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How to find dog friendly holidays in the UK

June 28, 2020

If you’re planning a staycation with your dog, there’s plenty of ways you can do this. Here’s our ruff guide to dog-friendly holidays in the UK, with links to some useful websites for planning and booking your break. 

Planning a dog friendly holiday

As well as researching places to stay that welcome dogs, you’ll want to make sure that the surrounding areas are dog-friendly too. For example, if you’re planning a beach holiday, make sure the beaches are dog friendly. Lots of beaches that are popular with tourists don’t allow dogs – but there are plenty to choose from that do. 

What about places you might like to visit for days out while on holiday? Research ahead to make sure you can take your dog with you. For example, the National Trust welcomes dogs in its gardens, but not its properties. The Eden Project, which is popular with visitors to Cornwall, also welcomes dogs in its gardens, but not in its Biomes or other indoor areas. At the opposite end of England, however, dogs are welcome and can travel for free on the Windermere Lake Cruises in the Lake District. As well as the swathes of dog walking countryside, you will find plenty of dog-friendly historic sites in Wales to visit,  and there’s plenty of places to enjoy with your dog in Scotland

If you’re going to be dining out, it’s a good idea to draw up a shortlist of dog-friendly places to eat. Trip Advisor has a ‘dog friendly’ search facility so that you can find restaurants and cafes that have been reviewed for their culinary delights as well as canine friendliness. 

Finally, you’ll need to plan your journey. If you’re going to be travelling long distance by car with your dog, you’ll need to build in plenty of stops for them to go to the toilet and stretch their legs.

Recommended reading

You may find the following books helpful for planning your dog friendly holiday in the UK:

Dog friendly campsites

Camping is a popular choice for dog owners, and the good news is that many campsites welcome well-behaved dogs, as long as they are kept on a lead. You may have to pay an additional fee for your dog. 

What to bring when camping with dogs

It can seem like you’ve already packed the kitchen sink when loading up the car with the camping gear. However, if you’re taking the dog, there’s a few more items you’ll need to find room for. These are:

  • Food & water bowls
  • Your dog’s food and treats
  • Something for your dog to sleep in or on (unless they are sharing your bed) 
  • A towel – muddy paws and tents are not the best combination!
  • A tie-out stake and cable to keep your dog secure on the campsite
  • A selection of your dog’s favourite toys
  • Poop bags

Useful websites for booking a camping trip with your dog

The following websites have a search facility to help you find dog-friendly campsites:

Dog friendly holiday cottages

There’s no shortage of dog friendly cottages to choose from in the UK and there’s a growing number of holiday properties that now open their doors to dogs. 

Useful websites for finding a dog-friendly holiday cottage

Dog friendly holiday parks

With a range of facilities and entertainment on site, holiday parks are popular destinations for the whole family – including dogs. Holiday parcs, like Center Parcs and Haven Holidays welcome dogs. You can also bag yourself a dog-friendly cabin through Forest Holidays – half of their cabins have been designated dog-friendly, to accommodate four-legged as well as the two-legged family members. 

Dog friendly hotels and B&Bs

The great news is that lots of hotels and B&Bs welcome dogs, including some of the chain hotels like Travelodge, Britannia and Best Western. If you use a hotel booking site, such as Booking.com or TripAdvisor, use their pet friendly filter to help you find somewhere to stay. Don’t forget to read the reviews to make sure the accommodation is truly dog friendly. 

Alternatively, to find a dog-friendly place to stay. you can use a website like Pets Pyjamas, or DogFriendly whose sole focus is pet-friendly travel. 

What to do if you can’t take your dog on holiday

If you’re unable to take your dog with you on holiday, there’s plenty of options for holiday care for your dog while you’re away. Read our guides to help you: