It appears that some humans think that taking their dog on holiday should be simply an afterthought and that we can just be booked as, perish the thought, an ‘extra’. Well, we know that if you are reading this, you would not put up with that kind of treatment. Your humans quite rightly think of your enjoyment as much as their own and only consider holidays that include you as much as possible.
We really love our humans for this but they are not dogs and may not know exactly what we are looking for. So we decided to do an executive survey – well, we had a bit of a chat with our canine friends at the park – and this was the top 10 list of things that they would like on their pawfect holiday:
- exciting places to go out exploring with the humans
- fun walkies – not just long ones but interesting ones
- lots of cuddles from friendly people eating sandwiches
- picnic areas with friendly people eating sandwiches
- nice dogs with friendly owners eating sandwiches
- beaches to run across with the wind in our fur
- a nice log fire in the winter with our bed in front of it
- 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. We can also not guarantee availability of sandwiches. However, we have tried our best to come up with a selection of top dog holidays for you to peruse – happy planning!
Holidays for the water-loving hound
Our favourite holidays by far are on the beach – long cool runs on summer evenings, splashing about in the surf and brisk walks in the winter on secluded beaches with our favourite humans; both were equally as popular in our survey.
Some participants mentioned that they would prefer to stay at dog friendly beach cottages, while others insisted on a waterside view, be it sea, harbour or river. If you are lucky, your holiday home will also have a nearby promenade where you can have an evening stroll in your finery. Here the humans can stop for an ice-cream and people watch and you can steal the end of the cornet and dog watch. Heaven.
Holidays for the historical hound
Some hounds are more educated than others and this means that one dog’s castle is another dog’s kennel. So choose wisely when looking for a property near to places of interest. Top tips: National Trust properties welcome (we simply do not accept the word ‘allow’) canines, and some even provide a lead if your human forgets yours. They are really nice to us, making sure we have a shady spot in the car park and water for our bowls.
Unfortunately you can’t go in the houses and castles as they are full of beautiful furniture, paintings and carpets. Chair legs are apparently of interest to certain pooches and Persian rugs are apparently not made for us to roll around on. Well, you know humans and their strange ways.
So 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. Also for the cosmopolitan canine, head to Kingston Lacy in Dorset, an Italian-style country house. Lanhydrock in Cornwall is a late-Victorian estate which also offers outdoor seating and doggy biscuits which is much appreciated. English Heritage also welcome dogs at many of their locations - Scarborough Castle, Housesteads Roman Fort at Hadrian’s Wall and Beeston Castle are three of the places that we love.
Holidays for the sociable hound
Where better than on holiday to meet new friends? Together you can have a roll about on the grass, perhaps share a toy (theirs, not yours), and maybe be just a bit silly? All that protecting the family at home is very demanding and your holiday should be a stress-free zone. Scamper around with new friends, perhaps also on vacation, sniff the salty sea air and get the humans to arrange lots of play-dates for the coming days.
And then there is walking along untrodden country lanes where you can meet new squirrel friends (warning: they might not be as up for this as you are), as well as country pubs where you can meet other dogs and people who will tell you how lovely you are. Beach houses, lakeside houses and country houses are the perfect bases to meet lots of new chums who are also on holiday, and our cottages with enclosed gardens are perfect for those on a playdate.
Holidays for the hungry hound
Now we know that humans don’t always like to cook on holiday (your dinner aside of course), and they like to go to pubs and restaurants to have another human do it for them. It’s all food so where it comes from doesn’t matter and it may well be better than the food you steal at home from the counter when nobody is looking. So it’s important for the peckish pooch to make sure that he chooses a holiday home near to such establishments, and more importantly ones that welcome us inside. Do not approach those that have one of those nasty ‘no dogs’ signs.
Lots of our cottages near pubs are close to very welcoming dog-friendly establishments and if you are lucky, the human will be very tired after a long walk and will stop off for a pint – of course, you will be there to hoover up the crumbs from the crisps.
Holidays for the country hound
There is one thing that we still insist upon when going on holiday and that’s our walkies. Whether it’s long windswept walks over the Yorkshire moors, having a little stroll and a play, or perhaps dipping a paw in a stream in the pretty counties of Kent and Sussex, we love our outdoors 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 National Trust routes or National Parks – there’s mountains, rivers and all sorts of exciting places to go. Just make sure your owner takes water for you and a map in case your nose takes you to interesting smells off the beaten track. Then come back and have a quick snooze while the human gets your bed all comfy and your dinner ready. After all, you are on holiday to relax.
Holidays for every hound
If you're still not quite sure what kind of holiday you're after, worry not as we have a choice of thousands of dog-friendly holiday cottages throughout the UK. Paw your way through our collection to find the pawfect holiday property in the countryside, in the city or on the coast for you and your humans.