The blog from the heart of Leicester's Clarendon Park

Clarendon Bark: 8 things to do in Clarendon Park with your dog

Live in Clarendon Park? Got a dog? Then this article is for you! Pick up your poodle and prepare to partake in some pooch-friendly pursuits.

1. Stock up on supplies

Michelle’s terriers Bonnie and Madge have the enviable job of road-testing All About Daisy’s selection of dog treats.

Pampered pugs and cosseted cockapoos are in for a treat at All About Daisy. The gift shop on Montague Road, which specialises in recycled homeware and jewellery, also stocks canine goodies. Their dedicated doggie range is called All About Dogs. It includes high quality food, hand-baked treats and eco-friendly accessories. Brands include Beco, Pooch’s and Soopa.

“People are thinking more and more carefully about the food they eat. Food miles and ethical production are increasingly important. Dog owners want the food they give to their dogs to meet the same high standards as the food they eat themselves. That’s why we’ve gone out of our way to source the highest quality dog food and treats we can find. The same goes for our accessories – our dog leads are handmade in Kibworth using offcuts from the clothing industry. It’s all in-keeping with the All About Daisy philosophy.”
Michelle Harvey, All About Daisy

Jones’s Café Bistro on Queens Road also sells bags of organic peanut butter and apple dog biscuits. Handily, they’re on the counter, next to the delicious cake selection. So you and your canine companion can both enjoy a treat while you watch the world go by from Jones’s dog-friendly outdoor pavement area.

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2. Go back to school

Fenton! Jesus Christ, Fenton!

Whether it’s chasing other animals, weeing on the carpet or humping your neighbour’s leg, most dogs have a few anti-social foibles. The good news is that help is at hand from Calm Paws Leicester. Calm Paws is based right here in Clarendon Park and provides a range of training services. Offerings include one-to-one training, ‘Walk & Train’ and puppy socialisation classes. Shirley Ayre, founder of Calm Paws, has been working with and training dogs for six years and is a member of the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers.

Shirley (left) enjoys long walks in the countryside. So does Shirley (right). Yes – that’s right – they’re both called Shirley.

“We have a range of training to suit every dog, human and budget. Our bespoke one-to-one training sessions focus exclusively on you and your dog in the privacy of your own home. Meanwhile, our brand new puppy socialisation classes are small, friendly and full of fun. We ensure that your puppy feels safe from the start, while coaching you in the best ways to introduce your puppy to new things in a supportive and structured environment.”
Shirley Ayre, Calm Paws Leicester

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3. Have a bite to eat

There are plenty of businesses in Clarendon Park with outdoor spaces where your mutt can join you while you chow down on some food. When the weather’s chilly though, you probably want to hunker inside, which limits your options. Thankfully, there are a few indoor eateries that fit the bill. Well-behaved doggies are particularly welcome at Fingerprints and Coffee Ethic, both on Queens Road.

Peggy zonks out in a patch of sun in Halcyon Kitchen. Meanwhile, puppy Mille stays alert on her first visit to the Queens Road pizzeria.

If you’re in the market for a pizza, your luck is in, because Halcyon Kitchen is fido-friendly throughout the ground floor seating area. Sit back, relax, tuck into an authentic stone baked pizza and try to ignore the pleading eyes staring up at you…

Fendi is an 11-year-old chihuahua. This brave little soldier had life-saving open-heart surgery last year. He likes visiting Halcyon and other dog-friendly favourites on Queens Road to celebrate his new lease of life. What a champ.

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4. Go for a walk

Walkies! With Victoria Park nearby, we have one of Leicester’s best parks right on our doorstep. There are swathes of open green spaces for energetic paws to roam over. And if you get one of those plastic catapult things to fling Rover’s ball about with, you can relax on a bench with a Baxter’s pasty while he does all the running about. Result.

Get a dog’s eye view of your local neighbourhood with a canine-mounted video camera. Modelled here by the beautiful Lucy Waffles, a lurcher-saluki cross from Humberstone.

Work commitments or health problems might mean you need a little extra help exercising your flea-bag. The plethora of local dog walking services shows you’re not alone. Pride in Pets is a local business that has achieved several accolades for its services, including at the 2018 Leicester Mercury Business Awards. 

“We provide solo walks, group walks with three to five dogs at one time, home comfort care and home sitting care with our staff staying in the home with your dog so they don’t have to leave the comforts of their own bed while you’re away. We even offer wedding chaperoning for your dog!”
Hannah M, Pride in Pets

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5. Unloose the caboose

Pet ownership can be an expensive business. I didn’t want this listicle to consist only of things that are going to cost you money. Happily, the simple pleasure of defecating in a public park or by the side of the road is one your treasured pet can enjoy daily without hurting your wallet. Unless you fail to pick up after they’ve dropped anchor, in which case you could end up with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £100.

Single and looking? You’re in luck. Numerous romances have blossomed between dog owners while Pongo and Perdita were busy downloading some brownware. Just don’t get so distracted that you forget to clean up afterwards.

