The Grove Arms in Ludwell set tails wagging as it was given the prestigious accolade of the Most Dog Friendly Pub as the South West Tourism Awards.

The Grove Arms was praised by judges for its top-dog welcome and first-class facilities including a ‘Mutts Menu’ of delectable doggie treats and dedicated pet friendly bedrooms for overnight guests. The pub website also features a host of information for dog-owning visitors including a helpful list of local dog walks for those keen to enjoy the surrounding countryside.

Upon winning the coveted title of the region’s ‘Most Dog Friendly Pub’, Nina Bartlett, landlord of The Grove Arms and owner of Buddy the Labrador said: “It means so much to win the award for the Most Dog Friendly Pub in the South West in its first ever year. Making dogs feel welcome is central to our ethos at The Grove and our resident dog Buddy is very excited about winning such a coveted award.”

“Our four-legged friends are incredibly dear to our hearts and inspire passion, dedication and loyalty in all of Team Grove. For this I am truly grateful.”

Robin Barker, organiser of the South West Tourism Awards and owner of Sprollies Jessie and Millie, said: “We’re so happy that with the help of Forthglade, we’ve been able to reward the team at The Grove Arms for all the wonderful work they have done to make the dogs of the South West feel at home. It’s been amazing to see the interest the award for Most Dog Friendly Pub has generated, which is only in its first year. Residents and tourists to the region voted in their hundreds. It’s great to be able to reward great hospitality to dogs and owners alike but also encourage other pubs to consider becoming more dog friendly too.”

This was the first year that the category - supported by Devon-based natural pet food makers Forthglade - was featured at the awards. It was created to encourage local pubs to offer the very best in hound hospitality and to help celebrate the pup-friendly pubs in the South West that go the extra mile to make dogs truly welcome.

The category winners from Dorset, Devon, Cornwall, Bath, Bristol and Somerset were out in force at Exeter Cathedral to hear the Gold winner being announced.

Each regional shortlist for the Most Dog-Friendly Pub Awards were nominated by members of the public throughout the summer of 2019 before being judged by some of the county’s most discerning four-legged friends and their owners from the Tourism Awards.

Nominated pubs were judged on criteria including, advance information about their dog friendliness on their website and social media, the willingness of staff to handle enquires related to dogs upon arrival and facilities for canine companions like treats, water bowls and a place to relax both inside and outside the pub.