Home Travel Britain's best dog-friendly escapes, from London to Norfolk

Britain's best dog-friendly escapes, from London to Norfolk

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One of the biggest travel trends of 2020 is the rise of dog-friendly destinations. 

And there are plenty of wonderful places to stay in Britain where pets get as much pampering as the owners.  

Cathy Wood discovers the best escapes to take your four-legged chum… 

THE EGERTON HOUSE HOTEL, KNIGHTSBRIDGE, LONDON 

Dogs receive an embroidered pet towel and an evening turndown treat at The Egerton House Hotel, London

Dogs receive an embroidered pet towel and an evening turndown treat at The Egerton House Hotel, London

Fill me in: An elegant five-star boutique hotel with just 28 rooms and suites, The Egerton is within ball-throwing distance of the Royal parks and Harrods. It is also so unashamedly dog-friendly that staff learn the dogs’ names as quickly as those of the guests.

Dogs even get their own tea including chicken and beef meatloaf, followed by doggylicious ice cream, all washed down with a bowl of Pawsecco – a mixture of elderflower, water, black carrot, linden blossom and ginseng.

Fur factor: Dogs receive an embroidered pet towel, blankets, mats, dog beds, toys, evening turndown treat and their own dinner menus and breakfast options. Dog-sitting and walking services are available on request.

Cost: B&B costs from £500 a night. Afternoon tea costs from £60 for adults and £25 for dogs. egertonhousehotel.com

THE KING’S ARMS, DIDMARTON, GLOUCESTERSHIRE

Fill me in: Long favoured by locals for its good food and hospitality, the King’s Arms is a 17th Century coaching inn offering six rooms and two self-catering cottages. The inn sits on the edge of the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort’s Badminton Estate, and makes a splendid base from which to explore the Cotswolds or the world-renowned Westonbirt Arboretum.

Fur factor: Dog beds, bowls and even dog beer.

Cost: B&B stays cost from £66 a night for a single room and £125 for a double. Dogs cost £15 per stay but the fee is waived for first bookings made through the website, (epicurean.club).

VICARAGE HOUSE, GREAT HOCKHAM, NORFOLK 

Well-behaved dogs have six acres in which to roam at Vicarage House in Norfolk - much of the space is closed off to keep them safe and sound

Well-behaved dogs have six acres in which to roam at Vicarage House in Norfolk – much of the space is closed off to keep them safe and sound

Fill me in: Dog-friendly hotels are a wonderful indulgence but sometimes what you want is space to relax and pretty grounds to explore. That’s when you need to get family and friends together to rent a large house for a long weekend.

For the adults, the Georgian era Vicarage House boasts a tennis court, small football pitch, heated pool and gorgeous walled garden with cherry blossom, and perfectly sculptured borders. There are five bedrooms in the main house and three more in the Pool House.

Best of all, well-behaved dogs have six acres in which to roam – much of the space is closed off to keep them safe and sound.

Fur factor: Well-behaved dogs are welcome but do alert the owners in advance. There is a large downstairs heated pantry, the perfect place for dog baskets, and bowls come as standard. Dogs are not allowed upstairs.

Cost: From £2,400 for three nights for groups of up to 15, (vicaragehousenorfolk.com).

ROSEHILL LODGES, PORTHTOWAN, CORNWALL

Rose Hill Lodges in Cornwall gives dogs a hamper stuffed with goodies, including a fleece blanket, bowls, towel, treats and waste bags

Rose Hill Lodges in Cornwall gives dogs a hamper stuffed with goodies, including a fleece blanket, bowls, towel, treats and waste bags 

Fill me in: A collection of eco-friendly lodges that are clad in larch sourced from a sustainable Cornish woodland. The floors are made of bamboo and the roofs are made of grass to attract wildlife and be renewable, while each lodge has its own hot tub for relaxation and stargazing. It takes under ten minutes to stroll to the sandy Blue Flag Porthtowan beach. There is a seasonal dog ban in popular months, but the dunes behind and the coastal path give more than enough walking options. The Eden Project and Land’s End are both about a 40-minute drive away.

Fur factor: Unpack a dog hamper stuffed with goodies, including a fleece blanket, bowls, towel, treats and waste bags.

Cost: Three nights at St Piran’s Lodge costs from £515 for four people, or seven nights costs from £686. One dog per lodge is charged at £5 a day, (premiercottages.co.uk).

CLIVEDEN HOUSE, BERKSHIRE

Cliveden offers guest dogs an adorable doggie bed, a menu with fillet steak and free-range chicken

Cliveden offers guest dogs an adorable doggie bed, a menu with fillet steak and free-range chicken

Fill me in: Once the Astor family seat, Cliveden House is now a wonderful luxury hotel with more than 350 years of colourful history. This is where Meghan Markle stayed the night before her wedding to Prince Harry (without her dogs) and the Grade I listed property was also where the then War Minister John Profumo first met Christine Keeler.

