It’s true, the British love their dogs.
In fact, 27% of UK households have a dog (or two or three) in their family. The 2020 and 2021 pandemic lockdowns only added to her love affair with dogs, as online searches for how to adopt a puppy in the UK surged 120%, while waiting lists for popular breeds were closed as demand smothered the offer exceeded.
Now all these pet-owning families are planning their holidays in the UK and are turning to resources like Dog Friendly Destinations, Dog Friendly Britain: Cool Places to Stay with Your Dog and the newest upcoming travel guide, Dog-Friendly Weekends Getting inspired for her next travel adventure with her new best friend.
Why you need to take your dog with you on vacation
For many dog owners, time away from their dog is such an emotional pain that it can ruin the vacation. Most wouldn’t dream of leaving their dog with anyone else, so pet-friendly accommodations are booming. And it’s not just country pubs and small hotels that are adapting to catering for dogs. You’ll find secluded cabins, luxury hotels, cozy gastropubs, boutique B&Bs, yurts and glamping spots across the country that will happily go the extra mile to accommodate your furry companion. Many not only offer great accommodation and restaurants, but also stunning locations to explore on long walks with your canine pal. Can you imagine a nicer way to vacation?
England’s Most Beautiful Castles: Be enchanted by these 8 exquisite fortifications
What to look out for when booking a dog-friendly stay
We asked Lottie Gross, author of Dog-Friendly Weekends, for her top tips on finding great places to stay with your dog. “Many hotels and lodging providers say they are dog-friendly, but are actually just dog-tolerant,” Lottie told Lonely Planet.
“To find a truly dog-friendly stay, look out for the little extra touches, such as: B. in-room bowls and beds, treats upon arrival, or even outdoor showers for washing up after the muddy walk. These are signs that the property has really thought about what dog owners need.
“Also check the property’s dog policy. There’s nothing worse than having to spend all your time telling your dog not to get on the bed or sofa (or you could just bring some throws to protect the furniture so you get a good snuggle together be able).
The author of Dog Friendly Britain: Cool Places to Stay with Your Dog, Martin Dunford, also shared: “What surprised me was the level of effort that some shelters put into dog and owner care, even in a city like London. One hotel in town even hosts dog movie nights and dog tea parties. And the staff at all these places has a super friendly attitude.”
3 Perfect England Itineraries for Every Traveler
How to be a good vacationer with a dog
Finding a place that welcomes you and your pooch with open arms and goes that extra mile will make your vacation with your pooch a happier one. But dog owners should also be considerate when travelling, especially in nature.
“The most important thing when traveling with a dog is to act responsibly and sustainably,” explains Lottie. “That means keeping your dog on a leash when in a new environment where you are unaware of what wildlife might be disturbed by their presence (e.g. ground-nesting birds) and picking up that droppings and doing it properly dispose. Whether it’s off the trail or in the middle of a farmer’s field, dog poo is toxic and should always be picked up to ensure it doesn’t harm the ecology of the area.”
Top 9 road trips in England
Things to consider when taking the train with your dog
While it’s easy to hop in a car and take your dogs on a short break, not everyone in the UK has access to a car. The good news is that pet friendly holidays in the UK are very accessible by train.
Brighton barber Buck Rumstache adopted his rescued pup McKenzie from Wood Green, The Animals Charity, in 2019 and regularly take trips together. “It doesn’t cost anything extra to take your dog on a train in the UK,” explained Buck, “and I’ve found the staff are always very excited to see them and are generally very accommodating.”
You need to consider how far you want to travel by train with your dog before booking these train tickets. “I usually try not to ride on a train with McKenzie for more than two hours,” says Buck. “If I wanted to go further afield, such as to one of my favorite UK destinations, Whitby, I plan to make a decent stop somewhere along the way to walk my dog and take a bathroom break.”
The best museums in England: get up close and personal with dinosaurs, trains and warships
Accommodations with a dog in 2022
Luxurious stay at Cliveden House, Thames Valley
Set in 376 acres of National Trust gardens and woodland, this 5-star luxury hotel has played host to film stars and royalty throughout its 300-year history. It also offers four-legged guests the royal treatment of their own towel, food bowls, and a dog bed, not to mention dog-friendly dining at the on-site Astor Grill and miles of forest trails to explore. Pooch guests must be well behaved and over one year old. And during the school holidays they stay for free.
The 8 best walks through England’s beautiful countryside
Self catering cottages from East Ruston Cottages in Norfolk
Lottie Gross Recommended Cottages, available through East Ruston Cottages in Norfolk (winner of the self-catering accommodation category in the 2019, 2020 and 2021 Dog-Friendly Magazine Awards), are designed for dogs “with people in mind”. They provide everything a dog owner needs (including cooling coats and mats for hot weather), plus they all have fenced yards and let you know if the place is suitable for different types of dogs. All of them are just a short drive from dog-friendly beaches.
15 top things to do in England, from the obvious to the adventurous and unusual
Camping with your dog across the UK
Online camping site Pitchup has listings for over 5000 campsites, glamping sites and holiday parks that can be filtered for dog-friendly options. From farmer’s fields to shepherd’s huts that welcome dog and owner, you will find places to stay with your dog. Listings are spread across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and can be filtered by recommended ratings or user ratings. So pack the tent, a sleeping bag and your camping-friendly canine companions and nap in the great outdoors this summer.
Local tips you should know before traveling to England
Unwind with yoga, a spa or a gong bath at Retreat East, Suffolk Coast
This former dairy farm on the Suffolk coast now accommodates guests and their dogs in a country house or in surrounding luxury barns. There’s also an on-site spa, yoga classes, and sound meditation, so why not book a pet sitter and pamper yourself while you’re here. And for families with more than one pooch, there’s good news: two dogs can stay per pen. Pets are expected to be kept on a leash of course in the common areas.
Best times to visit England for fun, festivals and the great outdoors