Embarking on a holiday isn’t just about packing your bags; it’s about finding a destination where every member of the family, including your furry friends, can create lasting memories. In our quest for the best dog-friendly holidays in the UK, we’ve scoured the landscapes, explored coastlines, and ventured into charming regions where wagging tails and happy paws take center stage.
Join us on this journey as we unveil the top destinations that not only open their doors to you but also roll out the red carpet for your four-legged companions. From the majestic mountains of Snowdonia to the sun-kissed beaches of Cornwall, from the enchanting landscapes of Northumberland to the picturesque corners of the Peak District – each destination promises a unique blend of adventure and relaxation for both you and your loyal companions.
In this guide, we’ll paint vivid pictures of these canine havens, highlighting the reasons your dogs will love them, the scenic wonders that await, and the delightful experiences that make each destination tail-waggingly special. So, leash up, get ready for paw-some adventures, and let’s dive into the best dog-friendly holidays the UK has to offer.
Best dog friendly Uk breaks 2024
#1 North Wales & Snowdonia
Picture this: rolling hills, traditional villages, and imposing mountain ranges – that’s North Wales for you. And guess what? It’s not just a treat for us, but our furry friends too! If you’re a dog lover seeking a holiday that both you and your four-legged companion can enjoy, North Wales is where it’s at.
Why Dogs Dig It
Let’s talk about the pièce de résistance – Mount Snowdon. Standing tall at 1085m, it’s like the Everest of North Wales. The best part? Your pooch is invited! Snowdonia National Park allows dogs on leads, so your furball can be your trekking buddy. Choose your own adventure with different routes, ranging from beginner-friendly to pro-level. The view from the top? Absolutely pawsome.
Not into the mountain hustle? No worries. The national park has plenty of other charms for a relaxed stroll. And for a quirky twist, how about going subterranean at Sygun Copper Mine? It’s a Victorian mine turned tourist attraction, and exploring it with your dog adds a whole new level of adventure. Just a heads up – there are metal steps, so it might be a tad tricky for larger pups.
#2 Cumbria & The Lake District: A Dog’s Dream Destination
Now, let’s wag our tails over to Cumbria and The Lake District – a haven for nature lovers and their canine companions. Sure, Windermere and Keswick are popular, but the real magic lies in the quieter spots.
Why Dogs Wag Their Tails
Cumbria boasts 20 English Heritage Sites that are dog-friendly. Imagine exploring ancient ruins and preserved castles with your furry sidekick – Ambleside’s Roman Fort and Penrith Castle are just the beginning. And then there are the 16 bodies of water in the Lake District. Lakeside picnics and gentle strolls, anyone?
Windermere is the big shot here, offering boat tours for a fresh perspective. Coniston Water is another gem where your dog can join the lake cruise for free. Don’t miss out on Derwentwater, Bassenthwaite Lake, and Buttermere – the ultimate dog-friendly walking spots.
After a day of adventure, what better way to unwind than at a local pub? The Bridge Hotel and The Dog and Gun are two pawsitively charming options. In Cumbria and The Lake District, every step is a paw-friendly adventure, and every moment is a memory waiting to be made.
#3 Paws and Promenades: Unleashing Fun in North York Moors & Coast
Guess what’s trending on the canine vacation list? It’s none other than the North York Moors & Coast – a paradise for both you and your furry friend. Over the past year, this place has become the talk of the town for pet-friendly getaways, boasting a whopping selection of more than 1000 pet-friendly cottages.
Why Dogs Are Barking with Joy
Head to the charming coastal resorts of North Yorkshire, where Whitby and Scarborough steal the show. Picture this: Whitby’s iconic 199 Steps leading to the stunning Whitby Abbey and Scarborough offering a smorgasbord of sandy beaches. It’s the epitome of a traditional English seaside escape.
What makes this region extra special? It’s the perfect blend of rural moorland and breathtaking coastline. Each walk is a unique adventure, with ever-changing backdrops to keep things interesting.
Embark on a stroll through Kilburn Woods, where enchanting woodlands meet breathtaking views of the Vale of York. Explore the coastal wonders around Robin Hood’s Bay, soaking in the variety of flora and fauna. And don’t miss the chance to learn about the 900-year history of Helmsley Castle, owned by English Heritage.
#4 Discovering Canine Bliss: Yorkshire Dales
Hold your woofs because we’re not done yet. Next on our list of the best dog-friendly holiday destinations in the UK is the Yorkshire Dales, proudly securing the fourth spot.
Why Dogs Can’t Get Enough
Enter the Yorkshire Dales, where pet-friendly cottages are scattered like hidden treasures, offering a plethora of scenic walking routes. “Miles without Stiles” is the mantra here – a collection of dog-friendly walking routes suitable for all abilities. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker, a family with a stroller, or someone with limited mobility, the Yorkshire Dales has something for everyone.
With 17 dog-friendly routes, you can explore the beauty of Malham Cove, Buckden, Aysgarth Falls, the River Rawthey, and more. And after a day of exploration, treat yourself and your furry companion to a well-deserved break at one of the dog-friendly pubs in the national park.
Imagine unwinding at The Kings Arms in Askrigg after a stroll along the Gunnerside Gill and Kisdon Force trail or sipping a pint at The Red Lion following an adventure on one of the many Skipton trails. In the Yorkshire Dales, every step is a paw-approved delight, and every pub is a tail-wagging haven.