Fur factor: Cliveden offers guest dogs an adorable doggie bed, a menu with fillet steak and free-range chicken, and doggie turndown treats. Your pup can run wild in 250 acres of National Trust woodland and the friendly concierge (including long-time butler Michael Chaloner) will take your dog off your hands while you enjoy a sumptuous dinner in The Cliveden Dining Room.

Cost: Rooms cost from £445 a night, (clivedenhouse.co.uk).

THE BELL, TICEHURST, EAST SUSSEX

Fill me in: Named after the single bell in the local church, this former coaching inn has seven rooms and four lodges. Rooms are quirky, with soft beds (for humans) and welcome packs for dogs. Scotney Castle, a 14th Century moated castle which is owned by the National Trust, is about five miles away and allows dogs (on leads) in the gardens and on the 770-acre estate.

Fur factor: Staff say muddy paws and cold, wet noses are always welcome. You’ll be given a dog welcome pack including a toy, biscuit and paw wipes.

Cost: The ‘Going Mutts’ package costs from £165 for one night in a classic double including breakfast and a three-course dinner. Dogs get a sausage for breakfast, (thebellinticehurst.com).

LODORE FALLS, BORROWDALE, LAKE DISTRICT

As every self-respecting pet owner knows, the Lakes are probably a dog’s best friend and few hotels enjoy the position – or the views – of Lodore Falls

As every self-respecting pet owner knows, the Lakes are probably a dog’s best friend and few hotels enjoy the position – or the views – of Lodore Falls

There’s even a comfy side lounge, with fire, for dogs to take evening meals with their owners

There’s even a comfy side lounge, with fire, for dogs to take evening meals with their owners

Fill me in: As every self-respecting pet owner knows, the Lakes are probably a dog’s best friend and few hotels enjoy the position – or the views – of Lodore Falls. A plush new spa was added in 2018.

Fur factor: All room categories have dog-friendly options except for the Spa suites, and you’ll find that dog beds, baskets, food and water bowls are provided. There’s even a comfy side lounge, with fire, for dogs to take evening meals with their owners.

Cost: Double B&B rooms cost from £220 a night midweek, while dinner, bed and breakfast costs from £260. Dogs are charged at £10 a night, (lakedistricthotels.net/lodorefalls).

DUKES HOTEL, LONDON

Staff at Dukes Hotel adore guests with dogs and the concierge team will provide maps and tips for walks in the Royal parks

Staff at Dukes Hotel adore guests with dogs and the concierge team will provide maps and tips for walks in the Royal parks

Fill me in: Located just a five-minute walk from Buckingham Palace, Dukes seeks to blend quintessential British charm with cosmopolitan luxury. Its staff adore guests with dogs and the concierge team will provide maps and tips for walks in the Royal parks.

Fur factor: A hamper includes a small ball-launcher to amuse your pet, before he feasts on ‘Chef’s special’ – freshly cooked chicken and rice, a chew, wet food and dry food.

Cost: Rooms on special offer of £200 a night from Thursday, excluding breakfast. Picnics cost £15 per dog, (dukeshotel.com).

LYGON ARMS, BROADWAY, WORCESTERSHIRE

Dogs get a big welcome and are fussed over by pet groomer extraordinaire Lucie Ditchfield at this Cotswolds stalwart

Dogs get a big welcome and are fussed over by pet groomer extraordinaire Lucie Ditchfield at this Cotswolds stalwart

Fill me in: This Cotswolds stalwart can trace its roots back to the 1300s and it is where Oliver Cromwell stayed the night before the Battle of Worcester in 1651. The inn also acted as an important staging post between London and Wales throughout the 18th Century.

Fur factor: Dogs get a big welcome and are fussed over by pet groomer extraordinaire Lucie Ditchfield. She will collect your four-legged pal from the hotel and return them fully pampered, which might be especially welcome after a long, muddy walk.

Cost: Double B&B rooms cost from £195 a night, (lygonarmshotel.co.uk).

LUCKNAM PARK, WILTSHIRE

Lucknam Park, Wiltshire, is set in 500 acres of parkland and its Doggy Directory includes tips for the best local dog walks

Lucknam Park, Wiltshire, is set in 500 acres of parkland and its Doggy Directory includes tips for the best local dog walks

Fill me in: One of the finest country house hotels in the country is set in 500 acres of parkland and is approached by a magnificent mile-long avenue of lime and beech trees. The courtyard garden rooms and cottage suites are best for dog owners. Want to explore further afield? Bath is eight miles away.

Fur factor: Dogs receive a toy, welcome treats, bedding and a lead, while a special room service is also available. A Doggy Directory – an in-house compendium – includes useful information such as the best local dog walks.

Cost: B&B rooms cost from £275 a night and dogs are charged at £25 a night.

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