Top 5 tips for the perfect UK break with dogs
Updated: Apr 21
As dog parents to two gorgeous fur babies and the owners of three luxury, very dog friendly cottages in Somerset, UK we thought we would pour our knowledge of how to have the perfect UK break with the doggos into this blog. We hope you can use this helpful information to start planning that amazing dog friendly UK holiday you’ve been dreaming of.
1. Find truly dog friendly accommodation
If you’re wanting the perfect stress free dog friendly holiday, then accommodation needs to be at the top of the list of things to consider and to do your research on. Just because the words ‘dog friendly accommodation’ are used, it doesn’t mean that it truly is. There could for example be strict rules about the number of dogs that are allowed to stay, restrictions on dog breeds, no dogs allowed on the furniture, or even limited facilities for dogs. We’ve seen it ourselves so many times, and so when we designed our luxurious cottages in the Quantock Hills we wanted every aspect to represent the true meaning of dog friendly.
Dogs are part of the family and we believe their stay with us is just as much their holiday as it is yours. Here’s what we have to offer our canine guests when they come to stay at Quantock Cottages:
A dog feeding and water station in each cottage
A doggie spa at the front door of all three of our cottages, which includes a bath tub, a hot and cold shower and a drying bench
Each cottage has a large private, properly dog secure enclosed garden to keep those doggies safe
If your woofers like to sit on the sofa with you that's no worries, just bring your own blankets to cover them.
If your woofers like to sleep in the bed with you again that is not a problem, all we ask is you bring your own bedding.
We have an on-site dedicated ¾ acre enclosed dog zone, complete with agility course
We provide details for pet food delivery when you book with us
Any breed of dog is welcome, with up to three dogs per cottage (more possible on request). If you would like to find out more please check out our dogs page.
We hope this gives you some great pointers on what to look for when it comes to finding truly dog friendly accommodation in the UK.
2. Discover dog friendly walks
This is an important part of having the perfect UK break with dogs and it will probably influence the areas you’re looking at. You’ll want to find fabulous walks so you can enjoy the great outdoors, de-stress and give your fur babies their much needed exercise. It’s also a great way to explore the local area. We’ve talked extensively in previous blogs about the amazing dog friendly walks near our Somerset cottages, from beaches to woodland and even the medieval village of Dunster, but the magnificent Quantock Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty really deserves another quick mention here. Our doggie guests and their human parents can step out of their private garden onto 9,000 acres of glorious open moorland, home to amazing wildlife such as red deer and beautiful purple heather. If you can find an area such as this close by to your accommodation then it will only enhance your holiday for you and your furry friends.
3. Do your research on dog friendly activities
This is a must for the perfect holiday with the dogs as you really need to know what’s around the area to decide if it’s the right place for you. There’s some fabulous dog friendly activities in Somerset, just to give you an idea of what you might be able to do in other areas of the UK.
Here we have West Somerset Railway’s dog friendly vintage steam train. Not only is it a fantastic way to explore the local area, but you can book different food experiences and they hold fun events such as a winter lights event and a forties weekend. Other dog friendly steam trains we know of are the South Devon Railway, Lincolnshire Wolds Railway, Ravenglass & Eskdale Steam Railway (Lake District) and Epping Ongar Railway (Essex) to name a few.
National Trust sites are usually dog friendly and are a great place to have a wonder round with the dogs, especially if you have a season ticket. At Dunster Castle for example dogs are allowed anywhere on leads apart from the castle itself, so there’s stunning gardens to explore, a working watermill, shop and tea room. So as you can see National Trust sites are a great option for a day out with the pooches
If you’re out and about on your UK holiday then you will no doubt need to stop for a drink, snack or some lunch, so make sure you check out dog friendly cafes, pubs and restaurants in the area you plan to stay in, so you know in advance, this makes everything so much easier when you are suddenly hungry and it may even be what you plan your day out around.
4. Come prepared for a holiday with the dogs
A big tip from us for your perfect holiday with the doggies is to come prepared. Make sure when packing up the car that you have enough food for the amount of time you’re away and don’t forget to check whether your accommodation provides dog bowls. When our guests book to stay with us at Quantock Cottages we provide details of a pet food delivery service, which really helps save valuable space in the car. If your accommodation doesn’t offer somewhere specific to wash your dogs, make sure you pack some dog shampoo so you can wash them off after those long muddy walks. Bring your dog’s collar and name tag with you, so that if they do get lost you can easily be reached, you could even get an extra tag made with the address of your accommodation and very importantly your mobile phone number, if your home phone number is on the original one.
Some other little things to consider are a long and short leads, dog towels, lots of poop bags, any medicine, a pet first aid kit, a dog brush, bottled water and travel bowls for long walks and winter jackets if it’s cold. Last but not least, don’t forget to check that your pet insurance covers you for a holiday in the UK and before you go, find out who you will need to contact in case of an emergency and locate the nearest vets and make sure you keep these details easily accessible on your trip. When our guests book to stay with us at Quantock Cottages, we provide them with a list of the essentials we think they will need.
5. Plan to settle your dog into unfamiliar surroundings
While these items could have been mentioned above we wanted to give this its own section, especially to help nervous doggies. When holidaying with your dogs in the UK, please plan to settle them into unfamiliar surroundings. It may be that your dog loves a new adventure, but for those who need some time to adjust, here are our tips to help them feel more at home on their well-deserved break:
Bring their favourite bed or blanket to help them feel safe
Bring their favourite toys for familiarity and to keep them entertained and perhaps even distracted
Bring their favourite treats and consider some specific calming ones for anxiety if your dog is quite nervous.
A little bonus tip from us – plan something special, to make it a UK break to remember
Make this UK break your best yet and plan something special, this can be with or without your fur babies. Here’s some of our favourite ideas:
Get a spa treatment. Nothing says a relaxing break more than a dreamy spa treatment. Our guests can enjoy a spa treatment in the comfort of their own luxury cottage, how perfect does that sound! Before you leave for your holiday, have a look for spas in the local area and book that relaxing treatment – you deserve it
Book a special meal out, or even a yummy meal in if you are staying self-catering. You can take the dogs with you if the restaurant is dog friendly or if possible you can leave them with a dog sitter and enjoy some alone time. If your accommodation allows you could book a private chef service to come and cook for you or even order a local farm shop delivery box to cook yourself a delicious meal
Book a dog photo shoot with all of you, or just the dogs, to really make it a dog friendly UK break to remember.
When our guests stay with us, we provide details for them to book all of the ‘treats’ mentioned above.
We hope you found this blog helpful and that it has given you some great tips to help you have the most amazing UK holiday with your beloved fur babies. If you like the sound of a luxurious, extremely dog friendly cottage break with an enclosed garden and private hot tub in the breath-taking Quantock Hills in Somerset please check out our availability here.