Summer’s coming, at long last! It’s almost time to put those knits and doggy jumpers away, swap your thermos for a refreshing iced brew, and plan a dog-friendly summer weekend break. Figuring out where’s best to eat, sleep and play with your four-legged friend, coupled with where’s also best to relax and unwind, used to require balance and planning. Fear not! We’re here to help you and your furry friend out. We’ve put together four pawtastic pooch-friendly possibilities that’ll take the edge off organising a weekend getaway, so all you have to do is… go!
Option 1: Countryside capers
Our first pet-friendly weekend destination is the Cotswolds. Known for its rolling hills, Tolkien-inspired pubs and beautiful landscapes, pups of all shapes and sizes will feel very welcome here. The Bay Tree is a wonderfully welcoming dog-friendly hotel with plenty of pet-friendly rooms available, which are stylish yet homely. Dogs are also welcome in the bar and garden (just not the main restaurant) and neighbouring, sister property The Lamb Inn also has a doggy menu on offer should fido fancy din dins out. One of our Cotswolds playtime favourites is the grounds of Blenheim Palace, where pups can roam around in the parklands (though not the formal gardens because of the delicate flora), which are stunning. And when you’re hungry, hurry to The Chequers, a truly British medieval inn that serves up classic, well-executed fare.
Option 2: Calling all cosmopolitan canines
City slickers will love a weekend in the Capital. London is very dog-friendly (see our easy city travel guide) and pups will love staying at firm favourite, The Ampersand Hotel, a quirky boutique, cosmopolitan-style hotel with a Parisian twist that features 56 dog-friendly rooms that come with bowls and beds. For a spot of something very yummy, take a stroll to Gordon Ramsay’s Maze Grill Park Walk, which boasts a succulently seasonal menu and enviable wine list. Dogs are more than welcome to dine with you, and can expect some special treatment too – bowls and pampering anyone? London is full of potential play spots, and Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park are brilliant places to explore; wonderfully regal, and stretching across multiple landmarks including the Royal Albert Hall and the Wellington Arch, your pup will relish the many sniff spots on offer.
Option 3: A regency retreat
Or perhaps time spent somewhere a little quieter will do the trick? For a majestically mellow dog-friendly summer weekend break, we love Cheltenham for its mix of fabulous cafes, restaurants and outdoor spaces, and many a festival to enjoy. There are more than enough dog-friendly activities going on within easy reach, and you’ll love Gloucestershire’s beautiful countryside. Check in to No. 38 The Park, a sumptuous Georgian townhouse B&B, that prides itself on offering human and hound home comforts. It’s just a stone’s throw from magnificent Pittville Park, which is super dog-friendly, where you can roam around the leafy lakes and even visit the historic Pump Room. When you’re hungry, our delicious tip is The Tavern, an American diner-style restaurant that feels like you’ve stepped into Soho. The Tavern pulls off artisan Americana spectacularly, delivering a homage to burgers, wings and shakes that’ll have you salivating just looking at the menu. Your pup is more than welcome here, too, and is invited to dine on biscuits while you slurp sundaes.
Option 4: Paws-in-the-sand
Last but not least is favourite seaside escape, Cornwall. Cornwall buzzes during the summer months and you’ll be met with pasty-lovers, cider-swiggers and optimistic surfers carrying their boards across town. St Petroc’s Hotel in Padstow is a fabulously pup-friendly place to stay, nestled down a quaint side street from the main harbourfront. Here, you can dine with your dog, and your furry friend will even receive a special blanket to take away, so they can dream of the hotel’s cosy fireplaces and atmospheric winding staircases long after you’ve checked out. For a bite to eat near Padstow, head to The Cornish Arms, a restaurant that feels like a vintage pub but delivers a menu designed by Rick Stein. The restaurant has some of the best views of the local countryside, too, and dogs can dine with you. When you’re full of fresh fish and other tucker, head to Lusty Glaze beach, a chic seaside venue where dogs can chase the waves and you can chase the stars – the beach is simply spectacular at night time, surrounded twinkly lights from the town.
Which dog-friendly summer weekend break will you go for? Perhaps let fido decide!