Tips for a Dog-Friendly British Holiday


More of us than ever before are taking our dogs with us when we travel, but such a trip is not without its issues. After all, much as we’d like, many hotels, restaurants and more simply won’t permit dogs.

However, if you want to take your dog travelling there’s no need to eat at service stations and sleep in your car – once you know where to look…

Dog-Friendly British Holiday
Dog-Friendly British Holiday by Connie Ma

Getting Around

Taking your own car is of course the easiest possible option for travel, but what if that’s simply not a practical option? As it turns out, there are quite a range of pet friendly car hire firms including Avis and Enterprise. While a small deposit may be required, catching a train to Glasgow and then hiring a car at your destination shouldn’t be out of the question.

But what about ferries, if you want to explore the Western Islands off Scotland, or sail down to the Channel Islands? Once again, most ferries are willing to accommodate dogs, though the exact process varies by company.

St. Aubin, Channel Islands, United Kingdom
St. Aubin, Channel Islands, United Kingdom by Ben Salter

Most require you to leave your dog in your car, or to use their onboard kennelling facilities. While a small supplement is normally charged, ferries to and from Ireland currently accommodate dogs free of charge.

Brittany Ferries are notable for having dedicated doggie exercise areas on some of their vessels, allowing you to exercise your dog during travel.

Brittany Ferries
Brittany Ferries by EVERYMAN FILMS LTD

Eating Out

Most restaurants in the UK refuse entry to dogs for hygiene reasons. Oddly, a surprisingly broad number of pubs are more than happy for you to bring your dog, making them one of the best sources of food while away.

Website Doggie Pubs has a fantastic range of options and is updated regularly.

Pet-Friendly Accommodation

While many hotels still won’t accept dogs, a surprising number of them do. From individually-owned cottages to nationwide-chains like IHG and Travelodge it’s reasonably easy to find pet-friendly places to stay while away.

Website like Dog People can be tremendously helpful for finding suitable accommodation.

Trigony House hotel, UK
Trigony House hotel, UK by Trigony House hotel

Go Rambling

Britain is a wonderland of parks, beaches, woodlands and countryside, just waiting to be explored. Almost all are open to dog owners. So while visiting an art gallery or museum with your dog is unlikely to end well, dog-friendly holidays are perfect for those who like to hike, ramble and walk.

Some landowning charities like the National Trust are strongly supportive of dog walkers, and provide access to a huge number of stunningly beautiful sites.

West Wittering, England, United Kingdom
West Wittering, England, United Kingdom by Gareth Williams

Take your Own Supplies

While Britain may be every inch the first-world country, many parts of the country are still surprisingly rural. This can make sourcing specialist foods and supplies rather inconvenient.

It therefore makes sense to take all the doggie supplies you might need with you – including any medication which your pooch takes regularly.

Local Vets

Lastly, while we hope that your trip away will be free from any accidents, it always pays to be prepared. The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons maintains an extensive list of nationwide vets which can be consulted for free.

A smart move is to locate vets along your intended journey, and store their phone numbers safely, so that you always have help on hand if the worst happens.

Purple Vet, Rothwell, England, UK
Purple Vet, Rothwell, England, UK by Tim Green


As you can see, with just a little preparation it’s entirely possible to enjoy a fun-filled time away with the whole family. So don’t just take the easy route out and leave your dog at the boarding kennels this year – instead create an agenda that’ll be just as rewarding for your dog as it is for you.

Take your dog on holiday
Dog on holiday by Cristian Bortes

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