Every dog lover knows that the bond between human and hound is something truly magical. As our faithful companions, they join us in life’s simplest moments and its grandest adventures. But have you ever considered turning those weekend walks into full-blown wanderlust experiences? Imagine the thrill of discovering new terrains, the joy of sun-soaked beaches, or the serenity of secluded spots, all with your four-legged friend by your side.
Travelling with your dog doesn't just mean a trip to the local park; the world is their playground too! Dive into our list of 10 life-changing trips that promise to redefine your travels, making them more memorable and meaningful. After all, every journey is better when shared with a tail-wagging companion.
The Importance of Dog-Friendly Trips: Making Memories Together
In the hustle and bustle of our lives, we often look forward to holidays as a breather and a way to build beautiful memories. For many of us, our dogs aren’t just pets – they're part of the family. Leaving them behind while travelling can often lead to feelings of guilt and worry. This is where dog-friendly trips come into play.
Emotional Well-being: Just as holidays rejuvenate us, a change of scenery can be refreshing for our dogs. Exploring new terrains, meeting new furry friends, and spending quality time with you can contribute immensely to their happiness and emotional health.
Bonding Time: Travelling together strengthens the bond between you and your pooch. Overcoming challenges like new environments or long car rides, and sharing joyous moments like a playful run on the beach or a tranquil hike, these shared experiences create lasting memories.
Physical Health: Dog-friendly holidays often involve outdoor activities, which means plenty of exercise for both of you. This can be especially beneficial if your dog spends a lot of time indoors.
Ease of Mind: No more worrying about your furry friend back home. With them by your side, you can ensure they're well-taken care of and having just as much fun as you are.
Flexibility and Exploration: Dog-friendly destinations usually offer a plethora of activities that cater to the adventurous spirit of dogs, from dog-friendly beaches to parks and trails. This ensures a wholesome travel experience.
Top 10 Trips:
1. Secluded Beach Retreats: Whitby's Golden Sands
Where? Whitby Beach, North Yorkshire
Why? Expansive golden beaches and year-round dog-friendly shores.
The allure of Whitby Beach isn't just its golden sands or the hypnotic sound of crashing waves; it's the promise of boundless freedom for your dog to run, play, and frolic to their heart's content. With its expansive coast, Whitby is a haven for dogs and their owners, offering respite from crowded touristy beaches and an escape into seaside tranquillity.
The Activity: Beach fetch is an all-time favourite! The wide-open space ensures your dog has a good run every time you throw the ball. And if you’re both up for it, a splash in the sea is a must. The gentle waves at Whitby make it safe for both seasoned swimmers and paddle-loving pups.
Dog-friendly Accommodation: Whitby is dotted with quaint seaside cottages that not only boast spectacular sea views but also offer gardens or yards where your dog can relax after a day of beach fun.
Local Delight: As the day winds down, indulge in some of Whitby's famous fish and chips. And for your furry pal? Maybe a dog-friendly treat from one of the local pet stores or bakeries.
Travel Tip: While Whitby Beach is a joy throughout the year, the spring and autumn months are particularly pleasant. Fewer tourists mean even more space for your dog to roam free. And remember, always respect the beach by cleaning up after your pup.
2. The Mountainous Adventure: The Peaks of Snowdonia
Where? Snowdonia National Park, North Wales
Why? Rugged terrains, breath-taking vistas, and dog-friendly hiking trails.
Snowdonia is not just a haven for avid mountaineers; it's a sprawling playground for every adventurous pooch. Covering 823 square miles of varied landscapes, from towering peaks to vast valleys, Snowdonia presents challenges and thrills for both you and your furry companion. The park boasts numerous trails that welcome dogs, ensuring every step is filled with excitement.
The Activity: Embark on the ascent of Mount Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales. With several paths to the summit, ranging in difficulty, there's a route suitable for every hiker and their four-legged friend. As you navigate your way up, take a moment to soak in the panoramic views, and let your dog enjoy the crisp mountain air.
Dog-friendly Accommodation: Nestled amidst the mountains are delightful stone cottages and lodges that are perfect for a restful night. Many of these accommodations understand the needs of dog owners, providing secure gardens or areas for evening relaxation.
Local Delight: After descending from the mountain highs, enjoy a hearty Welsh cawl (a traditional stew) in one of the local inns. And for your dedicated hiking partner? A special chewy treat or bone from a nearby pet store might be in order.
Travel Tip: Snowdonia is captivating all year, but if you wish to avoid the peak tourist season, consider visiting during late spring or early autumn. Always ensure your dog is kept on a lead in areas with grazing livestock, and remember to pack enough water for both of you, especially during the warmer months.
3. Canine-Friendly City Breaks: The Historic Charm of Bath
Where? Bath, Somerset
Why? Historic allure, open parks, and a dog-welcoming atmosphere.
