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8 Hotels Perfect For You and Your Dog This Summer & Expert Tips For a Day At The Beach Together

dog holidays

With many Brits opting for a UK staycation this year due to travel restrictions, it’s the perfect time to take your new pup along with you.

We all know the dilemma of trying to find a holiday home that will accommodate both you and your furry friend during the summer break. But where in the UK promise freedom for you and your pup while you are away?

Ahead of the summer season, as part of their Dog-Friendly Beaches campaign, the research team at Uswitch have rounded up some of the best pet-friendly hotels perfect for your staycation this year along with tips on how to travel safely with your dog

So if you are ready for that UK to break with your pup this year, check out the best hotels to book that are near dog-friendly beaches below:

Woolacombe Bay Hotel, Devon

Source: Instagram / @woolacombebayhotel

Distance to Saunton Sands: 23-minute drive   

Located just North of Devon, this hotel is perfect to visit off-season for a peaceful and relaxing stay with your pooch. The hotel has self-catering facilities in their ‘Beach Retreat’ that are dog friendly all year round and located just 300 yards from the hotel. 

Not only this but the area is filled with beaches that are perfect for your pooch to have a splash in the sea this summer. Located just 23 minutes from the hotel is Saunton Sands that is open to your pet 365-days a year. 

The Gunton Arms, Norfolk 

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Source: Instagram / @guntonarms

Distance to Horsey Beach: 40-minute drive

Sitting just on the edge of Cromer in North Norfolk, the traditional pub boasts 12 rooms and a chef that cooks with local ingredients from the surrounding parkland. 

With seven cosy rooms for your dog, the place offers a stylish and comfortable stay with plenty of walks and beaches nearby perfect for your pup to let off some energy.

If you find yourself in the area, then why not check out Horsey Beach? The bay is great for dogs and is located just a 40-minute drive from the hotel. 

Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, Yorkshire

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Source: Instagram / @mike_roberts_photos

Distance to Cayton Bay: 16-minute drive

This countryside hotel is located deep in the country and is just a 10-minute drive from the beautiful Scarborough coast. Surrounded by plants and nature, the hotel has everything from a cosy atmosphere in the country house to a dining room in the conservatory that’s open for dogs to join their owners. 

Just south of the hotel is Cayton Bay, a dog-friendly beach that is open to your pup all year round and boasts some of the best waves in the area. 

Grove of Narberth, Pembrokeshire

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Source: Instagram / @homeatthefarmhouse

Distance to West Angle Beach: 40-minute drive

Named the most dog-friendly location for beaches in the UK, Pembrokeshire also has some gorgeous hotels that are perfect for that pet-friendly staycation. 

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Grove of Narbeth has established itself as the smartest country house hotel in the area. With its picturesque gardens, it’s a rural and peaceful space with plenty of outdoor areas to walk with your pooch. 

While staying in the area we recommend checking out West Angle Beach, a quiet and sheltered spot that has a wider walk to explore with your pup.

Loch Melfort Hotel, Oban 

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Source: Instagram / @sunrayimagesuk

Distance to Gavanan beach: 36-minute drive 

Loch Melfort Hotel is a tranquil retreat located on the west coast of Scotland and is perfect for you and your furry friend. Set on the banks of rolling hills and 17 acres of garden, the hotel has a number of pet-friendly bedrooms and essentials available including towels and treats to make your pup feel right at home. 

Located just a 36-minute drive from the hotel is Gavanan Beach, a pup-friendly bay that is packed with beautiful scenery and lots of history to explore. 

The Scarisbrick Hotel, Southport

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Source: Instagram / @phlizzz

Distance to Formby Beach: 20-minute Drive 

Happy to welcome your pooches all year round is The Scarisbrick Hotel in Southport. As a popular place to walk your dog, the hotel is located right in the heart of the town and has all of the necessary amenities to make sure your dog has a happy and healthy stay. 

They do not provide beds for your pup, however, so make sure to pack your pooches comforter with you when you leave for your trip. If you love the coast then we recommend visiting Formby Beach that is just a 20-minute drive from the hotel and is a great place to get some fresh air. 

Peanswood Country Manor, Sussex 

Source: Instagram /  @brynaaskins

Distance from Holywell Beach: 47-minute drive

Nestled in the countryside, Peanswood Country Manor is located on the outskirts of the medieval village of Robertsbridge. With a gorgeous sweeping driveway and a traditional cosy feel to the house, the hotel is a welcoming spot for both you and your dog. 

If you are feeling like an adventure, then we recommend travelling down the coast to Holywell Beach in Eastbourne. Known for filming a number of famous films and tv shows, the beach is perfect for your dog to have a splash in the shallow waves 365 days a year. 

Parc Le Breos, Swansea

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Source: Instagram / @parclebreos

Distance to Oxwich Beach: 20-minute Drive 

Located in the popular Welsh city of Swansea, Parc Le Breos is a large country house nestled in the countryside with so much history to explore. The hotel offers a dog-friendly room for your pooch, making it the perfect spot for a getaway this summer.

If your dog loves beaches, then we recommend taking a short 20-minute drive to Oxwich Beach, which has sweeping sand dunes and plenty of space for dogs to run around. 

Tips for Holidaying with your Dog

So, if you’re heading to one of the UK’s most dog-friendly beach destinations, here’s Wendy’s advice to keep you and your pup safe on the sand.

Do you have any advice for first time dog-owners when taking their pup to the beach for the first time?  

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“As we approach the holiday and travel season, ensure your dog’s microchip and collar tag details are up to date – just in case. Get used to checking ground surface temperatures before you take your dog out, as dry sand can be too hot for dogs’ paws on sunny days. To check the ground temperature, place the back of your hand on the ground. If it’s too hot to hold comfortably for at least five seconds, it’s too hot for dogs’ paws.”

How can dog-owners prepare for it? What training can you practice ahead of time? 

“Practising basic, reward-based training when out and about will help your dog to maintain focus and engagement on walks. Recall is also an area that needs particular attention. Even if your dog has a great recall at home, it’s not something that can be guaranteed in unfamiliar environments with exciting new distractions. Games with toys are a fantastic way to help your dog engage with you when there are other distractions around.” 

Packing tips for a day at the beach with your dog

  • beach umbrella for shade
  • plenty of freshwater for drinking and rinsing
  • old towels

“Always pack fresh water and a bowl, as well as some tasty training treats and a toy. If your dog goes in the sea, rinse them down so they don’t lick the salty water off. Sometimes it’s not suitable to have your dog off lead, so take a harness and longline lead.”

“Dogs are highly susceptible to heat stroke, so it’s critical to take precautions when the temperatures are higher too. It’s a good idea to take something to provide shade, like an umbrella or windbreaker, and there are also cool mats and cooling coats available, which can be effective if used as per the instructions. You’ll also want some blankets or towels to protect your car from wet, sandy dogs on the drive home!”

How can you reduce your dog’s anxiety around water and crowded beaches?

“If your dog is worried when you are on the beach, move further away from what they are showing concern about, and use play and food rewards at a distance to help them relax. Never make your dog approach anything they are worried about. Depending on the dog, it may take some time and several trips for them to learn to enjoy their seaside outings.

Being cautious of the waves is normal for dogs. If you paddle and are having fun, this often helps them gain the confidence to dip their feet in to – but never force them into the water as it can break their trust in you, and make them more worried about the sea.”