Taking your pet pooch on your getaway means more than just having a four-legged third wheel along for the ride. It’s their holiday too, so it’s important they feel included in all your holiday hijinks – whether that’s a pint in the local or a stroll in some gorgeous gardens.
We’ve put together a list of some of the best days out and pup-friendly destinations across the UK from Scotland down to the New Forest, which means you can put your paws up in one of our pet-friendly cottages and let us do the leg work. With dog-friendly castles with no restrictions, the best beaches and even top theme parks on offer, you’ll have no trouble finding places to take your dog.
So, choose your favourite dog-friendly tourist attractions and then find a cottage nearby. Tap the button below to start searching for dog-friendly properties.
We've rounded up the best of the best dog-friendly days out here, but for even more dog-friendly places to visit around the UK, check out our handy Dog-Friendly Index map.
Dog-friendly tourist attractions
Dog-friendly National Trust properties with no restrictions
Go barking mad for these excellent National Trust properties with no doggy restrictions. There are over 500 National Trust properties throughout the UK and the majority will accept your four-legged friend with open paws. Visit the Needles Old Battery and New Battery above the Needles Rocks on the Isle of Wight or treat the pups to William Wordsworth’s former residence at Allan Bank in the Lake District.
Dog-friendly gardens where your pup can smell the flowers
Dogs have a sense of smell anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 times better than humans, so why not let them put it to good use and reward them with a visit to some of the UK’s glorious gardens? From the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall to Batsford Arboretum in the Cotswolds and many more besides that, we’ve highlighted some of the brightest flower displays for you and your canine pal to explore.
Dog-friendly castles with no restrictions
Punctuating out near-endless coastline as well as further inland, our castles hold history by the moat-load. From Powderham Castle in England to Dunnottar Castle in Scotland and Pembroke Castle in Wales, click here to find your perfect dog-friendly day out.
The most dog-friendly theme parks
When you think of things to do with dogs, you don’t immediately imagine theme parks. But just because you want an adrenaline rush, doesn’t mean your pup has to miss out on a day in the fresh air. Let Rover get some cuddles from staff members at Blackgang Chine on the Isle of Wight or enjoy a dog-friendly swashbuckling performance on the outdoor stage at Flamingoland in North Yorkshire.
Country parks for canines
Similar to the gardens mentioned above but with lots more space to roam free, visits to country parks provide dog-friendly day trips that will no doubt get tails wagging. With acres and acres to run in and lots of interesting smells to hunt down, places like Pembrey Country Park in Llanelli, Wales and Culzean Country Park in Maybole, Scotland will certainly tucker out your doggos by the end of the day.
The UK's top dog-friendly beaches
Undoubtedly, one of the best dog-friendly places to go on any occasion, in any season, is the beach. Feeling the sand under their pads and rushing into the oncoming waves is an exhilarating thrill unmatched by most dog-friendly activities. Spend days out with your dogs at Woolacombe Beach in North Devon, Rhossili Bay Beach in Swansea or Luskentyre on the Isle of Harris to name but a few.
Dog-tastic events and festivals in 2023
As the evenings begin to stretch out and the sun’s rays get warmer, we all want to be outside more … and that includes our dogs too. From Woofstock Festival in South Devon to Dogstival in Hampshire and even Dogs Unleashed which hold events at various locations across the UK, it’s time to let loose and give your pup a taste of the UK festival scene.
Dog-friendly days out in Scotland
With such a broad area to work with, it’s hard to shortlist the very best things to do in Scotland with your dog. We’ve attempted it though. And with dog-friendly walkies like those in Anagach Woods near Grantown-on-Spey in the Highlands, dog-friendly family activities like a Firth of Forth boat trip, and quirky dog-friendly attractions like a visit to Fyne Ales (where your pooch can have a beer), you’ll not be short of options.
Dog-friendly days in the Lake District
Yes, your four-pawed friend may want to jump in the water and perfect their doggy paddle but there’s much more to the area than just its lakes. Visit the largest forest in the region, Grizedale Forest, and go on a squirrel-spotting expedition, take in the dog-friendly bird of prey show at Muncaster Castle or hop on the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway. And if all else fails, there’s always the lakes to splash about in!
Dog-friendly days out in Yorkshire
The UK’s largest county is a haven for walkies, with the National Parks of the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales making up part of the region. However, there are also many dog-friendly days out to be had here. Choose from more relaxing activities like a trip to Filey Bird Garden & Animal Park or a ride on the famous North York Moors Railway, or perhaps you’d enjoy more gut-busting excursions to places like Whitby Abbey or Brimham Rocks.
Dog-friendly days in the Peak District
Another expanse of incredible landscape that is well known for its epic walks, the Peak District has an abundance of dog-friendly activities to suit all types of dog – and human too. Brave pups will relish scaling the heights in the pup-friendly cable car ride at the Heights of Abraham in Matlock Bath, and lovers of history and period TV might want to visit Chatsworth House, the setting that saw millions get addicted to the historical drama series, Downton Abbey.
Dog-friendly days out in North Wales
With the highest mountain in Wales, countless interesting historical sites and some gorgeous beaches, North Wales is a fabulous destination for both you and your dog. Climb Mount Snowdon if you’re dog has a head for heights, travel down into the Great Orme Bronze Age Mines if your dog’s a digger, or hit the surf at Harlech Beach if your dog needs some fresh air and a lot of space for zoomies.
Dog-friendly days out in South Wales
Heading south now but staying in Wales, the undulating hills, meandering rivers and dense forestry of South Wales is a pup’s paradise. Waggy-tailed water babies will jump at the chance to ride in a canoe along the River Wye. Energetic scamperers will have their work cut out trying to cover the 40 acres at Craig y Nos Country Park. And if all that has them worn out, get them to relax on the Brecon Mountain Railway.
Dog-friendly days in the Cotswolds
A region known for its chocolate-box villages with thatched cottages, rolling hills, rambling rivers and some of the most photographed spots in the country, the Cotswolds is a great place to bring your dog on holiday. Running through five counties, the area has great dog-friendly attractions and activities including Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens, Blenheim Palace and Gardens, and the Gloucester Warwickshire Steam Railway.
Dog-friendly days out in Cornwall
With 422 miles of coastline, Cornwall is a top destination for those dogs who love a shoreline splash. There are plenty of things to do with your dog by the coast including visits to the Minack Theatre and Tintagel Castle, as well as some more inland places of interest including the Cornish Seal Sanctuary, Lanhydrock House and the National Trust-owned Trelissick Garden. Whatever you chose, Kernow is a great choice.
Dog-friendly days out in Devon
Boasting two coastlines, two national parks and two cities, we can guarantee you and your pack won’t get bored on a trip to Devon. Becky Falls in Dartmoor National Park has dazzling woodland that follows a brook where the boulders are just begging to be climbed. Clovelly is a lovely, cobbled village that leads down to a quaint harbour, and Mortehoe on the South West Coast Path offers a stunning secluded beach where games of fetch are a must.
Dog-friendly days out in Dorset
Another county with an epic coastline, Dorset is home to the vast majority of the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site stretching 96 miles. Your inquisitive pups will love following you along the shores of Chesil Beach and Lyme Regis as you hunt for fossils. Alternatively, take them to Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, Corfe Castle and Corfe Castle Model Village or spoil them with a relaxing voyage on the award-winning Swanage Railway.
Dog-friendly days out in the New Forest
Whether it’s taking your pooch on a bike ride and having them run alongside you, letting them paddle in cooling pools in a country park or teaching them some history at a coastal English Heritage site, the New Forest is a top location for discovering wildlife, woodland and coastline all in one handy place. Take them to Lepe Country Park, Hurst Castle or treat them to the Buckler’s Hard River Cruise.
Dog-friendly days out on the Isle of Wight
Known locally as just ‘The Island’, the Isle of Wight is England’s largest island and has a great reputation as a dog-friendly hotspot. From unspoilt beaches such as Compton Beach and Ryde Beach to the wooded glens of Parkhurst Forest, there’ll be ample sights and smells to keep Rex and Rover happy. For something a little different, head to Shanklin Chine, the island’s oldest tourist attraction, at over 200 years old.
Dog-friendly days out in Sussex
Sussex could be the ideal setting for your next dog-friendly vacation. With cobblestone villages and medieval towns, coastlines framed by towering white cliffs and verdant woodlands with all manner of flora and fauna, this southern county provides opportunity and adventure at every turn. Visit Camber Sands and Alexandra Park in East Sussex, and the Seven Sisters and Nyman's Wood in West Sussex.
Dog-friendly days out in Kent
Kent ticks all of the boxes for a dog-friendly getaway. The Garden of England has innumerable places of interest to take your best pal, from fortresses and castles to beaches and nature reserves. Why not visit Dungeness, which is said to be Britain’s only desert? Or try a hike along the Royal Military Canal in Hythe, before heading to the iconic White Cliffs of Dover for a coastal stroll and a gaze out to sea.
Self-catering dog-friendly cottages
We hope we’ve given you a little food for thought when it comes to taking your four-pawed friend out for the day … or the week! We have homely cottages with pet-friendly extras at all of these destinations and near all of these attractions, so choose your favourite and then fetch your ideal cottage.
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.