Dogs are a big part of the family, and many owners wouldn’t dream of leaving home without their four-legged friend in tow. But sometimes, finding places to take your dog can be tough, particularly in the peak summer season when beaches, parks and visitor attractions are restricted.
If you’re planning a staycation in the UK or are just looking for some new places to take your pooch, we’ve got you covered. Our guide to the best destinations to visit with dogs is ideal for daytrips and summer holidays alike – bringing you an excellent collection of places that the whole family will enjoy.
Use the links below to select the region you’re interested in or read on for the full guide.
Grizedale Forest, Lake District
With spectacular views over the surroundings and plenty of tree cover where you and the pooch can cool off in the shade, Grizedale is the ideal day-trip destination for dog owners holidaying in the Lake District. Ten hiking trails criss-cross the park, offering mile upon mile of scenic walkies.
Brimham Rocks, North Yorkshire
If your dog’s the athletic type, they’ll love bounding up and down the boulders at Brimham Rocks. This unique nature park is littered with Millstone Grit, coarse-grained sandstone tors, which make it a haven for hikers, climbers and leisurely dog walkers alike. Be warned, however, that parking is very limited, so you may want to visit in the off-peak season.
Bamburgh Beach, Northumberland
What dog would turn its nose up at a trip to the beach? If you’re in Northumberland, easily the best place to take Fido for a dog-friendly coastal jaunt is Bamburgh, whose wind-swept sands offer a great place to blow out the cobwebs and let your four-pawed pal stretch their legs.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall
Said to be some of the finest gardens in England, the Lost Gardens of Heligan, located in Mevagissey, Cornwall, are a great place to spend the afternoon with your dog in tow. Left untouched since the Victorian era, the gardens were rediscovered only 25 years ago, and today offer a unique attraction that’s a step above your average park.
The Broads National Park, Norfolk
If you don’t fancy hiking up any hills on your next family getaway, the Norfolk Broads could be a good option for you and the pooch. Encompassing the UK’s largest wetland area, the Broads are known for their 125-mile lock-free waterways as well as their charming hiking trails, perfectly suited to dog owners in search of a rural retreat.
Richborough Roman Fort, Kent
It’s always great when a day out with the dogs includes more than just walking. That’s the case at Richborough Roman Fort, an ancient heritage site believed to be one of the earliest Roman-age structures in England. Explore the millennia-old fortifications with your furry friend before enjoying a leg-stretch down the nearby River Stour to the Monks Wall Nature Reserve.
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park
Wide open spaces and endless walking trails make the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park a dream destination for dog owners. Whether you spend a day, a weekend or a week in this spectacular national park, you’ll find no shortage of dog-friendly walks, pubs and attractions to keep you and the whole family happy.
Galloway Forest Park
If you’re looking to explore Scotland’s spectacular natural beauty away from the well-worn tourist trail, make for the Galloway Forest Park. Here, you and your dewy-nosed pal can enjoy miles of spectacular hiking trails, including peaceful routes through the hills of Clatteringshaws. What’s more, the park recently received ‘Dark Sky’ status, so we’d recommend staying until night falls for fine views of the cosmos.
Castle Sween, Argyll and Bute
Scotland is home to dozens of remote castles that are ideal for an afternoon of adventuring, but not all of them accept dogs on site, so be sure to check before you visit. One place that does is Castle Sween, easily one of the most impressive ancient keeps in the Argyll region. It’s quite a walk to the top of the castle’s steep ramparts, but you’ll all be rewarded with incredible views at the top.
Tintern Abbey, Monmouthshire
Easily one of the most recognisable ancient monuments in Britain, Tintern Abbey in Monmouthshire has a long history dating back to at least the early 12th century. For the past 500 years, the site has stood as a majestic ruin, inspiring writers and artists from across the globe. We’re sure you and Rex will feel equally as inspired during a visit to this enchanting heritage site, where dogs are free to explore (on a lead of course).
Cilborth, Cardigan Bay
With its golden sands and impressive cliffs, Cardigan Bay is a wonderful destination for a sunny day trip or summer holiday. The problem is, during the peak season at least, most of its beaches restrict access to dogs, so your pal might miss out on the fun. Don’t worry, though, as Cilborth beach is dog-friendly all year round, and offers just as much coastal beauty as any other spot on Wales’s beloved west coast.
Holyhead Mountain Hut Circles
Northwest Wales is home to some of the country’s most treasured and remote landscapes, many of which just so happen to be perfect for dog walkers. If you’re looking for an alternative to Snowdonia, make for the Holyhead Mountain Hut Circles, where you and the pooch can explore a series of prehistoric stone monuments while enjoying some truly majestic views.
The Giant’s Causeway
Northern Ireland’s iconic coastal feature, the Giant’s Causeway, just so happens to be an ideal place for a wind-swept walk with your furry chum. While dogs aren’t permitted in the visitor centre itself, they’re more than welcome to take to the trail by your side. Just make sure they’re kept on a lead, as it can be a challenging and hazardous place for a walk.
Mount Stewart, County Down
With its sweeping grounds and beautiful landscaped gardens, Mount Stewart is a picturesque spot to while away a sunny afternoon. And though dogs aren’t allowed in the site’s impressive neoclassical house (except guide dogs), they’re free to explore the grounds with their owners. In fact, Lady Londonderry, who designed and planted the garden, is said to have been a great lover of dogs, so your pooch should be very welcome.
Divis and the Black Mountain
If you’re looking for a strenuous yet rewarding hike with your dog in Northern Ireland, there’s nowhere better than the Black Mountain. Divis and the Black Mountain trail is an excellent route offering spectacular views over Belfast and beyond – ideal for an adventurous day out with the whole family in tow.
We hope this guide helps you get out and about with your four-legged friend this summer. Remember, if you need to clean your car after travelling with your pooch, Simoniz has everything you need to remove stains, dirt and bad odours. We even have a guide on travelling with your dog, so you can make sure everyone is comfortable out on the road.
For more information and to view our complete product range, visit the homepage today.