#5 Cornwall: A Barktastic Retreat by the Sea
If there’s a place where dogs and their human pals can find true bliss, it’s Cornwall. With a whopping 1400 dog-friendly cottages to choose from, Cornwall is not just a destination; it’s a canine paradise that’s sure to get every tail wagging.
Why Dogs Can’t Get Enough
Cornwall isn’t just about stunning landscapes; it comes with a weather bonus too – a sub-tropical climate, meaning cozy weather all year round. No wonder it’s become a haven for pets, with loads of attractions rolling out the welcome mat for our four-legged friends.
Let’s talk about the main attraction – the beaches. Picture this: 148 sandy havens where dogs can roam freely year-round. Even the ones with seasonal restrictions are minimal. You can plan your sandy escapade without a worry by checking out the details.
But here’s the kicker – Cornwall isn’t just a summer fling. With temperatures comfortably above 10 degrees Celsius for at least seven months of the year, you and your furry buddy can enjoy 121 beaches without the tourist crowds.
And it’s not just about the sand and sea. Cornwall’s top spots, including the legendary Eden Project (where dogs on leads are VIPs), the intriguing Bodmin Jail, the scenic Bodmin & Wenford Railway, and the enchanting Tintagel and Pendennis castles, offer a full agenda of dog-friendly fun.
#6 Peak District: Where Canines and Countryside Collide
Now, let’s talk about another gem on our list of the best dog-friendly holidays – the Peak District. Boasting over 300 cottages to choose from, this region is a haven for those seeking picturesque countryside and iconic attractions, with a special touch for our furry friends.
Why Dogs Feel Right at Home
For a pint-loving duo of humans and pets, the Peak District offers a menu of over 100 dog-friendly pubs. After a day of countryside exploration, these cozy spots are perfect for a leisurely lunch or a refreshing beverage.
Nature enthusiasts, get ready for a treat. The national park unfolds a tapestry of walking routes, and “Monsal Trail” between Chee Dale and Bakewell is a must-try. Limestone dales and stunning landscapes accompany you every step of the way.
Explore the grounds of Chatsworth House, a stately home with a history dating back to the 16th century. Here, dogs are welcome to amble through the gardens, provided they’re on a leash.
Feeling adventurous? Conquer the challenge of walking Kinder Scout, uncovering fascinating points of interest like Mermaid’s Pool and Pym’s Chair. And for something truly unique, embark on a scenic Peak District waterfall walk.
Whatever your walking pursuit, there’s no better way to wrap up the adventure than with a cozy spot, a refreshing beverage, or a hearty, traditional meal by a roaring log fire. With over 100 dog-friendly pubs in the area, finding a spot where the entire family can relax and unwind is a walk in the park. So, leash up your pup, lace up your boots, and get ready for a Peak District escapade that’s as rewarding for you as it is for your furry friend.
#7 Northumberland: A Dog’s Dream Destination
Now, let’s dive into the wonders of Northumberland, snagging the well-deserved seventh spot on our dog-friendly holiday list. In 2023, Northumberland is the place to be, with over 600 properties rolling out the welcome mat for your furry friend. And let’s be honest – with its natural beauty and stunning coast, who can resist?
Why Dogs are on Cloud Nine
Your dog-friendly cottage in Northumberland isn’t just a place to crash; it’s a springboard to explore the jaw-dropping Northumberland Coast AONB, the vast Northumberland National Park, and the magical Kielder Forest Park. Trust us; these are not your average backyard walks.
For the outdoor enthusiasts, Northumberland is a treasure trove. Grab your four-legged companion, and venture into the Northeast’s countryside, where every step brings new scenery and unique walking experiences.
Northumberland’s long-distance trails are like a choose-your-own-adventure book. Break them into smaller, sizable routes or hop onto numerous shorter paths that intersect. The result? Variety galore and the chance to see the same area from countless perspectives. Imagine hiking St. Oswald’s Way, starting at the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, ambling along the River Coquet, and climbing the Simonside Hills – it’s a sensory delight for both you and your furry sidekick.
And let’s not forget the beaches! Northumberland boasts a lineup of beautiful beaches that welcome dogs, offering unbeatable views across the rugged North Sea. It’s a canine playground like no other.
#8 East Anglia: Where Paws Meet Picture-Perfect Landscapes
Now, shift your gaze to East Anglia, the next chapter in our guide to the best dog-friendly holidays in the UK. It’s a crowd-pleaser, offering a delightful mix of stunning coastlines, Norfolk’s golden beaches, rolling countryside, and vibrant cities.
Why Dogs Can’t Get Enough
East Anglia is a dog’s playground, especially when it comes to beaches. Explore the golden sands of Old Hunstanton Beach and Holkham Beach, where your furry companion is welcome all year round. The Norfolk Coast Path invites you to delightful dog-friendly walks along the Norfolk coast, and RSPB Titchwell Marsh offers a front-row seat to a diverse range of wildlife in a unique and protected setting.
For a different perspective, hop on a riverboat with your pet to cruise the Norfolk Broads in style or catch a ride on the Bure Valley Railway to soak in the best of East Anglia’s countryside. Dive into the 243-hectare Royal Park surrounding the majestic Sandringham Estate, a royal residence of the late Queen Elizabeth II. Don’t miss exploring the walled garden of the 18th-century Holkham Hall estate – East Anglia is a treasure trove waiting to be discovered, one pawprint at a time.