How to Get the Best Dog Friendly Accommodation for the School Holidays

Packing the dog for the school holidays

Are you limited to school holidays for a dog-friendly getaway and finding it difficult to get the best accommodation in peak season? We’re here to help. While it’s true that prices go up and availability goes down during the Easter, Summer, Christmas and Half Term breaks, with a bit of organising and pre-planning, you can bag a place to meet your family’s needs – and budget.

How? Look ahead, book ahead and be organised. Here are some tips to help you think outside the box, discover somewhere new and find the best canine-friendly cottage for your next school holiday.

Seek Out Alternative Destinations

Peak district dog

The Lake District, Cornwall, Wales and Scotland all roll off the tongue as the top dog-friendly holiday destinations in the UK, which means that accommodation gets booked up early for the holidays, at premium prices. So, how about exploring somewhere different that the crowds and their canine companions haven’t sniffed out yet? There are over 40 regions on our website where you can tee up the perfect holiday, and when you choose one of the less obvious places to go, you’ll find more accommodation is available in the holidays, often at a snip of the price of the most popular destinations. 

And don’t think that by heading somewhere lesser-known, you’ll be scrimping on scenery or dog-friendly trimmings. Often overlooked in favour of the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District, the Peak District is packed with woodland, valleys and wide-open countryside, and boasts breathtaking trails, including The Monsal Trail, The Limestone Way and The Chatsworth Route

Also, less than two hours from London, the Malvern Hills is home to peaks, meadows, parkland and woodland walks, as well as plenty of dog-friendly pubs to paws for post-walk refreshments. Use our ‘Max Driving Time’ tool, and you’ll come up with all sorts of unthought-of dog-friendly destinations that are less crowded and easier to get to for the holidays.  

Head Off the Beaten Track

Dog-friendly holiday cottage with hot tub, Wales

Yes, we know it’s bliss to open your eyes to sea views or rolling countryside and step straight out the door onto waggy-tailed trails and beaches. But in the peak holidays, you pay a premium for accommodation in the best locations. And seeing as you’ll spend your days out walking with your furry friend anyway, why not settle for staying a little off the beaten track? You’ll find more choice of accommodation and better availability, so you’re more likely to find the perfect accommodation to suit your needs.

You’ll also find that as soon as you give up the most sought-after views, your holiday will be much better value, and you’ll be more inspired to get outside and enjoy the fells, countryside and coastline that are just a hop, skip and jump from your dog-friendly holiday home.

Save the Date and Book Ahead

diary planning

The key to bagging the best accommodation for the school holidays is to be organised. With more families than ever owning dogs in the UK, you need to get ahead of the pack. As soon as the term dates are released for your school, get them in the diary and start making holiday plans that include your hound. See our list of school holiday dates for 2024.

Some schools have a two-week half-term, so if one of those weeks is when the rest of the schools are still in the classroom, make the most of it and book a week’s trip before the rest of the schools break up. 

The further ahead you book, the more choice you’ll get and the better deals you’ll snap up. When booking for a large group and a dog, too, it’s especially difficult to get the best accommodation at the last minute, so it pays to be organised. Also, the earlier you book, the more likely you are to avoid any seasonal price increases.

Matchmake Your Interests to the Destination

dog relaxing

Book your holiday early while there’s more availability, and you’ll find it far easier to find accommodation to meet the needs – and demands – of all your family members. After all, where you go on holiday should be a family decision, and when you take the time to organise yourselves early, you can discuss what everyone wants out of their time away and find a place to match everyone’s interests. 

While you might seek long walks to pooch-friendly pubs, the kids might prefer bike trails and boat trips, and your partner might be planning sundowner bars and spa afternoons. And if you prefer a log burner to lounge around in the evenings, the children might be angling for an Xbox, games room and a fire pit to toast marshmallows. 

Sound impossible to please everyone? Well, it’s not. Start your search early and know what you want, then use our filters to match your needs and interests to the paw-fect properties and destinations to keep everyone happy on holiday. Or get some inspiration here >

Book Larger Properties to Share

The most in-demand properties in the school holidays are family-sized homes sleeping 6-8 guests and one dog. However, if you book a bigger holiday home and share it with another family or invite the cousins/ grandparents, not only will you save pennies by sharing the cost, but you’ll get a more luxurious property for your money – often with space for more than one dog to stay, too.

Bigger properties are better decked out with all the trimmings – whether that’s a hot tub and outdoor kitchen, or a games room, tennis court or large garden with a play area. Besides, it’s always great to have the grandparents on hand to babysit while you go out for a romantic meal or to book a place with another family so that the kids can entertain each other while the grown-ups unwind and socialise. 

Need some inspiration? How about this stunning large Grantown on Spey holiday home, nestled in the heart of the Highlands where you can relax, fish, hike and enjoy the views of the surrounding mountains?

Book Now for the School Holidays 2024

Whether you’re looking ahead to the summer holidays, Easter, Christmas or half-term next year, check out our huge range of dog-friendly accommodation and book your beach holiday now. Getting ahead of the pack will save you money, offer more choice and means you’ll get the right accommodation to suit your needs – even in peak holiday times. 

Check out our blog for more benefits of booking ahead and get some inspiration from some of our top places for a dog walking holiday

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