Clumber Park extends trial of dog-friendly cafe after paw-fect response

Central Bark manager Sarah Lewis, David and Wendy Ellis with Oscar, Donna Haselhan with dogs Bracken and Bluebell, food and beverage manager Claire Gardener and marketing officer Benedict Mason.
Central Bark manager Sarah Lewis, David and Wendy Ellis with Oscar, Donna Haselhan with dogs Bracken and Bluebell, food and beverage manager Claire Gardener and marketing officer Benedict Mason.

After a long dog walk, there is no better feeling than a sit down with your pooch to enjoy a relaxing cup of tea and a piece of cake.

And the Central Bark Café in Worksop’s Clumber Park is offering dog lovers the chance to do just that.

Janice and George Wallis with Fin.

Janice and George Wallis with Fin.

After initially opening for a trial period in June, the park has now announced an extension to the pilot.

So the doors and dog flaps will be staying open, with a further review set to take place in the summer.

The cafe, which is located just outside the Walled Kitchen Garden in the heart of Clumber Park, offers refreshments, sweet treats and an environment for visitor’s dogs to relax.

The National Trust, which owns the park, says it has been “overwhelmed” with the positive feedback it has received.

The dog-friendly cafe Central Bark, which is situated just outside the Walled Kitchen Garden in the heart of Clumber Park.

The dog-friendly cafe Central Bark, which is situated just outside the Walled Kitchen Garden in the heart of Clumber Park.

Bosses at the park have also listened to feedback from customers, and pledged to improve signage so the café can be found easily, to improve outdoor shelters and expand their hot food range.

Clumber Park last year received more than 650,000 visitors – making it the most visited National Trust property in England and Wales.

A third of those visitors own dogs, with thousands using Central Bark since its opening.

A park spokesman said: “Central Bark is now included in the welcome guide, and the dog walking leaflet.

Bill Anderson with Dexter and Sammy

Bill Anderson with Dexter and Sammy

"We are aware that during the hotter days, it can be a little warm inside.

"Therefore, we are looking at options to address this in the future.

“Our website and social media will continue to promote Central Bark, in order to raise awareness of the facility.

“Outdoor shelter is being improved, including umbrellas, to keep visitors out of the elements when in the garden.

Michael Radford with Barkley and Wilomena

Michael Radford with Barkley and Wilomena

“Visitors are able to give us feedback in Central Bark through comment cards, or by speaking to a member of staff.

“Visitor numbers to Central Bark have been far higher than anticipated, with a continually warm and friendly atmosphere being maintained by a steady stream of visitors – with some returning on an almost daily basis.

“Feedback given to our Central Bark staff has been almost unanimously positive.”

The café was opened as part of a bid to breathe new life into Clumber Park, with a 10-year programme in place to revitalise the site. Areas of woodland and scrub will be thinned, to reveal hidden layers of the parkland. Improvements will also be made to the park’s toilet facilities.

Des Phelan with Bonnie

Des Phelan with Bonnie