Banish the winter blues and treat yourself to a snug and stylish break with 10 of the best pet friendly getaways, as hand-picked by our Travel Editor Helen Baron.
Whether you’re dreaming of snuggling up in front of a roaring fire, indulging yourself in a spa weekend, or getting back to nature with an eco-break in the heart of the forrest, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best pet friendly getaways for hounds and humans this winter.
1. FOR ROMANCE: The Crown, Amersham
The cutest of a bevy of charming hostelries lining Amersham’s high street, The Crown is an olde worlde Elizabethan coaching inn that’s been tastefully rejigged to suit the mores of the modern guest. The hotel, which appeared in the film ‘4 Weddings and a Funeral,’ has been made over by the Soho House group’s Ilse Crawford and thus, everything from the roll-top baths to the sheets and beyond is done exceptionally tastefully. Small, well-behaved dogs allowed (by prior arrangement) and at the bar. The best dog-walks are further afield but Hervines Park is ten minutes walk away and popular with locals.
Rates from £99, no extra cost for a dog; crownamersham.com
2. FOR REMOTE RAMBLES: Under the thatch, Dyfi Valley Eco Barn, Dyfi valley in mid Wales
Perched on a Welsh hill, this converted stone barn has heaps of traditional charm mixed with quirky contemporary touches. Electricity is solar generated (the wood-burning stove is a real highlight) which can mean cooking by candlelight in winter but the romance of the remote location in unmatched. There’s an enclosed yards for dogs and you can ramble the valleys; just make sure pooch doesn’t chase the sheep. Don’t miss the beach at Aberdovy either: dog-friendly and with spectacular sea views.
Rates vary, dogs from £15 each extra; underthethatch.co.uk
3. FOR NOSTALGISTS: The Rectory, Cotswolds
One for fans of the classic English country garden, this country house is peacefully situated in the Cotswolds triangle. Highlights include a beautiful sitting room with roaring fire in Winter and an outdoor pool in Summer. Don’t miss the Potting Shed pub across the road. Dogs are very welcome and can stay in the main house. Dog bowls, bed, treats can be provided and dogs are allowed to join you in all public spaces other than the dining room. Try dog walks in pretty near-by Home and Cirencester Parks. Cotswolds Water Park is not too far either, if your dog likes to swim.
Dog-friendly room rates start at £105 a night; therectoryhotel.com
4. FOR FOREST ACTIVITIES: Forest Holidays, Various locations
Choose from nine stunning locations and spend the weekend beneath acres of woodland canopy, in a luxury cabin or treehouse for up to eight people. While the range of human activities is exhaustive (you can have a go at archery, tree-climbing, horse-riding and clay-shooting), your pooch will love the endless network of trails and waking up to nature on the doorstep. Don’t forget to have a dip in the hot-tub! Dog beds and bowls available in pet-friendly cabins.
6 person dog-friendly cabin, complete with private hot tub (for the humans!) from £356 for a 4 night, mid-week break; forestholidays.co.uk
5. FOR GETTING BACK TO NATURE: Featherdown Farms, Various Locations
Dogs are welcome at 16 of Featherdown Farm’s 35 locations. Accommodation takes the form of luxury tents with wood-burning stoves. Collect eggs, milk cows and reconnect with nature at real working farms. The farms are of course in rural locations, so there’s plenty of space for kids and dogs to roam; some farms have hiking trails while others are near beaches.
Rates from £225, dogs £5 extra each; featherdownfarm.co.uk
6. FOR A VILLAGE PUB HOTEL: Wild Rabbit, Cotswolds
With only twelve bedrooms this hotel is as boutique as it gets. Stylish neutrals, chic furnishings and bare stone walls complete the picture. The four garden rooms are dog-friendly and dog-beds come freely available on request. Though not allowed in the restaurant, dogs are allowed in the bar. The pretty village of Kingham makes for a nice on-leash walk while the Cotswolds countryside beckons.
Rates from £105 a night incl a continental breakfast, dogs £15 extra (max two dogs per room); thewildrabbit.co.uk
7. FOR COSYING UP: Avon View, New Forest
This superlative b’n’b has garnered a devoted following, so booking in advance is essential. Tucked away on the western fringe of the New Forest National Park, its three dinky rooms are lovingly furnished with cute antiques – chintzy but with masses of charm. Major plus points include a roaring log-fire in the communal sitting room (with afternoon tea on arrival), an exquisite garden, amazing service and a slap-up breakfast of five-star quality. A well-behaved dog is welcome (dog blankets are provided); just be sure to keep pooch under control when out walking, as free-roaming cows and New Forest ponies abound.
Rates from £70 a night, no extra cost for a dog; avonview.net
8. FOR A LUXURY SPA RETREAT: Limewood Hotel, New Forest
A renovated Regency hunting lodge, Limewood is pastoral prettiness at its 5 Star best. Outhouse rooms away from the main house are decked out in antique/boutique style (think limestone tiles, luxury fabrics, double showers etc) and, if you’re in one of the dog-designated out-houses, indulgently spacious with two floors. The best thing (the exemplary spa with its very own raw food cafe aside), is being situated right in the middle of the New Forest – a path leads straight from the hotel grounds to the woods. A big bed, bowls and even butler-delivered biscuits are provided.
Rates from £255 per room per night with VAT & spa facilities, dogs £30 extra; limewood hotel.co.uk
9. FOR THE FOODIE: The Pig, New Forest, Hampshire
A boutique foodie bolthole, every dish is made from ingredients sourced from within 25 miles. There are 26 rooms but those with hounds will need to book The Dog House – a large double with a room just for pooch. Dogs get the 5 star treatment with bowls, beds and biscuits and even underfloor heating. And of course, it’s in the New Forest so ideal for walks.
Rates from £205; thepighotel.com
10. FOR BOOT-CAMP: Nubeginnings, Devon
A unique fitness retreat that lets you get healthy in the company of your dog (providing your dog likes other dogs) and in scenic surroundings. Based in West Well Hall in Devon, the week long course structured exercise programmes and healthy meals for both you and pooch. There’s even a dog physio on hand. You and your hound can enjoy organic meals from the renowned chef, training, therapy and support sessions. Each dog receives massages and grooming during the week, as well as a breed-specific nutritional plan.
Rates from £2,514 per week; nubeginnings.co.uk
Helen Baron is the editor of travel blog letsgetlostblog.tumblr.com // @absolutelyedhel