Wild woodland for scampering through golden leaves, empty beaches with miles of sand to bound along, dog-friendly pubs with crackling log fires… autumn is our favourite season to escape for a dog-friendly break. Once the summer crowds have packed up and the heat of the summer has faded into cooler days, it’s the paw-fect time of year for a hassle-free holiday with your four-legged friend. Here are just a few reasons to take a holiday with your dog in autumn.
1: Scamper Through Autumn Woodland
As the trees turn, autumn is a magical time of year to wander beneath nature’s colourful canopies, with your four-legged friend scampering through the fallen leaves. Make the most of the woodland playgrounds with your dog, witnessing the kaleidoscope of reds, yellows and browns and exploring trails that wend through some of Britain’s finest forests. The Lake District’s Grizedale Forest and Snowdonia’s Coed-y-Brenin Forest Park are some of the UK’s top locations to experience the heady hues of autumn, and the National Trust’s tree-lined trails boast some of the best autumn walks across the nation. Or, if you prefer to wrap up and experience misty peaks carpeted in purple heather and golden bracken, head to Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland.
2: Tuck Into Autumn Food In Dog-Friendly Pubs
Autumn’s harvest brings with it an abundance of delicious ingredients to be devoured in the UK’s best dog-friendly pubs. And while getting a table to dine with your pooch can be difficult in the busy summer season, in the quieter autumn months you’re much more likely to bag a seat for a hearty feast after an invigorating dog walk. For a hike in the hills followed by food served with jaw-dropping views of Lake Windermere, try The Wateredge Inn at Ambleside. Or, for a coastal stomp and fine dining pub food, veer off Cornwall’s South West Coast Path near Zennor and bag a table by the fire at the Gurnard’s Head.
3: Bound Along Quiet, Beautiful Beaches
Once the bucket-and-spade brigades have packed up and gone home, the beaches are reclaimed by walkers and their four-legged friends. The start of October is when many of the seasonal dog bans are lifted on beaches across Britain, meaning there’s miles more shoreline for frolicking in the waves and making paw-prints in the sand. Some of our favourite dog-friendly beach walks that open up for autumn include the three-mile stretch of St Ives Bay from Godrevy to Hayle Rivermouth in Cornwall, and the trio of Caswell Bay, Langland Bay and Bracelet Bay on the edge of Wales’ Gower Peninsula.
4: Enjoy Wild Coast Walks
Autumn is the perfect season to hit crowd-free coastal trails with your dog at your heels and tackle some of the steeper sections in cooler temperatures. There’s over 18,0000 miles of coastline in Britain to explore, and whichever way you wander you’ll be rewarded with eye-popping scenery, rugged terrain and some pooch-friendly pit-stops along the way. Of the 630-miles of coastline traced by the South West Coast Path, one of the most challenging sections is between Bude and Clovelly, where calf-busting climbs from woodland valleys to cloud-scratching cliff tops are rewarded with staggering views. Alternatively let the briny air bring a glow to your cheeks as you tackle some of the Wales Coast Path, or explore the stunning Heritage Coast along the Suffolk Coast Path.
5: Visit Dog-Friendly Attractions
Once the summer crowds have diminished, it’s a great time to visit the UK’s best dog-friendly attractions – and you can often get some great deals on entry, too. Many of the UK’s iconic castles allow dogs to join you on a historic day out, including Muncaster Castle in the Lake District and Beaumaris Castle in Anglesey. Plenty of National Trust properties across the country allow dogs, and offer some magnificent autumn walking trails and dog-friendly cafés, to boot. Or you can take the weight off feet and paws on a scenic steam train journey onboard the Brecon Mountain Railway in South Wales, the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway in the Lake District, or the Bure Valley Railway in Norfolk.
6: Hike Up A Mountain
If you and your dog are fit and fired up for action-packed days out, autumn is the best time of year for hiking up some of the UK’s biggest hills. A sizzling summer’s day isn’t a sensible time to ask your canine friend to accompany you on a day-long climb to the top of a mountain, but with some supplies and a sensible route planned, the cooler temperatures of autumn make an ideal time to head off into the hills. We love the enchanting forests and lakes of Scafell Pike in the Lake District – England’s highest mountain, and the easier Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye. Just make sure you take water and snacks for you and your hound.
7: Witness Dramatic Sunsets
There are some benefits to autumn’s shorter days. With the ‘golden hour’ arriving earlier each day, it’s much more likely that you’ll catch the season’s blazing sunsets on your evening stroll with your pooch. Although dogs can only see in black and white, they can enjoy eeking out their evening exercise while you watch the sky turn technicolour. In autumn the light seems even more dramatic, and the orange hues of the sun even more intense – so make sure time your walkies with the setting sun and have a camera at the ready.
Book A Dog-Friendly Cottage This Autumn
Feeling inspired to take a holiday with your dog this autumn? Check out our collection of dog-friendly accommodation in stunning locations around the UK and find the perfect base for your autumn holiday.