In our latest travel blog post we anticipated that we would have brought you a guide about how to find a dog-friendly holiday accommodation. Following a thorough research, today we tell you all about how to find a range of dog-friendly accommodation, from hotels to b&bs, cottages to glamping sites, holiday boats to basic accommodation. Basically, this is all you need to organise your next canine holiday from the comfort of your sofa, complete with handy step-by-step video guides to make it an easier process. Disclosure: Please note that a minority of the links provided in this post are affiliate links, meaning that when you click and book your stay through them, at no cost for you, the relevant website will pay us a small fee, which will help The Londog covering its running costs.
How to find your best dog-friendly holiday accomodation
Holidays are the best opportunity to explore the UK (and overseas territories) while spending quality time with family or friends. If your tribe includes a four-legged one, chances are that you don’t want them to be left out of the fun. Instead, holidays are the best excuse to go on some nice dog adventure and give your dog the best time. To plan your perfect getaway, after choosing your dream destination, it’s a matter of finding a suitable dog-friendly accomodation. There are a few independent dog-friendly holiday accommodation Facebook groups, the largest being Dog Friendly Holiday Accommodation, counting 68K members, which can be a place for inspiration (others include Dog Friendly Holidays UK and Dog Friendly Holiday Accommodation UK), but there are much more comprehensive and searchable online resources which will make your life easier.
This guide, the latest in our signature guides series (among which are guides on apps and websites to land to your next dog-friendly rental, how to find dog-friendly taxis in London, and how to avoid escalators on London tube with a dog) aims to help you navigating the plethora of options when it comes to hotels, cottages, b&bs, and also more original holiday accommodation solutions, to find the best and most convenient dog-friendly holiday accommodation for you and your dog.
The good news is that there is more choice than you may think. After researching over 40 holiday accommodation websites and meta-search engines, plus a number of hotel chains websites, we found that almost all of them have a pet-friendly filter you can use to navigate your options, although some are more prominently displayed or powerful than others.
Before diving into all the tips, just a couple of considerations that will help in the choice. When you travel with your dog, knowing whether a hotel or property welcomes pets is just one of the checkboxes. You will also want to understand whether there are any applicable conditions or restrictions for your dog(s) to stay with you. Think about the sadly frequent dog size discrimination (quite a few hotels apply a small/medium-sized pooches only policy) or limits about the maximum number of dogs per room. Can you bring your dog in the dining area? Are there facilities such as an enclosed garden, or dog perks such as a bowl and bed? Does the place apply an additional charge per dog (per night or per stay, or as cleaning fee) or dogs go free?
In general, there is no such thing as a best holiday accommodation that fits all. Everyone has a different travelling needs and style and will have different checkboxes on their list, depending on what they want to do with their holiday time. For some a holiday accommodation may just be a comfortable bed where to sleep after coming back from a whole day of trekking, before running out of the door early in the morning, others may prefer a place where they can be able to relax and enjoy some slow time out of the city’s busy pace, and so on.
This is a long guide, so we thought to help you and cut to the point, in case you don’t have time to go through the whole. Just take the test below to find the best dog-friendly holiday accommodation for your needs answering one simple question: what is your priority?
- Finding an accomodation quickly. If your priority is to find an accomodation quickly and you are not on the look for a special setting, find your dog-friendly accommodation with a hotel metasearch engine. or your dog-friendly cottage with a cottages metasearch engine.
- Immersing in the local culture. If you like to immerse in the local life and vibe, opt for a dog-friendly b&b.
- Enjoying a relaxing retreat. Are you dreaming of a relaxing retreat, in the quiet and green of the countryside or by the beach? Then your to go resources are those helping you find the perfect dog-friendly cottage.
- Keeping an eye on the budget. If you are on a budget, you can opt for a low-cost hotel. In some cases you may be able to find a cheaper dog-friendly b&b, or save even more by opting for a dog-friendly camping site.
- Experiencing a different kind of adventure. If you are looking for an adventure, on a treehouse or an alternative glamping setting, check out these glamping resources. You can also find your thing among dog-friendly holiday boats. If you fancy an accommodation with all comforts, you can look for castles and lighthouses filtering out your serarch with the help of these resources.
- Treating yourself to the best comforts. If you are looking for all the best comforts and things to be taken care for, then find your dog-friendly luxury hotel or accommodation.
- Being able to choose among dog-friendly features and perks. All selected best resources in this section.
