The best dog-friendly places in the UK

Be it dog-friendly beach holidays to city breaks with your pet, the UK has some spectacular places to visit with your dog. But not all destinations are made equal for travelling dog owners, and some places are more welcoming for dogs than others. Those with the most dog-friendly cafes, pubs and restaurants, year-round dog-friendly beaches and have plenty of attractions that welcome your hounds – are by far the best places to bring the dog for an adventure. But where are they? Right here:

Written by Lottie Gross

5 minute read


There are certain areas of Devon where if you don’t bring a dog, you’ll probably be the odd one out. This county in the southwest of England has plenty for curious dogs and their owners, from beaches like Saunton Sands that welcome dogs year-round, to the high tors of Dartmoor that are begging to be walked upon. Visit bustling seaside towns like Dartmouth, Torquay, Salcombe and Sidmouth, where you can sample seafood, while the dog tucks into their own canine-friendly ice cream, or hit the trails along the River Dart or in the Tamar Valley, where bucolic, serene landscapes await.

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To say an entire country is dog-friendly might seem like a sweeping statement, but Scotland really does welcome dogs like few other places. Almost all the beaches in this country are dog-friendly year-round, with exceptions largely in cities and built-up coastlines like Edinburgh or Aberdeen. And with hundreds of beaches to choose from, you’ll never be stuck for a day out on the sand. Beyond the coastline and Scotland’s incredible islands, there are adventures aplenty for dogs and their owners. Aberdeenshire has some cracking walking opportunities, especially within the Cairngorms National Park, while under-the-radar Dumfries and Galloway has a forest park made for walkies with the dog – there are waymarked trails all over. Then there are the cities: Edinburgh has dog-friendly attractions and pubs, Aberdeen is like an outdoor art gallery with its murals and street art pieces, and Dundee has dog- and kid-friendly fun attractions for family holidays. The only problem dog owners will have in Scotland is choosing where to go.

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Dog-friendly holidays in Wales are all about the great outdoors. Whether it’s the mountains of Snowdonia (Yr Wyddfa) and the highs tops of the Brecon Beacons (Bannau Brycheiniog), or the low-lying coastline with its broad sandy beaches, where dogs can race around all year, Wales is an adventure playground for dogs and their owners. And while those mountains might entice you to lofty heights, it’s the coast path that wins out here, as it skirts around the entire country, from Pembrokeshire to Anglesey, taking in some seriously dramatic scenery. Add to that an astonishing array of magnificent castles and some fascinating mining history that can be explored with the dog, and you’ve got yourself a spectacularly well-rounded dog-friendly break.

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The picture-perfect Cotswolds, with its sandstone thatched cottages and patchwork of grazing fields dotted with plump white sheep, has appeal for any traveller. But for dog owners it’s especially lovely: the Cotswolds Way offers excellent walking adventures, and you’re rarely too far from a cosy pub with a log fire or suntrap beer garden. Autumn and winter are particularly enticing times to visit, as fresh frost on the ground in the mornings gives this otherwise golden part of the world a silvery shimmer. There are family attractions, too, from a dog-friendly zoo to a miniature village, so it makes a great family holiday destination, too.

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East and West Sussex really have it all when it comes to dog-friendly holidays: brilliant beaches for zombies with either sand or pebble under paw, great days out in towns like Brighton, Chichester and Hastings, and walks galore along the exceptional South Downs Way. The long-distance walking route traverses the South Downs National Park, taking in rolling hills, plunging valleys and pretty little towns and villages like Alfriston, Lewes and Arundel. And in between all of this you’ve got castles to visit, National Trust properties like Petworth and plenty of dog-friendly pubs serving up local fare.

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Written by Lottie Gross

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