Dog-friendly days out in Sussex holiday cottages

Days out

Dog-friendly days out in Sussex

Kate W 09 January 2023

Known for its dramatic coastline and rolling countryside, it will come as no surprise that Sussex is a fantastic place for a getaway with your canine chum involved.

You can enjoy days out with the dog walking the coastline and discovering glistening beaches, or head inland to visit museums full of mystery and intrigue. Whether looking forward to a romantic two-person trip, a big family getaway, or a holiday with a group of friends, there’s a host of fantastic dog-friendly places to visit in Sussex.

Dig through these excellent dog-friendly attractions in Sussex and begin planning a break to remember.

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Jump to section to discover a fantastic dog-friendly day out near your Sussex cottage...

Dog-friendly days out in West Sussex

Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters, Eastbourne 

Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters

The magnificent Seven Sisters cliffs are a must-see during your Sussex break, they tower over a serene sandy beach and offer a fantastic stretch of coastline between Seaford and Eastbourne.

The beautiful Seven Sisters Country Park that stretches behind the cliffs is managed by the National Trust and offers miles of wildlife-rich parkland for you and your pup to wander together. It’s a wonderful Sussex day-out option for beach adventures, picnics and ball games.

Why your dog will love this: The wide open spaces are great for energetic pups, and water babies will love running through the waves.

Good to know: Facilities are limited due to the immense space but there is a cafe, an accessible WC block and accessible parking near the beach. There are 50 steps to navigate to reach the beach.

Stay nearby: Glebe Cottage, Eastbourne | Sleeps 6 + 5 dogs 

Nyman's Wood, Handcross 

Nyman's woodlands

Nyman’s is a house and garden in Handcross, just south of Crawley, that’s a haven for garden lovers with a fantastic wider woodland and estate for dogs and their pup parents to discover. While your pup can’t go in the house, the gardens are open to dogs in the winter so it’s well worth popping by.

The Nyman's enchanting woodland itself is bursting with beauty – discover a lake, cascades, an ancient oak and beech forest, and the tallest tree in Sussex!

Why your dog will love this: There are sure to be plenty of wildlife trails to sniff out and squirrels to chase in this charming woodland.

Good to know: Be aware, steep sections of the path can get muddy and slippery. Keep a look out for wonderful sculptures hidden amongst the trees created by local carver, David Lucas, and you’ll also see huge, upturned roots left from the Great Storm of 1987.

Stay nearby: The Cottage At Horsted Keynes, Horsted Keynes | Sleeps 4 + 2 dogs 

Weald & Downland Living Museum, Chichester 

Weald & Downland Living Museum

Uncover over 1,000 years’ worth of history at the Weald & Downland Living Museum just north of Chichester in West Sussex. You and your dog will have so much to see at this wonderful Sussex day-out destination, with over 50 period buildings as well as gardens, farm animals and even walking trails.

At this 40-acre open-air museum, there’s also a theatre, exhibitions and family activities for kids if you’re visiting with little ones. Book in for a special walk-and-talk event or just arrive and get stuck in exploring!

Why your dog will love this: It’s a great chance for your pup to be out in the fresh air and meet friendly faces while the humans of the group enjoy fun activities.

Good to know: The theatre and guided walk-and-talks are listed on their website – make sure to check what’s on and book in before you go.

Stay nearby: The Cart Barn, Chichester | Sleeps 2 + 1 dog 

Amberley Museum, Amberley

Amberley Museum

This curiosity makes a wonderful West Sussex day out with the dog where you can find out all about the region’s industrial heritage. Located in a former chalk quarry, Amberley Museum is another open-air museum with old buildings your canine pal is welcome to enter by your side. It also boasts a range of intriguing attractions including a narrow gauge railway, vintage vehicle demos and exhibitions.

See the makers crafting away in their workshops – there’s wood turning, glass making and broom making going on at various times across the site. There are also nature trails to follow if you fancy taking in some greenery between seeing the industrial sites.

Why your dog will love this: Being able to enter the buildings and get on the bus with their human companions is a real treat, and makes this place a good pick if you’re not sure what the weather is up to that day!

Good to know: Check their What’s On page to plan ahead for special trips and take a look at their page of Craft Courses if you want to get creative during your break.

Stay nearby: Cathedral View, Arundel | Sleeps 4 + 1 dog 

West Dean Gardens, Chichester

West Dean Gardens

Admire the fantastic scenery and foliage as you make your way through the grounds of the exquisite West Dean Gardens. The changing seasons and constant work of the gardeners mean there’s always something new to spot on each visit. Plan your visit accordingly for exposed winter bark, bulbs bursting through the ground in spring, summer blooms filling the borders, or autumnal colour as the leaves begin to change. 

There‘s an arboretum space to explore, glasshouses, a kitchen garden, an orchard, a spring garden, a sunken garden and a fabulous 90-metre pergola to walk through. It’s a great day out with something for every kind of gardener and their four-pawed companion.

