Ditch the kennels and take your furry best friend on hols with you.

A recent survey of 1000 pet owners showed that 90 per cent travelled regularly with their pets, with 63 per cent having taken a pet with them on holiday at least four times in the last year. The survey also ranked the top UK spots for breaks with furry friends: London was declared the most pet-friendly destination, followed by Cornwall and Manchester, with Edinburgh, Glasgow and York also featuring highly. If you are keen to book a break with your Fido in-tow, here are some top sites for pet-friendly escapes, plus our tips on how to travel safely with your pet:

Oliver’s Travels

There are 150 dog-friendly cottages in the UK on Oliver’s Travels’ books. Perfect for luxury family staycations, the company has a wide range of properties, from grand loch-side houses in the Highlands to rambling Cotswolds manor houses and New England style mansions on the south coast. The concierge team is on hand to ensure a smooth and restful getaway for all the crew; we love the look of Puggiestone House, situated right within Dartmoor National Park. It’s a great spot for rambling walks with your pooch, while the indoor pool and sauna are perfect for reviving tired limbs.

National Trust

The National Trust has 160 dog-friendly cottages within its estates across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Situated in some of the UK’s most unspoilt scenery, with access to National Trust parkland, open countryside and stunning coastal walks, you’ll be spoilt for choice on your morning walkies. Plus, dogs go free at all of the NT’s dog-friendly holiday cottages. We have our eye on the five-bedroom Nanceglos House, which is tucked away in a wooded clearing in the exotic Trengwainton Garden, with space for nine humans and two dogs. There’s 25-acres of back garden to explore at Trengwainton itself, with the dog-friendly beach at Kenneggy Sands and St. Michael’s Mount nearby.

Dog Friendly Cottages

You will be spoilt for choice at Dogfriendlycottages.co.uk, which does exactly as it says on the tin: there are some 46,000 cottages, lodges and apartments to choose from, all of which will welcome your pooch with open arms. There is something to fit every budget, big or small, and all vetted by the team for being properly pup-friendly. We love the Seaglass Barn in East Ruston, North Norfolk, with accessible one-level living, terrazzo kitchen and wildflower meadow garden. The sublime East Ruston Gardens are on the doorstep, as are the vast sandy beaches of this dazzling coastline –perfect for letting four-legged friends off the lead for a frolic in the surf.

Pets Pyjamas

If you have a truly pampered pooch, you can rely on the Pets Pyjamas website to find you something worthy of their summer hols. The site has great edits including cottages with hot tubs, ‘big and beautiful’ properties for large family gatherings and a unique stays collection, from grand stately homes to real-life castles. Just outside Glasgow, 17th-century Crossbasket Castle’s grounds include woodland, extensive nature walks and a beautiful stretch of river featuring wild waterfalls – wonderful for long strolls with your trusty hound.

Canine Cottages

Canine Cottages pick and personally vet all cottages on its books to ensure they are genuinely pet-friendly. It has a wide range of beach breaks, Lake and Peak District listings and Welsh escapes. The ‘guides’ section of the website is a pet-owner’s little black book of the best dog-friendly days out: think pubs, walks and destination guides around the British Isles. The cosy one-bedroom Crowsnest Cabin in Beaulieu, Hampshire is a striking stilt house set amongst the treeline in a tranquil position beside the Beaulieu River. Set within the New Forest National Park, there are plenty of open woodland walks to choose from, right on your doorstep.

5 Tips For Travelling With Your Dog:

Here’s a checklist to ensure you’ve got all you need for your pampered pe

Water Bowl. A collapsible one is great for in the car or on days out.
Food. Do stick to their usual brand to ensure no tummy upsets whilst you’re away.
Any medication.
Collar/harness/lead. Ensure you have an up-to-date tag on their collar, even if they are chipped.
All their medical records and vaccination paperwork, even if travelling in the UK.
Towels for beach trips or muddy walks.
A crate if they are used to sleeping in one to create a home-from-home environment, as well as their usual bed/bedding.
Favourite toys and comforters.
Treats and perhaps a new toy for in the car to keep them occupied.

Road Test

If you are planning a long journey, do a few shorter test drives beforehand to get your pup used to being in the car and also to test out your in-car kit (dog harness, car crate etc) so you are confident before the big day.

Safety First

For your dog’s safety, and to comply with the Highway Code, your dog should be wearing a harness and pet seat-belt, or be travelling in a car crate that is secured in the boot of your car on journeys. According to Consumer Reports, a 60lb dog travelling at 35mph can turn into a 2,700lb projectile in an accident, harming themselves and other passengers.

Be Prepared

Make sure your dog is micro-chipped and that your microchip company has your mobile number in case they go missing. Ensure you have a recent photo of your dog for that eventuality, too.

Expert Knowledge

Do your research and ensure you have the number and address of a local vet close to your holiday accommodation in case of an emergency. Ask your hotel or self-catering host for a recommendation if you need one.

By Lydia Mansi
March 2020


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Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.