We have been asked to do a list of dog friendly venues in Northumberland, and I think that’s a great idea. I like to be able to take my dog in somewhere while I have a cuppa or a snack and it’s wonderful to see other people doing the same. But before we do a list, I think a few things need to be pointed out.

There is an unwritten code that everyone should abide by – not just in cafes or tea rooms, but everywhere in public. And that means taking responsibility for the behaviour of your dog. It should go without saying, but unfortunately there are a minority of owners who have dogs that are aggressive to other dogs or even people.  If a dog is aggressive and snacks, growls or barks at other dogs, I personally don’t care about excuses. I don’t care if it ‘doesn’t like big dogs’ or ‘it’s a rescue dog’. It’s up to the owner to correct the behaviour and, frankly, if they can’t then they shouldn’t have the dog out in public. It’s as simple as that. If you don’t teach a dog how to behave, it will teach itself.

Now, all that having been said, it doesn’t have to be like that. If your dog is aggressive for whatever reason, be it fearful or otherwise, you can actually do something about it. Seek professional help!

This weekend I visited a couple of places with one of my dogs, Sam the German Shepherd in tow, and will be doing more as time goes on. First stop was Ingram and the Valley Café. Tucked away in Ingram Village, there are signs directing you to this little oasis. As well as tea, coffee and snacks, there is a wide selection of art and crafts, books, maps and free wi-fi. Nearby is the Bronze Age settlement on top of Brough Law or if you aren’t feeling quite energetic enough to make that climb, settle for a walk along the delightful river Breamish. A picnic area with tables and seats is next to the small car park.

Visit the Valley Cafe on Facebook.

Sam visits the Valley Cafe and gets spoilt by Sheila
Sam visits the Valley Cafe and gets spoilt by Sheila


Our second port of call was Barrowburn Tea Room in the Coquet Valley, 6 miles past Alwinton. This is a real gem to call into, with a warm and friendly welcome from Ian and Eunice. Home cooking at its best with a great little selection to choose from. Perfect if you’ve just been up Windy Gyle or the Border Ridge. There is a large car park nearby where you can leave your car whilst you wander the hills on the east side of the road. Barrowburn is popular with walkers, cyclists and anyone who has just been for a run out and Ian is a font of knowledge about the area. You can, unbelievably for the Coquet Valley, get excellent free Wi-Fi at Barrowburn. You can post your pictures of Bloody Bush Edge whilst having a coffee and a slice of Eunice’s world famous lemon drizzle cake. But if you are going to visit, hurry up – he leaves in September and will be sorely missed.

Visit Barrowburn on Facebook.

Sam with Ian at the Barrowburn Tea Room

Over the coming months we will be visiting more dog friendly places. If you have an establishment and are dog friendly, please let us know and we will pay you a visit.

Email us here at hello@hiddennorthumberland.co.uk