Brits are well-known ardent pooch lovers, so here at CrunchyTales we thought we’d help you make your travel plans a little easier by finding places across the UK that welcome dogs – after all, why should they miss out on all the fun? Parks, fields and forests are full of exciting smells and things to explore for your little friend, so be sure to stop to one of these doggie-friendly destinations and let yourself and your pooch enjoy the new experience.
Cornwall: over 50 beaches to stretch your legs
One of the most popular destinations is undoubtedly Cornwall with its white sandy beaches and dramatic coastal walks. The climate is the best the UK has to offer and, helpfully, over 50 of its beaches are dog-friendly too. Among them Bobbys beach, Mother Iveys Bay, Porthmehor Cove. With its clement weather, Cornwall has something to offer visitors all year round with lots of attractions that welcome dogs. So you don’t need to feel restricted as to what you can see or do. The Eden Project allows dogs on leads in the outdoor spaces and if you’re partial to a train ride, dogs can accompany you on the Bodmin & Wenford Railway, for a truly vintage “steamy” experience. The Bodmin & Wenford Railway is 6½ miles long and runs from Bodmin Parkway through to Boscarne Junction via the line’s principal station at Bodmin General where all trains reverse. See here for beaches that welcome dogs.
Cumbria and the Lake District: a stroll through heritage sites
There are 20 English Heritage Sites in Cumbria that welcome dogs, so it’s fantastic for outdoor lovers and dog lovers alike. If ancient ruins, Roman forts, abbeys and castles (including the 14th century one at Penrith) rock your boat, these are just a few of the places you can explore with your pet in the area.
The Lake District also boasts 16 bodies of water for you to stroll around and perhaps enjoy a picnic with friends and family. Rent a boat on Windermere, the largest natural lake in England, and see the area from a different angle. Or take your dog for free on a Coniston Water lake cruise. Be aware that some of the main resorts do get crowded during the summer months, but if you can get away and visit some of the lesser-known ones out of season, you’re guaranteed a different experience and some peace and quiet.
Divine Devon for pooches
Another firm favourite holiday destination for families and doggies due to clement weather and many dog-friendly attractions is divine Devon. You can take your pooch on a leash to the Donkey Sanctuary and the Miniature Pony centre and the enchanting gardens of Castle Drogo. The Devon Railway Centre and the Killerton stately home all allow dogs too. From north to south and east to west, you’ll find beaches in Devon that allow dogs all year round. And Dartmoor is doggy heaven with a wide choice of places to stay including bed and breakfasts, farms, cottages and hotels. There is a code of conduct though, so if your dog isn’t well-behaved you must keep them on a leash otherwise farmers are entitled to shoot them if they start chasing sheep or cows! You’ve been warned.
Northumberland, for long distance trails
Northumberland is a favourite destination for lovers of long-distance trails, but never fear, you can separate them into more bitesize routes if needs be. This means there’s a huge choice of ambling possibilities including river and hill walks. There are eight Long Distance Trails that either start, finish or pass through Northumberland. St Oswald’s Way for example, that starts at Lindisfarne, the Holy Island, and passes along the River Coquet and then climbs the Simonside Hills. Dogs and owners alike will delight in such variety. Fancy a walk through History? Don’t miss the historic Hadrian’s Wall. It is a UNESCO world heritage site built in AD 122, stretching about 70 miles east to west. A lot of the wall remains and some can even be walked on. The Wall is also next to the remains of a number of world-renowned Roman camps.
North Wales and Snowdonia, right to the top
With its varied landscape of rugged mountains, lush green countryside and rolling hills, North Wales makes for a great doggy getaway. The National Park welcomes dogs on leads, and depending on your energy and fitness level, your pet may enjoy an exhilarating hike to the summit of Mount Snowdon at 1085m. There are various ways to reach the top, some less strenuous than others, so there are plenty of choices to suit all family members. If you don’t fancy the climb, there are countless breath-taking views throughout the National Park itself and myriad walking trails to explore. For pet-friendly accommodation see www.logcabinswales.co.uk/pet-friendly-snowdonia-accommodation
Peak District: over 100 dog-friendly pubs
For walkers and their canine friends, the Peak District and Derbyshire countryside is a playground that’s hard to beat. There are many dog-friendly trails of varying difficulties and lengths for you to enjoy here, as well as over 100 dog-friendly pubs to help you on your way. A nice easy starter is the hour-long Chatsworth Stroll which takes in some stunning scenery along the way.
The National Park includes the limestone dales of the Monsal Trail that runs between Chee Dale and Bakewell. They’re stunning and you can take in the grounds of Chatsworth House along the way. Dogs are welcome to wander the grounds as long as they’re on a leash. The Kinder Scout route in the High Peaks is more challenging and where you’ll see Mermaid’s Pool. If you’re brave enough to bathe in the pool, it is said to have healing properties. Millennia of erosion have left some huge weathered rocks that now provide some of the best-known landmarks and are useful for navigation purposes and include Pym’s Chair and The Druids Stone that resemble ancient altars. Many of the walks begin from a Peak District village and you can see some pretty scenery and sites along the way before you begin your walk. For a selection see www.peakcottages.com/guides/10-fantastic-peak-district-walks
Yorkshire Dales: super scenic views and falls
Very popular, the Dales welcome millions of dogs to the National Park. Be mindful of nesting birds at certain times of year and don’t forget to clean up poo as it can be toxic and pass into the soil. Try the Muker to Thwaite circular scenic route which starts and finishes at The Farmer’s Arms in Muker. The 3-mile walk incorporates super scenic views for Kisdon Hill. It’s quite steep at the start but the rest of it heads downhill. And the lovely market town of Hawes is another favourite spot to start a dog-walk. Don’t miss the Hardrow Falls, the largest single drop waterfall in the UK. The Green Dragon pub dates back to 13th century and dogs are welcome here with its long solid wooden tables and cosy hearth.
Now, you are ready to go—but before you back the mini-van out of the driveway, call your hotel to confirm your reservation and that they are expecting Fido.