The summer holidays are officially here! If you’re looking for a last minute break or are planning your next autumn adventure with your pup, following your dog’s nose and letting them take the lead in choosing your next trip might just be the way to go.
Matt Fox, CEO and Founder of Dog Friendly Cottages adds: “We’ve seen a huge 415% increase in bookings this spring compared to the same period in 2019, so it’s clear that we’re truly obsessed with bringing our pooches on holiday this year.”
So, to help you get started with planning your pooch perfect staycation, Dog Friendly Cottages has teamed up with top dog psychologist, George Barrett at Dalesman Dog Psychology, to reveal the ‘pawfect’ holiday destination for your pooch according to their breed. Falling in love with pooches at a young age, George’s father inspired his passion to better understand dog behaviour. Now, George works alongside his wife and family to train thousands of dogs every year.
Whether your breed of pooch is prone to longer or shorter walks, having a splash around in water, or socialising with other furry friends, George recommends where you should take your top dog…
Breeds: Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever
Top locations: Padstow, St Ives, and Newquay
George says: “Both breeds are going to love destinations with coves and beaches where they can run in and out of the water and splash around, as well as local dog-friendly bars and cafes where they can socialise with other dogs.
“For the best combination of sand, sea and coves, make sure you have Hawker’s and Harbour Cove on your list to take your Labrador or Golden Retriever!”
Where to stay: Sea Shells Barn, Padstow, Cornwall
This tranquil retreat is located one mile from Padstow’s quaint harbour and two miles from the sandy beaches of Cornwall. The former converted barn can sleep up to four people and households are allowed to take one pet. Its enclosed garden features outdoor dining and a barbeque, meaning you can spend some quality family time with your dog whilst enjoying your supper.
Breeds: French Bulldog, Dachshund and Pug
Top locations: Cromer, Ilfracombe, and Brixham
George says: “These breeds can be active in short bursts, but soon get overheated in warm weather so need plenty of rest periods to cool down. That being said, they don’t enjoy going out in the rain.
“Walking one to two miles a day is sufficient, and due to their short legs, flat ground is easier and accessible in Cromer, Ilfracombe and Brixham. They’re not one for pubs though – so be prepared for lots of cosy, quiet nights in!”
Where to stay: Fern Cottage, Ilfracombe, Devon
Promising an eventful stay, this friendly end terrace cottage is situated in the town of Ilfracombe and is surrounded by the North Devon coastline, Exmoor National Park and rolling countryside hills. The property sleeps three guests and one dog – with its charming characterful beams overlooking each room, the cottage is complete with quirky accessories scattered throughout, adding a real homely touch.
Breeds: Cocker Spaniel, Springer Spaniel and Vizsla
Top locations: Bideford, Perranporth and Llandudno
George says: “These breeds are very energetic and love exercise and racing around outdoors. They are good natured with other dogs and happy in busy places, but need to be well exercised.
“With plenty of long trails offering wide open spaces in Bideford, Perranporth and Llandudno, they make for the perfect staycation spots for Cocker and Springer Spaniel as well as Vizslas.”
Where to stay: Craiglwyd Bach, Llandudno, North Wales
In the popular Welsh town of Llandudno, is this delightful, Grade II listed 18th century single-storey cottage that’s set in a lifted location. Situated on a peaceful lane, Craiglwyd Bach boasts stunning views over Penrhyn Bay. This cottage sleeps two people and can welcome two pets, making it a superb retreat for couples on activity breaks in North Wales.
Breeds: Staffordshire Bull Terrier and Border Terrier
Top locations: Staithes, Seahouses and Aberystwyth
George says: “These are very active outdoor breeds and they are extremely tough. They can interact nicely with well behaved dogs but will not tolerate being challenged so would prefer being outside than relaxing in a dog-friendly pub.”
“As these breeds prefer time outside, the top locations offer some walks with added extras. For example, you can visit Aberystwyth Castle with a two mile walk along the promenade before heading for the coastline.”
