The Canine guide to Suffolk holiday cottages


The Canine guide to Suffolk

Kate W 12 November 2019

Your dog will have a ball on a holiday to the wonderfully dog-friendly county of Suffolk.

Dog-friendly Suffolk’s sand and shingle coastline awaits four-pawed travellers, this region’s heritage sites hide all kinds of treasures for wet noses to sniff out, and cosy pubs throughout this county are cooking up tasty grub to entice walkers and their waggy-tailed hounds.

Dog-friendly suffolk

There’s so much to do and things to see that we’ve created this Canine guide to Suffolk to help you and your playful pup figure out where to visit during your trip. Enjoy a relaxing break exploring this fantastic county; from coast to country there are many special places that welcome dogs and their human companions too.

Start browsing our pet-friendly holiday cottages in Suffolk and find your ideal retreat for your next UK getaway.


Discover all the best dog-friendly destinations throughout Suffolk in this guide. From the natural coastal marshes of Minsmere to the Anglo-Saxon treasure buried at Woodbridge, there’s plenty to keep you guessing in this wide and varied part of the UK.

Suffolk guide

Read up on all these wonderful Suffolk attractions and establishments then put your best paw forward to begin exploring…

What have we got to get tails wagging?

Click to fetch Suffolk's...
🏖️ Top beaches
🍴 Top dining spots
🐶 Top days out
🐾 Top walkies
🏡 Top places to stay

Best dog-friendly beaches

Felixstowe – race about or walk along the seafront

Felixstowe Beach

This seaside town, complete with a huge container port welcoming massive ships, has a fantastic stretch of shingle beach complete with wonderful seafront gardens just behind.

Watch the container ships pass by during your dog-friendly walk along the beach but check ahead as there are summer restrictions in place.

Kessingland – splash through waves at this shingle beach

Kessingland beach

A tranquil sand and shingle beach with a touch of historical intrigue – archaeologists have found Palaeolithic and Neolithic tools here! This unspoilt, wild beach is backed by low cliffs and thanks to its size rarely feels crowded even on sunny days.

The beautiful Benacre Nature Reserve sits just behind the beach and dogs on leads are welcome, a perfect opportunity to extend your walk and spot wildlife.

Lowestoft – dig in the sand or explore the harbour

Lowestoft beach

Another beach with summer restrictions when it comes to our four-pawed pals, however, it’s still a top dog beach during the autumn and winter months.

This seaside spot is right near the centre of town with a few cafés and pubs to pick from and to the north is the South Pier where children in your party can enjoy amusements while you take turns sitting outside with the dog - perhaps enjoying a pint or a box of fish ‘n’ chips.

Best dog-friendly pubs

1.     Best for lunch: Sole Bay Inn, Southwold

Sole Bay Inn Southwold

This dog-friendly restaurant bucks the trend of the dark and dingy inn, with tall windows letting in light – creating a bright and stylish atmosphere perfect for a relaxed morning or afternoon meal.

With options like brie wedges, nachos and fish finger sandwiches on the menu - or even a selection of burgers and jacket potatoes to choose from - it’s just the place for a tasty lunch after walking the seafront of Southwold.

2.     Best country pub: The Cherry Tree Inn, Woodbridge

The Cherry Tree Inn Woodbridge

A classic country pub where you can hide away after a day’s exploration, this charming 17th-century country establishment boasts roaring open fires, twisting oak beams and a cheery atmosphere, making it just the place to warm up after a bracing dog walk.

The menu boasts a fantastic variety with nachos, burgers, curry, steak and even beer-battered fish and chips.

3.     Best for classic pub grub: Dog and Partridge, Bury St Edmunds

Dog and Partridge Bury St Edmunds

In the centre of busy Bury St Edmunds, it’s a good choice if you want to enjoy a little shopping or run around the parkland first.

With several parks, riverside walks and fantastic amenities just for the humans, you could enjoy a great day out and about in this town before feasting on a well-deserved dinner in this dog-friendly pub.

Best dog-friendly days out

If your dog loves exploring… Thorpeness Meare, Thorpeness

Thorpeness Meare Thorpeness

This intriguing and magical wonderland created by a civil engineer over 100 years ago, is a unique family outdoor escape complete with a shallow but wide lake where children can row boats and swim in relative safety.

There are ornamental gardens, wildlife (swans in particular!) and children’s play areas like the Blue Lagoon and treasure islands, all outdoors making it a great dog-friendly place to visit, with your pet welcome to tag along under control with the whole family.

If your dog loves digging up a little history… Sutton Hoo, Woodbridge

Sutton Hoo Woodbridge

An expansive 255-acre National Trust estate with beautiful far-reaching views over the River Deben – you and your four-pawed pal can explore the grounds of this attraction and learn about the incredible story of the Anglo-Saxon ship burial at the Royal Burial Ground.