Why your dog will love this: All the smells to sniff out are sure to intrigue your canine pal to no end during your visit.

Good to know: RHS Members get free access from October through to February.

Stay nearby: The Cart Barn, Chichester | Sleeps 2 + 1 dog 

Dog-friendly days out in East Sussex

True Crime Museum, Hastings 

True Crime Museum, Hastings

For lovers of true crime podcasts and documentaries, the True Crime Museum is full of interest with stories and tales from some notorious killers including the Krays, The Deadly Doctor, and the Hastings Ripper suspect…

Full of macabre objects, you’ll learn about things you may wish you hadn’t at this interesting museum, which is not one for the faint of heart. It’s a good thing doggy companions are welcome to come along to keep you company.

Why your dog will love this: This is just the place for friendly dogs as your waggy-tailed pal will no doubt get plenty of fuss from other visitors, and it’s a great rainy day attraction for dogs in Sussex too!

Good to know: It’s set down on Hastings seafront so you could plan a whole day's worth of activities in Hastings town itself. After the museum, why not grab a bite to eat at a dog-friendly pub or head to Hastings Pier on a seaside stroll?

Stay nearby: 4 West Street, Hastings | Sleeps 6 + 2 dogs 

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, Rye 

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

A dramatic landscape of marshland and mudflats, Rye Harbour Nature Reserve is a scenic seaside spot that provides a valuable habitat for a whole range of migrating birds. Go birdwatching and dog walking with your canine companion and look out for rare and more common birds such as the little, common and sandwich terns, which have famous breeding colonies here.

It’s in a great location below the quaint town of Rye, and it’s also between Winchelsea and Camber so there’s plenty more along the coast to see after your Rye Harbour rambles.

Why your dog will love this: The salty sea and wildlife trails will give your pup plenty to discover during your visit.

Good to know: Rye Harbour Discovery Centre on-site is a great place to start and end your visit – boasting a cafe and information about the nature reserve.  

Stay nearby: Riverside Cottage, Rye | Sleeps 4 + 2 dogs 

Camber Sands, Camber

Camber Sands

This East Sussex beach is rather special. Camber Sands is wonderfully sandy – rare for this shingly stretch of coastline – with wonderful sand dunes for you and your pup to explore on a visit and miles of wide open stretches for your canine companion to race around on.

Enjoy far-reaching, sweeping views of the coast from this magical spot – it’s popular for water sports too so you might even get to watch kite surfers out to sea on your visit.

Why your dog will love this: Plenty of space for ball games, driftwood-chasing and paddles in the waves.

Good to know: Dogs are allowed on this beach all year round. However, there is a section that is off-limits to pups during the warmer months, so plan your visit accordingly.

Stay nearby: Westwick, Camber | Sleeps 6 + 2 dogs 

Alexandra Park, Hastings

Alexandra Park, Hastings

At 109 acres, this elegant landscape is Hastings’ biggest parkland and is made up of a lower formal parkland and a higher, more wild and wooded section on a hillside.

Enjoy spending time in the impressive arboretum, which has one of the best collections of trees in Britain including lots that are considered champions. Walk the banks of the reservoirs, pop by the cafe or sit and people-watch on the outdoor seating.

Why your dog will love this: What dog doesn’t love walkies in the park? And with a choice of formal and woodland settings to spend your time, you could just let Fido follow his nose and see where you all end up!

Good to know: You can plan ahead to enjoy coarse fishing on the reservoirs. Alexandra Park is just outside of Hastings so it’s easy to reach if you’re staying in this charming corner of East Sussex.

Stay nearby: Hastings House, Hastings | Sleeps 11 + 2 dogs

Bodiam Castle grounds, Robertsbridge 

Bodiam Castle

While dogs can’t enter the main castle, it’s a real adventure exploring the vast and varied grounds of this ancient estate. Venture out among the wetland, grassland and woodland habitats, peer into the castle moat – home to a variety of carp – and look out for more wildlife and archaeological features on your unforgettable dog walk, all with magnificent Bodiam Castle as the backdrop.

Listen out to the calls of the woodpeckers; there are also birds of prey and bats on site, although you are far more likely to spot them at night.

Why your dog will love this: There’s no shortage of interesting smells and sights that will enthral your dogs, and plenty of sticks to chase in the woodland!

Good to know: Dogs must be kept on leads due to the wildlife on site, especially the ducks that make their home on the banks of the moat.

Stay nearby: The Lady Stella, Sandhurst | Sleeps 2 + 2 dogs 

Dog-friendly places to stay in Sussex

Browse through our wide range of beautiful pet-friendly holiday cottages across West Sussex and East Sussex. This country is full of charming towns and villages, serene seaside resorts, and rural countryside, so you’ll soon find the perfect setting for your next break with the dog.

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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