It is never easy leaving the dogs at home, let alone when you go away on a sunny holiday without them, I don’t know about you but I struggle to look them in the eye when I’m leaving! So what about holidaying with them as an alternative? It may not be sunny Spain, but there are some beautiful places you can visit in the UK with plenty of dog friendly facilities, take a look at just some I’ve put together.
The classic; Durdle Door in Dorset! If you have dogs and haven’t visited this beach yet then you must. This all-year round dog friendly location, a perfect spot for lazy days at the beach with the whole family. You are asked to keep your furry friends on a leash, however, once out of the main crowds you are more than welcome to let them run loose in the sandy dunes. The beach offers some beautiful walks on the golden sand, with plenty of opportunities to stop and picnic or have a cream tea at the local café. With dog friendly pubs and tea rooms galore, you’ll be spoilt for cream cake choice!
Perranporth beach in Cornwall is another that welcomes your furry friends, with miles upon miles of open sandy space, a selection of swimming options and plenty of people to fuss over them – talk about sensory overload for your dogs! This family destination does tend to get quite busy on the weekends so make sure you get there nice and early to make the most of the long walks. It’s so popular with families because you can rent bicycles and even surf boards, if you are feeling brave enough to take a dip into the cold water! With ice cream vans positioned strategically at every mile, you certainly won’t go hungry.
National Parks are paradise for dog owners. With acres upon acres of lush land full with new sights and smells and plenty of hidden paths to explore, it is the ideal family adventure. Just remember to pick up their mess, keep a lead handy and make sure they don’t chase after the wildlife.
Who hasn’t heard of the Lake District? If you get the chance to visit Cumbria then this really is Disney Land for your pooch, with the Lake District’s wide open spaces, stunning views and an abundance of nature’s finest wildlife; take a walk on the wild side! The park offers plenty of off road hiking options, so it won’t just be your dog getting out of breath! From causal holiday walkers, to hard-core trail blazers, there is a route for everybody. If you aren’t local then don’t worry, nearly all of the B&BS and cottages are dog friendly, meaning that it won’t be a problem come nightfall to find you all a space to stay. Don’t forget the dog friendly pubs – you’ll be surprised by the choice, and some even have their own separate areas for the dogs to lay by the fire.
If the Lake District is too far away for you, then how about the New Forest in Hampshire, with its central location, it makes this trip easy to do in a day or overnight stay. These enchanting woods offer rare oak trees, wild conifers, colourful flowers and ancient trails that you can explore. With plenty of space for everyone, you won’t feel crowded, even at peak times! Although there may be sections in which you have to keep your hounds on a leash (this is rare!), just remember to bring plenty of doggy bags and the ball of course – run wild and enjoy!
If, after you have your UK pet friendly holiday you fancy a long break in the sun then you don’t need to feel guilty about leaving them, when we went away to Greece, we left our two golden doodles in a boarding kennel. Now not all boarding kennels are the same, you want to choose a place that you feel will really care for your dog and their needs, just like you would at home; after all they are part of your family. Make sure you check out the kennel before leaving your dogs, if possible book them in for a night a couple of weeks before you plan to leave. This little trip will mean they are already used to being in the kennel, and they know that you are coming back to get them. If you are happy with the facilities they offer, remember you are looking for caring workers, a nice sleeping area that you can personalise with their toys and blankets and a large area which they are free to run around in.
If you are stuck for ideas on where to start, then try googling around in your local area, I found my kennels by searching ‘Dog Boarding Kennels Hertfordshire’, and then once you’ve found a few that you like the look of, try searching just their name in google and seeing if they have any reviews. Once you’ve settled on one then give them a call to check they have your dates available and go down and check out were your pooch will be staying.
After all that, whether you decide to holiday in UK or aboard – or both! Enjoy the family time and take plenty of pictures.