The UK has wonderful green fields, quaint villages, lots of history, stunning views, and blue oceans, making it full of beautiful vacation destinations. They’re also big lovers of pets and have many dog-friendly activities, parks, dining options, and accommodations. The days of traveling and exploring new destinations on your own while your pooch was left at home are gone, as places have become increasingly pet-friendly and eager to accommodate you and your dog.
Of course, some areas are off-limits to dogs, so to avoid any disappointment when on holiday, we’ve compiled a list of the best dog-friendly vacation destinations in the UK so that you don’t get turned away and have to worry about that happening again at your next location. Read on to start planning your dog-friendly trip away!
The 12 Best Dog-Friendly Vacation Destinations in the United Kingdom
We’re starting this list out with the capital of England and one of the most popular vacation destinations in the UK. Most people are unaware of how accommodating London has become with dogs, so we’ve found some fun activities that the whole family can take part in.
If you enjoy yoga or are looking to loosen up after your long flight, you can consider “Doga,” a yoga class that lets you bond with your dog while doing stretches. It’s believed to be relaxing and beneficial to both you and your dog.
London puts on great markets which are dog-friendly and is packed with stalls selling clothing, food, art, and crafts, as well as some good entertainment.
If you’re looking for a dog-friendly restaurant where you and your dog can eat, you can try out the Shake Shack, The Egerton House Hotel, or Gaucho. For a place to call home while you’re away, check into The Rubens at the Palace for a luxury stay.
2. The Isles of Scilly
The Isles of Scilly are located off Cornwall in England and are a unique location that isn’t crowded with tourists but rather a place to appreciate the beauty of nature and unwind. You can access the archipelago via flight or ferry, and you can get settled into a few dog-friendly accommodations such as Bryher Holiday Chalets, Evergreen Cottage B&B, Hell Bay Hotel, Atlantic Inn, and Star Castle Hotel.
The beaches are there to enjoy when visiting the Isles of Scilly, but Tresco Island requires your dog to stay on a leash. Thankfully, there are many other beaches where your dog can run free. For some entertainment and something to eat, you can take your dog along with you to Old Town Inn, which is the largest pub garden in the archipelago.
3. North Cornwall
Moving up from the Isles of Scilly to North Cornwall, you’ll find more stunning landscapes and dog-friendly attractions. You can opt to walk or cycle the Camel Trail while your dog gets in their daily exercise, or you can admire the gardens within the former clay mine, which is now called the Eden Project. Your dog won’t be allowed inside the enclosed biomes, but there is plenty else to explore throughout the site.
If you’re interested in aviation, then the Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre should be on your list of “to-dos.” You’ll be able to see more than 1,500 model aircraft with your dog by your side. For a place to sleep, you won’t be limited with your options because Cornwall has plenty of dog-friendly accommodations such as Robin Barn Lakes, Sparrow Barn, and Laity. The Oyster Catcher is a popular place to eat in Polzeath where your dog will be welcomed inside and outside the restaurant.
Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and a popular vacation destination in the UK. Book your accommodation at the Roslin Chapel Cottage before heading out to see the city. You and your well-behaved dog can hop onto one of the Edinburgh bus tours, or you can enjoy some touristy activities such as the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, where your dog will be treated to a bowl of water and cleaned up after if accidents do happen.
If you pop over to Summerhall, prepare to be inspired as you visit the art galleries before or after you grab something to eat at the Royal Dick Bar. For a more doggy-focused outing, you could take your dog to Unleashed, which is a secure field designed for your dog to run freely and release some energy. It has tunnels and dog-related activities, but you need to book your session as this dog park is popular.
5. The Cotswolds
The Cotswolds is a vast area that falls within Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, as well as parts of other counties. This beautiful area is known for its rolling hills, palaces, castles, and golden stone. There is so much to explore in this part of the UK, and for the most part, your dog will be able to accompany you. The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway is an excellent attraction for train enthusiasts as they offer rides on the heritage railway. Your dog is welcome to join you if they remain on their leash and on the floor.
The Earl Barton Cottage is in Wootton Under Edge in Cotswolds and has panoramic views of the surrounding hills that you and your two dogs can enjoy walks on while you stay there. Otherwise, you can enjoy a stay at The Old Stocks Inn or just pop past to grab a bite with your hound.
6. North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire is located in Northern England and is agriculturally focused, but they’ve still got plenty of dog-friendly activities. One popular attraction is the North Yorkshire Waterpark which has so much to offer that you should expect to be there all day, making it a great choice for families and dogs, as long as they remain on the lead.
For a canine-friendly place to stay and to find some peace and quiet, the Field Barn Hut is a great option. You’ll stay in a handcrafted shepherd’s hut and have access to a hot tub while your pooch can play freely in the enclosed garden. Once your appetite kicks in, you can go over to The Stiddy Pub, and depending on the night you’re there, you can take part in the open mic or quiz events. They’re a dog-friendly pub, so don’t leave your dog at home.
