The Canine guide to Lancashire holiday cottages


The Canine guide to Lancashire

Ed Roberts 18 April 2023

Looking for a dog-friendly holiday destination with a difference? Well, consider Lancashire, a bewitching place full of history, landscapes that will steal your breath away, iconic walks and some exceptional scope for fine dining – this is an intriguing, wild county and it’s just waiting for you and your dog to explore it without further delay.

Lancashire Heeler

With legendary beauty and scale, Lancashire is home to the brightest, most famous seaside resort in England, high hill ranges, long-distance walking trails and stunning swathes of moorland - so many opportunities for walkies that you won't know where to start. Caught between the Lake District, the Pennines and the Yorkshire Dales National Park, there are big cities like Manchester and Liverpool within short driving distance of the county; miles of sandy beaches at the Fylde Coast; the spellbinding Forest of Bowland AONB; the bold Ribble Valley, the heady heights of Pendle Hill; the Manchester Ship Canal, the ghostly ruins of Hoghton Tower; and the positively strange Singing Ringing Tree high above Burnley to uncover.

Dog on a canal boat

If you are thinking about booking a dog-friendly holiday cottage in Lancashire this season which is packed full of Fido-friendly features, then we have some excellent places all across the county for you to choose from. Whether you are planning a walking holiday with your loved ones, a romantic break, or an occasion to mark a family birthday, we have the perfect self-catering holiday home for you that welcomes everybody and their dogs. Pet-friendly features could include handy extras like enclosed gardens, dog beds, exercise areas, local access to nearby walks, and for spoilt hounds, welcome packs stuffed with tasty treats and toys! Find your next holiday heaven in Lancashire – a true dog-friendly location.

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Great dog-friendly days out in Lancashire



Best day out at the seaside: Arguably England’s best-loved seaside resort, Blackpool is famous for its illuminations along the seafront between mid-August and early November. The town is also known for its distinctive trams, the long, wide sandy beaches, kiss-me-quick hats, miles of video game arcades, donkey rides, and the world-famous Blackpool Tower.

Blackpool’s holiday peak lasts longer here because of the buzz of activity from the seafront’s parade of family fun activities that include the Pleasure Beach and two piers. So, you can have holiday fun here well into mid-winter. With over 1 million bulbs stretched along 6 miles, the illuminations are a fantastic focal point for a visit to the coast if you plan to holiday in the area. Kids love it here, grandparents love it here, you and dog will too. Everybody’s got a soft spot for kitsch old Blackpool.

There are some great dog-friendly places to eat along the seafront in addition to the legions of chippies you can choose from. Check out Café Fresch, the Galleon Café, or The Gynn – all of which invite you to bring your dogs in for lunch or breakfast (or both!)   

Blackpool 2

Dogs are welcome on the trams, so climb aboard and travel the full length of the beach and even further on to Fleetwood, a few miles up the coast. The line dates back to 1885, making Blackpool’s service one of the longest running in the world. Running 11 miles between Fleetwood Ferry and Starr Gate (just beyond the Pleasure Beach), it’s a Blackpool badge of honour to take a ride. 

Blackpool Tower is best viewed from the outside for dogs! But their accompanying humans can ascend to the ballroom near the top and further up enjoy the Skywalk, 380 feet up in the air. Brave the glass-floored viewing platform as you take in the stunning panorama over the Irish Sea. As for the lovely beach, an exclusion zone has been established near the North Pier during the period between May and September. As the beach is absolutely massive at Blackpool, dogs are welcome on the majority of the towns wide and sandy stretch. For older dogs and pups, they may prefer the sights and sounds of Blackpool Prom, there’s so much to see and do here for everybody.  

Why your dog will love it: Your dog will love a rare late night out and about, looking at the dazzling, otherworldly cornucopia of colourful lighting.

Stay at: Barn Owl at Cobblestones | Sleeps: 2 dogs + 4 humans 

Chorley Flower Show

Flower show

Best country park day out: Humans and dogs love to sniff flowers, so if your visit to Lancashire coincides with the Chorley Flower Show, this is the place to be. Taking place at Astley Park, the flower show is one of the county’s most popular events. Nurseries from all over the region show off their pride and joy at the show, and you can chat to horticulturalists and learn growing tips at one of the talks.

There are opportunities to buy flowers, plants and garden ornaments and tools too. It’s a superb day out for gardeners and those who appreciate beautiful plants… dogs are welcome! Astley Park is also a lovely place for a day out, with acres of grounds to explore and sniff out new scents.

Why your dog will love it: Dogs love scents, and this place will drive them spare (in a good way!)

