Christmas Horseplay at The Fox Inn

Some of you expressed astonishment after my last post, that a dog was allowed into a pub in England. I checked to see what the policy is regarding dogs in such establishments, and found that there are no restrictions preventing dogs from being in areas where food is being served as long as the individual business puts in place measures to prevent a dog from having access to the kitchen and food storage areas.

The historic Fox Inn is where sixteen of our family enjoyed a delicious five course Christmas lunch. It was formerly a late 17th century cottage, and an 18th century attached house, which served as the parish ‘Poor House’ before becoming an ale house.


At the front, it has what is known as a ‘Catslide’ roof where the end extends almost to the ground. This conjures up a very funny picture in my mind, of cats having lots of fun at night, sliding down the roof.


The Fox currently has a resident dog, a three-legged B&W Collie, who gets lots of love and attention from the customers, including my two grandchildren.


On Christmas morning there was a large gathering of locals waiting to see the horse which was due to come into and right through the pub. This tradition has something to do with keeping the bridle path open to the public, and so I was told, dates back to the 16th or 17th century.


He was extremely well-behaved and ridden by a young girl who kindly posed outside for photos.


I still have a few more photos from Christmas, but they will have to wait for another day. Right now, I have to get out of my house, as our realtor is coming to show someone around. Think I’ll go and hang out at the gym, so I’ll catch up with you all later.


107 comments on “Christmas Horseplay at The Fox Inn

  1. These two beautiful blonds are your grandchildren? I’m not surprised πŸ˜€ What a joy it must be to ride a horse on Christmas. Looking forward to the sequel. πŸ™‚

  2. Of course animals are as important as people in UK so no way are they going to be left out in the cold. Not so liberal minded over here in Australia, though some country places allow dogs in the outside dining areas. Lovely photo of your beautiful Granddaughters.

  3. Some old customs are bizarre but I guess this one is really rather quaint I’m sure the young lady will in future years enjoy telling of the Christmas morning she rode into the pub πŸ™‚
    A lovely gathering of the family then Sylvia and a little blue sky on the day too – marvellous .
    Hope all goes well with the realtor visits !

  4. How funny, I had to do a double-take! I can’t imagine, but great story telling. You guys really had many neat adventures this holiday travel.

  5. It is nice to know that some remnants of sense remain in that over-regulated country. I suppose that here people would abuse such privileges by allowing pets to wander or poop unchecked.

  6. I say they need to change the tradition into an elephant instead of a horse to make it more exciting. πŸ˜€ Also, they should call that roof a “Rommelslide” from now on. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ HNY, Syl.

    • Hahaha You really made me laugh this morning, Rommel. I’m sure you’d enjoy sliding down that roof. An elephant wouldn’t fit through the narrow, low doorway of the old pub. Even my brother-in-law had to keep his head down. πŸ™‚

  7. I’m feeling very left out in this house sale business! I’ve lived in this one for 27 years, owned one in the Algarve for 11, and had a little street house in Hartlepool for about 10 years before that. Further back my memory doesn’t go πŸ™‚ And you use a realtor, rather than show people round yourself? Love the pub and it’s sliding cats πŸ™‚

    • Oh yes, some of us rolling stones gather no moss and don’t let the grass grow under our feet. πŸ˜€ I think it must be rather nice to have lived for so long in one place, Jo. At least you get to know the locals and all the goings on. Maybe in the next reincarnation, I’ll give it a try. Hubby’s sister and husband have lived in the same country cottage for over 50 years. Unfortunately realtors are the way to go here. They put your house on their internet site and then people fly down from New York to have a closer look. Got another lot coming today, plus the ones who came yesterday want a second visit. Sounds hopeful, but hubby better get his skates on with the renovations. πŸ™‚

  8. What a wonderful and unique place to celebrate your Christmas dinner, Sylvia! The people seem very welcoming and warm. The exterior is how I picture old English pubs or inns. The dog is so friendly looking and a pretty black and white. The horse is so regal and well groomed. Thank you again for sharing another photo from England, Sylvia. Happy Hump day!

  9. Love pubs and the English way of letting animals around the house. When I met up with blogger friend Seonaid( at Breathofgreenair), all three dogs were at our feet inside the pub. Love it. We are far too restrictive in Sweden.

  10. Lovely photos and post, I didn’t know about the tradition of a horse trotting through the pub…very interesting. We were in England last year, and we couldn’t get over how good the food was in pubs….lovely when you are travelling to have some hearty winter food.

