Dog-friendly breaks

by Katie Rowe

Category: Beside the seaside
May 14 2013

Forget doggy paddling ©Wightlink PawprintCan you imagine a world where Wallace went on a big adventure by himself, without Gromit? Nope, nor can we. Plasticine or not, we think every man or woman’s best friend should be free to join in with the holiday fun. Check out these dog-friendly holiday ideas created with pooches in mind…

Active pups…

Surf’s up! the Isle of Wight is one of the best places for a beach break with your seadog. Ride the waves of Dunroamin Beach between Sandown and Shanklin as you swim, surf and even kayak together. Dog friendly all year round, it’s the perfect sandy seaside spot for watersport enthusiasts and sea-loving pups. For more dog-friendly holiday ideas on the Isle of Wight, check out http://www.wightlink.co.uk/pawprint.

If your pooch prefers bounding through forests, fells and wide open fields, take them to the Lake District. Keswick is a cracking place for canines, crowned Britain’s dog-friendliest town by the Kennel Club. Romp across mountains at Whinlatter Forest Park, England’s only mountain forest, with over 14 miles of track to ramble along. Need a breather and a bevvy? The Dog and Gun is ‘totally dog-friendly’ and serves doggy treats alongside the usual bar snacks.

Pampered pooches…

Treat your four-legged friend to a weekend in grand surroundings. Check into five-star Luton Hoo in Bedfordshire and stay in a room with direct access to the extensive grounds – perfect for walkies! The hotel has mapped out walks and jogging trails for you and your four-legged friend to trot along. While you recharge in the spa and refuel on the hotel’s exquisite cuisine under the glow of chandeliers, a chef will prepare your pet’s regular meal in time for their usual feeding time. Talk about being waiting on paw and paw!

It’s a dog’s life at Luton Hoo ©Luton HooElsewhere, in east Devon dogs can relax in the sitting room, bar and snooze in front of an open fire in the great hall of an Elizabethan manor house as you indulge in afternoon tea. Combe House Hotel was created with dogs in mind; dog food, water bowls, treats, refrigerated food storage and even a free guide to dog-friendly walks are all available.

Cultured canines…

Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire is one of a few stately homes to allow dogs into both its grounds and house so after you’ve finished your lakeside picnic and the doggy treats have been polished off, head inside. Sniff around the castle’s lavish interiors filled with medieval armour, fine art and a Gothic drawing room designed by AW Pugin. If the sun’s got his hat on there’s an arboretum and deer park to explore too, just make sure your furry friend has their lead on. We’ve all seen that YouTube video involving a certain labrador called Fenton!

Eastnor Castle ©Joanna HendersonIf your hound’s a history buff, drop by the Beamish Museum just outside Durham. If you and your dog have ever dreamed of being a time travelling duo, this place will be right up your cobbled street. This open-air museum has recreated life as we didn’t know it, allowing you to experience what life was like in the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian periods.

You’ll find a railway station, a pit village and even a farm – all buzzing away with life as if the clocks suddenly stopped all those years ago. Your pooch’s favourite part will probably be the Edwardian-style fish and chips cooked using a coal fire in beef dripping and then wrapped in newspaper. Down boy!

Katie Rowe

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