How to find a dog-friendly accommodation with a hotel meta-search engine
If you don’t want to spend too much time looking for a place to stay, browsing multiple hotels websites to compare offers, meta-search engines are a great time-saving solution which allow you to compare prices of hotel accommodations and do the legwork for you, by exploring huge databases. They normally include a pet-friendly filter, which will make your life easier when it comes to travelling with your dog, which is mostly intuitive, but sometimes a bit hidden in the filters.
Below you will find a video we put together to guide you through the steps to get you closer to your next dog-friendly hotel candidates list and a written description explaining how to carry out the dog-friendly search on each of the 9 most common meta-search engines and one website we selected for this purpose.
Just to things to keep in mind when using this method to find your hotel. First, keep in mind that with hotel metasearch engines there are paid ads, so some results will show first in your list result as the hotels have paid for being featured. Second, the price you can find through these in some cases may not be the best deal you can find, as metasearch engines are a mid man, and they earn with ads and commissions, so may be applying a higher price.
Kayak is a meta-search engine which features hotels and holiday accommodation, as well as flights and cars. What I particularly like about it is that it has an option to compare the search with the same search on Booking.com, Expedia and HomeAway. If you check the relevant box in the home page when you start your search, it will open a new window with the results from the selected website. We tested it, adding the pet-friendly filter to the searches and found for the same dates, in London, Booking.com gave 159 results, while Kayak.com 233, Expedia 348 (but for ‘London and vicinities’).
- Desktop: On the home page, select “Hotels” in the top orange bar (if not already selected), add place and date and hit search. In the results page’s filters bar on the left hand-side, scroll down to “Amenities”, then click “Pet friendly” and your results will be automatically filtered accordingly.
- Mobile: On the home page, select “Hotels”, add place and date and search. In the results page, click on the “Filters” blue button at the bottom, and scroll down in the list, click on “Amenities”; from the list that will appear click on “Pet friendly” and then on “See N Hotels” at the bottom.
Expedia is a well-established meta-search engine for travel and accommodation. Apart from Expedia, the Expedia Group owns other brands, including Trivago, Hotels.com, HomeAway (which are all reviewed below), plus Orbitz, Travelocity and ebookers. For this reason, you will find that the dog-friendly search in a few of them works in an almost identical way (in particular, for Orbitz and Travelocity you will have to select “Pets allowed (conditions apply)” under “Amenities” in the navigation bar from the results page).
- Desktop: 1. On the home page select “Hotels”, then type in destination and select check-in and check-out dates and number of guests, and hit “Search”. 2. In the results page, scroll down in the filters bar on the left hand-side until you read “Amenities”, click on “show more” and tick “Pets allowed (conditions apply)”.
- Mobile: 1. On the home page select “Hotels”, then type in destination and select check-in and check-out dates and number of guests, and hit “Search”. 2. In the result page, click on “Sort & Filter”, scroll down to “Amenities” and tick “Pets allowed (conditions apply)”.
Trivago, is a popular hotel meta-search engine – subsidiary of Expedia – with HQs in Germany. As all other websites, you can sort the results list by a wide range of options (recommendations, ratings, price, distance, etc) and view them on a map.
- Desktop: 1. Select your destination in the home page, and hit search. 2. In the results page, click on “More filters” and start typing in “pet”: it will bring up a “Pet friendly” key word, which you can click on to refine your search.
- Mobile: 1. In the home page select your destination and dates, as well as number of guests in the search form. 2. In the results page, click on “Filters” under the date and type in “Pet friendly” in the search field in case it does not appear among the popular filters cloud.
Hotels.com allows you to search across many websites ranging from luxury accommodations to some budget hotels, so you may find solutions for all pockets.
- Desktop: 1. on the home page type in your destination and select the relevant dates and number of guests, then hit “search”. 2. In the results page, you will find the “Pet friendly” filter in the navigation bar on the left hand-side, either under “Popular filters” or further below under “Facilities”. Check the box and your search will automatically be refined to the dog-friendly hotels only.
- Mobile: 1. Select place and date in the search form on the home page and search. 2. In the results page, click on “Filters”; this will bring out a filter bar, where under “Popular filters” you will find “Pet friendly” (alternatively scroll down to “Facilities” and you will find it there). Select it and then click on “Apply” at the top of the filter bar.
lastminute.com is a very popular last-minute meta-search engine for travel and accommodation. In order to find a dog-friendly accommodation you can follow some easy steps.
- Desktop: 1. In the home page, select “Hotel”, add location and dates and hit “Find”. 2. In the results page, scroll down and check “Pet friendly” in the “Facilities” section in the left hand-side filters bar.
- Mobile: 1. In the home page, select “Hotel”, add location, dates and guests and hit “Find”. 2. In the results page, click on “Filters” and scroll down to “Facilities”, click it and select “Pet friendly” in the list.
