BY CHRIS ELMES

Top 10 dog-friendly hotels

 

While it’s thankfully not too hard to find dog-friendly cottages in the UK these days, tracking down a hotel where you and your dog can both be a little pampered tends to be trickier. Our collection features a range of places, from chic boutique hotels to grand old manor houses, where guests both two- and four-legged are equally welcome. This roundup of our top 10 dog-friendly hotels is just a little sample, see all our dog-friendly hotels here 

1. Rothay Manor, Lake District

More walks than you can count lead off from the elegant doors of this 1820s, Grade II-listed dog-friendly hotel in the Lake District and it’s only a short stroll down to the shores of Lake Windermere. From there, gleaming launches chug across the water on leisurely tours that make a lovely way to view the surrounding hills. If your dog needs a bit more exercise than that, then walk them round the beautiful gardens, where dog waste bins mean you can stay out for hours.

The hotel has eight dog-friendly bedrooms and two lounges where you’re welcome to relax and even dine with your best friend at breakfast or dinner. The whole place is styled with effortless elegance, from the roll tops bathtubs in some rooms to the superb food in the restaurant. It’s a fabulous blend of indulgence and country living that you and your dog will love. 

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2. Watergate Bay, Newquay

You might happily stay anywhere in Cornwall for the dog-friendly beaches, but Watergate Bay means not having to compromise on location or quality just because your best friend likes barking at seagulls. A two-mile stretch of private beach makes the perfect playground for hours of ball chasing and stick throwing before you make your way back up to your luxurious room, with a chic, contemporary feel to its décor. There are wild swimming trips and surf lessons available through the hotel’s own Extreme Academy, but you’ll have to leave the dog for a bit if you fancy a more sedate dip in the indoor pool or some time in the sauna. 

You can reunite for dinner, with two dog-friendly restaurants to choose from, then put them to bed in the lovely Joules dog baskets provided as standard. A good night’s rest will see them ready for another day of dragging you up to the clifftops.  

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3. Kilcamb, Scotland

Kilcamb Lodge isn’t just dog-friendly, it’s positively dog-obsessed, to the point that it was voted the UKs Best Dog-friendly Hotel, in 2017. Its position in the west coast of the highlands gives it a good head start, with Loch Sunart at the end of the garden and Glas Bheinn rising beyond, inviting miles of walking and snuffling in the Ariundle woods as well as having a private beach at low tide.

The dog-friendly rooms are all well positioned for easy coming and going into the grounds and a host of extras are provided to give your dog as great stay as you. There are mats and bowls, doggy bags and treats, towels provided and even bed covers if you know they simply won’t be able to resist jumping on you. Special diets can be catered for and they stock several branded dog foods so there’s no worry if you forget your own. There’s even a dog sitting service if you’re heading off somewhere they can’t follow, although they can’t help with the sulking when you finally come back. 

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4. The Fish, Cotswolds 

Exploring the Cotswolds is always a pleasure, but the extravagant flair of The Fish hotel makes it a marvel of a trip. There are dog-friendly treehouse rooms and sumptuous suites, and even the more traditional bedrooms are light, colourful and stylish. All dog-friendly rooms have wooden floors, so no carpet worries, and your dog will be welcomed with treats, bowls, a towel and their own bed waiting in the room for them.

Dining with your dog is ok in the bar but not in the restaurant, and once you’ve all fuelled up there’s plenty to explore outside. The Cotswolds is a walker’s paradise but the people at The Fish know that sometimes your dog has a bit more energy than you, so they’ve installed a dog agility course in the garden, which you’re welcome to try again and again. 

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5. Roseate Villa, Bath 

While most of us think of dog-friendly holidays as being in the countryside, it’s always nice to have an urban dog-friendly hotel in your back pocket. Minutes from Bath’s pretty, historic city centre, this cosy boutique sits on a quiet side street opposite the seven acres of Henrietta park, making it perfectly placed for combining a trawl of the shops and a run on the grass.

The hotel will welcome your dog with special ‘woof’ boxes, filled with treats from Lily’s Kitchen and a tennis ball to try out at the park. Resident Border Terrier Muttley will probably come and say hello too. He knows all the best trails and recommends either the views from the Bath Skyline walk or following the canal towpath out into the countryside if you want to avoid the hills. The view from the open air rooftop spa at the thermal baths is pretty special too, but sadly dogs aren’t allowed up there.    

