Valladolid with your dog
The province of Valladolid offers interesting plans for you to make with your dog, such as exploring the Castle of Torrelobatón, where El Cid was filmed, having fun playing among miniature castles, churches and walls in the Mudéjar Theme Park in Olmedo, or visiting the Stone Museum in Campaspero, which produces the stone used to restore the main historic buildings.
I was in Valladolid in October 2018. The provincial capital has quite a few bars and restaurants which we can enter with our human companions (see the guide below), although I didn’t manage to find any dog-friendly tourist attraction.
The other downside is the public transport, as buses don’t allow access to pet dogs, according to the company’s website. It would be interesting for Valladolid to follow the example of other Spanish cities like Palma, where bus routes have been established that can be accessed by dogs provided they are wearing a muzzle and are on a leash.
The positive side to the city, apart from the plentiful dog-friendly establishments, is that there are several green spaces with areas set aside for dogs.I visited the Moreras Park, although there are more parks fitted out with these features, namely the parks of Mediodía de Parquesol, Canterac, Soto de Medinilla, Alameda and Santa María de la Cabeza (Pajarillos). Further information is available from the municipal website.
By the way, dogs are not allowed in the city’s main park, Campo Grande – not even on a leash – because we were told peacocks live in the wild there. The Valladolid Tourist Office is right beside this park, and this is a dog-friendly place. Here you’ll be informed about the city’s main monuments to help you organise your visit to the city: St. Paul’s Convent church, the church of La Antigua, the San Benito monastery and the main square, etc.
If you are planning to wander around Valladolid, don’t forget to carry a bottle of soapy water, as a bylaw was passed in 2018 which stipulates 150 Euro fines for those who fail to clean any wee their dog may “accidentally” leave on façades, lamp posts or, in general, any street furniture (you can read this and other regulations in section 12).
THE BOOK VILLAGE AND THE STONE MUSEUM
Many of these monuments have been restored using stone from Campaspero. Well-behaved dogs are allowed to enter this place, around 45 minutes’ drive from Valladolid, to learn about the secrets of the Stone Museum - the first museum of its type in Castile and Leon. Dogs of all sizes are allowed provided they are on a leash and controlled by their human companions. In the photo on this page you can see me next to a giant head located in the museum courtyard, containing the stone manuscripts that visitors put inside it to leave their impressions. At the museum, (visits can be arranged in advance) you can learn a lot about the different types of stone and quarrying methods, etc.
During the course of my travels through the lands of Valladolid, I headed for Urueña, the Book Village. Apart from walking along the top of its walls, which are very well-preserved by the way, we mutts are made very welcome at many of its bookshops. It’s quite remarkable that a small town like this is home to around a dozen specialist bookshops, ranging from children’s books to fanzines, books about film and travel guides. I took a look at thePáramo, Alcaraván and El Portalón bookshops, the last-mentioned boasting a small terrace serving delicious homemade dishes.
CASTLES AND THE MUDÉJAR PARK
Yet Valladolid is a also a land of castles, most of which are not open to families accompanied by dogs, except for the Castle of Torrelobatón (close to Urueña and half an hour’s drive from Valladolid). This is one of the best-preserved castles in Castile and Leon -Hollywood chose it as the setting for scenes in El Cid (1961, starring Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren). We well-behaved dogs are allowed to enter several exhibition halls (one of them contains photos and posters from the time when the film was shot), and we can also climb up onto the top of the wall and walk along it.It’s a great place to visit.
On my tour around Valladolid, I also stopped to stretch my legs in Medina del Campo, to have a stroll around the park that surrounds the amazing Castle of La Moya (dogs must be kept on a leash), but wasn’t able to enter the castle because families with dogs are not allowed.
And I also got the time to take a look around the Natural Reserve of Riberas de Castronuño-Vega del Duero, the only protected natural area in the province. There is a Park House that provides information about the different routes available, such as the ones leaving from La Muela viewpoint just a few metres away from the house.
And to conclude, I invite you to make a great plan with the family – this involves heading from the Mudéjar Theme Park, in Olmedo. We well-behaved doggies of any size are welcome provided we remain on a leash and adhere to the same regulations as humans have to (not stepping on the lawn, for instance).In this park, which is full of surprises, we can wander around the 21 miniature brick reproductions of castles, churches and walls from Castile and Leon, and even go inside some of them with our human companions. This is, without doubt, a place where you can have a great time while at the same time learning about art and history. You can see me in the photo on this page in my role as watchman at theCoca Castle (in fact I’m watching over the cat that lives there and wouldn’t stop provoking me during my entire visit, ha, ha).