Booking.com operates both as a travel fare aggregator and accommodation meta-search engine. Founded in 1996 and based in Amsterdam, it has a powerful engine.
- Desktop: 1. On the home page, enter your destination and select relevant dates and number of guests, then click “Search”. 2. In the results page, you will find a “Filter by” bar on the left hand-side. Scroll down to “Facilities” and then tick the “Pets allowed” checkbox. This will automatically refine your search and voila’, you have your dog-friendly hotels list to browse through.
- Mobile: 1. On the home page, enter your destination and select relevant dates and number of guests, then click “Search”. 2. In the results page, click on “Sort & Filter” in the top bar (left hand-side) and scroll down to “Facilities” and then tick the “Pets allowed” checkbox.
Also eDreams allows you to browse thousands of hotel and holiday accommodation and travel solutions. For your dogs allowed fix you can follow this step-by-step guide:
- Desktop: in the hotels page, type in destination, select dates and number of guests and click search. On the results page, in the navigation bar on the left-hand side scroll down to “Facilities” and tick “Pets allowed”. This will automatically refine your search. The properties have a little paw icon.
- Mobile: On the home page select “Hotels”, then type in your destination, add dates and number of guests and hit “Search”. In the results page, click on “Sort & Filter” under the dates, scroll down the filters to “Facilities” and tick “Pets allowed”.
Tripadvisor is the to-go-place where to check reviews of hotels and much more. Their platform offers inspiration for attractions to visit, restaurants, holidays, but you can also book your travel accommodation. This is how to find your dog-friendly one.
Step-by-step guide for hotels:
- Desktop: In the hotels home page select your destination, dates and number of guests. In the results page, under “Amenities” in the left hand-side bar, click “More” and select “Pet friendly”. This will automatically refine your search.
- Mobile: In the home page click on “Hotels” and type in your destination. In the results page select dates and guests and click on “Filter” below. Under “Amenities” tick “Pet friendly” and then “Done”.
For holiday rentals you can also navigate TripAdvisor Rentals, select your destination and dates and click search. In the results page, click on “Pet friendly” under “Suitability” in the left filters bar.
PetsPyjamas is not a meta-search engine, but a website dedicated to dog-friendly holidays and travel. If you are looking for a full more than dog-friendly alternative, you can browse selected holiday accommodations on PetsPyjamas. The advantages of using their website are that you can select a number of options such as number of dogs (up to 3), features such as dine with pet, enclosed garden/patio and others, and all accommodations featured are dog-friendly. The cons are that you may find a narrower selection compared to other accommodation meta-search engines (at the moment they feature 340+ hotels and around 1,700 cottages across the UK).
CONCLUSIONS | DOG-FRIENDLY HOTELS META-SEARCH ENGINES
None of the hotel meta-search engines tested has any additional pet-friendly filters such as number of dogs and dog size, dog perks, hotel restrictions and so on.
We will be testing their various apps and report back with an update to this guide later.
Bed and breakfasts are great to explore places immersing into the local vibe and culture. If you are getting a room and stay with a host, it is likely that they can give you some great tips about the area; if you rent the entire house it is a chance to have all the comforts of a home while travelling. Even better when you can bring your dog with you. I personally love this type of accommodation, as I love listening to what hosts recount about the place and it really adds to the experience. My husband, on the contrary, prefers other types of accommodation, as he doesn’t feel too comfortable sharing a home with strangers.
The best resource for finding a dog-friendly b&b is definitely Airbnb. We previously used it to find dog-friendly accommodations. Last year we found a great host and dog-friendly home for our Cornwall trip with Argo: a lovely airbnb near Penzance, with a superhost. As we told in such instance, finding a dog-friendly b&b on Airbnb is quite straightforward. You just need to follow a couple of simple steps:
- Desktop: 1. In Airbnb Homes section type in the area/town you want to stay. Click on “more filters” and scroll down and you will find, under “House rules”, the “Pets allowed” filter. Check the box and click on “Show homes” and you have your search refined with the relevant results.
- App: in the app, type in the destination and then click on Dates and Guests to select the appropriate options. In the results, click on “Show all (N+)”. In the next results page click on “Filters” at the top and scroll down to the bottom, where you will find a section called “House rules”, a checkbox names “Pets allowed”.
Finding a dog-friendly cottage or other cool rental
If you crave getting up in the English countryside, opening your windows to find the birds singing and a marvellous landscape, in a lovely cottages. There are some great websites where to find what you are looking for. These solutions may require a minumum number of nights stay and may look a bit more expensive, however if you consider that many cottages can accommodate more than 2 guests, rates per night per person become very convenient.