    • Thanks so much, Gerrie. we had a fabulous Christmas lunch. We’d all made our choices online, and the main courses ranged from traditional turkey to lobster, and everything in between. We ate there several time during the week and I always enjoyed what I had. πŸ™‚

  11. Awww what a nice story! I love the pictures. In the Netherlands I often see dogs in restaurants and I think it’s very sweet. I’m happy to know the entire family can be there together, for a special meal πŸ™‚

  12. What a charming place for Christmas lunch! I remember dogs being allowed in restaurants when I visited Germany in the 1970s. Being from the U.S., this shocked me, but I remember thinking how well behaved those pets were. I’m not sure American dogs would be so quiet πŸ™‚

    • Yes it really was the perfect place for Christmas lunch, Carol.I remember being in a restaurant in Amsterdam. The table was quite big, and a stranger and his dog came and joined us. It was very casual seating in there. πŸ™‚ The dog was very well behaved, but I kept feeling his wet nose against my leg.

      • Yes, I’d forgotten about the communal seating, which we generally don’t have in the U.S. So the stranger was welcome but the wet nose ~ not so much?

  13. What a great looking building Sylvia.
    It’s funny ,things are so laid back in Fl. You get use to seeing dogs going into certain restaurants . The first time we ever went to KW , we couldn’t believe it. And we are animals lovers . Now NYS has passed a law where dogs are allowed in certain eating establishments .
    I love your X.mas photos, looking forward to seeing more. We really are looking forward to visiting our friends in the near future…in Merry olde England :)!
    Ok, don’t work to hard at the gym, gotta go finish my packing. For Fl.;)

    • Thanks, Kathy. Yes KW is very laid back and casual. I would think that the dogs in bars are better behaved than some of the humans. πŸ˜ƒ Got more folk coming to look at our house tomorrow, plus the ones who came today. Keeps me on my toes with house tidying and hiding stuff from view. 😍

    • Thanks, Jill. My granddaughter is only 20, so I’ll take the compliment. 😘 The one with the dark long hair is my grandson. He’s going through his Samson phase and wants to grow his hair for ever. 😳

  14. Yes, I am always amazed and pleased to see so many pooches in the English Pubs! I didn’t know about the “Catslide” roof. What a lovely tradition to maintain! Where is the Fox Inn located?

  15. This is fantastic! There is a tradition with our football team that if they get into the Grey Cup a horse is paraded into the lobby where the team is staying. Not always so warmly welcomed depending on the host city. πŸ™‚

  16. Now you know why we insisted on having the public footpath, that was still shown as passing through the garden of the house we are trying to buy, moved! Great post Sylvia, highlighting the eccentricities of the English πŸ˜€

  17. One of the things I missed the most living in CA were the old pubs like this. How wonderful to have spent Christmas Day at this one. Love the horse going through the bar! I’m glad we don’t have a bridle trail going through our back garden as some places still do, but then if I lived in the country with a big enough piece of land, maybe I wouldn’t be so bothered πŸ˜‰ You can see how wet it is here…still no frost…! xx

    • Yes, I also love the old English pubs, Sherri. I sometimes think I wouldn’t mind moving back to England, except for the weather. πŸ™‚ My granddaughter is studying at York St. John University. It’ s her first British winter, and she’s not absolutely enthralled with all the rain they’ve had. 😯

      • This winter has been horrible, just rain, rain and more rain. It’s been horrendouse up north with the flooding, and although here in the west country we haven’t had anything like the awful floods of two years ago, the Somerset Levels once again look like lakes. Our usual walking place is under water once again. I long for a proper winter, frost, snow, ice. It’s not healthy having all this wet and mild temps. Even our grass is still growing!!! I hope your granddaughter gets to experience a proper English winter soon…just not in the wrong month, say May, which knowing our great British weather, isn’t impossible, lol πŸ™‚ And Sylvia, I would love it if you moved back here… πŸ™‚ xo

  18. Love old traditions and personally have no problem dining with pooches. Good luck with the house sale. That must mean the remodel is getting close to completion.

    • Thanks, Ingrid. No, the remodel is still nowhere near completion, but it’s coming on. If we sell quickly, we’ll have to make a plan. The people who saw our villa today, absolutely loved it and are coming again tomorrow, as well as another family. So it seems to be ‘all go’. πŸ™‚

  19. Seems to be more and more restaurants accepting dogs nowadays. As long as they are far from me, I can deal with it πŸ˜› Looks like you had lots of fun, good luck with the house and a very very happy new year to you all X

  20. You sell more houses than we do, and we used to be fast! The dog rules are amazing! Of which, naturally I am in favour. Horses too. Dogs and horses are far nicer than plenty of people.

    Love historic England. Hate the current system though 😦

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