Where to go for a dog-friendly New Year break
New Year's Eve can be a fraught time for your four-legged friend, as the air fills with the crackle and pop of fireworks. But this doesn't have to mean the end of the festivities. If you're dreaming of celebrating New Year away from home this year, our list of dog-friendly destinations will keep your celebrations cosy and calm.
Spend crisp winter days exploring long sandy beaches in Cornwall or Norfolk, or taking in Snowdonia's mountain views. All of our holiday destinations have dog-friendly pubs and restaurants to enjoy, so that you and your pooch can ring in the New Year comfortably.
Best for: Exploring the Lake District
While it might not offer a big-city party atmosphere, celebrating the New Year surrounded by the mountains of Keswick is pretty special. The town square comes alive at midnight as revellers spill out of the pubs to celebrate under the Moot Hall clock. Nestled right in the heart of the Lake District National Park, the town is perfectly located for exploring some of Cumbria’s best-known lakes and features.
Dog-friendly place to stay: The Little Cottage, in nearby Ambleside, comes with a private hot tub and fire pit - perfect for a romantic winter evening under the stars.
Best for: Discovering the Peak District
With a growing reputation as a spa town, Matlock has plenty to attract you and your four-legged friend during the holiday season. Dogs are welcome on the heritage trains of Peak Rail, which is a really special way to travel through the hills and valleys of the Peak District. Or see in New Years Day with a bracing walk up the Heights of Abraham.
Dog-friendly place to stay: The Snug is a romantic bolthole that gives a couple and their pooch a cosy New Years Eve in front of the log burning fire..
Best for: New Year on the beach
Looe is a pretty fishing harbour situated right on the South West Coast Path. It’s well known for its New Year celebrations, with a huge fancy dress party and family-friendly displays. If you’d rather spend the evening in your dog-friendly holiday cottage, you can always join in on the annual New Year’s swim in Looe's chilly dog-friendly beach.
Dog-friendly place to stay: The luxe 1760s Ploughman’s Cottage sleeps six and features wooden beams, exposed stone walls and four-poster beds.
Best for: Unusual Pagan New Year traditions
New Year celebrations in Allendale, Northumberland, are certainly one for calm and well-behaved dogs. If that represents your pet, visiting their Pagan New Year festivities, or ‘Tar Bar’l’ is a must. This ceremony has been celebrated for centuries, and includes 45 men carrying flaming whiskey barrels through the town. Outside of the New Year itself, Northumberland is replete with wonderful coastal walks and peaceful dog-friendly pubs to enjoy.
Dog-friendly place to stay: Glen Bank, in nearby Appleby-in-Westmorland is a traditional red sandstone longhouse, beautifully located in rural scenery between Yorkshire, Northumberland and the Lake District.
Best for: Exploring the Snowdonia National Park
The small village of Beddgelert is tucked into the heart of Snowdonia, With an idyllic riverside location, surrounded by woods and snow-capped peaks, a holiday here is perfect for outdoor adventure lovers and their pooches. The New Year can be as quiet as you like, although the town does have its own colourful celebrations - go down to the bridge at midnight to ring in the new year with the locals.
Dog-friendly place to stay: Showman’s Wagon is a characterful renovated fairground van with a small enclosed garden that your furry friend will love.
Best for: Seeing in New Year on the South Downs
This vibrant and inclusive city in East Sussex is well known for its beach party atmosphere. But Brighton is also surprisingly dog-friendly, with all beaches welcoming pooches throughout the winter, and the South Downs just on the doorstep.
Dog-friendly place to stay: For a family celebration, choose Cherry Cottage, in Brighton’s surrounding countryside.
Best for: A traditional seaside town near local beauty spots
A luxurious crab dinner from one of Cromer’s dog-friendly restaurants is the ideal New Year treat. This Norfolk seaside town is famous for crab and long sandy beaches. With lots of nearby National Trust properties, take your furry friend for a long winter walk in their extensive grounds, or spend your days strolling along the sands of the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Dog-friendly place to stay: For the ultimate in convenience, stay at stylish Cabbell Courtyard - just a stroll away from Cromer’s centre and beach.
Best for: Visiting the national parks and beaches of North Devon
Pretty Bideford’s bustling quayside is perfect for a Twixtmas dog stroll. After a hearty portion of local fish and chips, stop for a drink in one of the town’s dog-friendly pubs. Bideford is also the ideal place to get out into North Devon. Take your dog to the lively Pannier Market in nearby Barnstaple to buy some goodies for New Year’s Eve, ready for a cosy night of celebrations in your dog-friendly cottage.
Dog-friendly place to stay: Sleeping 10 people, life revolves around the stunning and sociable kitchen at Croyde Country House.
Best for: Gothic walks in a Victorian coastal resort
What could be better than a New Year’s dog walk along Yorkshire’s stunning coastline? As New Years by the sea go, Whitby is a unique choice. With a Gothic centre selling the famous Whitby Jet and historic links to Dracula, the town has plenty of character. Bars are dog-friendly throughout the year, and the harbour is a wonderful place to share delicious fish and chips with Fido while watching the boats come in.
Dog-friendly place to stay: The Whitby Townhouse offers an elegant, luxurious stay with generous amounts of space for eight lucky people.