In this section we talk about two categories of meta-search engines: holiday cottages meta-search engines which have dog-friendly filters and dedicated dog-friendly cottages websites.
Holiday Cottages is a popular meta-search engine for finding some great cottages. An interesting fact is that around 60% of the cottages listed are dog-friendly, so there is plenty of choice. In the filters, you can select the number of dogs you will be travelling with, up to a maximum of 5, so this will help you finding a suitable place even when you are travelling with a full pack.
- Desktop: Navigate to this dog-friendly cottages page and just add your destination, dates, number of guests and any other option you wish to. There is a wide range of dog-friendly cottages with swimming pools too, for the maximum relax.
- Mobile: Navigate to this dog-friendly cottages page and just add your destination, dates, number of guests and any other option you wish to.
- No app is available
Sykes Cottages makes your life easy by including a “pet” field in the search form, directly in the home page. There you can directly indicate the number of pets – up to 6 – you will be travelling with (both on desktop or on mobile – if from mobile just tap on the destination field in the home page and this will get you to the search form where you can add the number of dogs).
An easy way to find your perfect accommodation is also browsing their dog-friendly cottages page to find your perfect getaway destination (which is basically a quick link to a pre-refined search). At the time we write, this features 7,067 dog-friendly cottages. Alternatively, you can also navigate their pet-friendly cottages map to find inspiration.
Cottages.com has a great databased of over 21,000 quality assured cottages and a useful page dedicated to dog and pet-friendly cottages, through which you can search your preferred accommodation. There you can either navigate through collections: luxury, hot tubs, coastal, “more than dog-friendly”, enclosed garden, wood burner and so on.
Alternatively, you can find all pet-friendly cottages at this page (at the moment they have 945 results pages). From there you will be able to filter the results selecting dates, guests, region, features and more. Each search result features a paw icon next to which the number of pets allowed is indicated, which is very useful if you are travelling with more than one dog.
Snaptrip! is specialised in last minute cottages and holiday accommodation bookings. It is a meta-search engine featuring 60,000 properties, and searching through a number of suppliers including Holiday Cottages, Sykes Cottages, Cottages.com and others.
Finding a dog-friendly property is quite straight-forward, as the home page’s search form, both on desktop and mobile, includes a checkbox called “Show me only pet-friendly properties”: it’s sufficient that you check it to get your dog-friendly results.
We discovered Rural Retreats during our Cornwall stay. They have a dog-friendly section, where you can browse and filter through 271 dog-friendly luxury holiday cottages at the time we speak, and filter the results according to regions, property types and more. It is very easy to spot how many pooches you can bring too, as each search result has a dog icon with the number of dogs allowed, and you can spot many with 2-3 dogs allowed. You can also filter the result selecting the number of dogs you are travelling with.
Alternatively, you can find a dog-friendly property directly from the search form on the home page, by selecting the number of dogs from the relevant drop-down.
We fell in love with Pendeen Watch Lighthouse, on the Tin Coast, in West Cornwall, a lighthouse converted in two holiday cottages and today one of them, the beautiful Argus Cottage, is dog-friendly, allowing up to 2 well-behaved dogs for a small extra charge per dog (minimum 2 nights). But there are also castles, barns, old halls, windmills and more.
A bit less choice, but some fancy dog-friendly cottages options can be found on Sawday’s at this link.
In theory, you can also find a dog-friendly property navigating from the search form one the home page: just click on “Guests” and in the dropdown add the number of pets you will be travelling with; however, we tested this option and there seem to be some glitch at the time we write, as quite a few of the properties in the search results in fact do not welcome pets.
HomeAway is a website featuring a huge offer of vacantion rentals, from apartments to cottages and villas. It was acquired by Expedia, becoming part of its group, in 2005. HomeAway has a straightforward filter to find your dog-friendly holiday accommodation. On desktop, in the search form on the home page, when you click on “Guests” you will find the option of selecting “yes” for Pets, then click “Apply”
If you are looking for an uncommon stay, Cool Stays features unique holiday accommodations, including treehouses, lodges, cottages, cabins, beach houses, barns, boatels, lighthouses, windmills and more. To find your preferred one where your canine partner is allowed, you can either navigate directly through their dog-friendly accommodations inspiration page, or type in your destination in the home page, and click on “More” at the top in the results page, swipe right “Dog friendly”, and click on “Apply” to refine your search. At the time we write, they feature 50+ accommodations allowing pets in the UK.
