Women's Corner

St Albans pub sparks fierce debate with its ‘child-free, dog-friendly’ policy which some brand ‘depressing’ – but do YOU think it’s fair?

A pub in St Albans has sparked fierce debate online over its policy not to allow children onto the premises, but welcoming dogs and their owners.

The Lower Red Lion pub proudly boasts it is ‘dog friendly’ and ‘child-free’ in a blackboard sign outside the premises.

After an X user named Kyle posted a snap of himself on the social media platform crouching next to the sign and joking it was his ‘new local’, other X users replied offering their thoughts on the policy – and it proved to be a very divisive subject.

While some people believed the pub was perfectly reasonable in implementing the policy because they preferred to enjoy their pints in the company of adults only, others said it ran the risk of excluding parents and leant into a trend of child-free spaces that was branded ‘distasteful’.

When contacted by FEMAIL, the Lower Red Lion declined to comment.

A pub in St Albans has sparked debate on X after a customer named Kyle posted a photo of its sign explaining its dog-friendly, child-free policy

The Lower Red Lion, which was first established in the 17th century, proudly boasts its history on its website as a watering hole that was located on major coaching route.

Although the website does not appear to make a mention of the pub’s ‘no children’ policy, its Instagram account shows pampered pooches asleep inside the establishment.

At Christmas in 2022, the pub ran a ‘Santa Paws’ event in aid of a homelessness charity, which encouraged punters to bring their dogs along to sit on the lap of Santa Paws and receive a goody bag – in a canine imagination of the Santa’s Grotto activity many parents take their children to during the month of December.

After X user Kyle posted the pub’s sign on the social media platform, people were quick to share their thoughts about the policy.

The Lower Red Lion, which was established in the 17th century, runs dog-friendly events on its premises

The Lower Red Lion, which was established in the 17th century, runs dog-friendly events on its premises

People were bitterly divided over the pub's policy, with some people arguing they think it's fair to operate child-free spaces while others vehemently disagreed

People were bitterly divided over the pub’s policy, with some people arguing they think it’s fair to operate child-free spaces while others vehemently disagreed

Fellow pubgoers who thought it was a fair policy hailed The Lower Red Lion for prohibiting children on its premises.

One person wrote: ‘There need to be more safe havens like this.’

Another said: ‘Not everything should be for kids and/or families. 

‘Sometimes adults want to just be around adults only, it’s not that deep.’

Another X user who had previously had a bad experience with children in a public space argued that ‘screaming kids’ are ‘the bane of my life’.

He said: ‘I went to a WINE TASTING recently and someone brought their toddler who was allowed to run around shouting, banging things, causing general disruption. Kid-free areas should exist.’


Do you agree with the pub’s policy?

Another person thought the pub’s policy should be replicated elsewhere and suggested: ‘Now let’s apply this to airplanes please.’

However, many vehemently disagreed with The Lower Red Lion’s policy and made their feelings known on the subject – with many arguing they’d rather be among children than dogs in a public space.

‘I think having dogs in every f***ing public setting imaginable is actually not great,’ one person argued.

Another accused people who were supportive of the policy of being ‘frightened’ of children, while several others argued everyone was a child once and that people should observe ‘kindness’ towards them.

One X user asked: ‘Why has it become socially acceptable to literally hate children?’

Another argued: ‘Not having children is obviously fine but this hatred of children is something I genuinely find extremely distasteful.’

According to UK licensing laws, pubs can impose restrictions on children entering their premises. 

The premises licence of an establishment can include restrictions on the hours in which children are allowed, the areas of the pub they can enter, and the presence of children during activities.

Some licences also include conditions that state children are not to be permitted at all, but licensees usually operate their own policy on children within their premises. 

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  • Source of information and images “dailymail

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