If you’re a dog-owner, staycations are always a great option – because what fun would it be to go away without your best canine pal? And this year, with travel restrictions and two-week quarantines in place for various holiday hotspots in Europe and beyond, there’s even more reason to stay put and explore what the UK has to offer. So, we’ve rounded up our five favourite UK staycation locations that your dog will love too!
1. Cornwall: let’s go to the beach!
While the vast majority of beaches in the UK allow dogs from October to April, there are often restrictions during the spring and summer months. Cornwall however has 51 beaches with absolutely no restrictions year-round, making it the perfect region for a dog-friendly seaside staycation.
Included among the 51 are popular Padstow; the stunning Tregantle Cliff Beach on Whitsand Bay; the traditional holiday-village of Perranporth; and Harlyn Bay, where you can lay back and watch the surfers – or give it a go yourself! Whichever beach you choose to visit, we’re sure you and your dog will have a great time splashing in the sea, running along the cliffs, playing frisbee, or simply catching some rays.
2. Snowdonia: on top of the world
If you’re looking for an adventurous break in the mountains, Snowdonia has enough trails to tire out even the most energetic young pups – from gentle strolls to full-on treks. You can even take your dog up to the top of Mount Snowdon – Wales’s highest mountain – to take in the views from 3,560 feet. If that climb’s not worth a few treats, we don’t know what is!
Be aware that much of the surrounding land includes livestock farms, where it’s essential to keep your dog on a lead. And be prepared to take all dog waste home with you, as out in the wilds there might not always be a handy bin nearby!
3. The Cotswolds: a quaint countryside break
Not too far from big cities like London, Birmingham and Bristol, the Cotswolds is an ideal staycation location for those who want to swap their urban landscape for cute cottages and pastures green.
Take your dog for a walk around Bibury – the most beautiful village in England – where your dog can spot trout swimming in the river and you’ll find two dog-friendly pubs, The Swan Hotel and The Catherine Wheel. Or if you’re in need of some new snaps for your dog’s Instagram, head over to Costwold Lavender – a gorgeous farm where your dog can chase bees and butterflies through rows of lavender bushes.
For more dog-friendly attractions in The Cotswolds, check out their dedicated website.
4. The Scottish Highlands: into the wild
The land of myths, legends, heroes and brigands, the Scottish Highlands is the perfect place to get back in touch with your wild side. And if you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of the Loch Ness monster, your dog can join you free of charge on a boat trip in the loch and along the Caledonian Canal (as long as he’s well behaved).
For some spectacular walks, you can check out Glen Affric, where all our canine pals will feel right at home on the trails around ‘Dog Falls’. The three circular trails are all 3-miles or less and full of history, wildlife, amazing scenery, and of course the waterfalls themselves.
Wherever you choose to walk in the Highlands be sure to keep to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. The specific section on dog walking is a must-read.
5. The Lake District: a writer’s retreat
An inspiration to many literary icons, such as William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter, the stunning landscapes of the Lake District is second to none. From ancient castles to spectacular lakes and historical railways, there are plenty of attractions here that will get your literary juices flowing and your dog’s tail wagging!
Dogs are welcome on the lead at Lowther Castle where you can explore the ruins, gardens and woodlands. And at Muncaster Castle after exploring the grounds, you can head to the Owl Garden Tea Room for an array of human treats and a refreshing water bowl for Fido. Dogs also go free on all Lake Windemere cruises as well as the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway – an authentic steam locomotive complete with 1950s’ carriages.
Get a Gudog sitter
Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to take your dog on holiday with you, and that’s where we come in. Whenever you need someone to look after your best four-legged friend, Gudog is here to help. Choose from plenty of friendly, local sitters who will give your dog all the attention he/she needs while you’re away.