Planning a dog-friendly holiday in the UK

Lorna Cowan / 08 October 2015

Hoping to go on holiday soon? And take a four-legged companion with you? Here are some top tips to help you enjoy a break in the UK with your dog.



Choosing a dog-friendly holiday

Think carefully when deciding where to go on holiday. City breaks are not ideal for dogs, and many popular seaside resorts can get incredibly crowded over the summer months, when dogs are often banned from the beaches. 

If you want to spend time on the coast, check out any dog restrictions on www.goodbeachguide.co.uk. Prefer the countryside? Good dog-walking guides can be found on www.ramblers.org.uk and www.walkiees.co.uk. Just remember to keep your dog under control, especially near farm animals and wildlife. 

Find out more about your legal responsibility as a dog owner.

Booking dog-friendly accommodation

There are plenty of UK hotels offering dog-friendly rooms. But never book a hotel online without calling them first to find out their pet policy. Some may only allow small breeds, others will charge an additional fee. 

Bring your own dog bedding and note if you’re allowed to leave your dog alone in your bedroom or take it into the breakfast room. 

When self-catering, check each property for its specific dog information – you may be limited to one dog per booking, dogs may not be permitted upstairs, and gardens may not be dog-proof. Find out before you pay a deposit.

Read our suggestions for some of the best dog-friendly cottages.

Finding dog-friendly places to eat

Eating out when you’ve got a dog in tow can be problematic, especially when it’s raining or cold and there’s no covered seating outside. Many restaurants have a strict no dog policy, but not all do. 

Plan ahead and look at www.dogfriendlybritain.co.uk for cafes, restaurants and bars. Or visit www.doggiepubs.org.uk to find pubs where both you and your best friend will be welcomed. 

It’s also worth popping into the tourist board at your holiday destination to see if they have put together an eating guide with dog-friendly information included.

Find out about Saga Pet Insurance

Visiting dog-friendly attractions

While dogs won’t often be able to wander around museums with you, there are plenty of great visitor attractions in the UK that welcome our four-legged chums. The National Trust website suggests lots of fantastic places to explore with your dog, as does English Heritage (www.english-heritage.org.uk). 

You can also go online to the official tourism website for the county you’re holidaying in and type ‘dog-friendly’ into the search box.

Preparing for your dog-friendly holiday

Before heading off on holiday with your dog, make sure your mobile number is on its ID tag. If you lost your dog, you don’t want anyone calling your home landline. 

Also remember your dog has to get used to new surroundings, so pack some favourite toys, bedding and towel, and try to stick to your normal routine as much as possible. On walks, bring along water – and plenty of dog poop bags – and find out how to deal with ticks that may be picked up on country walks.

Read our guide to travelling in the car with your dog.

Special discounts on dog-friendly holidays from Saga

Saga has teamed up with cottages4you to offer readers up to 10% off self-catering holidays. Take a look at their range of pet-friendly cottages.

Saga customers can also get a 5% discount at Hoseasons, including great lodges and boating holidays. Simply add the number of pets you wish to take with you when you search for your holiday to find their pet-friendly options. Quote SG09 if booking over the phone or book through the Hoseasons website.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.