Pet Friendly Holidays in Southern England


Until the arrival of the promising summer weather, it seemed that there were few (if any) upsides to the ongoing recession, weak pound, and the prospect of having to stay in the UK for the holiday season. However, now that the weather looks as if it will remain hot for the foreseeable future at least (fingers crossed), those of us who own dogs will no doubt be happy that of all the pet friendly holiday destinations the south of England is particularly accommodating.

If you live in the London area, Kent is an excellent destination in terms of accessibility for you and your dog. The rolling countryside surrounding the town of Tenterden is great for dog walkers, and can even be explored by rail on the Kent and East Sussex Railway which allows travel for your dog at a ticket price of £1.00. The county is also known for its Roman history, which is well exemplified by such attractions as Richborough Fort and the Towers at Reculver. Both these attractions allow dogs on site, though they must be on a lead.

With its breathtaking moorland at Dartmoor, or its seaside treks on the north coast, Devon is fantastic for walking with or without the dog. For much of Dartmoor, dogs are fine on and off the lead but look out for restrictions near areas where sheep graze – and also be careful to plan your walks with the aid of a map in case of dangerous areas such as quarries and cliffs. Historical sites such as Okehampton Castle on central Dartmoor and Totnes castle in the south also accept dogs on leads.

Bearing similarities to Devon, Dorset is a largely rural county. However, it is the Jurassic Coast that will perhaps be of most interest to the dog walkers reading this. The South West Coast Path stretches through Lime Regis (a prime destination for keen fossil hunters) and through to the highest point on the south coast at the Golden Cap. Inland, certain destinations such as Abbotsbury Abbey and Knowlton Church are dog friendly as long as they are kept on a lead.

Of all the counties, Cornwall is likely to be the most accepting of dogs. Not only is the county home to a wealth of coastland, inland walks, as well as outdoor attractions and gardens – but the area offers a wide range of accommodations from pet friendly cottages to rent, and an abundance of camping and hotel facilities. Trevarno Garden near Helston is a Victorian Garden that stretches over 35 acres with some areas suitable for dogs off the lead. The Tamar Valley is also a beautiful location for riverside walking.