By Brigid Quirke
Looking for a UK holiday cottage that’s both pet and budget-friendly? You’re not alone. 3.2 million households adopted furry friends during the pandemic, and with restrictions starting to lift, it’s the perfect time to book a holiday with your pup! Not sure where to start your search? We’ve brought together our top savings tips for finding cheap dog-friendly holiday cottages, plus a roundup of our favourite pooch-approved UK stays.
|Taking your four-legged friend on holiday doesn’t have to cost the earth—our handy tips will make it easy to find the cheapest price on your pet-friendly vacation.|
This is kind of a no-brainer, but in case you missed it—most booking sites allow you to categorise your search to only view properties that allow pets. This filtering will save you the hassle of trawling through not-so-suitable spots when you’re planning a holiday with your dog.
Be sure to check the fine print of each listing, as “pet-friendly” can mean different things on different sites. Some listings may accept only one dog or charge extra for bringing pets along. If in doubt, it’s always worth checking with the host to avoid a potentially awkward chat on arrival.
Pet-friendly accommodation can be pricey, and with all of England (and their dogs) booking staycations for 2021, it might be hard to find accommodation that ticks all the boxes.
Privately-owned lodges and cottages may be willing to waive a no-pet policy as a one-off, especially if you offer to sweeten the deal by covering any extra cleaning costs. Bonus points if you’ve got reviews from happy hosts on your profile, showing your pooch is well-behaved on holiday.
We’ve all been there—you’ve been keeping an eye on your wishlist holiday for weeks; then, when you go to book, the price has skyrocketed. This trick could save you from forking out for the inflated price.
When you tick that “accept all cookies” popup on a booking website, it gets access to your browsing info, like how often you’ve visited a webpage. If you’ve searched for a particular holiday a few times the booking site may hike up the price you’re advertised, encouraging you to book ASAP. Sneaky? Yes. Avoidable? Also yes. You can combat this by browsing in ‘Incognito’ or ‘Private’ mode, which block websites from accessing your cookies in the first place.
If you’ve found your dream pet-friendly place, shop around to make sure you’ve got the best deal. Loads of hotels and holiday cottages are listed on multiple booking sites, with different promotions and offers available.
Dedicated dog-friendly websites like Pets Pyjamas and Canine Cottages are great for finding suitable spots, but it’s worth checking Booking.com and Expedia before you book. Both offer a price match guarantee, so you might be able to find the same place, cheaper. Score!
Sure, a bank holiday weekend at a dog-friendly coastal cottage would be fabulous. But when it comes to accommodation, the most popular booking times are also the most expensive. If you can, forgo searching for exact dates and browse with an “I’m flexible” option. You’ll see all of the different prices for different days, so you can bag the perfect pet-approved stay at the cheapest possible price.
Holidaying in off-peak times has other perks, too—less traffic and crowds can only be a good thing when you’re bringing your pup along for the ride! Midweek breaks are an easy way to cut costs while enjoying a more relaxed atmosphere at your holiday destination.
Sure, it says ‘pets allowed’—but is that quaint B&B really a good fit for Buster the St Bernard? If you’re not sure whether a spot is suitable, check the reviews. It’s the easiest way to see how other guests have fared with pets in tow, and what the host provides to make the place dog-friendly. Other animals on the property, fancy carpets or lack of outdoor space might be fine for some pets, but not for yours.
Reviews are also a good indicator of whether a host has allowed dogs (or more than one dog) in the past, even if they don’t specify it on the listing. Keep an eye out for these kinds of reviews to help you score a dog-friendly spot for less.
|If you’re after some holiday inspiration, look no further. These are our favourite pet-approved holiday cottages in the UK, with options to suit both couples and groups of four or more. These unique cottages all average less than £100 per person a night!|
Cornwall is a pup’s paradise, with stunning beaches and miles of coastal paths to explore. A day trip to Kynance Cove on the Lizard Peninsula is a must, as is a traditional Cornish pasty for lunch—your furry friend will thoroughly enjoy both!
This Cornish hideaway is a great pick for a romantic retreat. Based on the edge of Bodmin Moor, Woolgarden sits in a seven-acre farmstead of open fields, wooded areas and marshland. The space is beautifully decorated (seriously, check out that bathroom!) while retaining a rustic charm. It’s fully equipped for both your and your dogs’ stay—dedicated dog washing facilities, a dog bed and old towels for drying off after walks are all provided. The beach is only 20 minutes away and the scenic National Trust Roughtor is within walking distance.
Set in the St Ives Holiday Village, this cosy chalet is a wonderful base for exploring the Cornish coast. The village spans over 100 acres of woodland, but is only a short drive from the best St Ives has to offer. With plenty of facilities on-site, it’s a perfect fit for families—the indoor swimming pool will keep the kids busy if the weather doesn’t deliver, and your pooch will love walks along the picturesque woodland trails. Enjoy lush garden views from your private patio, or head to the nearby Carbis Bay for a stunning stroll. Cornwall is your oyster!
With wide open space as far as the eye can see, the Lake District is a great destination for families with furry friends. Explore the District’s largest lake by boat with Windermere Lake Cruises—dogs travel for free, and they even get their own doggy ticket!
