Wondering what activities to do on your next dog-friendly holiday? We've put together a list of the best holidays with dogs in the UK to give you plenty of travel inspiration!
Time spent with your loved ones is what holidays are all about, and whether or not you can take your family pet along shouldn't even be in question.
While there are many places that are reluctant to take dogs, we not only welcome dogs into our holiday cottages, we understand that there are all kinds of pups and families who have a whole range of tastes when it comes to the choosing how to holiday with the hound.
Everyone in the family deserves a holiday they'll remember for a lifetime, and we have no doubt that your dog has plenty of ideas of what makes a great trip.
So, we sent out our hounds to do an executive survey – well, they had a bit of a bark with their canine friends at the park – and this was the top 10 list of things that they would like on their ideal holiday:
- Exciting places to go out exploring with the humans
- Dog walks and trails – not just long ones but interesting too!
- Lots of cuddles and fuss from friendly humans
- Picnic areas with lots of unattended food...
- The chance to make a few canine acquaintances
- Beaches to run across with the wind in their fur
- Log fires, wood burners and fluffy rugs for cosy evenings
- An enclosed garden that leads onto a beach or field
- An endless supply of biscuits to be fed by the human on demand
- No cats within a 100-mile radius unless agreed beforehand
Our expert panel of holidaying hounds in the office have carefully scrutinised this list and regret that endless biscuits and no cats, though a popular choice, could not make it into the final edit.
However, we have tried our best to come up with a selection of top dog holidays for you and your four-pawed pal to peruse and we hope one of these adventures gets the bark of approval – happy planning!
Holidays for the water-loving hound
Many of our canine friends will agree, the best holidays for dogs by far include time spent on the beach and we've got a blog full of our favourite dog-friendly beaches in the UK to help with your travel plans. Long runs on summer evenings, splashing about in the surf, and brisk winter dog walks on secluded beaches with their favourite humans; all popular activities in our doggy survey.
A woman and her dog exploring Druridge Bay, Northumberland
Some of our canine participants mentioned that they would prefer to stay at a dog-friendly beach cottage, while others insisted on a waterside view, be it sea, harbour or river. If you do your research, you could find a holiday home with a nearby promenade where your pup can enjoy an evening stroll in their finery.
Discover a few of our top suggestions of where to stay for dog-friendly holidays on the beach, where you can stop for an ice cream and people watch while your playful pup can steal the end of the ice cream cone and dog watch. Heaven.
Holidays for the historical hound
One dog’s kennel is another dog’s castle, and we know of several excellent dog-friendly castles you should check out on your travels.
Historical breaks provide some of the best holidays for dogs and their owners with lots of outdoor space and local legends to uncover while away. The UK has a long and complex history, and there are endless historical sites across our small island for you and your four-legged best friend to uncover during your break. Wherever you stay, there's sure to be a place of interest near you but look out for castles, National Trust properties and English Heritage sites before you go, to match your own interests.
Top tip: Many National Trust properties welcome dogs, and some even provide a lead if you forget yours at home. They are really dog-friendly, often making sure pups have a shady spot in the car park and water for their bowls.
Unfortunately, dogs cannot go inside the houses and castles at many historical sites as they are full of beautiful furniture, paintings and carpets, but there are often miles of glorious grounds to explore and always an ancient ruined castle or fortress where you and your pup could wander between the spaces where rooms once stood. Head to one of the many beautiful dog-friendly National Trust properties we've spotted.
One delightful destination that is worth a visit in our book is Petworth Park in West Sussex, which has over 700 acres to roam around in, and then there is Croome in Worcestershire – they really love us there. For the cosmopolitan canine, head to Kingston Lacy in Dorset, an ornate Italian-style country house to explore. Lanhydrock in Cornwall is a late-Victorian estate which also offers outdoor seating and doggy biscuits which is much appreciated.
Meanwhile, a few fantastic English Heritage locations that welcome dogs include Scarborough Castle, Housesteads Roman Fort at Hadrian’s Wall and Beeston Castle.
Holidays for the sociable hound
Where better than on holiday to meet new friends? Your best friend will relish the opportunity to roll about on the grass, race across a sandy beach, and maybe just be a bit silly while meeting a few mutt mates. All that protecting the family at home is very demanding and your pup's holiday should be a stress-free zone.
Let your canine companion play at the local park, sniff the salty sea air on a coastal walk, and enjoy meeting lots of fellow dogs on their daily walks during your UK getaway.
And then there is the chance to walk along untrodden country lanes and explore big country parks where your pup can meet new squirrel friends and sniff out a range of other wildlife - although chances are the squirrels won't stick around to play!
Make the most of evenings out at dog-friendly country pubs where your canine companion may get to meet other dogs and owners who'll give them a good fuss. Some of the best places for UK dog holidays include beach houses, lakeside houses and country houses, which all offer a great base from which to meet lots of new chums who are also on holiday, and our cottages with enclosed gardens are perfect for those dogs on a playdate.
Holidays for the hungry hound
We don't always want to cook on holiday so the chance to head to the local pub or restaurant is paramount during any break so you can truly relax. There are plenty of warm and cosy dog-friendly pubs across the whole country, no matter where you are, you're sure to find a good one. There are even pubs offering up water bowls and treats so your dog can enjoy refuelling as well.
Restaurants on the other hand can be a little trickier, so if you're planning a fancy dinner out, phone ahead to make sure your pup can join you. Many restaurants and hotels have a designated area especially for families with dogs so you can enjoy a special meal out with your doggo snoozing beneath the table. Here are a few of the most dog-friendly pubs and places to eat across the UK so you'll have no trouble finding a delightful eatery for dining out.
Searching for a light bite rather than a big evening meal out with the dog? Take a look at these wonderful options:
Lots of our cottages near pubs are close to very welcoming dog-friendly establishments, making it easy to stop off for a pint after a long walk or day full of adventure – of course, your faithful friend will be there to hoover up the crumbs from the crisps.
Holidays for the country hound
There is one thing that all dogs insist upon when going on holiday and that’s a few good long walks. In fact, the very best dog holidays include the chance for interesting walks. Whether you venture out on long windswept hikes over the Yorkshire Moors, breathe the salty sea air as you explore the Wales Coast Path, or enjoy gentle strolls through the local village or town centre, dogs love the outdoor life.
Many of our properties are in the middle of the countryside or in lovely little villages, many with brilliant walks on the doorstep of interesting National Trust routes or renowned national parks – there are mountains, rivers and all sorts of exciting places to go that both you and your canine companion will love! Just make sure to bring along water for the dog and a map in case you take a wrong turn or venture off the beaten track.
Your pup will be quite happy to flop on the carpet back at your holiday cottage and enjoy a quick snooze while you put your feet up with a good book or film. After all, you are on holiday to relax.
If you and your four-pawed friend are seeking a holiday far from the hustle and bustle of the world, we have a wealth of beautiful cottages hidden away in forests, hillsides and along the coast. Get inspired with a look at our blog offering up a few wonderful remote dog-friendly cottages found in our portfolio.
Holidays for every hound
If you're still not quite sure what kind of holiday you and the pup are after, worry not as we have a choice of thousands of dog-friendly holiday cottages - you'll soon put together a fantastic holiday with your dogs in the UK. Paw your way through our collection to find the ideal holiday property in the countryside, in the city or on the coast for you and your pack.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.