Guest post by Debbie Woodliffe
In recent years, we’ve seen a shift in the holiday market, and putting your companion in the kennels is no longer an extra holiday expense. This guide will talk you through what you need to consider when booking your dog-friendly UK holiday, including accommodation and attractions that welcome four-legged friends. And there are some pet-friendly travel tips to make sure you’re all set for a brilliant trip with your pooch, too.
National Pet Month is just around the corner, and now seems like the right time to sort your next trip – dog included…
National Pet Month runs from the 1st of April to the 1st of May and is all about responsible pet ownership and sharing the benefits of our companions, so why not book yourself (and your dog) a holiday to celebrate? It’s a great way to show how responsible owners like yourselves can include dogs in every part of your lives and how well-behaved and loving your pet can be.
Choosing your location
You can take your dog abroad on holiday, but they will need a pet passport or an animal health certificate, which can take time to procure. Holidaying in the UK offers you much more freedom and possibility as you can go when you like without any delays.
The UK has loads of opportunities for dog-friendly holidays. Consider places that have:
- Dog-friendly beaches.
- New towns and cities to explore.
- National Parks.
- Dog-friendly National Trust sites (look for the pawprint rating).
- And more.
You’ll likely have to take your dog everywhere with you as most accommodations prefer that guest dogs aren’t left alone, so make sure where you choose has plenty to do.
Here are our recommended destinations:
The Cornish Coast
Most Cornish beaches are dog friendly, though some are time-restricted, so check before you book. There are also loads of fantastic cliffs to explore and quite a few dog-friendly Gardens, Castles, Stately Homes and Grand Estates alongside Dartmoor National Park and all those pasty-filled villages and towns.
Stay here: Pebbeline House – for beach walks, stunning views and a fabulous hot tub!
With the Peak District (ideal for dogs and owners who love long walks, quiet and incredible views) and the cities of Derby and Nottingham close by, Derbyshire is an excellent central location for a dog-friendly holiday. With the Kinder Scout Plateau, Calke Abbey and the chance for a bakewell pudding from actual Bakewell, Derbyshire offers loads of options for doggy days out.
The Lake District
The Lakes are an excellent option for those looking for peace and quiet. There’s a stunning peak to climb at Scafell Peak, as well as lake cruises, fun rail trips, the Lowther Castle gardens and plenty of forests to explore.
Stay here: Waterhead House – for open plan living, lovely grounds and a private jetty directly into Lake Windermere!
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park
Some Lochs of Scotland are famous worldwide, but Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is a lesser-known wonder. It’s an excellent spot for walking, climbing, cycling, and sailing, and offers visitors plenty of opportunities. For example, the Loch Lomond Faerie Trail, Balloch Castle & Country Park, and it’s only an hour from Glasgow by car if you fancy exploring the city.
Stay here: Arrochar House – for a lakeside setting, a bubbling jacuzzi tub and a lovely granny annexe.
As home to the highest mountain and the largest lake in Wales, Snowdonia is full of dramatic walks, nature-filled days out and the legendary welsh dog tale of Gelert. Not forgetting the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway on which well-behaved dogs travel free, and the ruins of the medieval Harlech Castle to explore.
Stay here: Tanat Valley Farmhouse – for a traditional farmhouse feel and totaly seclusion.
Choosing your accommodation
Firstly, make sure the place you’re choosing is actually pet friendly. Check their website and reviews, or even email them your dog’s info to ensure it’s ok. There’s nothing worse than choosing somewhere and finding out your pup is unwelcome.
Next, make sure there is enough room in the accommodation. If you have a large dog, you want to check if there is an enclosed room large enough for them to be comfortable in with their bed or crate. Some outside space is beneficial as well, for those early-morning or late-night toilet trips.
Finally, make sure it’s close to all the attractions and locations you want to visit – the less time you spend travelling, the more time you have to explore and the less chance of anyone getting restless on the drive.
Travelling with your dog
Taking a journey with your dog is always tricky – they either love it or hate it, but there are things you can do to make it a good experience for all. The Blue Cross has loads of advice on how to make your dog comfortable with a car journey, and it’s essentially just introducing it slowly and making sure they’re ok.
Once they’re fine with small trips, you’ve just got to keep them comfortable for longer ones. For instance:
- If there’s room, let them have the whole back seat and put their bed in there too.
- Make sure you have water on hand.
- Keep it shaded and cool in the car.
- Consider tiring them out before the drive – they may sleep through then.
- Give them entertainment, such as a treat ball filled with their favourite natural snacks or a chewing toy.
- Make toilet stops every 90 minutes or two hours.
- Consider a car hammock and at least a harness for safety.
So there you have some recommended locations, accommodation tips and have some travelling advice. What’s stopping you from booking your next dog-friendly holiday in the UK? Check out the full portfolio of UK properties at Oliver’s Travels and for any extras to make your and your pooch’s vacation that bit more special, our concierge team would be happy to help.
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