We have put together a list of our top 5 dog-friendly counties for you to visit, including accommodation, places to visit, walks and more!
Not only does Cornwall boast beaches that are just spectacular (why go abroad when there’s such beauty right here on our shores?!) but many other dog friendly things to see and do. For a start, many of the nationally-known attractions, including Bodmin Jail, the Cornish Seal Sanctuary and its many castles including Launceston Castle and St Catherine’s Castle, are also dog-friendly.
In terms of places to stay, Cornwall has a plethora of dog-friendly accommodation that not only allows dogs, but will spoil your beloved pooch rotten.
Just one example is the Bed and Basket cottage in St Austall, which have been specially designed with dogs and their owners in mind. Each barn has its own private patio and there are two large exercise fields, as well as kennels where you can leave your dog safely in his own kennel for a few hours if needed. Your Dog Members can take their dogs for free.
A little further up the county is the self-catering Wishing Well Cottage in Truro, which is located just three miles from the dog friendly beach of Perranporth, and has a large fully fenced garden, making it particularly suitable for pets. Your Dog Members can get 10% off their booking.
When it comes to dog-friendly places to eat, you’re spoilt for choice in Cornwall. One of its most famous inn, the well-known smuggling inn The Jamaica Inn in Launceston, invites dogs to eat with you in the bar area, and stay in one of two dog-friendly rooms which have laminate flooring.
Then there’s The Cornish Arms in St Merryn, which not only allows dogs in to eat with you but offers treats for them to chow down with you too.
Local Pet Shop & Groomers
If you want to give your dog a good pampering while you’re visiting Cornwall, you can’t go wrong with Rocky’s Pet Shop and Grooming in St Ives. Not only can you pick up almost any kind of dog food and treats imaginable, but also treat your dog to a pampering session from one of Rocky’s qualified groomers. Your Dog Members can get 10% off boutique ware and grooming.
Then there’s Paws in Padstow, 'The Premier Padstow dog boutique - for the better breed of dog owner', a luxury shop for everything for your pampered puppy.
The Lake District is famous for not only its beautiful scenery and stunning walks, but also for being one of the most dog friendly counties in the UK. The jewel in the Lakes’ crown, Keswick, is one of the most dog-friendly towns in the country and has won multiple awards for its services to dogs and their owners as so many of their attractions, accommodations and restaurants welcome dogs with open arms.
Dog-friendly highlights include boat trips on Derwentwater, the Pencil Museum and Hope Park, which boasts a woodland walk and ornamental gardens - not to mention the Steam Yacht Gondola, just down the road in Coniston. Your Dog Members can get 10% off lake cruises at Keswick Launch.
You can enjoy a boat ride across Windermere, dogs are welcome on board all four of the Windermere Lake Cruises routes – they also offer a special ‘walkers’ ticket for those wanting to enjoy sections on the Windermere Way.
The Lake District National Park website has a list of 39 open access routes across the park, providing exploratory opportunities for all.
You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to places to stay where your dog will be welcomed. There’s the Borrowdale Hotel in Borrowdale Valley, which offers 40 comfortable bedrooms with dog friendly areas and even dog beds and bowls available. Your Dog Members can take their dogs to stay for free.
Then there’s the self-catering Keswick Cottages, which will give Your Dog members a bag of dog treats upon arrival at one of their stunning cottages and apartments. Keswick Cottages brings the very best in self-catering accommodation in and around the fabulous Keswick area. Whether you’re looking for a traditional Lakeland cosy cottage or a luxury modern apartment, a romantic getaway for two or a family holiday, they will not disappoint.
For a trip round the shops, your dog will love a visit to the Podgy Paws pet shop in Keswick, which has a pet-friendly information centre.
And of course, no dog friendly holiday to the Lakes would be complete without a visit to the Lake District National Park, which is the largest of England's national parks and covers a third of the county of Cumbria.
There are acres of mountainous countryside and countless tracks and paths around the area, and just some of the many walks include Cumbria Way, Dales Way and the Pennine Way. There are many National Trust and privately owned estate grounds and gardens to be enjoyed with dogs too.
Heading east of the country, Norfolk is another brilliant destination for dog lovers owing to the many dog-friendly attractions and places to stay and eat.
For a more unique trip out with your dog, Horsey Windpump at Horsey is a restored five-storey drainage windmill owned by The National Trust. The windpump offers amazing views of the Broads and the coast, and the Horsey Estate is an internationally important wildlife site. Dogs are welcome if they are kept on leads near livestock and under close control elsewhere.
Just inland from the Norfolk Coast AONB is West Heath Barn, which offers two self-catering holiday cottages designed to be very dog friendly. There’s a fully enclosed dog exercise paddock near the back door and surrounded by tranquil countryside offering lots of great dog walks. Your Dog Members can take their dogs to stay for free (usually £15).