7. The Peak District
The Peak District is a national park that can be found in the heart of England and is the perfect place for people looking for adventure and time away in nature. Some popular activities are climbing, cycling, caving, walking, and photography, but they also have historic houses within the district that you can explore. The Castleton Caverns is an attraction not to be missed as it houses the Blue John Stone, which is only found in Castleton.
The Peak Venues offer a range of cottages for couples and different group sizes so that you can find the one that accommodates you best. Many of the options are dog friendly. The Old Dog is a quirky pub that has a short menu with meals that most people love, and dogs are often given a little something to nibble on for free.
For a marvelous vacation destination in Wales, you can’t go wrong with Pembrokeshire. It’s home to sandy beaches, abundant wildlife, and historic sites. It has stunning accommodations too, such as Slebech Park in Haverfordwest. This accommodation is perfectly suited for dogs as they offer a doggy bed, treats, and bowls.
For a day out, take your dog to Barafundle Bay in Stackpole or Newport Sands in Newport, as these are two of their dog-friendly beaches. You can also spend an afternoon at Heatherton World of Activities and enjoy their indoor and outdoor adventures while your dog enjoys the dog agility course and dog-friendly ice cream. After a fun-filled day, head over to The Swan Inn in Little Haven, where your dog will be warmly welcomed.
9. The Chiltern Hills
Another large, rural area is the Chiltern Hills, which has an abundance of rivers, trees, and hills to enjoy. This travel destination is ideal for those who are eager to spend time in the countryside walking and admiring the stunning views. However, for a change of scenery, you can head over to the Chiltern Open Air Museum, where your dog will have access to drinking bowls and Waggy Dog ice cream, and you can view the rescued historic buildings that tell a story of the Chilterns.
You can see even more history by heading over to the Royal Standard of England for something to eat. It’s believed to be the oldest pub in England, and it may look familiar as it has been featured in several films and series. For somewhere to stay with your dog, Mercure Thame Lambert Hotel is a comfortable and stylish choice.
Cumbria is famously known for having the Lake District National Park and is the second largest county in England. Of course, with Cumbria containing the largest lake in England, it is only fitting to book a trip with Windermere Lake Cruises and enjoy the views of the mountains surrounding it. Your dog will be allowed to travel for free as long as they’re on a lead. You won’t need to travel far to get something to eat because the dog-friendly Pier Café Bar is in the same area, overlooking Lake Windermere.
If you’d love to treat yourself to a memorable stay, you won’t be disappointed with the Gilpin Hotel and Lake House, which has hot tubs, spa rooms, fantastic food, and stunning views.
11. Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is the least visited country in the UK, so you won’t be surrounded by the hustle and bustle of thousands of tourists. Although not as popular, the area has a homey feel about it, with picturesque villages, a variety of beaches, and excellent activities to enjoy. Curry’s Fun Park in Portrush offers many fun rides for adults and children. They also have Crazy Golf. Dogs are welcome in the park if they’re on a lead and well-behaved, and water bowls are left out for them to stay hydrated.
On a chilly day, The Dirty Onion is the place to be, thanks to their indoor peat fire that your dog is welcome to cozy up in front of. The atmosphere inside this pub is great, with entertainment provided every night of the week. Book your stay at Dunseverick Ramblers Rest, Bushmills, which is near the scenic walking route, Causeway Coast Path.
Manchester has more to offer than just their football skills. It has wonderful parks, markets, shops, and bookstores that are open to dogs. For a tasty breakfast and brunch spot, 19 Café Bar has an amazing variety to choose from, so whether you want pancakes or a full English breakfast, they’ve got you covered. They’re also a pet-loving cafe and are happy for you to bring your dog inside with you.
K9 Swim offers hydrotherapy to dogs, which has many health benefits and is a great place to help your dog improve their swimming skills. You can join the fun and swim with your dog and turn your session into a bonding exercise.
Whitworth Locke is all about giving your dog a good experience at their hotel, and if you’re comfortable with it, the staff will fuss over your dog and be given dog treats, toys, and a dog bowl. However, you must book in advance so they can get your dog-friendly room ready for you, and you’ll need to pay a once-off cleaning fee.
The UK is full of fabulous travel destinations that have activities, dining options, and accommodations for you and your dog. You can opt for a bustling city, such as London or Manchester, or a quiet countryside with stunning views, such as the Chiltern Hills. Exciting dog-friendly activities in the UK include boat rides, beach walks, fun parks, and natural wonders.
Don’t worry if the dining options or places to stay listed above are all booked up, as there are countless other dog-friendly options in all the travel destinations listed above.
Featured Image Credit: Javier Brosch, Shutterstock