Lori & Princess Buttercup explore Northwest Surrey for a perfect ‘Doggy Day Out’. Read about their adventures.
Visiting Northwest Surrey
Northwest Surrey is a great place to visit with your dog with lots of parks, dog-friendly pubs, and some great places to shop together. We visited Lightwater, Camberley, and Frimley Green all of which can be reached by train, bus, or car. Camberley and Frimley are served by Southwest Trains and are on the same line, however from London Waterloo at least one train change is required. For truly exploring all that the area has to offer, driving is easy and most parks, pubs, and the streets surrounding shopping areas offer free parking.
The weekend that we chose to visit Northwest Surrey, was the 4th anniversary of Buttercup’s adoption so we decided to celebrate with a day full of adventures and she wore her “It’s My Gotcha Day” bandana. We live in Wimbledon and have dreams of making our country escape from London one day, so we often like to venture to one of the home counties or even further afield for exploring.
For this doggy day out, the drive to our first stop of Lightwater Country Park in Northwest Surrey took a little under an hour. Lightwater Country Park is located between Lightwater and Bagshot just off the M3. The park is open from 7:30am Monday-Saturday and 8:00am on Sunday. Closing times vary depending on the time of year so make sure to check before you travel.
There is quite a bit of free parking in the country park. We parked toward the back of the park near the leisure centre and walked along a shared portion of the Heathland and Nature Trails over toward the café. This area features a dog-friendly café, playground, toilets, and mini golf. The café is open 7 days a week from 9:30am-4:30pm and offers a selection of drinks, sandwiches, snacks, cakes, and ice cream.
Lightwater Country Park consists of roughly 145 acres of primarily heathland habitat with three ponds, but there are also woodlands, scrubs, grazing areas, and meadows. The Park has three main trails that you can take or combine for a lovely walk: The Heathland Trail (2 miles), The Nature Trail (1.5 miles), and Walk4Life Mile (1 mile). Dogs can be off-lead in most areas, but there is a grazing area with goats where dogs need to be kept on lead. There are signs that clearly mark this area.
We did a combination of the Walk4Life Mile and Nature Trail taking in the grazing area, all three ponds, woodlands, and returning back to the café for a much-deserved tea and lemon drizzle cake for me and a doggy biscuit for Buttercup.
After our snacks and a brief rest, Buttercup and I carried on from Lightwater Country Park to our absolutely favourite doggy boutique in the UK, Love from Betty, in Camberley. The drive took us about 10 minutes, and we easily found some parking on one of the side roads and there is a parking space behind the shop.
When we arrived, we were kindly greeted by the owner, Kat. Kat was inspired to open the business as a place to get gifts for canines, and was inspired by her miniature dachshund, Slinky who passed away in September 2020 at almost 17 years old. Also, the unique name of the business is a tribute to the love that her beloved nana, Betty, had for animals. The shop was a dream of Kat’s and it shows when you visit the shop. It is colourful, bright, cheerful, and full of gorgeous items, many of which are from small, independent suppliers. The boutique’s items range from the most amazing selection of toys to dog and human matching sweaters to pup pyjamas to collars and harnesses to a range of beautiful gifts.
On our most recent trip, the boutique was having a special of buy two toys, get the third for free. So of course, Buttercup got three new plush toys. She is in love with all of them and recently had to show them off to a friend who came over to our flat. From our visit, I am personally in love with matching tags that we got which say ‘I am a dog person’ and ‘I am a people dog’. And on a recent cold morning, Buttercup received three compliments from people walking past about how smart her new fleece coat looks!
If you have a dog that is nervous or your dog would just like to explore the shop, then Kat can lock the door to let your dog enjoy or try on items. Buttercup loves this and she goes around checking out all the items at her eye level. Therefore, if you arrive and the door is locked, be patient and she will be with you very soon.
The Love from Betty dog boutique is open Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10:30am – 2:30pm and Saturday from 10am-5pm. You can also catch Love from Betty on Saturdays at the Duck Pond Market (https://duckpondmarket.com/chiswick) at Chiswick House and Gardens on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Saturdays of every month from 10am-4pm.
After filling our shopping bags with delightful new doggy items, Buttercup and I had worked up quite the appetite, so we drove 10 minutes down the road to The Rose & Thistle in Frimley Green which has ample parking, just be sure to register your car on one of the screens at the bar. The pub is open from 12pm daily and serves up a range of drinks and food.
When we arrived, this lovely dog-friendly pub was quiet inside but had some people enjoying the sunshine in their lovely outdoor seating space. Buttercup and I chose a cosy, comfortable, and relaxing table inside.
We had booked ahead of time, but on this day, it was not needed. But the team was expecting us and promptly got Buttercup a nice, fresh bowl of water along with greeting her and giving her a little bit of fuss. I then laid out her blanket and gave her a bully stick while I decided what to have for lunch. I went with a burger and chips that were well seasoned and very tasty. While chatting with the very friendly staff, they mentioned that they highly recommended the nearby Frimley Lodge Park for our afternoon walk so we changed our plans and decided to move the car a quick 2-minute drive to one of the Frimley Lodge Park car parks.
Frimley Lodge Park has three main car parks, all of which are free. There are a range of things to enjoy at this park including open space, woodlands, a canal path, a meadow, miniature train, putt golf, two playgrounds, picnic areas, sport pitches, café, and two fantastic dog walking paths. Dogs are allowed off-lead in all of the park but are expected to remain under control at all times.
The café serves a range of drinks, snacks, and food Monday-Sunday from 9am-4pm. Dogs are welcome in the café and just need to be kept on lead when inside.
Buttercup and I walked one of the dog trails where we ventured past the café and picnic area, into a large open space, woodlands, and eventually returned back along the lovely path along the Basingstoke Canal. We both enjoyed saying hello to others that we met on the trail and Buttercup loved watching the ducks and swans that we saw on the water. After a long and delightful day exploring together, Buttercup and I drove home and put our paws up.
There are so many great places to visit in Surrey. We have a huge list of places that we would like to visit in the future including Horton Country Park, Painshill Park, Esher Common, the National Trust’s Polesden Lacey, or the National Trust’s Claremont Landscape Garden (which we are planning to visit with friends soon) just to name a few. We can’t wait to share more of our adventures with you. In the meantime, enjoy all of your adventures with your gorgeous pups!