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Our Favourite Dog Friendly pubs and cafes in East Norfolk

If there’s one thing many of us love to indulge in it’s good food and drink! And lucky for you Norfolk is packed with a variety of pubs and cafes, many of them very dog friendly. We asked our guests where they and their dogs loved to go during their stay at our cottages, here’s their top suggestions for the best dog-friendly pubs and cafes in our patch of East Norfolk.

Within Walking Distance

Hill House, The Hill, Happisburgh, NR12 0PW

Walk here from: The Crib, Thatchers, Heather Cottage, High Barn and White Cottage.

Literally up the street from most of our Happisburgh Cottages, Hill House is a cosy, welcoming pub, dating back to 1550. Packed with period features, the pub features a central bar, dining room and a large beer garden. The kitchen serves up tasty home-cooked pub cuisine using seasonal ingredients, locally sourced produce and meats. At the bar there’s a large selection of soft drinks and spirits to choose from, as well as wine, beer, cider and ales, some brewed by the on-site brewery!

“The Hill House staff were welcoming enough to allow our six dogs in and kind enough to let us take our meals back to The Crib when they started to play up! We returned the plates the next day.”

Sal Hickinson

Visit the Hill House website

The Star, School Road, Lessingham, NR12 ODN

Walk here from: 1 Chapel Cottage, Thatch Cottage, Corner Cottage, The Walnut and Victoria Cottage

The Star is one of those wonderful places that everyone knows about… but no-one tells you about (probably because we like to keep this gem of a place all to ourselves!) Situated on a quiet country road, this pub won Rural Pub of the Year in the CAMRA 2017 awards. There’s a bar and lounge area, both with big tables and comfy seats and a great selection of drinks including a regular selection of local and guest ales. Food-wise, choose from traditional pub grub, daily specials and a yummy Sunday roast! There are lots of vegetarian options to choose from too.

“The Star in Lessingham has great food and beer and always a great welcome for the dogs!”

Graham Farrow

Visit The Star website

Reefs Bar, Beach Road, Sea Palling, NR12 0AL

Walk here from: St Benets (just a few yards!!)

Happily situated right next to an award winning blue flag beach, The Reef bar really comes into its own in the summer. But don’t count it out for winter, especially on a Sunday! Open all day, every day, Reefs really prides itself on being dog friendly, with water bowls, a dog biscuit vending machine and even a dog ball vending machine! Very handy if you lose your ball on the beach! There’s a great selection of food and drink on offer and of course the well-known and popular local carvery!

“We love the Reef at Sea Palling, especially their Sunday Carvery! We like to pop in with our little pack after a long walk on the beach.”

Irene Grubb

Visit the Reefs website

The Fishermans Return, The Lane, Winterton-on-Sea, NR29 4BN

Walk here from: Hidden Gem, Skylark

The Fishermans Return is a picturesque 300 year old brick and flint Freehouse, just a few minutes walk from the dunes and long sandy beaches of Winterton. The bar serves up to five real ales as well as Westons Old Rosie Cider, plus soft drinks, on-tap beers, wine and spirits. Cosy up next to the wood burning stove and order a delicious freshly prepared meal made from locally sourced ingredients. Being close to the sea, fish naturally features prominently on the specials board.

Visit The Fishermans Return website

The Dunes Café, Beach Road, Winterton-on-sea, NR29 4AJ

Walk here from: Hidden Gem, Skylark

This bustling little café offers a range of delicious homemade cakes and drinks, along with full English breakfasts, sandwiches and seaside specials. Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegetarian and children’s options are all available. 

Although you can’t take dogs into the cafe, there are some super fun beach huts outside that you can enjoy your food and drink in, with your dog at your feet! There’s also water bowls on-hand for that post-beach walk and treat bags for sale inside. Just be aware, if you’re driving, the car park next door is pay and display and can get really busy on the weekends.

Visit the Dunes Café website


Just down the road…

Poppylands, Delph Farm Waxham Rd, Horsey, NR29 4EQ

Get ready to step back in time! Poppylands Café is a 1940’s haven of cosiness and nostalgia. From spot-on décor, to the ‘ration book’ menu and themed dishes such as the ‘Dambusters’ breakfast bap this place is a real treat for the senses and the tummy. There’s even Spam on the menu, Spam! Don’t miss the delicious afternoon tea or the substantial Sunday lunch – certainly not a rationed portion! Dogs aren’t allowed in the main café area but they are welcomed in the upstairs area which is just as much themed fun as the ground floor! There’s also a pretty courtyard outside.

“Poppylands in Horsey has to be one of our favourites.”

Jordan Wardle

Visit the Poppylands Facebook Page

Smallsticks Café, Cart Gap, Happisburgh, NR12 0QL

Hidden away along a quiet country lane and just 200m from sandy Cart Gap beach, Smallsticks is a delightful, dog-friendly café that serves up cooked breakfasts, yummy lunches, delicious cakes, moreish ice cream and an epic fish and chips straight off the boat and farm next door! Dogs are welcome in the fully enclosed courtyard garden so wrap up warm and enjoy a hot chocolate with a view of famous Happisburgh Lighthouse in the distance.

Visit the Smallsticks website

The Kingfisher Café, Coast Rd, Walcott, Norwich NR12 0AP

If you’re on the hunt for a traditional English caff, then the Kingfisher is the place for you. It’s literally right opposite the beach at Walcott so you can enjoy your food with the sound of the sea in the background! Packed out during the summer months, this little café comes into its own in winter, when it’s much quieter and you can hang out with the friendly locals. As you might imagine the cooked breakfasts are super popular!

“We love the Kingfisher cafe in Walcott! Four of us stayed locally with eight Labradors and we were made very welcome to the cafe! Their full breakfasts are the best!”

Karen Minn

Visit the Kingfisher Café Facebook page

A short drive away

Sugar & Spice Café, Coast Road, Bacton, NR12 0EU

Cooked breakfasts that feel like they’re trying to escape your plate, breakfast baps stacked higher than Norwich Cathedral, boulder-sized scones and cake slices that are literally as big as your dog’s head, Sugar & Spice doesn’t scrimp when it comes to serving up delicious food. Dogs are made very welcome in the café, in fact on some days they outnumber the amount of humans in there. The café has free parking, lots of vintage style tables to choose from and even sells a range of pretty makes from local crafters and artists.

“Sugar & Spice at Bacton has great all day breakfasts plus lots more. Plus it’s super dog friendly. In fact, we’ve found Norfolk to be extremely dog friendly.”

Wendy Garrard

Visit the Sugar & Spice Facebook page

The Lion, The Street, Thurne, NR29 3AP

Winner of the East Norfolk CAMRA Pub of the Year Award for 2019 The Lion loves dogs and even lists local walks on its website! Your fur babies are allowed in all sections of the bar area, where you can choose from a wide selection of wines, beers, ciders, gins (there’s a whole gin menu so try and get out driving if you can!) and real ales, there’s also lots soft drinks to chose from. The food here is delish, with traditional fayre such as sausage and mash, fish and chips, pie and mash and steak all present and correct on the menu! There’s also pizza, burgers, sandwiches and lots of vegetarian and vegan options.

“I can highly recommend The Lion at Thurne, dogs welcome and a lovely garden too! Opposite the river Thurne so a good walk is essential too! Lots of vegan, vegetarian and GF meals! We love it!”

Laura Jane Doree

Visit The Lion website

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