10 Best Towns for a Dog Friendly Staycation in 2024

New year, new places to go. And just because you fancy a trot around town on your next staycation, it doesn’t have to mean you leave your hound at home. Boasting paw-friendly eateries, accommodation, galleries, parks and attractions, many of the UK’s coolest towns make great places to go with your furry friends. From harbour towns to heritage hotspots, check out these dog-friendly destinations on our radar for 2024.

1. Falmouth, Cornwall

Falmouth town and harbour in Cornwall

Best for: A maritime mooch with your pooch

A quirky, artsy harbour town buzzing with life, Falmouth is the place for creative pups and their owners. Stroll along the bunting-lined high street to waterside pubs and fusion restaurants serving treats for you and your four-legged friends, and stretch your legs along the coast path between sandy bays and sea-lashed headlands. Plenty of attractions welcome your canine companions too, including Pendennis CastleTrebah Garden and the Fal River ferries crossing the Carrick Roads to St Mawes and Flushing.

2. Lymington, Hampshire

Boats in the marina in Lymington in Hampshire
Boats in the marina in Lymington in Hampshire.

Best for: Dog-friendly days out

On the doorstep of the New Forest’s 140 miles-and-more of paw-friendly paths, awaits Hampshire‘s pretty marina town of Lymington. Far from simply being a scenic dog walking haven, it’s wonderfully located for an array of dog-friendly attractions, including boat rides along the Beaulieu River, a day out to the historic Hurst Castle and a visit to the New Forest Reptile Centre. Back in town there’s a bustling market, quaint shops, and numerous dog-friendly eateries, as well as events such as the vibrant Lymington Seafood Festival, where your furry friend can revel in lively atmosphere while you tuck into the freshest catch.

3. Hexham, Northumberland

Dogs will love Tyne Green Riverside Park in Hexham, Northumberland

Best for: Park life and peaks

Nestled in the heart of Northumberland, the charming town of Hexham is well-known for its paw-friendly parks, historical sites and dog-friendly amenities. When you’re not shuffling through the leafy, riverside parks, browsing the galleries of the bustling market town, and popping into paw-friendly eateries, you’re bang on the doorstep of some of the UK’s finest countryside for waggy-tailed adventures, including the North Pennines and Hadrian’s Wall.

4. Lowestoft, Suffolk

Best for: Dog agility events

Home of Britain’s most popular dog display team that features in carnivals and events nationwide, it’s no wonder that Lowestoft in Suffolk is a fun destination for dogs and their owners. As well as the annual Dog Agility Team fun day and regular dog training classes, there are plenty of dog-friendly attractions, including Pakefield Beach and Claremont Pier for seaside strolls with furry friends, Oulton Broad for waterfront walkies, and plenty of pubs and cafés where four-legged guests can enjoy the local hospitality.

5. Ramsgate, Kent

Best for: A kiss-me-quick seaside town close to London.

Looking to hop on the train to a dog-friendly seaside town just two hours from the Capital? Move over Margate, Ramsgate is the perfect coastal playground for dogs and their owners. Bound along sandy beaches with a backdrop of white chalk cliffs, set sail on boat trips and browse the galleries and indie shops, paws-ing in cafés and restaurants with dog bowls and treats at the ready. Level 11 gallery not only welcomes your four-legged friends but also specialises in pet photography, so you can get some professional holiday snaps to take home.

6. Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Pembroke Castle, Pembrokeshire, dog-friendly Wales

Best for: Castles and coastline

One of the most dog-friendly towns in Wales, Pembroke is ideally located for exploring both countryside and coast. Only a stone’s throw from the year-round dog-friendly Barafundle Bay (one of the UK’s most beautiful beaches) and within easy reach of many of West Wales’ most famous attractions, it’s a real gem. During your stay, a visit to the dog-friendly Pembroke Castle is a must, heralded as the ‘birthplace of the Tudor dynasty’. Then, once you’re ready to refuel, you can take advantage of some of the town’s eateries, which welcome wet-nosed punters, including the Royal George pub, the Freshwater Inn and the Rowan Tree Café. It makes a lovely change from more famous towns in Pembrokeshire, such as Tenby and Saundersfoot.

7. Whitby, Yorkshire

Whitby in Yorkshire

Best for: Coast and countryside

With its connections to Captain Cook and Dracula, Whitby is much more than a former fishing town boasting the quintessential British seaside experience of beach huts and smoked kippers. Perfectly positioned between the coast and countryside, this Yorkshire town is bang on the doorstep of miles of pristine paw-friendly beaches and over 800km of trails weaving through the North York Moors. One of the most accessible areas in the country for a pooch-friendly getaway, it boasts an ever-changing backdrop of sandy shoreline, rugged moorland and wild woodland. So whether you step out along Robin Hood’s Bay, wander through Kilburn Woods or climb the 199 steps to the Gothic ruins of Whitby Abbey, no two waggy-tailed walks will be the same.

8. Newquay, Cornwall

Best for: Beach life and café culture

Renowned as the surf capital of Cornwall, the buzzing seaside town of Newquay is also one of the UK’s most dog-friendly destinations. Its stunning town beaches welcome hounds year-round, as do the surrounding beaches of Fistral, Crantock, Watergate Bay and Mawgan Porth. There really is no other Cornish town flaunting so many miles of wave-lashed sandy shoreline linked by stunning coastal trails beckoning dog walkers on day-long adventures. And you won’t need to fret about packing supplies either – there are plenty of paw-friendly places to eat and drink en route. The much-loved Lewinnick Lodge peers out along the coastline from Pentire Headland, while Seaspray welcomes dogs and surfers for hearty breakfasts, cake and coffee overlooking the waves at South Fistral, and The Colonial is the perfect spot to watch the waves on Tolcarne beach. 

9: Bakewell, Derbyshire

Best for: Paw-friendly excursions in the Peak District

Often overlooked as dog owners flock to the more popular Lake District, the comparably beautiful Peak District is one of the UK’s top locations for dog-friendly accommodation, shops and eateries, enveloped in incredible walking territory. And where better to base yourself for a hike in the hills with your hound than the town that’s the home of the iconic Bakewell tart? It’s no surprise that Bakewell has plenty of dog-friendly cafés where you can tuck into these traditional treats (try Wyse Water Tearooms), alongside dog-friendly attractions such as the Bakewell Old House Museum, and even the town’s very own annual dog show.

10. St Andrews, Scotland

The dog-friendly, historic town of St Andrews

Best for: Historic charm

While Edinburgh was once crowned the UK’s top city for dog-friendly holidays by tails.com, this year we suggest you make a beeline to the nearby historic town of St Andrews if you’re heading north to Scotland. Located beside the sea in the Kingdom of Fife, St Andrews is turning heads following its big part in the final season of The Crown – being the university town where Prince William met Kate Middleton. And while your canine companions may have little interest in the university setting, they will love bounding along West Sands beach (where Chariots of Fire was filmed), drooling over your fish and chips at Cromers (winners of the best fish and chips in Scotland 2023), and tucking into a dog treat or two while you sample the huge range of beers, gins and wines at St Andrews Brewing Co.

Find the Perfect Cottage for a Dog Friendly Break in 2024

Whether you prefer to trot around town with your pooch at your heels or a week in the wild for waggy-tailed walks, Dog Friendly Retreats offers a huge range of holiday cottages throughout the UK. Start your search today!

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