Bath isn’t just an architectural marvel and UNESCO World Heritage site; it’s also surprisingly welcoming to our four-legged pals. The Georgian streets, infused with history at every turn, offer a blend of urban exploration and relaxed ambience that both you and your dog will adore.
The Activity: Take a leisurely stroll through the iconic Royal Crescent and Circus, with their sweeping Georgian terraces. Wander down to the River Avon and follow the waterside path, giving your dog the thrill of a different landscape, full of intriguing smells and sights.
Dog-friendly Accommodation: Bath is home to numerous boutique hotels and guesthouses that warmly welcome canine guests. Many have their own gardens or courtyards, perfect for morning playtime or an evening relax.
Local Delight: Enjoy a traditional Bath bun in one of the city’s many cafes – many of which offer outdoor seating where dogs are warmly welcomed. As you savour your treat, perhaps a dog biscuit or two might be just the thing for your travel companion.
Travel Tip: Bath's city centre can be bustling, especially during weekends. If you’re looking for a quieter experience, consider visiting on a weekday. The city is also home to several parks, like Royal Victoria Park, where dogs can play freely. Don't forget to explore the myriad of dog-friendly pubs and eateries dotted around the city.
4. Countryside Escapes: The Enchanting Cotswolds
Where? The Cotswolds
Why? Rolling hills, honey-coloured villages, and open spaces perfect for pooches.
The Cotswolds, with its distinctive limestone grasslands and picturesque villages, is a quintessential English countryside escape. Stretching across several counties, it provides the perfect backdrop for you and your dog to disconnect from the urban hustle and reconnect with nature.
The Activity: Meander through scenic footpaths crisscrossing the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Discover hidden valleys, tranquil woods, and open fields where your dog can run free. For an extra treat, why not explore one of the many historic market towns like Stow-on-the-Wold or Bourton-on-the-Water?
Dog-friendly Accommodation: The region boasts a plethora of charming cottages, B&Bs, and inns that understand the needs of a travelling dog owner. Many come with spacious gardens and are situated right next to some of the best walking routes in the area.
Local Delight: Settle into one of the traditional pubs for a hearty English meal. As you tuck into a Cotswold pie or a ploughman’s lunch, let your furry friend enjoy a refreshing bowl of water and perhaps a dog-friendly treat from the accommodating staff.
Travel Tip: The Cotswolds is renowned for its seasonal beauty. While spring sees the blossoms and baby animals in the farms, autumn paints the hills in golden hues. Whatever the season, always check local guidance about livestock and keep your dog on a lead when required to ensure a harmonious experience with nature.
5. Riverside Frolics: The Peaceful Banks of the River Wye
Where? The River Wye, Herefordshire
Why? Gentle waters, lush valleys, and numerous dog-friendly spots.
The River Wye winds gracefully through the heart of Herefordshire, carving a path through some of the UK's most picturesque countryside. Its calm waters are flanked by verdant meadows, dense woods, and historic towns, making it a haven for dog owners seeking a tranquil escape.
The Activity: Enjoy a leisurely walk along the Wye Valley Walk, a path that traces the river’s course. There are plenty of spots along the way where you can let your dog off the lead for a game of fetch or even a splash in the shallow waters. The river's gentle flow makes it safe for most dogs to paddle under supervision.
Dog-friendly Accommodation: Opt for a riverside cottage or one of the many B&Bs that dot the landscape. Many accommodations in the area feature direct access to the riverbank, ensuring your dog can make the most of the waterside setting from dawn till dusk.
Local Delight: After a day of exploring, why not head to one of the quaint riverside pubs? As you enjoy a pint of local ale or cider and delve into a dish featuring Herefordshire's famed beef, your pup can rest and rejuvenate in the pub’s garden, often with a bowl of fresh water and some treats on offer.
Travel Tip: The River Wye is especially captivating in the summer when the meadows bloom and the river reflects the blue skies. However, it's essential to keep an eye out for local wildlife, particularly swans and otters, and ensure your dog remains respectful of their natural habitat.
6. Desert Discoveries: Exploring the Dunes of Formby
Where? Formby, Merseyside, England
Why? Majestic sand dunes, refreshing coastal breezes, and a unique ecosystem right in the UK.
Formby, renowned for its sprawling dunes and coastal pinewoods, is a little piece of desert wonder on the British Isles. Though not a desert in the technical sense, its sandy expanses give a similar vibe without the intense heat, making it a unique spot for canine explorers.
The Activity: Take a leisurely walk through the towering dunes of Formby, letting your dog roam and play on the sandy terrain. The ever-shifting sands, shaped by the coastal winds, offer a new adventure each time. Nearby, the Formby pinewoods are home to the red squirrel, a treat for nature enthusiasts.