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6. The Elephant, Berkshire 

This sophisticated hotel and its trendy gin bar are hidden behind the traditional beamed walls of an old inn at the heart of Pangbourne. The decor is offbeat and interesting, the food fantastic and the welcome warm, for both you and your dog. On arrival you’ll receive a woof box, with a ball to take home, some Lily’s Kitchen wet food, dog biscuits and poo bags, as well as a dog bed and some special treats.

While smaller breeds will be very at home trotting round the boutique shops, there’s also some great walking along the Thames and over into the Chilterns if you’ve got a more active type. If you time your visit then you’ll find yourself well placed for the Henley regatta or, on a slightly smaller scale, the hotel’s own gin and beer festival in August.  

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7. The Traddock, Yorkshire 

The Traddock proudly calls itself a “walking hotel” and fully understands that the best walks always involve a dog. With solid eco credentials, every single room welcoming pets, a dog surcharge of only a fiver, a sensible set of house rules and the warm, cosy bar where you can dine with your dog, it’s no surprise that this is one of our favourite dog-friendly hotels in Yorkshire and even the whole of the UK.

You’ll feel completely at ease as you stroll in from a long day’s hiking through the Dales or just a trot round the garden, with a stop outside at the dog washing station if it’s been a muddy one. The staff are always on hand to lend you a towel and give you tips on tails to try out and local sights to take in, from the White Scar caves to the Ingleton falls. 

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8. Widbrook Grange, Wiltshire 

The sandstone exterior of this Georgian manor hides a charming hotel where touches of delightful innovation have been woven into a lovingly preserved old world country charm. Giant chunky sofas make the perfect spot to work your way through as many of the 165 craft gins as you can manage, beautiful bedrooms feature roll top baths for indulgent soaks and the lovely village of Braford-on-Avon is a gentle stroll away.

Dog-friendly rooms come with a bed, some delicious treats and a tennis ball to chew on, while in the bar you can order them pawsecco, buy them dog-friendly afternoon tea and even have the friendly staff help you throw them a doggy birthday party.  They can walk it all off afterwards with a stroll round the gardens or a lovely long ramble down the canal path, although those have been known to end at one of the many waterside pubs. 

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9. Seaside Boarding House, Dorset 

Strolling straight up from the beach onto the terrace for lunch after a long walk along the coast is what makes this one of the best dog-friendly hotels we’ve come across. It makes the most of its location, with big windows letting the sea views and fresh air flow in. Dogs are welcome in most rooms and all areas except the restaurant and a surcharge is only levied if there’s a problem.

With plenty of dog-friendly beaches, castle ruins and miles of coastal to explore, you and your four-legged friend will have plenty of space to roam. Big armchairs by the fire and the friendly bar will be waiting to welcome you when you get back.    

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10. Strattons, Norfolk 

This stunning Queen Anne house might look like an old continental villa, but inside it’s a wonder of sustainable design and contemporary style that overflows with beautiful things. The three dog-friendly rooms all have their own front door so you can be in and out in seconds when nature calls. You’ll find it ready with a bed and food and water bowls too. There are two residents cats and you’re asked to keep the dog on a lead if you think they might get excited, but let the Stratton’s folk know and they can order up meat or bones for your dog from the local butcher as a distraction, or just a treat.

Once you’re settled in you have to think about what to explore first. Head off to the Brecks for walks through the magical forest or spin up to King’s Lynn to explore its Hanseatic architecture. There’s great walking along the coast although if your dog is excited by cats, you might want to take care around the grey seal colony at Blakeney Point.  

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Written by
Chris Elmes

Chris is our copywriter, who spins enticing articles out of rough notes and travel tales. Having grown up in rural Wiltshire with only cats, he defected to Team Dog and now roams the countryside with Porth, a gorgeous spaniel named after a Welsh town in what he considers to be a joke. They love disappearing into the hills and coming back hungry for a good pub meal, although Porth has not been convinced to follow Chris into vegetarianism.

         

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