As the saying goes, ‘a dog is a man’s best friend’ and best friends make perfect holiday companions.
So if you’re thinking about holidaying with your canine companion, here’s our pick of a few of the top dog-friendly holiday destinations in the UK – because everyone deserves a holiday!
Give your dog a taste of the good life with a trip to Yorkshire. It’s got countryside that rolls on for miles, beaches that stretch into the distance, and plenty of dog-friendly places to eat too.
For a great dog-friendly beach, head to the gorgeous old smuggler’s haunt of Robin Hood’s Bay. The beach is a mix of sand and – when the tide’s fully out – plenty of rock pools too. Up the coast is Whitby where dogs have year-round access to a sandy and sheltered beach on the east of the River Esk.
A little further up the coast again you’ll find Staithes, and its beach welcomes dogs all year round. Back in Whitby, when the time comes for a snack, head into town to Marie Antoinette’s Patisserie, where dogs are made especially welcome. You’ll find it at 139 Church Street.
Head inland to the North Yorkshire Moors and you’ll have all manner of bracing country walks at your fingertips. For something a little different, hop on a steam train at Grosmont and alight at Goathland, then walk back along the rail trail.
Make a stop at the village of Beck Hole for a spot of light refreshment (you’ll find great beers and homemade pies and sandwiches at the Birch Hall Inn), and your dog can enjoy a splash in the beck.
If you want enchanting forests, picturesque heathland, and easy-walking for the whole family, it’s got to be the New Forest.
This is great walking territory and dogs will love exploring all the new sights and smells to be found here. There are scores of walking routes with minimal restrictions for dogs, and you’ll find plenty of dog-friendly watering holes to relax at too.
The Drift Inn in Beaulieu, the Sir Walter Tyrell in Cadnam, and the Hare and Hounds in Lymington are just for starters on the pub front.
If you’re looking for attractions that will welcome your dog too, make sure you visit the New Forest Centre in Lymhurst and Exbury Gardens on the outskirts of Beaulieu.
There’ll be no need to keep your dog hemmed up in the car as they’re welcome at both of these locations.
3. The Lake District
It’s a walker’s heaven, so it makes sense that our furry friends will fit right in here too.
As well as stack loads of glorious walks, there are also a whole host of attractions in the Lake District to enjoy with your dog too.
Muncaster Castle has gardens that you can walk round with your dog. Grizedale Forest has walks for all abilities and a sculpture trail too, while the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway makes a great day out and offers a welcome break from all that walking.
Rugged coastlines, windswept scenery, and plenty of places for your pooch to mooch.
First off, head to Holywell Bay Beach. It’s about five miles outside the famous surfing town of Newquay. Holywell Bay beach offers a year-round welcome to dogs and their companions. Plus, humans will be especially pleased with the Pirans Inn pub, which overlooks the beach and offers a perfect place to sup a pint.
Holywell Bay is a beautiful spot to walk the dogs, with the accolade of ‘best beach in England’ as voted for by the National Trust.
Elsewhere, soak up some culture at a couple of dog-friendly art galleries. The Newlyn Art Gallery and Exchange Art Gallery in Penzance have both recently opened their dogs to our four-legged friends too. There’s no saying your Jack Russell will leave as a connoisseur of Cubism, but it makes for a welcome change of scene – especially as most galleries are strictly out of bounds for dogs.
5. The Gower Peninsula
South Wales is blessed with some of the most stunning coastal walks in the country, but there is something special about ‘The Gower’.
This beautiful part of the country was Britain’s first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. With very convenient links to the border with England, the Gower Peninsula offers a rural retreat with rolling green countryside set alongside golden beaches, many of which offer year round access for dogs.
In a poll in The Times, Rhosilli was voted Britain’s number one dog friendly beach, and it is not hard to see why.
This Atlantic bay, over-looked by the Rhosilli Downs which offers amazing views leading down to a three mile stretch of sand, is just an idyllic setting to exercise pet and Owner alike.
Do you have a secret location you’d like to share with your fellow holidaying dog owners? If so, let us know – because we want to see dogs enjoying their holidays as much as their owners!