A guide to dog-friendly holidays in the UK

Pamper your pooch – a guide to dog-friendly holidays in the UK

An increasing number of holiday destinations and visitor attractions are now pet-friendly; from National Trust houses and gardens to cosy cottages and holiday parks, the range of options for pet lovers has expanded greatly in recent years. We take a look at 10 great places to explore, offering a superb experience for both two and four legged visitors, and provide some handy hints when travelling with your dog!

Fountains Cottage – North Yorks

Located in the shadow of Fountains Abbey, one of North Yorkshire’s premier attractions, the cottage dates back to 1749, and is owned by the National Trust. It houses up to 8 guests and pet owners are allowed to bring one dog to the property for their stay. Guests get free access to the adjacent 320 acre estate which not only includes the Abbey but also Studley Royal Water Gardens, a tranquil and beautiful spot. The site also houses a deer park, and offers hundreds of walking and biking trails ideal for stretching your legs and giving your dog plenty of space to explore. The cottage also has a shared garden allowing extra space for your dog to exercise. The beautiful Yorkshire Dales, historic York and the great countryside of the Skell Valley are all within easy reach should you wish to explore the area during your stay.

Norbury Manor – Derbyshire

Another National Trust property, Derbyshire’s Norbury Manor sleeps 10 and is a fantastic destination for a group; it also allows accommodation and facilities for up to two dogs as part of the group. This Grade I listed manor building lies close to Dovedale and a host of beautiful outdoor spaces, including the famous White Peak. It’s perfect for ramblers and walkers, and there’s plenty both on site and nearby for you and your dogs to explore. Visitors also get free access to Sudbury Hall and its National Trust Museum of Childhood which are well worth a visit.

Hoseasons Parks – Nationwide

Travel giant Hoseasons has made many of its parks and cottages pet-friendly, at no extra cost to you. From cosy lodges in woodland retreats to all-in-one parks offering nightlife and children’s entertainment, there’s plenty of choice, and pets are welcome at most destinations. One of the more idyllic choices is Otterfalls, set within 120 acres of Devon’s beautiful Otter Valley. It offers high quality accommodation, with luxurious touches such as private hot tubs, heated pools and spa facilities, while providing a gateway to Dartmoor and Exmoor. With hundreds of miles of beautiful unspoilt countryside, lakeside and moorland walks, and pet-friendly facilities, this is a perfect choice for pet owners and those with young families, as well as grown ups seeking a quiet break.

Watergate Farm – Lake District

The Lake District is full of unspoilt countryside perfect for walkers and dog owners, and this little gem close to Loweswater is no exception. A typical rural farmhouse, it sleeps six and the owners welcome up to two dogs per party. It offers doorstep access to great walks, and is located within easy reach of all the main centres of the Lakes. One good feature is that it is set well back from the access road, and has its own private garden. With woodland trails and open areas in the immediate vicinity, it’s an ideal spot to enjoy the fresh air and give you and your pet the ideal relaxing break.
The Milestone Hotel, London

Those who wish to pamper their dogs should look no further than Kensington’s remarkable Milestone Hotel. The only destination on this list to feature its very own pet concierge, the owners go the extra mile to ensure you and your pet are catered for in some style. On arrival, there’s a doggy welcome letter outlining ideal places to visit with your pet, and you’ll also receive a hamper of goodies. These include a hotel branded collar tag and toys. After a busy day, your pet will enjoy eating from the custom pet menu and will love to bed down on special cushions and mats. Owners are equally well looked after, with staff renowned for going the extra mile and adding numerous touches to make your visit unique and memorable.

Balloch and Inverarnan – Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs are hugely popular visitor destinations, thanks to the enviable scenery and incredible choice of trails to explore. There are many dog-friendly sites in the area, including The Drovers Inn at Inverarnan which provides a welcoming, country pub atmosphere with dog-friendly accommodation and inclusive bar area. Venture to Balloch and you’ll encounter the Dug Cafe, which has an entire menu themed around our four legged companions! From gluten free doggy treats and healthy meals for your pet to a cracking regular menu, the cafe caters equally well for all members of your party!

