Explore London from “Barkingham Palace” to Big Ben
By Si Si Penaloza
Dogs need culture too! Enter the world’s first dedicated tour bus for pups. Newly launched this January 2017, the customized London double decker bus, naturally named the K9 Routemaster, departs three times a day (10am, 12pm and 2pm) from Millbank, near the Tate Britain on the South Bank of the Thames. Once aboard, kick back and enjoy a 90-minute tour of the best doggy spots the capital has to offer.
All aboard! Pups await their tour. Credit: More Th>n
The iconic London red bus takes canines (humans welcome too) on a curated “greatest hits” tour of animal-centric hot spots in the British capital. Itinerary favorites include Buckingham Palace, home to the pampered corgis of Queen Elizabeth, and Number 10 Downing Street, where many a Prime Minister’s dog has warmed the hearth. One of the more popular stops is the Kennel Club, which houses Europe’s largest collection of canine-centric art.
The pet savvy route is a figure eight, highlighting four parks as well as places of interest for dogs and their owners which the on-board host and commentator illustrates colorfully along the way. Learn about London’s rich canine history and the role of dogs in the early life of the city. Even the potty stops are posh, with the legendary Hyde Park on the walk roster. Pooches may disembark to explore four specially selected parks: Hyde Park Corner, Hyde Park Place, Kensington Palace and Green Park. Photo tip: get ready to snap a shot of your pooch with Ben Ben as your sail by on the double-decker bus. Play with scale and remember – to your Bichon bundle of joy, the great Big Ben looks even bigger.
The best way to see the sights. Credit: More Th>n
Best of all? The K9 Routemaster is absolutely free to ride! The limited-edition bus venture is backed by UK insurance company More Than, which is launching a pet care and protection offering that provides all the essential items for a happy and healthy dog. At the end of the tour, you’ll get a handy list of London’s best dog-friendly pubs and cafes to check out at leisure.
Where to Stay
At The Egerton House hotel in Knightsbridge, your pup can be your date for afternoon tea. Champagne and cucumber sandwiches, oh my! This is a hotel that clearly adores dogs; the Egerton has an all-sizes-welcome policy — meaning mastiffs and Great Danes are as welcome as maltipoos! When you stay at the Egerton House hotel overnight, your pooch is greeted like royalty with a drool worthy welcome hamper. They offer dog-sitting, as well as walking and grooming services.
The Rubens at the Palace
Another pet-friendly option closer to St James’s Park is The Rubens at the Palace, where your dog can chase the local squirrels by day and tuck into specialty welcome treats by night. If you fancy being closer to Kensington, check into the The Milestone Hotel to enjoy fluffy feather beds and hearty English breakfasts. This charming hotel has a dedicated pet concierge well versed in meeting the needs of even the most demanding dogs. Checked-in canines will be presented with a bevy of amenities, including toys and a Milestone collar tag. After a day of shopping at Liberty and Harvey Nichols, your pooch can let their curls down in custom-made cushions and duvets. Did we mention the smashing pet menu?
The Milestone Hotel
Where to Go
After years of turned up noses toward pet travel trends, London is finally going to the dogs. Cinephiles can now take their hairy better half to the cinema. Butter up that popcorn, Picturehouse Central and Peckham’s Rooftop Film Club now host dog-friendly screenings.
Pubs are a great way to soak up neighborhood culture and chat up friendly locals. What better ice breaker than your pub-magnet pooch? Pubs are now catering to dog lovers in greater numbers. At Brown Dog in Barnes, there are pig’s ears treats at the bar for your best friend.
When you pop into the Wells Tavern in Hampstead, order a bowl of Lily’s Kitchen dog food for your hound right alongside your preferred pint.