Stay at: Ribble Valley View | Sleeps: 3 dogs + 4 humans 

Leighton Hall

Country Park

The best wild day out: Leighton Hall is home to 80 acres of open parkland. Dogs on leads are very welcome to join you for a lovely walk here. Leighton Hall is situated in the Arnside and Silverdale AONB, and the grounds are a wonderful choice for a gentle ramble with the dog. There’s plenty for children to do as well, with an outdoor play area and activities that are run by park staff.

Various conservation projects run at Leighton Hall, including deer and forestry protection and management. Uncommon red squirrels and butterflies, like the high brown fritillary, have been re-introduced to the estate too. Leighton Hall has useful facilities like a café and WCs – unfortunately, dogs aren’t permitted in the landscaped garden or the house. 

Why your dog will love it here: The park is a lovely, measured walk with lots to see and sniff.

Stay at: The Barn at Fernlea | Sleeps: 1 dog + 2 humans 

Wonderful walks in Lancashire

Pendle Hill

Pendle Hill

Best hill walk: Up above Burnley, Blackburn and Clitheroe is the well-known Lancashire beauty spot, Pendle Hill. There are lots of walking trails that wind around the hill, spiralling up to the summit. A hot spot for wayfaring dog-owners, amateur athletes, paragliders, kite flyers and cyclists, Pendle Hill is a superb choice for a day out in the great outdoors with your four-legged chum. 

Pendle Hill was once the home of wolves and wild boar; historians will also speak of the infamous witch trials of 1612. The Pendle Witches were tried at Lancaster Castle and executed at this untamed, bewildering landmark, you can even walk The Witches Trail, which forms a part of the much longer Pendle Way. The area of Pendle Hill is vast with villages and hamlets throughout the undulating slopes, and the number of pathways, countless. It’s a superb place to go for a pleasurable, muddy walk to see the Lancashire countryside at its purest. Bring your wellies! 

Why your dog will love it: The countryside is pure, and the walk is great exercise!

Stay at: Ribble Valley View | Sleeps: 2 dogs + 4 humans 

The Singing Ringing Tree

Singing Ringing Tree

Best quirky walk: The Singing Ringing Tree isn’t a real tree, it’s a metal sculpture near Burnley that harnesses the high winds turning its breath into a serene cacophony of musical notes. You can hear the sounds from far away as you approach, and it really is an artistic engineering marvel. Designed by Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu, and installed in the Pennines in 2006, this wind-powered sound sculpture won top honours for architectural excellence in 2007 from RIBA. 3 metres tall, its structure comprises steel pipes, contorted to resemble a tree. It will fox your dog with its peculiar song! It’s well worth the climb as the views are incredible.

Why your dog will love it: If your dogs love an atmospheric puzzle, this is a good one. Great views await too.

Stay at: Lower Mount Farm - On The Tops | Sleeps: 2 dogs + 6 humans 

The Trough of Bowland

Trough of Bowland

Best woodland walk: Situated in the Forest of Bowland AONB, the Trough of Bowland is a lovely, scenic corner with wooded valleys and open moorland swathes. A circular walk exists through the area that originates in the village of Dunsop Bridge and takes in the River Dunsop, Calder Moor and Whin Fell. Birdlife is prevalent along the path, look out for oystercatchers and buzzards. The stretch alongside the river is particularly breathtaking, with its waterfalls and fast eddies. The Forest of Bowland Way is another longer trail through this gorgeous part of Lancashire to discover.

Why your dog will love it: Scampering through woods and chasing squirrels. What’s not to love?

Stay at: Rose Cottage - Chipping | Sleeps: 2 dogs + 4 humans 

Lovely dog-friendly beaches in Lancashire



Best dog-friendly beach for sheer space: At low tide, the sea recedes a very long way, miles in fact and if you time your walk right, a beach walk at Morecambe is a real treat. The shifting sands and fast-moving tides in the bay mean you should time your walk responsibly – check the tide times. Play fetch or frisbee with your dog and walk back to town afterwards to enjoy a light lunch on the town promenade at one of the dog-friendly eateries like The Palatine, The Dog & Partridge or Rita’s Café. There are good facilities along the beach like WCs and parking.  

Why your dog will love it: There’s so much space to play.

Stay at: Sea View - Morecambe | Sleeps: 2 dogs + 9 humans 

Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay

The best unknown beach: Sandy Half Moon Bay is situated by Heysham Harbour close to the town’s Heritage Centre. Small grassy hills lightly flank the sands and there are rocks for you and your pooch to clamber over. The beach is nice for a moderate walk and play with your dog. You can see ferries leave the port for the Isle of Man from the beach. For music fans, the ancient stone sarcophagi at the northern end of the beach feature on the LP cover to The Best of Black Sabbath!  The mudflats and pockets of quicksand at low tide make this a tricky place to venture out very far from the shore – don’t let this put you off visiting though, it’s a lovely, atmospheric place to spend a few hours.

