Dog-friendly holidays are the best in the South West!

Authored by News Desk
Posted: Monday, February 17, 2020 - 12:08

A study by dog food company has revealed the best UK location for dog friendly vacations in their ‘Ruff’ Guide to the UK’s Most Dog Friendly Holidays.  

From city breaks to seaside escapes, the study uses seven criteria to determine which of the 28 most popular holiday locations offer the most for dogs (and their owners). 

Key Points: 

  • Edinburgh is the UK’s most dog friendly holiday destination
  • Anglesey is home to the most beaches and green spaces for dogs 
  • The South West has 8 dog friendly destinations, offering 2,446 dog friendly elements
  • Newquay and Blackpool have the most dog friendly pubs, restaurants or cafes. 
  • The East Midlands offers the fewest dog friendly options 

The Most Dog Friendly Holiday Destination Revealed for 2020

Of the 28 holiday destinations featured in the study, Edinburgh tops the list as the most dog friendly location, scoring top marks for dog friendly accommodation, green space and places to eat with your dog.

Here are the top 10 places to go with a dog in tow: 

  1. Edinburgh
  2. Bournemouth
  3. Brighton
  4. Southend-on-Sea
  5. Anglesey
  6. Newquay
  7. Bath
  8. Bognor Regis
  9. Cheltenham
  10. Oxford

South West is the UK’s Most Dog-Friendly Region

The South West is top dog when it comes to dog friendly destinations, and Bournemouth was the top place to go, scoring 571/1000 for its dog-friendly credentials

We also found the top scoring holiday destination in each region:

Dog Friendly Accommodation

The study has found that Edinburgh, Bournemouth, Brighton and Bognor Regis have the most dog friendly accommodation. You’ll be spoilt for choice in these locations as combined, you can find 1,224 dog-friendly listings on Airbnb. 

Brixham in the South West and Brecon in Wales have the fewest, with just 101 places for you and your pooch to rest your heads. 

Beaches For the Ultimate Dog Walk

Two-thirds (67%) of the staycations in the study had a dog friendly beach nearby.

These five locations offered the most dog friendly beaches with Anglesey in Wales having the most. 

  1. Anglesey - 17 beaches 
  2. Newquay - 10 beaches
  3. Southend-on-Sea - 8 beaches
  4. St Ives - 7 beaches
  5. Bournemouth - 5 beaches 

Be sure to check for seasonal dog bans which are usually between the 1st May and 30th September. 

Destination with the Most Dog Friendly Places to Eat and Drink 

Newquay tops the list with 180 different pubs, restaurants or cafes welcoming both you and your pooch for a pupstop snack, followed by Blackpool with 178. 

  1. Newquay: 180
  2. Blackpool: 178
  3. Southend-on-Sea: 173
  4. Edinburgh: 160
  5. Scarborough: 152
  6. Bournemouth: 150
  7. =Brixham: 145
  8. =Lincoln- 145
  9. Cheltenham: 144
  10.  Anglesey: 143

UK Location with the Most Dog Friendly Attractions

Topping the list is Brixham, with nine attractions offering a warm welcome to both you and your pooch. Over half of the locations in the study (57%) had five or more attractions that would allow dogs to tag along, proving that the UK is becoming more dog friendly than ever before.  

  1. Brixham : 9 dog friendly attractions
  2. Bakewell : 8
  3. Lincoln =7
  4. Newquay =7
  5. Whitby  =7

The National Trust and English Heritage were just two of the organisations in the UK welcoming dogs to their attractions.  

Most Dog Sitters in the Area 

If you did want to visit a non-dog friendly attraction during your holiday, there’s no need to miss out. There are plenty of dog sitters in these 10 locations who would be more than happy to keep your pooch company.   

  1. Edinburgh - 90
  2. Brighton - 49
  3. Lincoln - 48
  4. Bournemouth - 46
  5. Southend-on-Sea - 44
  6. Cheltenham - 37
  7. Cambridge - 30
  8. Oxford - 29
  9. Bath - 25
  10. Blackpool - 22

It’d be worth organising this well ahead of time and reading reviews before committing to any dog sitting service when you’re away from home. 

Pet-Safe Staycations: Vets in Top Holiday Locations

There is never a good time for your pup to get poorly, but it can happen at any time, even on holiday. Edinburgh topped the list again for UK holiday destinations with the most vets in the area: 

  1. Edinburgh - 85 
  2. Oxford - 56
  3. Bournemouth - 52
  4. Bath - 40
  5. Cheltenham - 36

Head Vet at, Sean Mccormack said: “Any dog-parent will tell you that a holiday with your pooch is simply unbeatable. And with the rising cost and environmental impact of overseas travel, it’s likely that more and more dog owners will be choosing dog-friendly holidays in the UK. 

When you’ve got four more legs coming along on the trip, there are a few extra essentials to keep in mind when planning your staycation. So I've put together some of my favourite holiday hacks to make your dog-friendly break as enjoyable and safe as possible.”

Getting there...

  • Take a long walk before you set off - perfect for a last-minute toilet break and to tire them out for the journey ahead. 
  • Seatbelt /Pet Car Seat: The Highway Code requires dogs to be suitably restrained for both your safety and theirs. The simplest way to do this is a dog seatbelt or a pet car seat which will offer protection should you have to brake suddenly. 
  • Along the way: Plan your rest stops along the way. Many motorway service stations will have a grassy area for you both to stretch your legs. 

What to Pack...

  • Food: Remember to pack a plentiful supply of your dog's favourite food. Dry kibble dog food is perfect if you’re camping or staying somewhere without a fridge.
  • Treats and Toys: Don’t forget to take plenty of their favourite treats and toys, especially if you’re planning on visiting a dog friendly pub and need to keep them entertained. For a beach holiday, check to see if your toys float! 
  • Portable water bottle and bowl: Keep a bottle of fresh water in your bag and a portable bowl, just in case. 
  • Towels, blankets and bedding: Pack plenty of fluffy towels (for sandy or wet fur), comfortable blankets (to make them feel safe and warm), and take their bed so they feel at home. 
  • Tether spiral and long lead: Perfect for keeping your dog safe if you are camping or visiting the beach.
  • Poo bags: Keep them attached to the lead so you have them with you, wherever you go. 
  • Raincoat and cooling jacket: British summers can be warm, but they can be incredibly wet, too. Pack for all eventualities with a raincoat and cooling jacket to keep your pooch comfortable whatever the weather. 

Safety First... 

  • Number for a local vet: Make a note of the contact details for a local vet, just in case you need them whilst you are away from home.  
  • Pet first aid kit: Many of the items in a human first aid kit cross over with a pet first aid kit. Dog safe sunscreen and tweezers are also great to include. 

ID Tags: Many dog friendly Airbnb’s now include temporary ID tags to attach to your dog's collar when you’re away, in case they get lost. If not, it could be worth including your mobile phone number on your usual tag, so you can be contacted straight away.

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