Afterwards, head down to the dog-friendly National Trust Kings River Café for a bite to eat while the dog snoozes at your feet.

If your dog loves pottering around gardens… Bury St Edmunds Abbey, Bury St Edmunds

Bury St Edmunds Abbey Bury St Edmunds

This is a huge and ever-popular gardens where your dog can enjoy a game of fetch, sniff the strange perfume of various flora, and share in a family picnic on the grass.

At the heart of this wonderful town attraction is the English Heritage-managed abbey itself, once a powerful Benedictine monastery but now a crumbling old ruin you can explore.

Best dog walks

Best woodland walk: Rendlesham Forest, Woodbridge

Rendlesham Forest Woodbridge

This peculiar attraction is a beautiful forested place for a good dog walk but is also intriguingly known for a series of UFO sightings that took place here during 1980.

Follow the meandering pathways, let your dog chase his tail among the trees and keep an eye out for any unusual sightings - who knows, extra-terrestrials may not be done with this place yet… 

Best coastal walk: Felixstowe and the Deben Estuary, Felixstowe

Felixstowe and Deben estuary

The entire Deben Peninsula offers beautiful walking with far-reaching coastal views everywhere - if you’re a nature lover, you can spot waders, wildfowl and saltmarsh birdlife throughout this estuary which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Pups will enjoy splashing through puddles, sniffing nature trails and getting muddy along this coastal walk.

Best for far-reaching views… National Trust Dunwich Heath, Minsmere

National Trust Dunwich Heath

If you’re searching for beautiful scenery, this coastal heath and beach is just the place – it’s particularly lovely when the heather is in full bloom as the weather cools.

Discover a serene place where you can get close to the natural world with your dog beside you every step of the way through this wonderful walking territory. Self-proclaimed as quiet, wild and dramatic, this sanctuary for nature is an intriguing place for dogs who will enjoy exploring a beautiful natural space.

Dog-friendly cottages

Best family cottage… The Granary Barn, Bury St Edmunds

The Granary Barn dog-friendly cottage in Suffolk

This five-star family escape in Suffolk is a great getaway for two dogs and their four humans amid tranquil Suffolk countryside. A real characterful property, it’s full of slanted ceilings, old beams and beautiful French doors that lead from the bedrooms straight into the enclosed garden. The kitchen/diner is downstairs, but on the first floor, you’ll find the cosy lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows with country views. 

What is there to bark about? Ask our guests:

‘This is our second visit within the year, this place is just perfect for a lovely relaxing time away. The Granary Barn is spotlessly clean and is equipped with everything you need. Beds are very comfy, and the lounge is really cosy. It’s a great location to go exploring or for taking long walks with the dog. Suzanne is a great host and we hope to have a third visit next year.’ – Gemma

The Granary Barn

Best for multiple mutts… Golden Rise Cottage, Lowestoft

Golden Rise Cottage in Suffolk

It can be tricky finding cottages that take dogs, especially groups of dogs, but up to three of your four-pawed pals are welcome here. Fantastically close to the beach and with a warming open fire ideal for cosy evenings, this pet-friendly self-catering cottage in Lowestoft is the perfect seaside getaway for the whole pack to enjoy. Head out for windswept coastal walks, dine out in one of the local pubs and unwind in comfort in this six-human retreat.

What is there to bark about? Ask our guests:

‘We have just had a lovely week at The Golden Rise cottage in Pakefield. It is also in a lovely location, with nice views and green just over the road. The fabulous dog-friendly beach is just a few more yards beyond that. We enjoyed going on the walks to Lowestoft along the beachfront and the great amenities nearby the cottage, two pubs, a fish and chip shop, a tea room/cake shop and stores all within walking distance. What more can you ask for.’ – Lynda

Golden Rise Cottage

Best big group getaway… The Holiday Barn, Needham Market

The Holiday Barn dog-friendly cottage

This hot tub cottage welcomes up to 22 human guests for a special break all together and two dogs can join them at this pet-friendly holiday cottage. This dog-friendly accommodation also houses games including pool, table tennis and karaoke to keep the humans entertained while your dog will love the long country walks and the chance to curl up in front of the roaring wood burner.

What is there to bark about? Ask our guests:

‘The cottage was a good venue for a large family get-together. The living areas and kitchen were spacious, and we enjoyed our time there.’ – Dipti

The Holiday Barn

Suffolk offers wonderful walking country, with long coastal footpaths and woodland trails to explore, and is the ideal destination for your next dog-friendly holiday. Delve into nature reserves, visit some of the fantastic attractions like ancient Sutton Hoo or the ever family-friendly Thorpeness Meare, and hide out in the cosy dog-friendly pubs scattered across this beautiful county.

Discover our full collection of dog-friendly cottages in Suffolk where you and your pup can put your paws up and relax with a welcome UK holiday.

Suffolk dog-friendly cottages

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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