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According to the National Dog Survey, the canine population in the UK has skyrocketed to 12.5 million over the last couple of years… Now, that’s a lot of dogs.
Combine that increase with rising travel costs (and in turn, boarding costs!), and it’s no wonder that families these days are seeking getaways closer to home that are affordable and dog-friendly. After all, the UK is perfect for a family adventure with your pet in tow, thanks to the number of beaches and lakes to swim in, and the acres of countryside to explore.
So if you’re seeking to stretch your legs outside of your local area, finding a place that’s not just dog-tolerant, but dog-friendly is a good idea.
To help you plan, we’ve rolled up our sleeves and got down to the nitty gritty of what it means to have a truly dog-friendly holiday in the UK, with the help of Mumsnetter recommendations.
Dog-friendly stays in the UK: a roundup
1. Best dog-friendly hotel for families: Moonfleet Manor in Weymouth, Dorset
Moonfleet Manor in Weymouth, Dorset | Check availability
Sat overlooking the stunning coastline of Dorset, surrounded by lush countryside is Moonfleet Manor. Aside from having a name that comes straight from a children’s bedtime story, this hotel guarantees a dreamy stay for you, your little ones and your furry companions.
Overlooking Chesil Beach and the Fleet Lagoon, you are only a 17 minute drive from the charming seaside town of Weymouth and not far from dog-friendly visits to Dinosaurland or Corfe Castle. Not that you’ll want to go far, as Moonfleet Manor has a spa, heated indoor pool, cinema, kids club, playground, games room, and all important creche. Cots and baby gates are also available if you stay here.
With the humans taken care of, this hotel is 100% dog-friendly and that’s because the owners have a resident pooch of their own; Snoopy the cocker spaniel. On arrival you’ll be met by dog mad staff, who are intent on catering to all members of your family.
All 36 rooms at this hotel are pet friendly with a charge of £15 per dog per night. Your dogs are allowed access to almost the whole hotel, with the exception of the restaurant and verandah, and all they ask is that dogs are kept on a lead and that any doggy dos are put in the metal bins for dog waste (if you’ve run out of bags, reception have extra!).
If you want to dine without your pup one night they also offer a puppy listening service, so you can dine in peace knowing they’re not trashing the room.
- Minimum price: £140
- Closest train station: Weymouth station is a 17 minute drive away
What Mumsnet users say
“Knoll House and Moonfleet Manor in Dorset.” Fivemoreminutes1
2. Best overall dog-friendly hotel: Beck Hall in Malham, Yorkshire
Beck Hall in Malham, Yorkshire | Check availability
Amongst the scattered limestone and sweeping scenery of the Yorkshire dales is the old-worldly village of Malham, which is home to the amazing Beck Hall. You might recognise this hotel if in 2015 you were fans of Channel 4’s show Four in a Bed, where they demonstrated how they are the true best friends of dogs and their owners.
Besides boasting multiple awards, a quick glance through their dog policy is surely going to set tails wagging. At Beck Hall, there is a three dog limit, but they all stay free and have the choice of any room (all of which are close to an exit for toileting emergencies). At meal times, they are welcome for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the bar and restaurant where there will be biscuits on tap from the dog loving staff. In fact, wherever humans can go doggy pals can follow. After meals cosy up in the dog-friendly snug or frolic through the hundreds of dog walks available.
At Beck Hall, their permanent furry resident called Wookie reassures you that if you have forgotten something there are drying towels, mats, bowls, dog baskets, food storage and waste bins available. Children are also welcome at this hotel, however you should consider when booking they have no extra cots or beds available. However, if that isn’t a deal breaker, Beck Hall is without a doubt the most dog-friendly hotel ever!
- Minimum price: £130
- Closest train station: Hellifield station is a 20 minute drive away
What Mumsnet users say
“Beck Hall at Malham (Yorkshire) is very dog friendly and in a beautiful location.” WheresMyPudding
3. Best family and dog-friendly holiday cottages: Polean Farm in Looe, Cornwall
Polean Farm in Looe, Cornwall | Check availability
If you are hoping to book a stay in Cornwall this year, then Polean Farm is the perfect place to stay. Here they offer eight child-friendly cottages, four of which are dog-friendly too.
