lot of time in London's parks, which, by the way, take up almost 18 percent of the area. Incidentally, Londoners are very relaxed about their dogs. Dogs are allowed to run, play and romp freely in the parks. Frieda has made many friends here. Of course, the same rules apply as always: the dog must be available, must not hunt animals (there are countless squirrels in the parks) and should be very friendly. And of course you put away everything the dog leaves behind.
The Royal Royal Parks in London:
St James's Park
City walk with dog along Regent's Canal
Of course you also want to explore the city area. A city walk along Regent's Canal is particularly beautiful. The Regent's Canal runs from Camden to King's Cross. Downtown meets local recreation here. The area is also known as the Little Venice of London. You are in the middle of London and yet it is totally relaxed.
Insider tip Tower Bridge with dog
In fact, you can take your dog to Tower Bridge's visitor level for free. However, he should not be afraid of riding an elevator. In addition, part of the floor is made of glass. Those who prefer to admire the bridge from the outside (like us) can best do so from the south side of the Thames. Here are some green spaces from which you can enjoy the view of London's landmarks in a particularly good and relaxed way.
Queens Walk: With a dog on the Thames
The Queens Walk runs along the River Thames with spectacular views of the city. There are always green spaces here, and the whole zone is car-free. It can still get quite crowded around noon. By the way: Along the Thames there are always small, hidden beaches where you can play with your dog.
Greenwich: This part of town is just perfect for a trip to London with a dog.
We've always skipped Greenwich in recent years, but this time it really was the star of our trip. Not only that the park is really beautiful and the view of the London skyline is simply fantastic. There is just so much to see here. The Old Royal Naval College, the Cutty Sark museum ship and the zero-median Royal Observatory, for example. If you loved Bridgerton like I did, you will also find the Ranger's House here - the town house of the Bridgerton family. Or you simply stroll through the incredibly pretty streets and go to one of the many pubs. And if you still want to see more of London, just hop on an Uber Boat with your dog.
Shoreditch and the East End: So much to see
Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed in London's museums, but you can take a look at the street art in East London together with your dog. Even for free. The Shoreditch and East End areas are really exciting and worth seeing. However, there are not quite as many green spaces here. So more suitable for a trip.
The districts in the west: Well suited for London with a dog
The two districts of Kensington and Chelsea are in the west of the city. It's not that crowded here, there are some small parks and some really impressive buildings. Paddington and Marylebone are also among the luxury residential areas that are perfect for exploring with dogs.
Notting Hill - better avoided on Saturdays
Thanks to its proximity to Hyde Park, pretty Notting Hill is ideal for a London vacation with your dog. However, the market is held on Saturdays, which can be really stressful for your dog.
5. Restaurant tips for London with a dog
In general, dog-friendly restaurants in London are pretty much the same everywhere: there are plenty, you just have to find them. In fact, finding one in London is easy, as many dog-friendly restaurants and pubs have signs on the door.
Dog friendly restaurants and cafes in London
- Shake Shack: The burger chain even has a dog menu. There are locations in Tottenham Court Rd, Victoria, Covent Garden, Canary Wharf, Leicester Square and Stratford.
- The Trafalgar Tavern (Greenwich): Located on the River Thames, this beautiful pub has a great outdoor area. Dogs are also welcome inside.
- The Sail Loft (Greenwich): Modern pub right on the Thames. For dogs you will find a small bar with snacks, water and blankets.
- Starbucks: You can also take your dog with you to Starbucks branches. Perfect as they can be found on every corner in London.
- The Pavilion Cafe (Greenwich): Beautiful cafe in the historic Pavilion in Greenwich Park.
The latest blog posts