For mobile, if you navigate through the home page, after typing in your destination, click on the icon in the top right hand-side corner to be able to swipe the dog-friendly filter and click “Apply filters”. At the moment Coolstays does not have a dedicated app. They have exclusive offers for registered users.
English Country Cottages
Dedicated dog-friendly cottages websites: Canine Cottages and Dog-friendly Cottages
There are two all dog-friendly cottages websites, which contacted us last year to tell us all about their dog-friendly offering and can save you to check a filter box: Canine Cottages and Dog Friendly Cottages.
Canine Cottages is owned by The Travel Chapter, which brands include Holiday Cottages. They explained to us that on Canine Cottages you can find fewer cottages listed than those featured in Holiday Cottages’ dog-friendly cottages page, as some of the properties won’t make the cut if they have certain dog restrictions in place.
The second website is Dog Friendly Cottages, owned by last minute cottages meta-search engine Snaptrip! This website was just launched just at the end of last year and new features will be added in the weeks and months to go. For instance, while at the moment it does not feature certain advanced filters such as the number of dogs allowed in a specific property (which, however are available on Snaptrip!), you can get some good discounted last-minute deals (in the search click on “Sort by” and select either “Biggest discount” of “Members discount”).
Special dog-friendly retreats
For the last few years, I have been lucky to spend time at Forest Holidays with the company I work for. They have some truly amazing cabins in the forest and I am always stunned by their surroundings. In Gloucestershire, the Forest of Dean is the perfect setting for an active retreat, where you can enjoy canoeing, trekking, and many more activities, you can even find survival courses in the woods. Forest Holidays’ cabins are truly enchanting and come with a hot tub on the terrace, from where you can the squirrels climbing on the wooden fence next to you and the sounds of the forest before going to sleep. They are very dog-friendly, and I was so gutted not to have Argo with me.
Forest Holidays explains that half of their cabins are dog-friendly and they apply a £10 fee per pet pet night. Rules are that dogs must stay on lead around the cabins and should not be left unattended; there are outdoor taps to wash away the mud. More information about their pet-friendly stays here. Forest Holidays has 10 locations across the UK:
- Forest of Dean, Gloycestershire
- Ardgartan Argyll, Scotland
- Strathyre, Scotland
- Beddgelert, Snowdonia
- Blackwood Foreast, Hampshire
- Cropton, North Yorkshire
- Keldy, North Yorkshire
- Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire
- Thorpe Forest, Norfolk
- Deerpark, Cornwall
National Trust Holiday Cottages
The National Trust has over 160 dog-friendly holiday cottages across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Dogs go free and rentals proceeds support the work of the National Trust, which is great to know. There is an easy way to find a cottage where your four-legged friend is allowed: this page has a pre-selected dog-friendly filter (the default is 1 dog), where you can select your destination, dates, etc. If you are travelling with 2 or 3 dogs you will need to select the relevant option in the left hand-side filters bar, under the “Dogs” section.
You can also find a host of guides about beautiful walks with plenty of inspiration for your dog holidays. If you want to make the most of your stay, the National Trust Days Out app has plenty of recommendations for your holidays.
The Landmark Trust
The Landmark Trust also has an offer of dog-friendly holiday accommodations (115 at the time we write) which you can browse here.
There are some ancient landmarks, including some castles like Kingswear Castle in Devon (sleeps 4). Not all of the properties’ interiors are beautiful, but each property is definitely very peculiar and rich of history.
CONCLUSIONS | DOG-FRIENDLY COTTAGES META-SEARCH ENGINES
In some cases, such for Sykes Cottages, Snaptrip!, Rural Retreats and Cool Stays, the dog filter is embedded into the search form in the home page, which allows you to save a bit of time and the hassle of looking for it in the filters. Dog Friendly Cottages and Canine Cottages have a fully dog-friendly offer.
We will be testing their various apps and report back with an update to this guide later.
Camping and Glamping with your dog
I have never been glamping, but is something on the to do list. As for camping, I am not a great fan. While my husband has travelled Europe with his family and his dogs by motorhome, my experience with camping has been limited to a quite unforgettably uncomfortable one during uni, when I travelled through Italy with my former boyfriend on a scooter – he had done it on a 50 Special Vespa the year before – with such an essential backpack that we didn’t have space for an inflatable mattress or pillow, just a tent and two sleeping bags. The stiff neck and back of the mornings, but the landscapes of the Apennines mountains and Tuscany were worth the pain. Camping with dogs (and some better equipment) can be nicer.
We selected some good camping meta-search engines and tell you how to find a dog-friendly glamping or camping site for your next holiday.