Despite the limited number, each one has tiled floors for easy clean up, a secure courtyard or garden for safety and you are allowed to leave your dog behind if you want to go out for the day without them. It is important to note that there is a £50 charge per dog per night (which is the most expensive charge on this list) and dogs are not allowed in the bedrooms.
However, this can be offset by other dog-friendly amenities on offer such as the fifteen acre exercise field in which your dogs are allowed off lead and can swim in all the ponds to their hearts delight. If you’re worried about muddy paws, they also allow you to use the farmyard hose pipe for washing off mucky pups. Additionally if you're looking to keep on top of your dog’s training, they offer that too!
Perfect for the pups, but is it perfect for the kids? Yes, it is! At Polean Farm, there is animal feeding, pony rides, a pool, a children’s outdoor play area, a library of children’s books, films and music and evening entertainment. You also have access to baby gates, socket covers and for an additional charge there are babysitting services too.
So, if your idea of bliss is a day on the beach scouring rock pools followed by a dinner in a dog-friendly local pub before finally settling down to a cosy evening in; then Polean Farm is meant for you!
- Minimum price: £173
- Closest train station: Looe station is an 11 minute drive away
What Mumsnet users say
4. Best hotel designed with dogs in mind: The White Swan Inn in Pickering, Yorkshire
The White Swan in Pickering, Yorkshire | Check availability
The White Swan is a charming, historic 16th Century coaching inn in the quaint town of Pickering, Yorkshire; perfect for a cosy getaway with your family and Fido. Here they consider dogs their best friends which is reflected in their hideaway bedrooms that are designed specifically with dogs in mind.
In each room, they have practical stone flooring with underfloor heating, a porchway for wet wellies and paws and they are super spacious. These rooms do have a two dog limit plus a charge of £12.50 per dog per night. However, this includes a doggy bed, water bowl, plenty of doggy treats - including sausages or bacon at breakfast - and a deep clean after you leave. Though there are no extra towels for drying so you will need to bring your own.
Another benefit is that you needn’t leave your dog behind as dogs are welcome in the bar and snug at meal times. As for the young humans in your party, there are family rooms (you can request ones that are connected), early suppers for those with strict bedtimes, babysitting services for a charge, cots available and board games and puzzles to be found.
However, it is important to know that there are extra charges depending on the age of your child for your room. For example, children under two stay free, but children aged three years or over would be charged £20 per night if sharing a parent’s room. So, make sure to consider this before booking and if it still sounds great to you, book now so that you and your canine pals can enjoy exploring the dramatic landscape of Yorkshire.
- Minimum price: £154
- Closest train station: Malton station is an 18 minute drive away
5. Best dog-friendly hotel for pampered pups: The Lygon Arms in Broadway, Worcestershire
The Lygon Arms in Broadway, Worcestershire | Check availability
The Cotswolds are quintessential England; picturesque, charming and full of whimsy and nestled in their panoramic views is The Lygon Arms (which once hosted King Charles I and Oliver Cromwell).
If you are the kind of family who spoil their four legged friends and want a lavish stay to remember this hotel is for you. It has proudly won two Pets Pyjamas Awards for dog-friendliness and in reviews staff are praised for all being dog lovers! If you stay at the Lygon Arms, on arrival your pet pooch would be greeted with beds, bowls and biscuits as standard before heading to any of the dog-friendly rooms which are spread out throughout the hotel. Still retaining their original features, but with all the mod cons you won’t be sacrificing any luxury here.
Other creature comforts and amenities are a warm water washing station for pups who beeline for mud (with doggy drying robes available for purchase), freedom for your dogs to join you in the bar and lounge whilst you eat, and a nails and tails doggy spa to help your four legged friend achieve zen.
