The UK’s Top Dog Friendly Attractions to Visit this Summer

The sun’s got its hat on and there’s no need to leave Fido behind when you head off for fun-packed family days out on your summer holidays. Lots of the UK’s attractions welcome your four-legged friends; so here’s our pick of the best family-friendly days out at dog-friendly attractions around Britain.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Yorkshire

North Yorkshire Moors Railway
Photo courtesy of North Yorkshire Moors Railway

For a cool day out let the train take the strain on a steam engine ride to the popular seaside town of Whitby in Yorkshire, where you’ll find plenty of paw-friendly beaches and attractions. Hop onboard the North Yorkshire Moors Railway at Pickering Station, with its dog-friendly tea room, and paws at Newtondale Halt – in the heart of the moors – for a shady woodland walk away from the beach. If you’re a Harry Potter fan you’ll also want to stop off at Goathland Station, which was the set of Hogsmeade Station in the first Harry Potter film. www.nymr.co.uk

Aira Force Waterfall, Lake District

Aira Force waterfall
Aira Force waterfall. Photo © Rose and Trev Clough (cc-by-sa/2.0)

The Lake District is one of our favourite dog-friendly destinations for summer holidays with plenty of attractions and activities for the whole pack. But instead of scaling the peaks with your dog in the sizzling heat, why not explore the valleys, dip in the lakes and feel the cooling spray of the waterfalls? Showcasing the power and beauty of nature as it thunders down a 70ft drop, Aira Force is one of the region’s most famous waterfalls. Not only will the sight of it leave you feeling refreshed on a summer’s day, but there’s also a network of paw-friendly trails weaving to and from the falls, passing giant Himalayan firs and waving green ferns to the banks of Ullswater.

Heatherton World of Activities, Tenby, Wales

Dog agility course
Dog agility course. Photo courtesy of Heatherton World of Activities

Proof that you can revel in all the trimmings of a full-throttle family day out with your dog in tow, the award-winning Heatherton World of Activities is packed with the likes of tree top trails, go-kart tracks, golf, zip-lines, zorbing and mazes – and what’s more, it’s a dog-friendly domain. Not only is your pooch allowed to join you, there’s even a dedicated dog agility course, water bowls and plenty of spots to paws for a snack. This is a great family day out if staying in Tenby or nearby in Pembrokeshire.

Beans Boats Blakeney, Norfolk

Seal spotting with Beans Boats
Seal spotting at Blakeney. Photo courtesy of Beans Boats

Coastal walkies along the North Norfolk Coast Path to spot seals around Blakeney Point are a must when you’re on holiday with your dog here. But why not get up close and personal with the resident seals and seabirds onboard a boat trip with Beans Boats? This is one of our favourite dog-friendly attractions in Norfolk. Sit back and find your sea legs with your salty sea dog, while you witness the wildlife in its natural environment and learn all about this incredible coastline from local experts. This is a great attraction to experience during a dog-friendly holiday in Norfolk.

Sherborne Castle and Gardens, Dorset

Dogs at Sherborne Castle and Gardens
Photo courtesy of Sherborne Castle and Gardens

Away from the balmy beaches of beautiful Dorset, find shade and tranquility to explore with your pooch in the county’s countryside and gardens. This is one of our must-see attractions to visit with a dog in Dorset. Commissioned by Sir Walter Raleigh, the historic Sherborne Castle boasts 42 acres of dog-friendly English Landscape Gardens, which make a truly regal setting for waggy-tailed walks under the canopies. Scamper across sweeping lawns, cool off on the shores of the lake and feel the misty spray from Raleigh’s Seat and the Cascade – an ornamental waterfall feature built by Capability Brown in 1753.

The White Cliffs of Dover, Kent

Dog at the White Cliffs of Dover

The iconic White Cliffs of Dover are one of the world’s most famous landmarks – and stunning terrain to explore with your hound at your heels. Ramble along the cliff tops and take in the views together, then visit the South Foreland Lighthouse for refreshments in the designated dog-friendly space outside the café. One of the key attractions to visit when holidaying in Kent with your dog.

Cornish Seal Sanctuary, Gweek

Family at Cornish Seal Sanctuary

Beyond Cornwall’s beaches and busy attractions, seek some shade in the sprawling woodland of the Seal Sanctuary in Gweek. A fascinating dog-friendly, family-friendly day out, here you can see rescued seals dipping and diving their way to recovery, enjoy pretty walks along the Helford Estuary, and get up close to all sorts of other wildlife including otters, sea lions, penguins, ponies, goats and sheep. There are also local homemade dog treats and Cornish Seal Sanctuary dog bandanas for sale in the gift shop. For further inspiration for things to do in the area, see our list of the top ten dog-friendly attractions in Cornwall.

The Needles, Isle of Wight

The Needles, Isle of Wight

Well-endowed with dog-friendly attractions within a pebble’s throw of the coast, the Isle of Wight is a divine doggie holiday destination. One of its most iconic landmarks is the chalk stacks of The Needles. Dogs are permitted on the site, the beach, and the boat rides but not on the chairlift. However, if you follow the coastal path and walk along the headland to the Battery, you can enjoy a gull’s eye view of the coloured sands and chalk stacks on a wonderful walkies away from the crowds and queues.

Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland

Dog at Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland
Dog on the beach at Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland

Step into over 3,000 years of history at this iconic fortress perched on a wild stretch of northeast England’s coastline, where your dogs can join you in the grounds as you uncover the legends and stories hidden behind every stone. Once you’ve stepped into the real Last Kingdom and been crowned King or Queen of the North inside Bamburgh Castle, skip through the sand dunes for some paws-in-the-sand lifestyle on Bamburgh Beach – recently voted one of the most dog-friendly beaches in the UK by tails.com (June 2023). This should be top of the list while holidaying in Northumberland. See other ideas for dog-friendly days out in Northumberland.

Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye

Dog enjoying the view at the Old Man of Storr
Dog enjoying the view at the Old Man of Storr, Photo by Hayley Lawrence

While you might not want to scale sky-scraping peaks with your hound at your heels in the mid-summer heat, you can bag jaw-dropping views over the Scottish highlands and islands after a relatively easy stroll up to the rocky pinnacle of the Old Man of Storr. Understandably a busy trail for its beauty and moderate ease, this 3.8km track is one of the best walks on the Isle of Skye, is well signposted from the car park, and is manageable for the whole family. It’s one of the top attractions to visit with dogs on the Isle of Skye, if not the whole of Scotland.

Visit some of the UK’s top dog-friendly attractions on your summer holiday

Book one of our luxury dog-friendly cottages that are perfectly situated to explore the UK’s most iconic places for days out with Fido this summer.

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