The pawfect staycation according to your dog

Dog-friendly staycations are continuing to boom this year. Here at Dog Friendly Cottages, we’ve seen a huge 415% increase in bookings this Spring, compared to the same period in 2019, before the pandemic. 


So, to help you find the perfect holiday for you and your pooch, we have revealed the top dog-friendly destinations in the UK. After combining our property data with the number of dog-friendly walks, beaches and pubs in each area of the country, we have crowned Padstow, Cornwall the top dog-friendly destination in the UK with a score of 15 out of 20!



Now that we’re keener than ever before to take our pooches on holiday, why not let our favourite furry friends take the lead (excuse the pun) on where your next UK trip should be? To give your pooch the top dog treatment we’ve teamed up with top dog psychologist, George Barrett, at Dalesman Dogpsychology, to help you find the perfect spot.


In partnership with George, who trains owners to understand their dogs better, we’ve created a handy guide to the ‘pawfect’ holiday destination for your pooch depending on their breed. So whether they’re prone to longer or shorter walks, having a splash around in water, or socialising with other dogs, check out George’s recommendations on where you should take your pooch for your next UK adventure, based on the top 20 dog breeds in the UK1....



Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever

Enjoys: Swimming, food, and socialising with other dogs

George says: "Both breeds are going to love destinations with coves and beaches where they can run in and out of the water and splash around, as well as local dog-friendly bars and cafes where they can socialise with other dogs."

Top destinations: Padstow, St Ives, and Newquay



French Bulldog, Dachshund and Pug


Enjoys: Activity in short bursts, good weather and walks on flat ground


George says: "These breeds can be active in short bursts, but soon get overheated in warm weather so need plenty of rest periods to cool down. That being said, they don’t enjoy going out in the rain.


Walking one to two miles a day is sufficient, and due to their short legs, flat ground is easier. They’re not one for pubs though – so be prepared for lots of cosy, quiet nights in!"


Top destinations: Cromer, Ilfracombe, and Brixham


German Shepherd and Rottweiler


Enjoys: Activity, paddling and quiet time


George says: "These are outdoor breeds that enjoy activity over any terrain and will happily take up to three, three mile walks a day depending on age and fitness - so plenty of good walks are a must!


They also enjoy a paddle so accessible beaches and coves will be a hit. Many are often happier with a quieter place as males especially will often not shirt a challenge from other dogs."


Top destinations: Seahouses, Staithes and Filey



Cocker Spaniel, Springer Spaniel and Vizsla


Enjoys: Exercise, water, and socialising 


George says: "These breeds are very energetic and love exercise and racing around outdoors. They are good natured with other dogs and happy in busy places, but need to be well exercised."


Top destinations: Bideford, Perranporth and Llandudno




Staffordshire Bull Terrier and Border Terrier 


Enjoys: Walks of varied terrain, water and being outdoors 



George says: "These are very active outdoor breeds and they are extremely tough. They can interact nicely with well behaved dogs but will not tolerate being challenged so would prefer being outside than relaxing in a dog-friendly pub."


Top destinations: Staithes, Seahouses and Aberystwyth 


Boxer and German Shorthaired Pointer


Enjoys: Being outdoors, other dogs and long walks 


George says: "These breeds are active dogs that like the outdoors but can differ in their preferences towards water. Adaptable to any terrain as well as busy places, they will take long walks when they’re healthy."


Top destinations: Rye, Perranporth, Whitstable  



Enjoys: Long walks, running and being noisy


George says: "Beagles will walk more than the average person might usually enjoy, but they aren’t keen on water and would rather be running around and barking in wide open spaces.


They can easily cover five miles without breaking a sweat. They’re great with other dogs and not bothered by busy places, so will enjoy a good dog-friendly pub or two."


Top destinations: Aberystwyth, Bridport, Beadnell




Shih Tzu and King Charles Cavalier



Enjoys: Peace and quiet, short strolls and home comforts


George says: "These dogs like the quieter side of life and will enjoy a stroll, but are also happy indoors. Due to their shorter legs, they prefer flatter terrain and don’t enjoy getting their hair wet too much so will likely stay on land.


They often love long car journeys so you can go a little further afield, but regular water stops are still needed."


Top destinations: Bude, Newquay, Looe



Whippet and any running dog


Enjoys: Running, resting and good weather


George says: "These dogs like the outdoors but only in good weather. Preferring short bursts of activity followed by a rest, open spaces like beaches or hills are perfect for their 20 mins of activity a couple of times a day.


These breeds tend to steer clear of water and can be picky about the other dogs they associate with but do well in busier places."


Top destinations: Whitstable, Cromer, St Ives


George adds: “Whilst the above is based on the general behaviours of certain breeds, it’s important to remember all breeds are individuals and as such will vary in temperament. Exercise requirements will vary due to age and fitness, and it’s important to remember taking pets to unfamiliar places can alter behaviour due to stress. All dogs need to be under control and not let off a lead if they are a danger to themselves, other dogs, livestock or people. Always make sure your pet is microchipped and has a collar and disc on it, with your current mobile number, name and address.” 


To see where your nearest top dog-friendly destination is, check out the map below.



Start your search for the pawfect dog-friendly staycation below: 







  • The ratings for each location were calculated based on the number of dog-friendly walks, pubs, properties and beaches within 4 miles.
  • For each location, we calculated the number of dog-friendly pubs, dog-friendly beaches, and total miles of rights of way that lay within a 4-mile radius, and converted these into a linear scale from 0 (least) to 5 (most).
  • For dog friendly properties, we list the total, but also give a linear scale rating out of 5 based on the ratio of dog-friendly to non-dog-friendly within a 4-mile radius, where 5 stars would mean 100% of accommodation is dog friendly, and 0 stars mean none of it is.
  • The total score was calculated by combining each location's score for dog friendly walks, beaches, properties and pubs to give a total out of 20. The higher the total score, the more dog-friendly the location.

1 The top 20 dog breeds in the UK, based on the number of registrations in 2020, according to Statista:


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  • Unique Holidays is a specialist site devoted to finding you that unique holiday home, completely different from the usual holiday cottages and hotels. 




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