Walking the dog off lead at Oaks Park
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Dog-Friendly Parks Near London

London is a green city boasting over 3,000 parks and in 2019 was declared by the Mayor of London as the first National Park City in the UK. Most Londoners frequent their local parks which would have children’s playgrounds, outdoor gyms and – if they’re lucky – sport activities and a decent café. This sounds nice if you only have kids to worry about. But what if you want a park where your fur baby can also have a great time running around and socialising with other dogs? We lived in Sutton in South West London for around 4 years and we were lucky to have some of the best dog-friendly parks near London at our doorstep. Here are the ones we visited many times and really enjoyed.

Oaks Park

Kid walking dog off lead
We loved going to Oaks Park so our dog could walk off lead

This has to be our favourite dog-friendly park near London. We used to go at least once a month if not more. The community is lovely and I would always joke with my husband that there are more dogs than children around here! Oaks Park is a public park in Carshalton and part of the Oaks Golf Centre. It used to be a glamorous 18th century sporting country house. But now it is a very serene park with woodlands, parklands and chalk meadows, perfect for tiring your doggo (and kiddos!) out. There is a charming café called the Oaks Park Tea Rooms that has a special menu for dogs with items like scrambled eggs with cheese, chicken and rice, and even desserts like frozen peanut butter sticks and apple slices!

Facilities

  • Toilets: Yes
  • Café: Yes
  • Restaurant: No
  • Parking: Yes
  • Nearest station(s): Carshalton Beeches
  • Activities: none

Directions

Rose Hill Park

Flat grassland at Rose Hill Park West
A great space for energetic dogs to let off some steam

This is, in essence, two parks on opposite sides of the road – Rose Hill Park East and Rose Hill Park West. We used to go to Rose Hill Park West every Saturday morning for three years because my daughter had a dancing class at the Sutton Dance Academy located nearby. Usually I would stay and watch her practise with other parents, while my husband would wait outside with our dog. He would walk our dog up and down the path, let him run around the field and socialise with fellow pooches. Two hours later, we would reunite for a hearty brunch at Simon’s Café which overlooks the playground. Their food was always delicious and they had great coffee and ice cream! They would welcome our dog with a water bowl and some leftover sausages or bacon.

Facilities

  • Toilets: Yes
  • Café: Yes
  • Restaurant: No
  • Parking: Yes
  • Nearest station(s): Carshalton
  • Activities: tennis, table tennis, bowls, ball park, outdoor gym, playground

Directions

Beddington Park

Woodland at Beddington Park
You can almost feel the oxygen levels rising at Beddington Park

Located in Beddington, this park started out as a deer hunting park when it used to be private property, but now it is mostly woodland. It has a river called Wandle that runs through the park before reaching a lake. It also has a thriving family-friendly café called The Pavilion, which is also dog-friendly. If you want something fancier, you can visit The Grange restaurant and bar which serves continental and Asian fusion. Dogs are not allowed indoors though. However, there is a large picnic area with wooden tables overlooking the park and river where you can enjoy your meals and drinks.

Facilities

  • Toilets: Yes
  • Café: Yes
  • Restaurant: Yes
  • Parking: Yes
  • Nearest station(s): Hackbridge
  • Activities: tennis, football, outdoor gym, playground

Directions

Nonsuch Park

Family at Nonsuch Park
We are a bit overdressed for Nonsuch Park here but it was my husband’s birthday!

This is a beautiful public park located between Cheam, London and Epsom, Surrey. The first time we went there was for my husband’s birthday, where we had a picnic with friends and of course they brought their dogs too. The park has an interesting history. It used to be part of the Little Park of Nonsuch, a deer hunting park and lodge established by King Henry VIII. So, you can say this park has seen its share of dogs over the years! The Nonsuch mansion has an elegant restaurant and can be used for special events but as expected it is a dog-free area.

Facilities

  • Toilets: Yes
  • Café: Yes
  • Restaurant: Yes
  • Parking: Yes
  • Nearest station(s): Cheam
  • Activities: none

Directions

Cheam Park

Woodland at Oaks Park
Even during autumn the trees looks lovely

Right next to Nonsuch Park is a smaller, but nevertheless, gorgeous public park called Cheam Park. A quaint country house was converted a few years ago into a café. It overlooks the children playground, so you can casually have a coffee or a muffin while the kids play right in front of you.

Facilities

  • Toilets: Yes
  • Café: Yes
  • Restaurant: No
  • Parking: Yes
  • Nearest station(s): Cheam
  • Activities: tennis, table tennis, croquet, bowls, football, outdoor gym, playground

Directions

Grove Park

Kids climbing trees at Bushy Park
Climbing trees and scratching knees!

This ornamental park is blessed with not one but two water features; the River Wandle running through it and the Carshalton Ponds. My daughter loved walking up and down the bridge and feeding the ducks in the pond. There is an old watermill thought to date back to Anglo-Saxon times.

Facilities

  • Toilets: Yes
  • Café: Yes
  • Restaurant: No
  • Parking: No
  • Nearest station(s): Carshalton
  • Activities: bowls, ball park, crazy golf, outdoor gym, playground

Directions

Carshalton Park

Dog lying down in the grass
They say a tired dog is a happy dog

This is a no-nonsense park with lots of space for kids and dogs to run around and get all that energy out! This public park makes up for its lack of facilities by hosting an amazing charity event every Bonfire Night. The fireworks display takes place in what is called a hog pit or “frying pan” by the park’s regular visitors. It seems to be an old reservoir of some kind rather than an empty pond. There is another dried-up water feature – a medieval canal – although it has been known to fill again after heavy rainfall.

Facilities

  • Toilets: No
  • Café: No
  • Restaurant: No
  • Parking: No
  • Nearest station(s): Carshalton Beeches
  • Activities: tennis, outdoor gym, playground

Directions

Bushy Park

Girl walking the dog at Bushy Park
My daughter enjoyed walking my friend’s dog who was much smaller than ours

So, while Bushy Park is not in Sutton, it is a great dog-friendly park near London that we definitely recommend. We visited it a couple of times to meet up with friends who live in Richmond and Kingston and also have dogs. It is the second largest royal park after Richmond Park. Dogs are not allowed in the Woodland Gardens famous for the Diana Fountain – a bronze statue designed by the famous Sir Christopher Wren. There you can also find a contemporary restaurant called The Pheasantry. But you can take your dog to the Water Gardens. They must be on lead though, since you are near water and there are ducks and other waterfowl. Like Richmond Park, there are also wild red and fallow deer so make sure you keep your distance from them!

Facilities

  • Toilets: Yes
  • Café: Yes
  • Restaurant: Yes
  • Parking: Yes
  • Nearest station(s): Teddington, Hampton Wick
  • Activities: tennis, bowls, cricket, football, rugby, swimming, fishing, playground

Directions

Can’t visit any of these dog-friendly parks near London right now?

Kids feeding ducks at Bushy Park
Watching the ducks at Bushy Park

If you are not able to visit any of these dog-friendly parks near London anytime soon, you can still escape into the nature, heritage and beauty of some incredible royal parks from the comfort of your own home. Please double-check before you visit any of these parks since hours and services may differ due to COVID-19 and please follow all social distancing regulations.

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