Not forgetting the two legged amongst us, there are plenty of perks for you too with four EV charging points, a spa, pool, two acres of gardens, playground equipment and cots and extra beds available; you can rest assured everyone will be taken care of.
- Minimum price: £210
- Closest train station: Broadway Heritage station is a three minute drive or a 15 minute walk to the Lygon Arms
What Mumsnet users say
“The Fish Hotel or the Lygon Arms near Broadway, Worcs are both very luxurious and very dog friendly” CMOTDibbler
6. Best 5* dog-friendly hotel: The Joiners Arms in Newton-by-the-sea, Alnwick
The Joiners Arms, in Newton-by-the-Sea, Alnwick | Check availability
Alnwick, the home of The Joiners Arms, has had many different film crews set up at its Castle (Harry Potter and Downton Abbey amongst the most famous), so if you’re looking for a little bit of movie magic and a 5* stay then this is for you.
Stylish and classy, this boutique style hotel has an award winning restaurant and the perfect location to boot. The surrounding countryside is an area of outstanding natural beauty with a beach only 15 minutes away and plenty of walks that will get your dog's tail wagging with joy.
At The Joiners Arms, your four legged friends don’t miss out on the 5* treatment either as on arrival they will be greeted with treats and their very own bottle of Pawsecco. Not only that, in the room they provide a dog blanket, complimentary waste bags and even more treats! Dogs are also welcome to join you at dinner time in the bar area so no lonely evenings stuck in your room.
The only downside is availability will be limited as the hotel states that there are only two rooms that are pet-friendly so book well in advance to avoid disappointment. As for the humans amongst you, there is a surrounding garden perfect for picnics, plenty to do in the area and cots (free) and beds (£30 charge per child per night) available upon request. The Joiners Arms is sure to give you a holiday to boast about!
- Minimum price: £200
- Closest train station: Chathill station is an 11 minute drive away
What Mumsnet users say
“The joiners arms on the Northumberland coast is excellent for dogs. Five minutes walk to beach and you can walk to beadnell and then seahouses and then bamburgh if your really adventurous.” fourpawswhite
7. Dog-friendly hotel with the best walks: Balmer Lawn in Brockenhurst, New Forest
Balmer Lawn in Brockenhurst, New Forest | Check availability
At the heart of the New Forest sits this gorgeous 4* hotel, perfect for any outdoorsy family and their active dogs. It is a perfect base to explore the 145 square miles of ancient woodlands, discovering the unique flora, fauna and wildlife that it has to offer. There would be no shortage of adventures!
Upon booking with Balmer Lawn, your furry best friend and family can expect to find 20 dog-friendly rooms available with pet bowls, towels, food and water bowls, poo bags and treats provided. They also get a voucher for a sausage at breakfast! Staff are dog-friendly and more than happy to provide dog walking maps for those unsure where to start. They will also keep an ear out for an unhappy dog on request if you want to dine without them in tow, though you are more then welcome to have them join you whilst you eat in the lounge area.
You should be aware that there is a £25 charge per dog per night, with a limit of two dogs to a room and they ask that dogs are kept on their leashes and that dogs don’t lay on any furniture including the bed in your room. As for the rest of your family, there are two swimming pools, a zipwire, spa, two award winning restaurants and board games and puzzles available as boredom busters. It’s worth noting though that no extra cots or beds are available at this property - so if you’re taking young visitors with you, pack a travel cot.
- Minimum price: £200
- Closest train station: Brockenhurst station is a six minute drive away
What Mumsnet users say
“We stayed at The Balmer Lawn in the New Forest and it was very dog friendly. It was summer and we chose to eat outside and he was very welcome” Mydogsnotfat
8. Best award winning dog-friendly hotel: The Arundell in Lifton, Devon
The Arundell | Check availability
There is no doubt that if you stay at The Arundell your canine friends will be well-cared for as this hotel is a Pets Pyjamas Award winner amongst many other accolades.
