Swan’s Nest Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon

Exterior of the Swan's Nest Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon

What’s the Swan’s Nest Hotel like?

This relaxed riverside hotel dates back to the 17th Century and is ideally located for exploring William Shakespeare’s old haunts in Stratford-upon-Avon. The centre of the market town is just a short stroll away and there are plenty of great walks to be had alongside the beautiful River Avon.

How dog-friendly is the Swan’s Nest Hotel?

It’s great. When we checked in, there was a box of doggy goodies waiting in the room containing a ball, some treats and a 10% off voucher for the Cosy Chic Pet Boutique. There was also a sign we could hang on the door, alerting other guests to the fact there was a dog in the room. Dogs are allowed inside The Bear pub, which is linked to the hotel and accessed by reception. They are also allowed in its Bistrot Pierre – but only on the outdoor terrace. There’s an additional charge of £10 per pet per night.

Bedroom at the Swan's Nest Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon

Tell me more about the Swan’s Nest Hotel

There are 72 rooms at the hotel, ranging from Club Doubles to Superior Doubles and Suites, plus the luxurious Shakespeare Suite. We stayed in Room 17 – a spacious Club Double. This was housed in a modern extension on the ground floor so had easy access to the outside. It was decorated in neutral tones – with a slightly old-fashioned patterned carpet and curtains – but had an enormous king bed with feature leather headboard. There was a desk, reading chair and mirrored wardrobes, plus arty framed photographs of Stratford dotted around.

There weren’t any tea or coffee-making facilities in the room, or blankets or cushions – which may have been removed because of Covid restrictions – but there were complimentary H2K of Harrogate toiletries in the modern shower room. The Swan’s Nest Hotel also has a large car park, which costs £5 per day for guests. Be sure to register your details at reception instead of paying at the machine, which is double the price.

Le Bistrot Pierre at the Swan's Nest Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon

What’s the food like at the Swan’s Nest Hotel?

Decent. When we visited in July 2021, The Bear – the dog-friendly pub attached to the hotel – was closed but you could still eat and drink at Bistrot Pierre next-door. Breakfast was also served in the French-style chain restaurant but frustratingly, dogs were only allowed on the outdoor terrace. The weather wasn’t great when we visited so as a result, we didn’t actually eat here during our stay – but I was told room service could be arranged.

In normal times, The Bear serves traditional pub grub while Bistrot Pierre has everything from Steak Frites to Salmon Fillet Provencale, and some cheese-heavy veggie options too. Its Prix Fixe menu is great value, offering two courses for just £12.95.

Are there resident dogs at the Swan’s Nest Hotel?

No, but you’ll probably come across a couple of other pooches who are staying over – and plenty of dogs call Stratford home.

River Avon, Stratford-upon-Avon

Where are the best dog walks near the Swan’s Nest Hotel?

Within minutes of leaving the hotel, you’ll find yourself in The Recreation Ground – or ‘The Rec’, as it is known to locals. This grassy open space is popular with both dog walkers and picnickers who are often mobbed by the local swans – of which there are hundreds! You can walk right alongside the River Avon, watch boaters out on the water and see sights such as the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. The perfectly-manicured Bancroft Gardens are next to the theatre and it is on this side of the river that you’ll also find Holy Trinity Church, where Shakespeare is buried.

This recommended hour-long walk will show you the key riverside sights. But if you’re keen to see more of Stratford itself and learn about a certain playwright, sign up for a Stratford Town Walk. These two-hour guided tours take in all the above sights – and much more. Tours take place every day and dogs are very welcome to follow in Shakespeare’s footsteps and join in the fun. Adult tickets cost £6.

Chesterfields and paintings in reception area at the Swan's Nest Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon

What Ernie and Stan loved about the Swan’s Nest Hotel

The doggy welcome pack, the fuss from staff, the riverside walks on the doorstep

What I loved about the Swan’s Nest Hotel

The great location, the spacious rooms, the friendly staff

How to book the Swan’s Nest Hotel

Overnight stays start from £70 on a room-only basis. Breakfast costs an additional £10 per person. For more information or to book, call 01789 266804 or visit the Swan’s Nest Hotel website.

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