Dog-friendly Accommodation: The surrounding areas of Formby have several dog-friendly cottages and B&Bs. Many come with enclosed gardens, allowing your pup a safe space to play after a day out on the dunes.
Local Delight: After exploring, treat yourself to a classic fish and chips in one of Formby's local eateries. And, of course, a dog biscuit or two for your furry friend to enjoy!
Travel Tip: Formby can get quite breezy, so make sure you dress accordingly and keep an eye on your dog, especially if they're off-leash. The sands can be tricky to navigate in places, so sturdy footwear is a must for humans.
7. Forest Camping Experience: The Enchanting New Forest
Where? New Forest, Hampshire, England
Why? Ancient woodlands, diverse wildlife, and vast open moors – an outdoor lover’s dream.
The New Forest, with its age-old oaks and free-roaming ponies, offers a serene setting for campers and their canine companions. Established as a royal hunting ground in 1079, it’s now a haven for nature lovers and adventurous pups alike.
The Activity: Set up camp amid the forest's serene canopy, and explore its myriad walking trails, both marked and off the beaten path. With an ever-changing landscape of thick woods, open moors, and sparkling streams, every turn offers a new sight for you and a new scent for your dog.
Dog-friendly Accommodation: There are numerous campsites within the New Forest that welcome dogs. Opt for sites that provide added amenities for pets, such as dedicated dog-washing areas or nearby walking trails.
Local Delight: After a day of hiking, head to one of the local pubs dotted around the forest. Many of these establishments are dog-friendly, allowing you to enjoy traditional British fare like a hearty pie or a Sunday roast, with your dog resting by your side.
Travel Tip: The New Forest is home to a wide array of wildlife. Ensure your dog is on a lead in areas with grazing animals. Also, do check the camping regulations during the breeding season to ensure minimal disturbance to the wildlife.
8. Island Getaways: The Idyllic Isle of Skye
Where? Isle of Skye, Scotland
Why? Dramatic landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and a pet-friendly vibe.
The Isle of Skye is a jewel in Scotland's crown, offering a blend of stunning mountain ranges, deep blue lochs, and rugged coastlines. It's a magical escape where both you and your dog can breathe in the fresh sea air, roam free, and take in the natural wonders.
The Activity: Embark on coastal walks to explore hidden beaches, where your dog can frolic in the waves or chase after seagulls. The Fairy Pools, with their cascading water and vibrant colours, make for an excellent pit stop, allowing both you and your pup to refresh.
Dog-friendly Accommodation: There's an array of pet-friendly accommodations on the Isle of Skye, from charming bed and breakfasts to self-catering cottages. Many places are situated with vast open spaces, perfect for your dog to play around.
Local Delight: After a day filled with adventures, visit one of the local seafood restaurants. As you relish fresh catches like mussels or salmon, offer your canine a dog-friendly treat to ensure they too get a taste of the island's bounty.
Travel Tip: While the Isle of Skye is beautiful all year round, the summer months offer longer daylight hours, giving you ample time to explore. However, always check the weather forecast before heading out, as the island's climate can be quite changeable.
9. Thermal Springs and Lakes: Dog-Friendly Dips Near Bath
Where? Surroundings of Bath, Somerset, England
Why? Proximity to historic Roman Baths and waterside locations where dogs can frolic and play.
Though the ancient Roman Baths in Bath are not accessible for bathing, the surrounding areas of this historic city offer a bounty for dog owners and their four-legged friends. The River Avon, which meanders around the city, presents various spots that are ideal for dogs.
The Activity: Take a stroll along the banks of the River Avon, which boasts several shallow sections and beaches, perfect for dogs to paddle, play fetch, or simply splash around in the water. The Kennet and Avon Canal, also nearby, offers calm waterside walks with gentle slopes for easy access to the water.
Warleigh Weir: A short drive from Bath is the Warleigh Weir, a popular swimming spot for locals. Here, dogs can safely play in the water, chase after sticks, or engage with other dogs. The surrounding meadows also offer space to run and play.
Nature Walks: Surrounding Bath are beautiful nature trails, many meandering alongside water bodies. The Bath Skyline walk, for example, gives panoramic views of the city and includes patches of woodland and open spaces perfect for your dog to explore.
Dog-friendly Accommodation: Many accommodations near Bath understand the bond between a person and their dog. Opt for quaint B&Bs or countryside cottages where your canine companion will be warmly welcomed and where you might even find doggie treats upon arrival.
Local Delight: While you enjoy the regional delicacies in one of Bath's dog-friendly pubs, don't be surprised if your pup gets a bowl of fresh water and maybe even a doggie treat from the friendly staff.
Travel Tip: While Bath itself is known for its thermal springs, when traveling with dogs, it's the surrounding countryside and water bodies that truly shine. Make sure to pack a towel for your pup post-swim and perhaps a favourite fetch toy to make the water play even more enjoyable.