A little further along the coast is The Little Stables in Thurgarton, five miles from the North Norfolk coast, which is surrounded by fields and has a range of treats for both you and your dog upon arrival. Your Dog Members can take their dogs to stay for free.
Walks/Places to go
One of the country’s most dog-friendly towns happens to be in Norfolk, and Wells-Next-The-Sea has won many awards for its doggy facilities. One of the most well-known is Wells Beach Café, which is open all year round and offers a doggy bar with doggy bear and Pawsecco, as well as a choice of locally made Pooch’s dog biscuits, doggy ice cream, and a range of accessories. You can also take a picture of your dog at the café and enter it on social media for a chance to be crowned Dog of the Month! Your Dog Members can get 10% off their order in the café.
For those in need of plenty of exercise, The National Trail in Norfolk along The Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path covers 93 miles from Knettishall Heath Country Park, near Thetford, Suffolk to Cromer on the Norfolk coast, via Hunstanton. The Norfolk Coast Path stretch is between Burnham Overy Staithe to Holkham and has a whole range of coastal habitats to explore, with grazing marsh, salt marsh, and natural sand dunes.
Heading back down south again, Devon also offers a huge amount of dog-friendly attractions and places to stay.
Exmoor National Park is the obvious place to start. Located in north Devon, the National Park contains a unique variety of landscapes within the 267 square miles of land. It combines moorland, woodland, valleys and farmland. There are also 34 miles of coast, including the highest sea cliffs in England, as well as the highest sea cliffs in England, at Culbone Hill.
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay that’s near to the National Park and within easy reach of the coast, Woodcombe Cottages and Lodges in Minehead is an easy choice. The family-run business offers top quality self-catering holiday cottages & lodges in Exmoor, with six lodges and two cottages set in three acres of gardens for your dog to explore and stretch his legs. Your Dog Members can get £10 off their stay.
Just a little further down the coast is Primrose Hill, which has private enclosed gardens, its very own woodland dog walk and is just ten minutes walk from the dog friendly beach, as well as a dog-friendly pub and two cafés within walking distance. Your Dog Members can take their dog to stay for free.
Walks/Places to go
Speaking of dog-friendly beaches, Devon’s English Riviera is one of the most popular in the UK, set along 22 miles of unspoiled coastline and covers Torquay, Paignton, and Brixham. There are many dog-friendly beaches in Devon, including Woolacombe, Instow, Saunton Sands, Woody Bay, near Lynton, and Westward Ho, near Bideford — all of which are open to dogs year round.
If a little train ride is something your dog would enjoy, the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway is a very dog-friendly attraction. Once you've built up an appetite, the Cliff Railway’s Grade II listed Cliff Top Café offers a range of freshly prepared sandwiches, homemade cakes, light lunches and vegetarian options - as well complimentary dog treats for your dog. Your Dog Members can take their dogs on for free.
Heading back to the East Midlands, Derbyshire is famous for so much more than just its world-renowned Peak District. Derbyshire is renowned for being a diverse region, with town and cities nestled in breathtaking countryside, accompanied by plenty of tourist attractions.
Of course we can’t talk about dog-friendly Derbyshire without mentioning the Peak District National Park, which covers more than 500 square miles and offers some of the most amazing hilltop views in the UK. From challenging treks and climbs up hills to gentle strolls in the countryside, there are plenty of trails and routes that you can follow with your dog.
Once you’ve exhausted yourselves on the stunning Peaks, why not pay a visit to some of Derbyshire’s dog-friendly attractions?
The famous Chatsworth House, one of the settings for the film 'Pride and Prejudice’ has a beautiful 1,000-acre park that is open all year round, and dogs on leads are welcome in the gardens and park.
The Crich Tramway Museum near Matlock has been recommended by Dogs Trust as a dog-friendly venue and is one of the few museums to welcome dogs free of charge.
Then there’s the Heights of Abraham, also in Matlock Bath, which allows dogs all across the attraction, including in the cable car from the village. Your Dog Members can get a discount on their tickets.
Once you’re there, you can head along the ‘Waggy Tails Way’ with your dog - a 25 to 30 minute walk over the top of Masson Hill which has been designed to finish just around the corner from the exit of the Masson Cavern.
Eat and drink
Staying in the Heights, for a dog-friendly bite to eat you can’t go wrong with the onsite café and restaurant, with terraces open all season, so you can dine with your canine friend too!
For something a little more luxurious, the Chequers Inn is an award winning country village pub over in Stanton By Dale.
The Chequers not only boasts a doggie treat jar and water bowls, but also miles of dog walks straight from the car park and a resident pet photographer.
Bolehill Farm Cottages are situated two miles from the centre of Bakewell, and boasts eight dog friendly self-catering cottages, lovingly converted from traditional farm buildings set within the heart of the Peak District National Park. Your Dog Members can get 5% off their stay.
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