We all treat our dogs as another member of the family. If your holiday would not be the same without your loyal companion bounding along. Spoil your 4 legged friend in 2021 with our pick of 10 of the best dog friendly holidays.
For beach loving dogs
If your pet loves nothing better than tiring themselves out with runs and ball games on the sand, the Bijou Apartment in trendy Rock, Cornwall, should be on your holiday wishlist. As the name suggests this is a cute little crash pad for two with stonking sea views and the beach just steps away across the coastal road. The huge windows and decked balcony afford sweeping vistas across the Camel Estuary. Rock is a great place to hang out year round, with sophisticated eateries both here and in nearby Padstow from the likes of Nathan Outlaw and Rick Stein.
For down with it dogs
Hipster hounds should get themselves and their humans down to South Place Hotel in London, near Liverpool Street station. Glamorous Conran-designed interiors include contemporary art from emerging London artists. You can eat with your dog in any of the bars, or in the Secret Garden, a magical outdoor space with retractable roof. Some of London’s coolest neighbourhoods are on the doorstep, such as Shoreditch, Spitalfields and Hoxton. When walkies call, you can both explore the area with the hotel’s walking/jogging map of the best sights, calling in at Spitalfields Market and dog-friendly cafes and pubs nearby.
For water loving dogs
Undercastle Cottage is a fairytale hideaway in a magical setting on the edge of a river, deep in the New Forest. When it’s too cold to swim in the river, your dog or dogs (two are allowed) can accompany you on fishing trips along it in the rowing boat – just bring your own rods. Or, delve into the forest on long walks or cycle rides – there’s a hire shop nearby. Back at the house, all is cosy and comfortable, with beautifully decorated light filled rooms. Two double bedrooms are in the main house and there’s an extra twin room in the separate fishing lodge.
For anti-social dogs
If your dog likes to socially distance, pandemic or not, then The House at Mackay’s could be the perfect holiday choice. This thoughtfully designed bolthole sleeping six people isclose to Durness, the most northerly village on mainland Britain. The house is remote (four wheel drive recommended in the winter months) but within easy reach of shops, restaurants and cafes.
Guests can enjoy mile upon mile of walks through the rugged countryside, including cliff and beach walks. When the weather is wild, hole up and enjoy the panoramic views towards the ocean from the big windows (look out for the Northern Lights after dark) or curl up next to the wood burner!
For dogs who prefer the best of both
Just five minutes away from the rugged beaches of Cornwall’s north coast, set within its own attractive gardens, Wren Cottage is a beautiful countryside escape. Scandi-inspired contemporary styling with beautiful, restored traditional architecture and a postcard-perfect serene garden. There is plenty of choice for incredible walks and places to discover, from the doorstep. With easy access in minutes to Perranporth, St Agnes and Newquay, you can spend your days flipping between the coast and countryside.
For rock ‘n’ roll dogs
Candyland Studios is a cool, fun, open plan log cabin – just the place to hang out for a few days or more, with family, friends and up to two dogs. There’s lots to occupy, especially for the musically minded. Grab a guitar or a ukulele or have a tinkle on the baby grand piano. Or, record your own song in the recording studio (it’s actually in the cabin!). You can even hire a technician to figure out all the fiddly bits for you. Outside, play in the woods, or have a campfire. Jump in the car and head to the Tarka Trail, a former railway line, for 31 miles of traffic free walks and cycling, or explore the wild North Devon coastline. There’s never a dull moment here.
For dogs who love the seaside
Who doesn’t love a traditional British seaside holiday? Especially with the revival of exquisite beach hut accommodation lining our coastlines and offering simple fun by the pier while staying in luxury in your own beachside sumptuous suite. Coupled with the recent rise we’ve seen in staycations, I think it’s fair to say that old-fashioned ‘bucket and spade’ fun is making a powerful come-back. The newest arrival to the scene are the Beachcroft Beach Huts in West Sussex – which have made a huge splash in our desire for a high-end holiday hut. The four adjoining luxurious two-bedroom suites are located on the beach front in Felpham Village. Each is furnished in a modern beachside art-deco style complete with bathroom and stylish lounge area with a cosy corner sofa, and wall to wall glass doors opening out onto your own private terrace overlooking the beach. You and your four-legged companions can enjoy fresh sea air, sandy toes and relaxing sounds of gently lapping waves from morning to night, regardless of the weather. Dogs can even enjoy a swim on the beach all year round. Wrap up in your dressing robe and gaze out to the sea over a morning coffee, or be mesmerised by the evening sunset while dining with your guests (furry or not!) alfresco-style. Fancy a movie night in? There are all the latest mod-cons including smart TV with Netflix, Nespresso machine, Smeg fridge, and a welcome amenity bottle of Rose, decanter of Sloe Gin – perfect for warming the body up again after a dip in the sea! Dogs are offered the same five-star treatment, with dog beds, toys, water and food bowls, biscuits and chews, dog bags, and doggie ice cream vouchers to spend in the local Pinks Parlour. As the suites are owned by the adjacent Beachcroft Hotel, guests are also welcome to enjoy the hotel facilities including the bar and restaurant, the bistro garden and indoor heated swimming pool. Breakfast is included in all room rates and can be enjoyed by breakfast hamper delivered to your door. You can also order picnic lunches and even borrow deckchairs from the hotel!
Emma O’Reilly has spent her working life as a travel writer and editor – and has been lucky enough to explore every corner of the globe. When not out on the road she is busy crafting features for national newspapers, magazines and websites.