Cirencester – Cotswolds

The idyllic Cotswold region around Cirencester is not only a great spot for a getaway, it provides special attractions for dog owners. The annual Cotswold Show and Food Festival is a two-day event which has run since 1989, and offers animal-themed demonstrations and exhibits along with opportunities for visitors to put their own dogs through various fun events, including obstacle courses, agility training and dog shows. Pets of course get in free! Once you’ve experienced the show, why not head to the Cotswold Country Park, which has its own dog-friendly swimming beach area, a rarity in the region. There are assorted walks and trails for extra exploring fun, and loads of activities for all ages.

Devonshire Arms – Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire

This beautiful rural retreat at Bolton Abbey, near Ilkley, offers an extremely warm welcome for dogs, including food and drink on arrival and the presentation of its own bed! There’s even a lounge set aside for dogs to enjoy. The hotel is definitely on the luxurious side, with a Michelin star restaurant and artwork sourced from a private collection, but it’s friendly, comfortable and provides access to fantastic walks for you and your dogs around the Abbey grounds, as well as a perfect location for exploring most of North Yorkshire. Guests will also appreciate the extra special touches, such as four poster beds and log fires.

“Barking Mad” weekend breaks – Norton, Shropshire

If you are looking for a mini-break that puts your dog at the heart of the action, then the family-run “Barking Mad” breaks on the Acton Scott estate at Norton in Shropshire could be the perfect choice. Four-day stays are crammed full of events and entertainment, including agility training, fun games, a guided trip to nearby Ludlow and even a special dog-themed murder mystery night! With fully trained instructors and guides, this is a very hands-on break, and also provides access to many great nearby walks in the South Shropshire countryside. There are treatments and therapies on offer, including dog massage, and evening speakers drop in to provide a range of entertaining talks on animal welfare and activities. Accommodation is excellent and the team regularly receives awards for the theme and content of its holidays.

Dog training at Polean Farm – Looe, Cornwall

A holiday at Polean Farm near Looe provides the chance to combine a break in one of the UK’s most idyllic destinations with professional training. The owners offer dog-friendly accommodation and amenities plus a thousand square metre indoor training facility which is perfect for the weekly sessions. Courses are reward-based and cover various disciplines including obedience, agility and clicker training. The farm provides a range of excellent cottages which are located in an area of outstanding natural beauty with easy access to scenic walks, beaches and the best that the region has to offer.

Travel tips

Although most dog owners will be familiar with travel issues, with some 80% reportedly taking their pets on regular trips, it’s worth remembering a few essentials when setting out on a longer journey. Make sure you have plenty of food and water to hand, and don’t make this the time to introduce anything new into your dog’s diet – a combination of new food and lengthy travel can often cause stomach upset. Don’t forget a bowl and some cloths!

Make sure that your dog is wearing a collar with an ID tag – if you lose your pet close to home it’s distressing, but to do so in an unfamiliar environment could be far worse. If you’re embarking on a lengthy trip ensure you build in plenty of stops – not only is this a good safety tip for drivers generally, it’s also a chance to exercise your dog and make sure they don’t get too cooped up! It’s also worth keeping a good airflow into the car; unlike your kids, pets won’t tell you that they’re too hot, and overheating can become a big issue.

Also ensure that you have a suitable travel crate or a harness – don’t allow your pet loose on the back seat without restraint; an accident at speed could be far worse for all concerned with your dog roaming loose. There are plenty of other ways to maximise your safety on journeys, and ensuring that your pet is correctly secured is an important element.

About the author

PetBlog

Copyright © 2015-2016 - Pet Blog UK. Information contained within PetBlog.co.uk is to be used for guidance only and cannot be relied on as factually/legally correct. We accept no responsibility for actual use or interpretation of any information on PetBlog.co.uk.

Shares