With temperatures that are just right for walking and plenty of daylight still around, autumn is the ideal time for a dog-friendly mini-break. Think clear, crisp days and cosy evenings by a log fire, enjoying a well-earned drink and meal – and that’s just for fido! We’ve done all the hard work for you and put together a picklist of dog-friendly autumn getaway’s where humans can enjoy the spectacular seasonal scenery, and furry friends can frisk in the foliage. Leaf peeping, here we come!
Option 1 – Forest frolics
Where better to see leaves than in a forest? We’re talking about the New Forest, to be exact – around 120 square miles of trees, footpaths and heathland. For a dog-friendly Autumn getaway, rest weary paws at the Lainston House Hotel, a luxurious retreat dating back to the 17th century. With rooms crammed with thoughtful details and traditional, country house charm, fido will feel like the paws of the manor. For lunch or dinner, step into the on-site Cedar Bar and relax into an armchair while your canine chum warms his tummy by the fire. For warm-up walks, the hotel has 63 acres of private grounds plus the longest avenue of lime trees in England – fido may feel honour bound to lift his leg on every one! From there, it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to the New Forest itself with its 140 miles of tracks.
Option 2 – Urban explorers
Next up is London, which although it may not seem the destination of choice for leaf spotting, with around 3,000 parks, you’ll be spoilt for choice! Best to give yourself plenty of time and book a room at The Rubens at the Palace, where you and Fido will be treated like royally with opulent rooms fit for a king – or a King Charles spaniel. For lunch, well-heeled hounds step out in style to the Maze Grill Royal Hospital Road, part of the Gordon Ramsay group, for a little light steak or sushi before some serious scampering. Warm up with a walk through St James to Green Park, then along to Hyde Park, the perfect doggy paradise where opportunities for racing, running and rolling in those leaves abound. Round off the paw-fect day with afternoon tea at The Milestone Hotel, where Fido’s assured of the warmest of welcomes.
Option 3 – Rural roaming
First stop is the Cotswolds, almost 800 square miles of woods, rolling hills, rivers and pretty towns – what’s not to love? It also boasts some of the biggest and best arboreta in the UK along with 3,000 miles of footpaths and bridlepaths, so it’s the perfect place for spectacular leafy landscapes. Book in at The Manor House for some serious quality time – you and Fido can dine together, take a stroll round the 365 acres of private parkland and then retire to your luxurious room (four poster bed optional) to re-charge your batteries. If you fancy eating out, head to Jack Hare’s bar at the Hare and Hounds which offers simple, hearty food in comfortable surroundings – and there’s no need for a doggy bag, as Fido has his own menu. Finally, burn off some calories at next-door Westonbirt Arboretum, a paw-friendly paradise where Fido can frolic to his heart’s content.
Option 4 – The place that has it all
Busy owners and dogs on the go can make the most of their weekend with a trip to Cliveden House in Berkshire, where you can sleep, eat and explore together. The Grade I listed hotel, dating from 1666, offers a choice of 43 dog-friendly rooms, each named after famous figures from the house’s past. Notorious in the early 20th century as the home of the ‘Cliveden set’, the leading film stars, politicians, writers and artists of their day, culture hounds will feel right at home here. Next, you and fido can enjoy a relaxed lunch (or brunch – well, you are on holiday!) at the Astor Grill, in the stable block. If you can still move, then head out to the 376 acres of National Trust parkland surrounding the hotel. Although your pooch can’t go absolutely everywhere, the hotel can supply walking maps for pooch-friendly perambulations and there’s plenty for paws to explore.
Which dog-friendly Autumn getaway will you go for? Perhaps let fido decide!