Why your dog will love it: It’s a smaller beach for smaller dogs and pups.

Marine Beach

Marine Beach

The beach reached by tram: Marine Beach is just up the road from busy Blackpool via a cool tram ride is the former fishing port of Fleetwood. The town’s beach is a blend of sand and shingle and is complemented by a modest dune system. At low tide, the sea retreats a long way, like at many of the resorts in the north-west and around Morecambe Bay.  Marine Beach is a lovely place for an amble if you have older dogs or a small puppy, as you can walk along the promenade here too. Livelier, young hounds will love to bounce and play. There is a restricted zone on the beach that is in effect between June and the end of August.

Why your dog will love it: A choice of promenade or beach to enjoy the salty sea air.

Stay at: Hare House at Cobblestones | Sleeps: 2 dogs + 6 humans

Places to eat and drink in Lancashire with your pooch

The Highwayman

Pub 1

The best dog-friendly Sunday roast: Close to the edge of Lancashire, where the county meets Yorkshire and Cumbria, The Highwayman is a superb former coaching inn that revels in its original charm. This is the archetypal, north country pub with a great selection of ales and a deep menu that pushes your culinary expectations. Sunday lunch is delicious here, but book ahead or you and your dog will have to lick the pictures on the menu instead.

Why your dog will love it: The better the Sunday roast, the better the leftover scraps are.

Stay at: Buttercup Cottage – Sedburgh | Sleeps: 2 dogs + 2 humans

The Priory Inn


The one for dogs with a refined palate: Just south of Lancaster at the edge of the Forest of Bowland AONB, The Priory Inn welcomes well-behaved dogs in the café bar. You can enjoy a pleasant coffee, a glass of wine or a pint of ale. Fresh pastries are high on our list of delicious eats at this spot. In the beautiful Bowland village of Scorton, it’s a pleasant place for a light lunch and with the covered outside area, you can enjoy your drinks all year round. 

Why your dog will love it: The outdoor area is a great place to watch the world go by.

Stay at: The Old Barn at Bells Farm | Sleeps: 3 dogs + 4 humans  

Fylde Fish and Chips

fish & chips

The best for fish and chips: A holiday in England without a raid on the local chippy isn’t a holiday! Strong words, but when the fish and chips are this good, you may be inclined to agree. Fylde Fish and Chips in Southport do the job right, cooked in less than 1 per cent trans-fat oil, their cod tastes divine. Don’t forget to share some scraps with your hound!

Why your dog will love it: Dogs love the odd chip here and there.

Stay at: The Old Piggery - Barton | Sleeps: 2 dogs + 4 humans

Eat these when you are in Lancashire:

Lancashire Hotpot

When you are out and about scouting for food with your hound, look out for these delicious Lancastrian treats:

  • Lancashire hotpot / Scouse – Lancashire Hotpot and Scouse are very similar to an Irish Stew. Scouse will be forever associated with Liverpool, which used to be in Lancashire. It’s essentially a casserole with lamb or beef and potatoes, carrots, swede, turnip, onions and some delicious stock for extra flavour.
  • Aughton pudding – This is a plum pudding that resembles a Christmas pudding without the sherry! There’s even a festival that happens once every 21 years to celebrate its creation.
  • Pea Wet – This one is for culinary warriors; essentially this is the left-over liquid from mushy peas poured over a bread roll (or pie barm)!
  • Courting cake – Woo your intended with a cake like this! The courting cake, as the name suggests, was traditionally baked and prepped as a shortcut to a man’s heart. Resembling a Victoria sponge, this has something of a shortbread texture, yet the love match was probably sealed by the strawberries and cream and the inability of the men to escape the amorous baker once they’d being plied with a slice or two.  
  • Butter pie – Luckily, the butter is mainly confined to the pastry ingredients and not the sole content of this intriguing pie. Thinly sliced potatoes, onions, butter and black pepper are the constituents within this beige staple, which is still a dinnertime staple around Preston and Chorley!

Enjoy a dog-friendly holiday in Lancashire

Enjoy a dog-friendly holiday in Lancashire

Clockwise | Barn Owl at Cobblestones, Plum Tree, and Waterfall Cottage

Stay at one of our self-catering dog-friendly holiday cottages in Lancashire. No matter what you seek to do on your trip to Lancashire, our holiday homes provide the ultimate backdrop to the occasion. If you are looking for a romantic break or an escape with all the family, we have cosy properties, tucked away in the countryside for just the pair of you, and not forgetting your four-legged buddy too.

We have large country houses in some great locations for an extended holiday break and more modest properties for young families who are hoping to explore this lovely county with the kids and dogs!  Where will you stay on your dog-friendly holiday to Lancashire?

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.

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