Campsites is a meta-search engine for campsites, caravan parks and holiday parks and glamping accommodation. You can browse among over 1,400 dog-friendly campsites, and refine your search looking for different types of accommodation and facilities. They seem to have a big focus on making dog owners’ lives easier, as on their website they provide a number of dogs allowed pre-refined searches, where you can find dog-friendly campsites near the beach, dog-friendly caravan parks, dog-friendly glamping sites, and dog-friendly camping pods.
If you are fine with less glamorous accommodations, and fine with camping, with Campsited you can find a campsite where you can take your dog with you. Its database seems to be narrower than that of Campsites (687 hits for “England” + “Dogs allowed”, against the 1155 hits of Campsites).
- Desktop: on the homepage type in your destination, dates and guests, choose between “rent on-site” or “bring your own” and hit “Find campsites”. In the results page, click on “Refine results” on the right hand-side of the map and click on “Dogs allowed” under “Facilities”, then click “View Results”.
- Alternatively you can directly book your dog-friendly campsite in England here, in Scotland here, in Wales here and in Ireland here.
- Mobile: on the homepage type in your destination, dates and guests, choose between “rent on-site” or “bring your own” and hit “Find campsites”. In the results page click on “Refine Results” in the top left hand-side corner and select “Dogs allowed” under “Facilities”, scroll down and hit “View Results”.
- Alternatively you can directly book your dog-friendly campsite in England here, in Scotland here, in Wales here and in Ireland here.
On Coolcamping you can find numerous camping and glamping sites allowing you to bring your dog. From Mongolian yurts to pods, bungalows, bell tents, shepherd’s huts, gipsy caravans, treehouses, there is really a wide variety of accommodations.
- Desktop and mobile: Browse dog-friendly camping sites through this page (this is their dog-friendly hub, which comes with a pre-selected “dogs welcome” on-site facilities option and at the time we write features 320 sites) and refine your search selection adding your destination and other preferences. We are currently looking to confirm the function of the further “pet friendly” filter under their “Glamping facilities” under the “On-site” filter.
Glamping UK at the moment features 58 dog-friendly glamping options across the UK. Their search options are not the most advanced at the moment, and you just have the free text search at the top of your results page to refine your results.
A bit less choice is available through Classic Glamping, which, at the time we write, features 64 glamping sites among which 28 are dog-friendly. Glamping sites are located in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset and the Isle of Wight, and each of them has their own en suite facilities and electricity on tap.
On Featherdown the easiest way to find a dog-friendly glamping accommodation browsing this pre-selected page (alternatively, if you start your search from the home page, select the region, lenght of stay and arrival date and hit “Show results”; then in the results page click on “Filter by” and tick “Dogs allowed” under “Facilities”). You will find 19 dog-friendly accommodations across England, Scotland and Wales, which include a number of farms, so you can meet many farm animals. A lovely one is East Shilvinghamption farm in Dorset, which is a kids-friendly location and has a host of farm animals and activities you can get up to nearby.
Pet-friendly boating holidays
Have you ever thought of sailing with your dog through cannels or on the sea, for your next dog adventure? This is something that would definitely make your holiday unique. There are lots of self-drive boats you can hire for the occasion, and so far we found one skippered option too. We have collected 2 meta-search engines and a few operators offering dog-friendly boat rentals.
Hoseasons is a meta-search engine which allows you to search boats across the UK. By selecting the “Pet friendly” filter in the “Features” filter, depending on the dates selected, you can find around 300 dog-friendly boat holidays. As these are self-drive boats, the description generally includes information about how easy it is to drive them and/or about the visibility from the steering position, and there is also a filter “Great for first time boaters”, which will help you in the selection.
Also Waterway Holidays is a meta-search engine, which allow you to browse and refine your search among over 1,800 narrowboats, cruisers and sailing yachts from 60 leading boat hire operators across the UK. In this page you can select your preferred canals, dates, and indicate that you have pets by selecting “yes” in the relevant dropdown.
Operators offering dog-friendly boat holiday hires
You can also browse the websites of the numerous companies which offer dog-friendly boat hires. For example:
- At Canal Holidays all boats are pet-friendly and some allow up to 2 well-behaved dogs. There may be an additional charge for cleaning. You can get a boat for a weekend, mid-week, week or more. When you search for a boat, you will find that all specific pet rules are detailed in the boat description, clicking on “More information”.