Nestled in the Lake District countryside, this sweet shepherd’s hut boasts panoramic rural views and is only a short walk from local shops, pubs and restaurants. The hut is fully equipped with a kitchenette, bathroom and cosy double bed, and clever storage reveals a dining table and chairs, too. The private patio and firepit are fully enclosed, so you can enjoy countryside sunsets without worrying about your pup wandering off. Little touches like tea and coffee on arrival make this feel less like glamping and more like a boutique hotel.
The Old Post House is a Lake District gem. Three bedrooms, spacious living areas and a picturesque private garden make this a great pick for families with pets. We love the attention to detail of this cottage, from the quaint courtyard dining nook to the sweet animal-themed decorations in every room. You’ll find plenty of dog-friendly walks on your doorstep—the garden gate opens out onto the scenic Rocky Common, and Lake Windermere is only a short drive away. We have it on good authority that the hosts provide dog treats on arrival, too!
Rolling hills, dramatic coasts, picturesque valleys—if you’re after a truly scenic dog-friendly holiday, go West. Snowdonia in North Wales offers some of the most stunning hiking spots the UK has to offer, and if you’re heading south, the Gower Peninsula is home to around 30 unspoilt beaches and coves, perfect for exploring with your four-legged friend.
This characterful cottage makes for the perfect seaside stay. Located in the beautiful coastal town of Tenby, The Picardy is well-placed for local exploring—within two minute’s walk, you’ll find sandy beaches, local pubs, restaurants and cafes, and a whole host of independent shops. You won’t have any trouble finding this Airbnb; the listed building is easy to spot thanks to its pink exterior and colourful front yard. The quirky space is a great fit for a couple’s getaway, and with plenty of scenic walking trails nearby, your pup will have plenty to explore, too.
With stunning country views and a quaint market town right on your doorstep, The School House is a great setting for a family trip to Mid Wales. The spacious cottage has a huge garden, barbeque and outdoor seating to enjoy when the sun is shining. If the weather gods don’t deliver, a woodburning stove keeps the place cosy, and there’s enough room for a family of five (plus a four-legged friend or two) to comfortably enjoy. The idyllic Brecon Beacons are in easy reach of the cottage, offering some of the best scenic walks in Wales.
Norfolk has something for every holidaymaker and their dog. Scenic broads, quaint market towns, stunning beaches, Alan Partridge—whether you’re planning a romantic getaway or a family trip, you’ll find plenty of dog-friendly attractions along the picturesque coast and beyond.
If you’re after a unique Norfolk holiday cottage, we’ve found just the thing—this converted music studio still houses a fully-functional church pipe organ and piano, making it a great pick for a musically-inclined couple. The Music Room is right by the village centre, but you’ll have plenty of privacy thanks to the walled courtyard garden. Thornham boasts plenty of local places to eat and drink, plus gorgeous beaches and coastal paths to explore with your pooch. It’s well-placed for day trips out to Wells-next-the-Sea and Hunstanton, too—both have excellent beaches and cafes that are dog-friendly all year round.
Another unique find, this sweet fisherman’s cottage is around 300 years old, retaining its rustic charm with exposed beams and a reclaimed pantile hearth. With two cosy bedrooms and a sunny terraced garden, it’s a great spot for families with a pooch in tow. Harbour View sits in the heart of bustling Wells-next-the-Sea—head to the stunning harbour for a spot of crabbing, wander along the sandy beach with its colourful, Instagrammable beach huts, or spend a day exploring the scenic coastal paths. With loads of dog-friendly pubs and cafes to choose from, this seaside destination has plenty to offer you and your pup.
Scotland doesn’t just offer breathtaking scenery; the country’s ‘right to roam’ laws make it one of the best places for country walks and wild swimming with your pets, too! From sweeping countryside to secluded beaches, Scotland's jaw-dropping landscapes offer endless opportunities for a dog-friendly trip.
Get lost in the stunning Aberdeenshire coast with a stay in this sweet dog-friendly tiny house. Forget what you thought you knew about bothies—this ultra-stylish spot combines the benefits of remote camping with a thoughtful, clever design and all your home comforts. The floor-to-ceiling windows give panoramic views of the rugged estuary, and the cosy mezzanine houses a comfortable super-king bed. A dog bed and bowl is provided, so you can pack light if you’re bringing your pooch along. The Shepherdess’s Bothy is only a short walk from picturesque beaches and pup-friendly nature reserves, so you’ll have plenty to explore on a wild weekend getaway.
Tucked away in the idyllic Scottish countryside, this traditional holiday cottage is one of our favourite picks for a family and dog-friendly rural retreat. Only 45 minutes from Edinburgh, it's well-placed for day trips in and around the capital. With quaint Georgian windows and a fireplace in every bedroom, St Agnes feels like a step back in time, but for the modern touches that make it a convenient self-catered stay. The huge lawn is a plus for large dogs, and makes for a perfect picnicking spot when the sun is shining. Tranquil valley strolls and wild swimming in River Bothwell are all in walking distance, and the nearby Coldingham beach is great for surfers and dogs alike.