Located in delightful Devon in the village of Lifton, you are in a prime location to access Cornwall and to enjoy many walks across Dartmoor. At the low charge of £10 per dog per night (no size limit), you have the choice of eight coach house rooms or a choice of indoor heated kennels if your dog is more of the working variety. Added pooch benefits also include a heated wader room to help you dry off and clean down after a muddy walk through the countryside and pet bowls and baskets available.
This hotel would be the perfect autumnal stay too with its fireside library and cosy interior making you feel right at home. It is important to be aware that The Arundell does not have televisions opting for radios instead, preferring to offer you a tech free stay with board games and cards available as entertainment.
For younger guests, there are babysitting services at an extra cost and a charge of £30 per child per night. Nonetheless if you’re looking to embrace nature and step away from your screens this could be the right choice for you and your family!
- Minimum price: £165
- Closest train station: Gunnislake Station is a 22 minute drive away.
What Mumsnet users say
“Not only is this dog friendly - i.e. they will let them into the dining rooms and all public places , bedrooms ( they leave little blankets for dogs ) , they also will bring the dogs sausages at breakfast time if the dogs are allowed them. Very lovely hotel - outside garden area for them to roam about in - not entirely enclosed so you might need to sit and have a drink whilst you watch them and near Dartmoor etc.” BasiliskStare
9. Best for a dog-friendly welcome: The Feathers Hotel in Helmsley, Yorkshire
The Feathers Hotel in Helmsley, Yorkshire | Check availability
Every review for this hotel raves about the staff and their love for dogs, from the receptionists to the waiters and waitresses your dog is sure to be made a fuss of. It is reported some even carry dog treats in their pockets and aprons!
Doggy-related perks include a low charge of £10 per dog per stay, dogs being welcome in all areas of the hotel (except the restaurant), a dog-friendly courtyard, dogs being able to join you in the lounge and bar whilst you eat and 14 dog-friendly rooms to choose from!
As for the rest of the family, there is all-day dining available (so no rumbling bellies necessary), board games and puzzles for distraction purposes, cots available upon request (£10 charge) and spacious family rooms. The only perk the Feathers Hotel is lacking is it does not have a lift so unless you travel particularly light it might be worth asking for a ground floor room.
Providing you with the inspiringly beautiful scenery of Yorkshire, no end of amazing walks and family friendly activities, you are guaranteed to want to return to the Feathers Hotel again and again.
- Minimum price: £105
- Closest train station: Thirsk station is a 26 minute drive away
What Mumsnet users say
“The Feathers at Helmsley is lovely.” DelightfulBox
10. Best award-winning dog-friendly hotel: Woodend Cottage in Dumfries, Scotland
Woodend Cottage in Dumfries, Scotland | Check availability
On the outskirts of Dumfries, you will find Woodend Cottage settled between the hills and enclosed by the spectacularly dramatic scenery of Scotland. Comfortable and welcoming, but still stylish, this cottage offers you a home away from home.
An incredible feature, pictured above, is the option to open the double doors of the living room and look straight out onto breathtaking scenery and let the crisp, fresh air blow through. Although, if you’re booking outside the summer you might prefer cosying up in front of the log fire instead. Either way, your hounds will be happy with the throws to cover the furniture so they can snuggle up with you and the dog bowls and dog treats provided.
This property, as well as allowing two dogs to stay free of charge, is semi-detached, with a bike store, garden furniture, private parking (enough for two cars), a washing machine and a dishwasher. You can rest safe and assured that all of your family's needs will be met at this property and that after one stay, you’ll never want to stay anywhere else!
- Minimum price: £585 for 7 nights
- Closest train station: Dumfries station is a nine minute drive away
What Mumsnet users say
“Just come back from Woodend cottage near Dumfries Scotland. Throws provided for your dog to cover settees, dog bowls provided, plus dog treats. Secure garden. One previous occupiers dog did manage to escape and owner came round with wire fencing to block up gap. Dogs not allowed on beds, but I suppose if you're prepared to take your own bedding.......” Once More For Luck
Where in the UK is the most dog-friendly?