- Andersen Boats, which boats are all dog-friendly (up to 2 dogs go three and you can bring a third one for £35),
- My River Cruising, which allows dogs are free of charge (and there is an easy way to directly select boats allowing pets directly in the search form)
- Black Prince, offering narrowboat holidays also for short periods of time, like weekend getaways and have a number of dog-friendly boats, which allow up to 2 pets for a £30 extra fee, and the house rule is no pets on bedding and furniture (for this one there is no way to filter pet-friendly narrowboats in the search, but once you have selected your preferences you will find clearly indicated in each search result (in the blue box on the right hand-side) whether pets are allowed on such a boat).
- Herbert Woods pet-friendly boats accept up to 2 pets, for a fee of £35 each.
- If you want to explore the Thames, Le Boat offers dog-friendly boats for hire, for a self-drive holiday. Up to 2 dogs are welcome and you will be just asked to pay an extra charge for cleaning.
If you prefer the sea to canals, there are some dog-friendly sailing yacht and motor boat options. For instance, Hamble Point Yacht Charters, based near Southampton, allow you to bring your dog on board for an additional fee, and in case you are not an experienced skipper there is the option of hiring a professional skipper and crew.
Dog-friendly economy hotels
When you search for dog-friendly hotels online, there is such a wide range of luxury and expensive hotels, cottages and accommodation. However, travelling with your dog doesn’t need to be so expensive, and if you are travelling on a budget you can still find solutions which don’t break the bank and allow you to bring your pooch along. We collected information about economy hotel chains and their pet rules, which you will find below, with an explanation about how to book your pet-friendly room.
Just one thing to keep in mind. During our own searches I noticed that although sometimes a budget hotel can be an easy solution, in some instances, you can find better value for money and even better deals with other solutions such as b&bs. So my advice would be checking these hotel chains for your preferred dates, but also have a look at other options included in this guide for a price comparison.
We have used Travelodge quite a few times in occasion of dog training courses trips in Kent and elsewhere as where there were no other dog-friendly accommodation options, Travelodge was there and an easy dog-friendly win. They allow up to 2 pets in your room for an additional fee of £20 each, which you can add to your reservation at the time of booking in the page before checkout. Apart from their website, you can also book through their app (for Android and for iOS), although app reviews are not great.
Novotel offers dog-friendly hotel options for your stay. To find the hotels allowing dogs, in the reservation form, choose the destination, in the results page, under “Refine your search”, check “Pets welcome”. Dogs are allowed with a surcharge and subject to presentation of a rabies certificate, must be kept on a leash in public areas of the hotel and not be brought into the dining areas as per their FAQs.
Ibis is part of the same group of Novotel and they apply the same dog policy as them. You can find dog-friendly Ibis hotels in the reservation form, choose the destination, in the results page, under “Refine your search”, check “Pets welcome”. Dogs are allowed with a surcharge and subject to presentation of a rabies certificate, must be kept on a leash in public areas of the hotel and not be brought into the dining areas as per their FAQs.
Days Inn, by Windham, has 15 hotels accepting pets. Their pet-friendly policy provides for a £10 charge per pet per night and guests can bring up to 3 pets per room. They don’t explain how to book with your dog on their website, and trying to go through the process there doesn’t seem to be a dog option during the booking, so we will need to confirm whether you need to book over the phone.
Easyhotels has a number of hotels in cities across the UK, including London, Edinburgh, Belfast, Leeds and more. Some of their hotels accept small pets (cats and dogs) for an extra charge of £10 (see point 7 of their Terms & Conditions for more information about their pet policy). For instance, in London, their Old Street/Barbican hotel accepts pets, on condition they are supervised at all times. Check your destination and hotel results to find your dog-friendly one.
IGH (Holiday Inn and others)
IGH includes Holiday Inn, but also other more expensive chains such as Hotel Indigo, Kimpton, Staybridge Suites and other hotel chains. You can search their pet-friendly hotels in the UK at this link. by adding destination and dates to the search form. You can then order the hits from lower price to high to find the preferred economy accommodation. In some cases you will find that Holiday Inn rooms are actually more expensive than other nicer accommodation in other hotels and you can get a better value for money.
At the moment it appears that there are 97 (according to the number in the filter rather than the one declared) pet-friendly Best Western hotels in the UK. They take pet-friendly bookings over the phone at 0800393130.
3 to 5 star dog-friendly hotels
There are many dog-friendly hotels. You can find them through one of the meta-search engines we discussed at the top in this guide, or you can browse their websites directly. In London these include luxury ones like the Ace Hotel, The Curtain, the Hoxton Hotel and more. Many only have few hotels in the UK, so may not be too much of help if you are looking to travel around the country. We started collecting hotel chains from 3-4 stars to 5, which have more branches. For now, just a few suggestions. We will be adding more later.