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6. Strike a pose

This handsome pup knows how to work the camera as he poses for a snap in front of his portrait.

Is your hound as pretty as a picture? A painted portrait is a classy way of capturing Fido’s good looks and personality. For local artist Ellie Loseby, pet portraits represent a very compassionate side to her art…  

“I love creating pet portraiture not only because of the deep emotional and sentimental value but also the playful aspect to the work. Pets often have a distinct character that is key to successfully portraying their lovable nature. As a dog owner myself I understand the amazing relationship between us and our pets, which is why I wanted to honour them in my art, capturing moments in bespoke artwork. Clarendon Park’s close knit neighbourhood makes this relationship all the more special, the bond between pet and owner seems to expand further through its social nature creating a compassionate community where social connections only enhance our appreciation for our animals and each other.”
Ellie Loseby, Artist

If photography is more your thing, head over to ZigZag Photography’s studio on Portland Road. Your pooch can either join you as part of a family portrait or take centre stage themselves. You can even buy a gift voucher for a Pet Photo Shoot – a sweet and quirky gift for your favourite pet-lover. 

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7. Get drunk

If all else fails, there’s always beer. And there’s something about a canine companion and a pint of real ale that’s a particularly winning combination. Queens Road Tap is run by the folk at Tollgate Brewery, an independent microbrewery based in Ashby-de-la-Zouch. It sells a selection of local ales, craft beers, ciders, wines and gins. Dogs aren’t just welcome at QRT – they’re positively encouraged. It’s rare to pop in for a pint and not see at least one pooch enjoying the laid-back vibe and eyeing up the pork scratchings.

Two of the regulars at Queens Road Tap. Pint-sized Eric and laid-back Tollgate Brewery dog Beau.

The Clarendon pub on the corner of West Avenue is somewhere else that offers a friendly welcome to both two-legged and four-legged visitors. The pub reopened recently under new management but remains Clarendon Park’s one and only proper old-fashioned boozer. The weekly pub quiz has semi-legendary status and there are regular live music gigs and live sporting events on the big screen for you to enjoy in comfort with pooch in tow.

Little softie Missy keeps a (sleepy) eye on things at The Clarendon pub.

“Dogs are very welcome in The Clarendon. We have plenty of canine regulars and we even have a jar of dog biscuits behind the bar.”
James Bodell, The Clarendon

QRT and The Clarendon aren’t the only mutt-friendly drinkeries in Clarendon Park. Rosebud, on Queens Road, has its fair share of canine regulars too. And as well as grabbing a drink or two, there’s the option to tuck into some of its Greek-inspired food dishes.

Fancy heading a little further afield? The Cradock Arms on Knighton Road, The Real Ale Classroom on Allandale Road and The Cow and Plough at Stoughton Park on Gartree Road all have excellent dog-friendly credentials.

Introducing Ziggy and Patch: joint winners of the ‘Cutest Dog in The Real Ale Classroom’ award.

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8. Show your creative side

A dog bowl personalised with a paw print. Could this be the perfect gift for the dog-lover in your life?

While you’re at Stoughton Park, how about a bit of pottery painting? Muttleys are welcome at Lollipops Pottery Studio – they can even join in with the fun. And there are refreshments on hand to sustain you through what will inevitably be a messy business (at least you don’t have to clean up afterwards). If you fancy making a day of it, there are plenty of picturesque walking trails nearby, including one that goes to the pretty village of Stoughton via a picturesque lake.

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Over to you

Cheeky fluffster Harry and absolute unit Bob. Four-legged Clarendon Park residents from opposite ends of the size spectrum.

This light-hearted ramble through some of Clarendon Park’s dog-tivities only scratches the surface. What’s your favourite thing to do with your dog in Clarendon Park? Which Clarendon Park businesses provide the best service to your four-legged friend? Let fellow dog owners know by commenting below.

Thank you to all the humans and dogs who helped me out with this blog post. You’re pawsome.

8 Responses to “Clarendon Bark: 8 things to do in Clarendon Park with your dog”

  1. Alison Crawford

    So great to see all the dog friendly places, our dogs love going to the Cow and Plough where the staff are brilliant with them.

    Reply
    • Ruth Clowes

      Yes – you definitely have to be a dog lover to work there. There always seem to be plenty of cuddles and treats available!

      Reply
  2. Fendi b white

    Hi Ruth ,
    It’s fendi here thankyou for including me in your fabulous blog , my mum is so proud that I am a star ⭐️ xx

    Reply
  3. Simon Aldred

    Thanks for including “unit Bob” in your blog and shameless plug for others who have big dogs that occasionally want to dive after a cat/squirrel please see my partners website, all made here in the Shire by Bob’s mum
    http://www.bigdogstyles.com

    Reply
  4. Ann and David

    We are the proud parents of Lucy Waffles. Thank you so much for including her in your very interesting and informative blog.
    Ann and David

    Reply

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