10. Historical Sites and Trails: A Step Back in Time with Your Canine Companion
Where? Hadrian's Wall, Northern England
Why? A remarkable blend of history and nature where you and your dog can walk in the footsteps of ancient Romans.
Hadrian's Wall, the Roman frontier built in the 2nd century AD, stretches across the countryside of Northern England. While it stands as a testament to the might and organisation of the Roman Empire, today it offers a scenic and historically rich trail for both humans and their four-legged friends.
The Activity: Embark on a journey along sections of Hadrian's Wall Path. Spanning 84 miles from coast to coast, you don't need to cover it all; choose sections that suit your and your dog's energy levels. Along the way, you'll encounter remnants of ancient forts, turrets, and milecastles.
Open Spaces and Ruins: The wall passes through varied landscapes - from rugged moorland to rolling fields and woodlands. Your dog will relish the open spaces, and the occasional ruins can make for a playful hide-and-seek game.
Interactive Exhibits: While some indoor attractions along the route might not welcome pets, outdoor interpretative displays provide insights into the wall's history, so you won't miss out on the educational aspect.
Dog-friendly Accommodation: The villages and towns dotting the trail understand the influx of dog-loving hikers. Many inns, B&Bs, and cottages offer dog-friendly accommodations, ensuring a comfortable rest for you and your furry friend.
Local Delight: After a day on the trail, indulge in some hearty Northumbrian fare at a local pub. As you savour your meal, your dog might just get lucky with some dog-friendly treats or even a special menu for them.
Travel Tip: While the path is mostly dog-friendly, some sections might require your dog to be on a lead, especially near grazing livestock. Always carry water for both you and your pup, as some stretches might not have easy access to fresh water.
Tips for Travelling with Dogs: Ensuring a Safe and Enjoyable Journey for Your Furry Friend
Embarking on an adventure with your beloved dog requires more than just a spirit of adventure. Proper preparation and the right travel accessories will ensure that your trip is memorable, comfortable, and safe for both you and your canine companion.
1. Essentials to Pack:
Hunter Car Rear Seat Cover: This is a must-have for those long drives. It ensures that your car seats remain clean, and your dog has a comfortable space to relax.
Dog Rucksack Taylor: Perfect for hikes or city walks, this rucksack allows your dog to carry their snacks, water, and small toys.
Waterloo Brush Mat: After a day out exploring, this brush mat is ideal for cleaning your dog's paws before they jump into the car or enter your accommodation.
Snackbag with Shoulder Strap Alva: Keep treats handy with this snack bag. It's great for rewarding your dog during long walks or training sessions on the go.
2. Safety Precautions:
If you're travelling by car, ensure your dog is safely secured using the Hamilton Car Boot Dog Blanket. It prevents your dog from hopping to the front and keeps them safe during sudden brakes.
Stay hydrated. The Kangaroo Backpack/Carry Pack is an excellent accessory for holding water bottles and collapsible bowls for your dog.
Always keep a first aid kit tailored for dogs. Include basic medications, bandages, and a tick remover.
3. Ensuring Comfort:
For those chilly evenings or after a swim, the Large Dog Blanket Monaco will keep your dog warm and cozy.
If you're planning to visit more upscale places or need a stylish way to carry smaller dogs, the Los Angeles Carry Bag and Madison Carry Bag & Blanket are both elegant and functional.
For longer hikes or if you're travelling with a smaller dog, the Rucksack Orlando allows you to carry your pet comfortably, ensuring they don't miss out on any adventure.
4. Rest and Relaxation:
If you're planning overnight stays, the Portland Carry Bag is not just a travel bag but also doubles as a dog bed. It ensures your dog has a familiar place to sleep, making them feel at home.
Remember: Every dog is unique. What works for one might not work for another. Always consider your dog's needs, preferences, and health when travelling. The right set of travel accessories, like those from Hunter, will go a long way in ensuring your journey is smooth and enjoyable.
Conclusion: Cherished Moments with Our Four-Legged Companions
Travelling isn't just about exploring new destinations or taking a break from the daily grind; it's about the memories we create along the way. And when our canine companions accompany us, these moments become even more special. From the joyous bounds on a secluded beach to the shared thrill of discovering a historic trail, each experience becomes a cherished memory, a story waiting to be told.
The bond between a dog and its owner is immeasurable. When we travel together, this bond is only strengthened. Every sunset watched together, every mountain conquered, and every new terrain explored amplifies the connection and understanding between you and your furry friend.
As you contemplate your next adventure, think of the wagging tail and the eager eyes that await a new journey, a new story. Embrace the idea of a dog-friendly trip, not just as an alternative but as a richer, more fulfilling travel experience. After all, the world, with all its beauty and wonders, is best explored with a loyal companion by your side.