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dog friendly holiday destinations
  1. Standard
9th February 2023

The UK’s best dog-friendly holiday destinations

This blog points you towards eight of the UK’s most popular dog-friendly holiday destinations.

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If you can’t bear to confine your pet to the kennels when you head off on holiday this year, it’s good to know that Britain has hundreds of dog-friendly holiday destinations to explore.

But if you’re a little nervous about taking your pet on a long road-trip for the first time, check out these tips for driving with dogs in the car.

The team at Sterling have put their heads together to come up with eight of the best dog-friendly holiday destinations where your four legged friends will be just as welcome as you are.

dog friendly holiday destinations
Every dog should have its day, fetching the ball on a beach holiday.

1. Brecon Beacons

Fresh air, wide open spaces, a creative atmosphere and loads to entertain you whatever the weather – this is what makes Brecon Beacons National Park one of the most popular dog-friendly holiday destinations, whether you’re looking for a short weekend trip or a two-week destination for you and your dog.

The park comprises four ranges of mountains and hills in South Wales and contains some of the finest walking terrain in Europe. 

Your dog will love the Beacons too because there are endless attractions, holiday cottages, hotels, pubs and restaurants that allow well-behaved dogs to join in the fun.

2. Cornwall

Offering an alluring mix of enchanting coast and rolling countryside, Cornwall is England’s most popular holiday destination, and there’s plenty for you and your dog to enjoy. 

There are miles of sandy beaches, many open all year round for dogs, the scenic South West Coastal path and a wealth of pretty towns, quaint quays and picture postcard villages to explore. 

From the bijou cathedral city of Truro to tiny fishing harbours such as Mevagissey and Port Isaac, as well as dog-friendly attractions such as the stunning Lost Gardens of Heligan and the Minack Theatre, there is much to explore.

3. The Cotswolds

You and your hound can enjoy classic English countryside in the Cotswolds, with its rolling green hills and quaint villages lined with flint cottages spanning the six counties of Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire.

You can walk for miles along the Cotswold Way, which traverses fields of lavender and falls upon some beautiful dog-friendly getaway destinations and villages such as Bourton-on-the-Water and Bibury. 

Once you’ve finished exploring, there are countless historic inns and hotels where you can enjoy a meal and soak up the surroundings.

4. Dorset

Dorset boasts some of the most beautiful coast and countryside and is waiting to be explored by visitors on four legs as well as two. 

Famed for its fascinating Jurassic Coast, if your dog finds a bone on the beach, get it analysed because it may be a precious fossil from thousands of years ago. The Jurassic Coast stretches 95 miles from Exmouth in East Devon to Studland in Dorset.

The county has a range of dog-friendly accommodation for you to choose from and plenty of attractions and activities to keep you and your pet entertained.

5. Forest of Dean

This is where England meets Wales. Separated by the meandering River Wye, you’ll discover a place of timeless beauty and untamed nature.

You’ll find restorative solitude, breathtaking views, iconic ruins, unique attractions and miles of walking and cycling tracks in which to while away the hours. 

This is a place where you and your dog can recharge your batteries, get off the beaten track and escape everyday life. This is one of the best places to go with your dogs in the UK as your pet and your children can run free, with lots of space to roam and plenty of adventures to be had. 

6. Norfolk

Norfolk is a quieter and more understated destination, with a host of unspoilt landscapes to enjoy and a diverse variety of places to go with your dog. 

You could try the classic British seaside experience at fish and chip spots such as Great Yarmouth or Cromer, glide along the tranquil Norfolk Broads in a houseboat or explore majestic stately homes, such as Sandringham, one of King Charles’ royal residences. 

Norfolk also has plenty of great dog-friendly beaches to discover, including the golden sands of Holkham and Thornham. And who can forget wonderful Old Hunstanton – Sunny Hunny – where you’re likely to find plenty of other dogs to befriend!

dog friendly holiday destinations
Norfolk has a host of quiet breezy beaches on which to blow the cobwebs away.

7. The Lake District National Park

The Lake District is one of England’s best-loved national parks, with its rolling vistas, cool shimmering lakes and precipitous hills and mountain peaks. 

A haven for walkers, dogs are sure to love the long wanders along the shores of Lake Windermere. Dogs are also welcome on board boats such as the Ullswater Steamers, which provide regular pleasure cruises across the park’s best known stretch of water. 

You’ll discover pretty towns and villages like Hawkshead and Ambleside, with plenty of dog-friendly cafes and traditional English pubs where you can both enjoy a fireside treat.

8. The Peak District National Park

Another much-loved national park and great dog-friendly holiday destination is the Peak District. It’s wonderful walking country with sweeping valleys, breath-taking waterfalls and picturesque countryside decorated with pretty villages. 

You can explore the grounds of the spectacular Chatsworth House, the film location for Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and delve deep into the Treak Cliff Cavern, the only place in the world where you can find the precious stone Blue John, all with your dog by your side.

For lunch or dinner, there are plenty of countryside pubs in which to eat and drink, with gardens for the summer and roaring fires for the winter.

Plenty of dog-friendly cottages in the UK

And if you are struggling for that holiday home in which to spend your well-earned break, check out Canine Cottages, which has more than 1,500 dog-friendly holiday destinations across the UK to choose from.

Stick to the code at your dog-friendly holiday destination

If you’re taking your dog with you on holiday, you should familiarise yourself with the government’s Countryside Code which provides explicit instructions regarding the care and exercising of dogs, particularly around wild animals and livestock. 

Wherever you choose to holiday, bear in mind there may be restrictions for dogs in places that you wish to visit. Most beaches in Britain, for example, prohibit dogs during the summer but the vast majority welcome responsible owners and their pets from 1st October to 30th April. We’ve listed a few in our blog, but here is an extensive list of dog-friendly beaches where you can take your pets all year round.

You’ve remembered the dog, don’t forget Sterling

Whichever dog-friendly holiday destination you settle on, it will be good to know that you have the right insurance in place to protect you and your car while you’re away. Sterling insurance can provide bespoke car insurance to match your very individual needs. We also offer campervan and motorhome insurance if you’re exploring the UK in a self-contained vehicle. Call 0344 381 9990 today for a free no obligation quote or book a callback at a time that suits you.

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