Belfast & Northern Ireland

Dog friendly Belfast & N. Ireland

more than a year ago
With more and more dog owners choosing to holiday with their pooch, we here at Belfast & NI In Your Pocket have teamed up with Dog Friendly Tours NI to bring out the first ever Dog Friendly Map of Northern Ireland.

The handy map features cafes, bars, shops, businesses, activities and accommodation providers ready and waiting to welcome our four-legged friends with open paws. 

Belfast city centre bars The Sunflower, The Dirty Onion, Union Street, The Spaniard, The Jeggy NettlePug Ugly's, The Jailhouse, Henry's and The Bear and The Doll allow mutts inside, with some also hosting dog-themed events. Keep an eye on their social media sites for all the latest news. You can also rock up with Rover to Jumon, an on-trend Thai street food eaterie. Titanic Quarter's Cafe 1404Dock Cafe and Rain Check also allow pooches.

East Belfast cafes Lazy Claire PatisserieThe Lamppost and nearby JACK at the Eastside Visitor Centre, and The Stoker's Halt pubs in East Belfast and Holywood are ready and waiting with dog treats and water bowls. 

Donaghadee's Pier 36The Salty Dog in Bangor, Comber's North Down House, Newcastle's Hugh McCann's and Portrush's Koko, Bistro 55 North  and The Harbour Bar are rarely without a dog or three. A special mention also for Tilly's Cafe in Portrush, the seaside town's only indoor fully dog-friendly eaterie, Red Brick Cafe, Broughshane, Cafe Piazza in Limavady (serving you a mean Starbucks) and the shop/cafe combi Cafe Country in Ballymoney. The Warehouse in Derry City is definitely worth a visit when you're in the North West.

More dog-friendly Co. Down venues shared by our lovely readers are Picnic Deli overlooking the fairytale-like Killyleagh Castle, The Wildfowler Inn in historic Greyabbey village, The Hillside Bar in regal Hillsborough village and an area behind the bar at Daft Eddy's called The Lodge, a fab Killinchy pub on Strangford Lough's (drivable onto) Sketrick Island.
Another reader recommends Johnny Joe McCollam's, the Lurig Inn and Central Bar in Cushendall, a beautiful village on the Causeway Coastal Route.
You can bring your dog for an overnight at Belfast's Hilton, Travelodge and AC by Marriott Hotels, Portrush's Inn On The Coast, Marine Court Hotel Ballycastle, Ballintoy's Fullerton Arms, The Cuan in Strangford villageBlessingbourne Estate in Co. Tyrone and some Irish Landmark Trust properties.

Tully Mill Cottages, Belle Isle Cottages and Limepark Cottages just love a holidaying hound. As does Largy Coastal Apartments, Duneden Cottage in Randalstown and Rathlin Island's Manor House Hotel and Glamping Pods. And don't forget to check Airbnb for dog friendly properties all across NI. 

Back in Belfast, Titanic Boat Tours and the Belfast Barge maritime museum love dogs so much they allow them onboard. If you're shopping in the city, clothes shop White Stuff, beauty emporium L'Occitane and the equally aromatic LUSH will let the dogs in.

Small dogs can travel on Translink buses and trains after 9.30am and at the driver's discretion. Check their website for more conditions of carriage. Beaches, parks and greenways allow dogs on the lead, with off-lead action possible off season. Always read the signs in and around these open spaces.

You can also let the dog off-lead (but steer clear of cyclists) along the Comber Greenway, a pedestrianised and bike-friendly former railway line running between the eponymous Co. Down town and East Belfast.

Stormont Estate has a big fenced-off dog zone called The Bull Ring. And National Trust grounds are dog-friendly, with many having an enclosed area where dogs can also go off-lead.

Dog Friendly Tours has Belfast and Portrush covered if all you pooches want to take your human pals for a wee walk with some great grub. And the Dog Lovers NI Facebook page is always worth checking out. 

If you'd like to share a Belfast & NI dog-friendly locale, email your suggestions to


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