The Swan Hotel, Thaxted

The Swan Hotel, Thaxted

What’s The Swan Hotel like?

This warm and welcoming pub with rooms dates back to the 17th Century. It is located opposite one of the grandest churches in Essex and is just up the road from highwayman Dick Turpin’s old house. The Swan, a 15-minute drive from London Stansted Airport, is operated by Greene King Inns.

How dog-friendly is The Swan Hotel?

Good. No special provisions are provided in the rooms but dogs are made to feel very welcome here. There’s a big jar of treats on the bar and they will get lots of fuss from the friendly young staff. They are also allowed everywhere in the pub. Dog owners are generally allocated rooms in a separate building overlooking the car park, which is handy for outdoor access. There is an one-off charge of £10 for dogs to stay, no matter how many pets you have.

Room at The Swan Hotel, Thaxted

Tell me more about The Swan Hotel

There are 20 en-suite rooms at The Swan, some of which are located above the pub while others are in two separate buildings by the car park. Ours – No.16 – was on the ground floor of the latter which was perfect for us, as dog owners. All rooms have recently been renovated and I was very pleasantly surprised by ours. Not only was it much bigger than I was expecting but it was super stylish too, with on-trend dark blue panelling and Shaker-style furniture. It was also great to have a desk and separate seating area, with table and chairs for two.

I loved the bathroom, with its old-fashioned letterbox tiles, and the tea and coffee-making facilities (and shortbread biscuits) were very much appreciated. The wall art featuring local landmarks was a nice touch too and there were plenty of plug sockets, including some with USBs. Parking is plentiful, both outside the pub and in a free car park just up the road. It was also great to be able to check in from 2pm and stay until 11am – not many pubs or hotels are that generous with timings.

Mushroom and Spinach Wellington at The Swan Hotel, Thaxted

What’s the food like at The Swan Hotel?

Delicious. We visited on a Sunday but the pub menu had a lot more than just roasts. While I opted for the Mushroom and Stilton Wellington, pictured above, which came with all the trimmings, there was everything from burgers and steaks to curries and mac ‘n’ cheese to choose from. The food was very reasonably priced too – and Ernie was particularly pleased to learn that two pigs in blankets could be ordered for just £2.

He was a bit perplexed by the kitchen chime as it sounded just like our doorbell at home. But thankfully, he only barked at it once otherwise our meal would have been cut short! Breakfast was well worth getting out of bed for, too. The chef popped out to personally give Ernie a sausage, while I filled up on the continental options. The choice was excellent – I counted more than five types of bread alone – and there were some great cooked options to suit all tastes.

Are there resident dogs at The Swan Hotel?

No, but you’re sure to meet other dogs out and about when walking in Thaxted.

Ernie by John Webb's Mill, Thaxted

Where are the best dog walks near The Swan Hotel?

Thaxted itself is a beautiful place to enjoy a walk and has centuries of history to explore. Its past residents include composer Gustav Holst and highwayman Dick Turpin and you can see both of their homes, as well as landmarks such as Thaxted Parish Church and John Webb’s Mill, on the Thaxted Wildlife Trail recommended by Visit Essex. Helpfully, this one-mile circular walk starts and finishes right by The Swan.

Guest can also walk to and from the West Wood Nature Reserve, which covers a distance of approximately four miles. The woodland, which is managed by the Essex Wildlife Trust, is home to a number of rare and beautiful flowers such as Oxlips and Greater Butterfly Orchids. There are multiple footpaths running through the woods but dogs should be kept under control at all times. See the walking route recommended by Uttlesford Wildlife by clicking here.

Ernie relaxes at The Swan Hotel, Thaxted

What Ernie loved about The Swan Hotel

The fuss from staff, having a handy ground floor room, all the sausages!

What I loved about The Swan Hotel

The excellent value, the delicious house Malbec, the comfy bed

How to book The Swan Hotel

Rooms start from £65. It’s well worth looking out for deals, though. We took advantage of Greene King’s Lazy Sunday offer and paid just £50 for our stay on a room-only basis. If you book direct, however, you can also save 20% on food. For more information, to see the latest offers and to book, visit The Swan Hotel’s website.

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