There is a lot of debate and competition for the top spot of most dog-friendly destinations, but no final consensus. So, here are some of the most recommended by Mumsnetters:
- The Lake District
- The Cotswolds
- The Highlands
- The Peak District
Is the UK a dog-friendly country?
Yes, we are a nation of dog lovers and there is an ever growing wealth of businesses, including holiday accommodation, that are choosing to be dog-friendly too. Don’t forget to check with them ahead of time to avoid disappointment for your furry pals.
What do I need to consider before booking a holiday with my dog?
Most advice is common sense for any dog owner, however here are our top tips:
- Check the weather ahead of time.
- Know the accommodations/hotel's policy such as what do I need to bring, dos and don’ts and dog limits on number, breeds and size.
- Know where the dog-friendly places are in that area (if you’re not sure, ask the staff where you are staying they will have lots of recommendations).
- Plan your journey in advance and your holiday around your dog e.g. ensure they aren’t being left too long on their own.
How do I deal with my dog’s travelling anxiety?
Just like humans, dog’s can become stressed at any stage during your holiday. To avoid this here are some tips:
- Take objects that are familiar to your dog to make it feel like home!
- Keep to their regular routine e.g. if you always go for a walk at 10am keep doing that.
- Don’t change their diet, although it’s tempting, tummy issues in a shared room are never fun!
- Give them time to explore their new space, that includes the hotel itself and the surrounding grounds.
- Try not to leave them alone and keep an eye on the time when they are.
- Let them have time to rest, a tired dog is a stressed dog.
- Desensitise your dog ahead of time by doing short trips away first. Don’t jump head first into a weeks-long staycation.
- Consider dog calming products and make sure you consult your vet when you do.
- Have regular travel breaks.
How do I keep my dogs safe on holiday?
Much like any family member we have to worry about our dog’s safety, so here are some things to remember:
- Walk your dog on a lead as much as possible (running leads are useful if your dog is used to walking off lead) and pay attention to footpath signage.
- If you’re going to be out in the evening or at night, consider LED collars or reflective coats for your dog to help them be seen.
- Keep an eye on their behaviour, mood and temperament, your dog might be trying to tell you something important.
- Don’t leave them where they could come to harm e.g. a locked car (even with the windows down and no matter the weather).
- Check the weather e.g. don’t walk your dogs during the hottest part of the day.
- Make sure you take water for your dog everywhere you go (you can buy collapsible water bowls to save space).
- Before or on arrival, try and find out the contact details of a 24 hour emergency vet that is local to you just in case.
- Before leaving have a check up at the vets so you can ensure that things such as your dog’s vaccinations are up to date
- Consider animal insurance, it can be a lifesaver if (God forbid) anything does go wrong!
- Make sure your dog is microchipped and has a collar with your name and phone number so if by chance you get separated, you have a better chance of finding each other again.
- Consider securing a tracking device like an air tag to their collar in case they wander off during your stay.
How we choose our recommendations
Recommendations by real parents
Before choosing any activities for our roundups, we first consult the Mumsnet forums. With over 10 million users per month, there’s a lot of suggestions by real parents who have been there, done that when travelling around the UK with their dog(s) in tow.
Expert guidance and traveller reviews
After we’ve collated our pick of activities and attractions, we then turn to the experts and consult the likes of TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and Expedia to see what their recommendations include for dog-friendly stays in the UK. For this guide, we also checked out expert opinions from Pet Pyjamas, The Kennel Club and The Dog Friendly Award.
Here we’ll also check what travellers are saying about these dog-friendly UK hotels, taking into consideration both the positive and negative points of their trip to bring you a well-rounded and honest guide.
Finally, we cross-referenced all of the above information to find the best dog-friendly hotels in the UK that had won the most awards and recommendations across the board. We feel there’s something here for everyone, to suit every budget.
Why should you trust us?
We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.