Where to stay: Staithes Cottage, North Yorkshire
Located in the quaint coastal village of Staithes, just a bit north of Whitby, you will feel an instant history hit at the picturesque Staithes Cottage. Complete with distinctive features such as rope going up the stairway, this little cottage is one to remember. This ancient gem, which sleeps four guests, has been beautifully renovated to provide quirky, luxurious accommodation; perfect to return to after a day of activities with the kids and dog.
Breeds: Boxer and German Shorthaired Pointer
Top locations: Rye, Perranporth, Whitstable
George says: “These breeds are active dogs that like the outdoors but can differ in their preferences towards water. Adaptable to any terrain as well as busy places, they will take long walks when they’re healthy.”
“The bustling towns of Rye, Perranporth and Whitstable are great options for Boxers and German Shorthaired Pointers. Comfortable among the buzz, they will also enjoy a stroll along the cobbled streets.”
Where to stay: The Old Sweet Shop, Whitstable, Kent
The Old Sweet Shop is a charming, quirky holiday home sitting in the heart of the vibrant town of Whitstable – ideally situated near the beach and harbour, shops, and cafes. The cottage has a snug sitting room, open plan kitchen and dining room, useful downstairs bathroom and three bedrooms on the upper two floors. It sleeps up to six people and welcomes two pets.
Breeds: German Shepherd and Rottweiler
Top locations: Seahouses, Staithes and Filey
George says: “These are outdoor breeds that enjoy activity over any terrain and will happily take up to three, three mile walks a day depending on age and fitness – so plenty of good walks are a must! They also enjoy a paddle, so accessible beaches and coves will be a hit. Many are often happier with a quieter place as males especially will often not shirt a challenge from other dogs.
“The coastal villages of Seahouses, Staithes and Filey offer both the opportunity to enjoy the sea and sand as well as the varied hiking and walking terrain. If you adventure over to Seahouses, check out Bamburgh Beach for a view of the castle and fun exploring the dunes.”
Top locations: Aberystwyth, Bridport, Beadnell
George says: “Beagles will walk more than the average person might usually enjoy, but they aren’t keen on water and would rather be running around and barking in wide open spaces.
“They can easily cover five miles without breaking a sweat. They’re great with other dogs and not bothered by busy places, so will enjoy a good dog-friendly pub or two.
“As you’ll no doubt be on plenty of walks with your Beagle, make sure you take in the historic sites of the top locations too. Bridport’s green walk and sculpture trail links to open areas of greenery as you visit each sculpture.”
Breeds: Shih Tzu and King Charles Cavalier
Top locations: Bude, Newquay, Looe
George says: “These dogs like the quieter side of life and will enjoy a stroll, but are also happy indoors. Due to their shorter legs, they prefer flatter terrain and don’t enjoy getting their hair wet too much so will likely stay on land.
“Shih Tzu’s and King Charles Cavaliers will appreciate the typically warmer weather in the top locations as well as the option to walk through the lanes of the seaside towns.
“They often love long car journeys so you can go a little further afield, but regular water stops are still needed.”
Breeds: Whippet and any running dog
Top locations: Whitstable, Cromer, St Ives
George says: “These dogs like the outdoors but only in good weather. Preferring short bursts of activity followed by a rest, open spaces like beaches or hills are perfect for their twenty minutes of activity a couple of times a day. These breeds tend to steer clear of water and can be picky about the other dogs they associate with but do well in busier places.
“The well-loved seaside town of St.Ives offers more than just it’s beautiful beaches, the busy town centre offers plenty of great shopping and dining options that Whippets and running dogs will be well suited to.”
George adds: “Whilst the above is based on the general behaviours of certain breeds, it’s important to remember all breeds are individuals and as such will vary in temperament. Exercise requirements will vary due to age and fitness, and it’s important to remember taking pets to unfamiliar places can alter behaviour due to stress. All dogs need to be under control and not let off a lead if they are a danger to themselves, other dogs, livestock or people. Always make sure your pet is microchipped and has a collar and disc on it, with your current mobile number, name and address.”
To start your search for the pawfect dog-friendly staycation, and to find out more about the best dog-friendly spots across the UK, visit: https://www.dogfriendlycottages.co.uk/pawfect-staycation