You no longer need to leave your best friend at home with these pup-friendly places.
From high-end stately homes to rural retreats, these are the best places to take your canine companion on your next adventure.
Stapleford Park, LeicestershireSet within large grounds near Melton Mowbray — of pork pie fame — stately home Stapleford Park (pictured top) offers a luxurious Doggy Divine package. Included is a hypoallergenic dog bed, a selection of toys and a Doggy Afternoon Tea menu with naughty treats on a tiered stand alongside herbal Pawsecco. Owners get a traditional human version.
A dog-sitting service is also provided should you want to frequent wood-panelled restaurant Grinling Gibbons — but dinner itself costs extra.
Ballathie House Hotel, PerthshireTails always wag when owners book Ballathie, a Best For Walkies winner in the PetsPyjamas site’s recent Dog-Friendly Travel Awards. The turreted country house’s 900 roamable acres help, as does the option of Rover joining owners at the two-AA-rosette restaurant. Most of the spacious bedrooms welcome pooches with bowls and goodie bags, plus spare leads to aid those walks — to which end, Dog Friendly Perthshire has more suggestions (dogfriendlyperthshire.co.uk).
basic obedience training
From £69 room-only, petspyjamas.com
Upper Castlewright Cottage, PowysQuieter than Snowdonia or the Beacons, Powys’s border regions are just as (dog) walker-friendly: the gentle 15-mile Kerry Ridgeway (above), for instance, offers incredible views while crossing moors or woodlands without dipping below 1,000 feet. On its path, five-person Upper Castlewright Cottage combines original slate floors and beams with a wood-burning stove for cosy nights. Up to three dogs are welcome.
Seven nights from £488, qualitycottages.co.uk
Cow Parsley Shepherd’s Hut, NorthumberlandOne of a trio of cool shepherd’s huts around four miles from the beach-ridden coast, Cow Parsley includes a double bed, a bunk above it and another pull-out mattress if required.
A triumph of space-efficiency, it also stars a small kitchen boasting an electric hob, a microwave, a toaster and a DAB radio, plus a shower-equipped bathroom.There’s good availability in October, when a flame-effect stove can warm cooler evenings. Guests may also hire Colin, a cutesy caravan, for an additional £20 per night should young’uns fancy sleep-outs. T
wo dogs are welcome, with kennels available on site, and the Northumberland National Park is also close.
Get Educated. The first step to being an outstanding pet owner, according to Dr. Becker, is taking responsibility. “Nobody ever says ‘I was a lousy pet owner.’ It’s always the pet’s fault.” Learn the peculiarities of your pet’s breed such as how much exercise they need, how gregarious they are, how much maintenance their coat requires, how often they need to go outside, and about new technologies, products, and nutrition that might help you care for your pet. Knowing the basics about your pet’s upkeep ensures you won’t be caught off guard by troubling behavior.
Seven nights for four from £720, crabtreeandcrabtree.com
Tottergill Farm Cottages, CumbriaEight of the ten Tottergill Farm Cottages accommodate up to two well-behaved dogs. Along with treats for man’s best friend, there are walk maps for the surrounding North Pennines and nearby Lake District, an outside tap and towels to use, and, neatly, a list of mutt-friendly local pubs.
Each characterful, quietly upmarket cottage also boasts an enclosed garden, while many include a hot tub.
Seven nights for four from £759, plus £30 per pooch, premiercottages.co.uk
Puffin’s Nest, DevonThough Canine Cottages represents almost 4,000 bases around Britain, few are as cute as this North Devon hideaway. Sleeping two, plus a pair of stick-chasers, it’s a former stone granary now featuring colourful Joules interiors, a roll-top bath and a clever kitchenette behind Dutch doors. A spiral staircase leads up to the mezzanine bed, while windows face the sea and sunset, with paw-stretching Hartland Peninsula coastal walks in both directions.
Help your pet be the best pet he can be. Train your pet by setting him up to succeed. There’s a reason for everything your dog or cat does, and the reason rarely if ever involves being deliberately disobedient.
Seven nights from £383, plus £20 per dog, caninecottages.co.uk
The Spread Eagle Hotel & Spa, West SussexAt this South Downs bolthole, a Paws Four afternoon tea includes wild venison and a bowl of Woof & Brew beer for Fido.
Go the whole hound, however, by booking the handsome Midhurst country inn’s Muddy Paws overnight package, and a woof-tastic welcome kit and drying coat to keep are thrown in, plus B&B for both and a three-course dinner for owners.
Close by is Harting Down — National Trust-owned wild-flower valleys welcoming well-behaved mutts.
From £259, hshotels.co.uk
Still looking for a perfect retreat for Rover? Here are a few more suggestions, courtesy of Cool Places’ new Dog Friendly Britain guidebook.
Woodfarm Barns & Barges, SuffolkChoose between converted barns (above) with hot tubs or restored 19th-century Dutch barges, all of them adjoined by two acres of enclosed meadows. Heated dog showers stand ready after muddy outings.
The Fish Hotel, WorcestershireNot only does this countryside Cotswolds haunt feature an agility course for pooches in its grounds, but doggy afternoon teas — starring mutt-adapted muffins and doughnuts — are also offered.
Always be consistent. Half-assed efforts will deliver half-assed results. Consistency is the key to success in all endeavors in life. Training a dog is no different. Learning about your dog is also a consistent effort. Quality time with your dog should be consistent and ongoing.
South Place Hotel, LondonClose to St Paul’s Cathedral, South Place Hotel entertains canines via special beds, towels and treats. Dogs are even invited to film screenings on the Secret Garden terrace.
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