Dog-friendly places to spend Christmas

Travel Talk

Dog-friendly places

Christmas is the perfect time to celebrate, and this year there is even more reason to do so. Natasha Blair investigates what dog-friendly places have to offer over the festive period.

For those wanting to get away from it all, and enjoy catering for their loved ones, below are some options:

Forest Holidays

Forest HolidaysIn 11 UK locations, stay in the heart of a forest in a purpose-built log cabin with modern facilities that includes a fully fitted kitchen, central heating, a log burner, and not forgetting the outdoor hot tub. With nature on your doorstep, you and your pet can’t fail to have a wonderful time. Facilities include the hire of bikes. Stay for 5 nights and a luxury hamper and real Christmas tree are included.

Sally's CottagesSally’s Cottages, Lake District and Cumbria

With over 275 dog-friendly cottages in the Lake District and Cumbria, accommodation is available for up to four dogs. Many are decorated, some have welcome packs for both dogs and humans, and some have Christmas-themed welcome packs. Each cottage is individual. A dream location for anyone looking for dog-friendly towns, and endless places to walk and explore.

Original CottagesOriginal Cottages

With nearly 3000 dog-friendly cottages across the country. Many owners decorate their cottage with a Christmas tree, and provide a welcome hamper. Some owners also leave doggy treats and information on local footpaths, dog-friendly pubs, restaurants, and beaches. As local experts, they know everything there is to know about anything dog-friendly.

And for hotels which welcome pets:

Balmer Lawn, Brockenhurst, New Forest

Voted the New Forest’s most dog-friendly hotel, guests at the recently refurbished Balmer Lawn Hotel & Spa can expect a visit from Santa on Christmas morning, and a black-tie gala dinner on Boxing day. Guests can eat with their pets just outside the main restaurant. The hotel has its own brewery. A charge of £20 per night is made for dogs.

Cary ArmsCary Arms & Spa, South Devon

Be part of a Christmas House party at the Cary Arms nestled on the side of a cliff in Babbacombe Bay on the English Riviera. Live entertainment is included in the festivities on Christmas Day.

The Carnarvon Arms near Newbury

Part of the Young’s Group of dog-friendly gastro pubs, a former coaching inn with roaring fires, wooden floors and traditional beams. Their 2-night festive package includes a Christmas stocking and Christmas lunch for your pooch.

Cliveden House, Buckinghamshire

Cliveden HouseFor the ultimate in luxury join the Christmas House Party at Cliveden, the former home of the Astor family, and now a country house hotel. Situated in 250 acres of park and woodland bordering the River Thames, the grounds belong to the National Trust. Christmas Eve and Boxing Day are black tie events.  

Dogs, from the age of one, are welcome in all the public areas except the Cliveden Dining Room and spa. Expect doggy treats, pet-friendly menus and dog beds.

Red Carnation Hotels, London 

Red Carnation Hotels

Festive packages are available in all their six 4-star and 5-star dog-friendly hotels in Central London where your pet can expect treats and toys. Facilities include a pet concierge who provides dog-sitting and grooming services. Your pet is allowed throughout the hotel, and can even join you for meals in their restaurants.

The Grove, Hertfordshire

The Grove, the former family seat of the Earls of Clarendon, dates back to the 16th century, retaining many of its original features. Set in 300 acres, the estate boasts a world-class, 18-hole championship golf course as well as a spa. Children’s activities have been arranged over the Christmas period.

Rooms on the ground floor are dog-friendly with an additional charge of £50 a night which includes dog-bedding and a bowl. Dogs are allowed in the bar areas but not the restaurants. However, dog-sitting facilities are available at £25 an hour for a minimum of 3 hours.

The Duncombe Arms, Ellastone, Peak District

Duncombe ArmsThe Duncombe Arms, a rustic pub with designer inspired rooms including dog beds in adjacent Walnut House, is on the southern edge of the Peak District.

Guests can join the congregation for Midnight Mass at nearby St Peter’s Church. As well as exploring the beautiful countryside the picturesque town of Ashbourne is nearby, with over 200 listed buildings, and winding cobbled streets. 

The Fish near Broadway, Worcestershire

A country hotel made up of quirky houses and huts, nestled in a hillside within 400 acres of the Farncombe Private Estate in the Cotswolds.

Enjoy a winter barbecue on Christmas Eve, and on Boxing Day explore the estate on mini-quad bikes or take part in laser clay shooting while your pet participates in an eight-obstacle agility course. There is even a dog tub to wash away the grime. Dogs are allowed in the bar and lounge but not the restaurant. Dogs, from one year, are welcome at £30 a day which includes a dog bed, bowls, treats, and their own towel.


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Natasha Blair

Travel & food journalist, member of BGTW

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