10 of the UK’s Best Dog Friendly Boat Trips 

Boat trip with dogs

Can’t think of anything better than a long summer coastal walk with your canine companion? Well, how about hopping aboard a boat with your hound and seeing some of the UK’s 10,000 miles of coastline from the water? Many of the UK’s boat trips welcome your four-legged friends, and – not only do they give you a unique perspective of our shores – they can also take you to some stunning parts of the country for remote rambles with Rover. 

1. Black Tor Ferry, Padstow, Cornwall

Black tor ferry dog
Waiting for the Black Tor Ferry in Padstow. Photo courtesy of Mia Walker

Padstow is one of our top locations for a summer holiday with your dog, boasting wonderful walkies and waterfront eateries that welcome your four-legged friends. Take a scenic hop across the River Camel from Padstow to Rock aboard the Black Tor ferry, and you can bound along even more miles of beautiful coastline and golden beaches, then fuel up in estuary-edge watering holes before floating back to the harbour. 

2. Ramsey Island, Pembrokeshire, Wales 

Whether you base yourself in St Davids or St Brides, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is a pleasure to explore on foot with your canine companion. But wouldn’t you like to get even closer to the wildlife haven of Ramsey Island that lies just out of reach off St Brides Bay? Dogs are welcome to join you as you cast off from St David’s to this dramatic outcrop, and the expert guides from Falcon Boats will tell tales of shipwrecks, legends and history, as you encounter an abundance of marine life that resides on and around the 120-metre-high cliffs. It’s the perfect day out in dog-friendly Pembrokeshire.

3. The Scillonian, Penzance, Cornwall

Scillonian Dog
Photo courtesy of The Scillonian Ferry

Did you know that 28 miles off the southwest tip of Cornwall awaits a sub-tropical archipelago where you and your dog can discover white-sand beaches, exotic gardens and wild heathland?  Take a day trip on The Scillonian ferry from Penzance to the Isles of Scilly, where you can roam along golden shores and rocky promontories, stopping in tea rooms and traditional inns that welcome sandy paws and walking boots. 

4. Beans Boats Blakeney, Norfolk

When you’re on holiday in Norfolk, hitting the coast path for walkies to spot seals around Blakeney Point is a must. But if your dog doesn’t mind sitting down and getting salty, you can get even closer to the resident seals and seabirds onboard a boat trip with Beans Boats. And while you witness the wildlife in its natural environment, you can also learn all about this incredible coastline and its residents from local experts.  

5. Yorkshire Belle, Bridlington, Yorkshire Coast

Breil Newk Cruise. Photo courtesy of the Yorkshire Belle

Take a seat on the classic Yorkshire Belle from Bridlington Harbour, to experience the wild beauty of the Yorkshire coastline. Dogs are welcome onboard, but they might prefer the shorter trip to the lighthouse at Flamborough Head. However, if they’re happy onboard at your heels try the longer cruise to Silex Bay or Bempton Cliffs. Whichever you choose, make sure you have your camera at the ready to capture majestic geological formations and a myriad of marine life.

6. Inverness Boat Cruise, Moray Firth, Scotland 

The whole family and your four-legged friends will enjoy a leisurely boat tour aboard the Spirit Cruiser around Inverness and the Beauly Firth. As you chug out towards the Caledonian Canal and under the Kessock bridge, onboard commentary will regale tales of history and folklore, whilst you take in the stunning views and keep your eyes peeled for an array of wildlife from seals and otters, to dolphins and seabirds. It’s great for a wildlife spotting adventure while on a dog-friendly holiday in Scotland.

7. Windermere Lake Cruise, Lake District, Cumbria 

Windermere Lake Cruises is a dog friendly attraction
Photo courtesy of Windermere Lake Cruises

Windermere Lake Cruises welcomes dogs aboard all of its trips, so the whole family can cast away on England’s largest lake. Soak up the Lake District scenery on a 45-minute to three-hour cruise, or enjoy the freedom to explore the wooded valleys, rugged peaks, waterside eateries, castles and villages surrounding Windermere with a one-day ticket, hopping on and off at your leisure. 

8. Farne Islands, Northumberland

Billy shiels boat trips
Photo courtesy of Billy Shiel’s Boat Trips

Hop aboard a cruise with Billy Shiel’s Boat Trips and encounter the cheeky pups of the sea – for the true residents of the Farne Islands are the 3-4,000 grey seals that live here. On a 1½ hour cruise around the islands, you’ll see seals dipping, diving and basking on the rocks, and seabirds swooping overhead and nesting on the cliff faces. Well-behaved dogs are welcome onboard, and informative commentary ensures an in-depth look into this fascinating wildlife haven off the Northumberland coast

9. The Needles, Isle of Wight

A walk along the cliffs to witness the iconic chalk stacks of The Needles is one way to see the Isle of Wight’s most popular tourist attraction with your dog. But why not escape the crowds vying for a vantage point on land by experiencing them up close from the water? Needles Pleasure Cruises run dog-friendly cruises from Alum Bay throughout summer, or you can take a one-way boat trip from Alum Bay to Yarmouth and enjoy the two-hour coastal walkies back at your own pace. 

10. River Exe Cruise, Devon

dog on a boat

However rough the weather, you and your dog can enjoy a cruise along the calm and sheltered waters of Devon’s beautiful Exe Estuary. Embark at Exmouth Marina and bag a seat on the lower heated decks to experience the stunning scenery and wildlife from the water, passing Powderham Castle before the river meets the English Channel at Exmouth’s traditional seafront. Stuart Line Cruises is a pet-friendly attraction and there is no additional charge for your dog on this circular trip. 

Tempted to cast away with your four-legged friend on one of the UK’s best boat trips?

There’s still time to book a dog-friendly cottage for the summer holidays. Check out our last-minute properties for the summer holidays, or use our search tools to find the paw-fect property for your next holiday. 

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