At 3-4 stars Mercure Hotels, some hotels allow dogs with a surcharge and on presentation of a rabies vaccination certificate. Their pet rules include keeping your dog needs to stay on leash in public areas and not bringing them in the dining area. In order to find a dog-friendly hotel, in the search results page, in the filters bar click on “Services”, then on “More” and select “Pets welcome”. Mercure Hotels are part of Accor Hotels (the same group of Ibis and Novotel).
Britannia Hotels have 48 dog-friendly hotels across the UK and dogs are charged £10 for the first night and £25 per stay. They have a number of dog rules, including no dogs in the dining areas, but also no dogs to be left unattended within the hotel or grounds at any time (so we imagine this means no dogs alone in your room). To find your dog-friendly hotel, just check the “pet-friendly” filter under “facilities” in the home page or results page.
Four star hotels chain QHotels allows dogs in 21 hotels of theirs across the UK. You can take up to 2 small dogs or one large dog in your bedroom, they must be well-behaved and trained, and if they feel that your pet is causing a nuisance to other guests or barking incessantly during the stay, they can ask you to leave. Dogs can stay for a fee of £20 per dog per night (£20 per dog per stay at Crewe Hall, Cheshire), unless they are guide dogs in which case they go for free. In addition, the pet owner/guardian may be responsible for any additional cost to the sum of £50 for deep-cleaning, repair and replacement of damaged facilities should these be required. Dogs (unless they are guide dogs) are only allowed in public areas for access and not allowed in any restaurants. There are some further restrictions in some of their hotels, which you can find here.
Pet friendly bookings are taken over the phone on 0845 034 5777.
Marriott Hotels have a number of dog-friendly hotels too. In order to find one, after typing in your destination and dates in the search form, in the search results click “All filters” and then “Amenities” to select the “Pets welcome” option , and then “Apply”. Alternatively, if you are browsing the website of a specific hotel, to discover their policy click the hotel name and then click “Overview” to view key features of the hotel, including whether it welcomes pets. You can also check the hotel’s webpage scrolling to the “Key amenities” section, where you can see whether the hotel is pet-friendly, as explained here.
How to find a holiday accomodation with certain dog-friendly features and perks
Summing up, having a look at all the different resources mentioned in this guide, we have selected those which give you more flexibility in case you are lookign for a specific dog-friendly feature.
Travelling with a dog pack
If you are travelling with more than one dog it is useful to know which resources allow you to easily check how many dogs are allowed, saving you rounds of calls to check with each place. While unfortunately no relevant filter is available in the hotel meta-search engines we tested, nor – surprisingly – in the camping/glamping ones, so you will find yourself having to check for each hotel/site their pet policy (you can find some indications for certain chains such as Travelodge and Days Inn above in the guide), a number of other websites are more dog-friendly and there is a useful “number of dogs filter”. In particular these are the following, with indication of how many dogs the filter allows you to add to your selection:
- Sykes Cottages (up to 6 dogs)
- Holiday Cottages (up to 5 dogs)
- Canine Cottages (up to 5 dogs)
- PetsPyjamas (4+ dogs) – hotels and cottages
- Rural Retreats (up to 3 dogs)
- Cottages.com (up to 3 dogs)
- National Trust (up to 3 dogs)
Other dog-friendly features
Apart from the number of dogs, there are some other relevant features you may be interested in, and filters to help you selecting them: enclosed garden, pets free of charge, more than dog-friendly places.
- Enclosed garden/patio filter:
- Pets go free of charge filter:
- Other dog-friendly filters:
- Cottages.com; English Country Cottages have a “more than dog-friendly” filter; you will have to read more about the property to find out what this involves (for instance doggie bags, etc).
- If you are looking for dog-friendly hotels, PetsPyjamas has some very good filters. In particular, ‘dine with pet’ is the essential one so you don’t have to leave your dog alone in your room and ‘pet-friendly amenities on-site’ allow you to pick the accomodation with the best dog-friendly perks.
- Campsites also allows you to select pet-friendly campsites near the beach, but doesn’t seem to expand on what are all-year round dog-friendly beaches and where there is a seasonal ban.
- If you are looking for nice walks nearby, in each listing page of the National Trust Cottages you can find a map with markers for nice walks and National Trust landmarks in the area.
We hope that this guide is of help. Let us know if we can help more in the comments, or flag any other website or holiday accomodation we should add to the list. If you are looking for inspiration for your next travel destination check out our travel section, with adventures from Cornwall to Scotland, France to Italy.
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