HomeAway travel expert
So, yes: taking your cat or dog on holiday not only saves money on kennel costs, but allows you to relax, comforted in the knowledge that your pet is safe and sound. But the main reason that most pet owners want to take their furriest family member on holiday with them, is because – well, Fido and Fluffy are members of the family too.
Possibly for this very reason, a good many holiday home owners are more than happy to welcome pets. To search for pet friendly holiday cottages, just choose your destination and then select 'pets friendly' under 'more filters'. Couldn't be easier. Do note, however, that dogs, and to a lesser extent cats, are the most common type of pets brought on vacation – so if you're planning on travelling with anything more exotic, best to double check with the rental owner that they can cater for your particular pet. Just showing up on their doorstep with your three cockatiels, sugar glider (Google it) and baby albino alligator is not advised!
More good news: DEFRA regulations now allow the free movement of pets re-entering the UK, which means taking them with you on holidays is much simpler than it used to be. DEFRA's Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) states that as long as you meet the requirements, pets welcomed back into the UK do not need to go into quarantine.
Top five pet friendly holiday destinations
Pet friendly holidays in England
Merry old England has a lot to offer pooches on holiday. The English Riviera in Devon, for example, is an excellent place to let fido frolick in the sands: from the 1st October to the 30th April, most of the beaches allow dogs without restriction. Even during peak season, however, some beaches, such as Babbacombe Beach and Livermead Sands, continue to allow dogs. Alternately, the Lake District's gorgeous scenery is not only generally open to dogs, but exactly the sort of terrain most would be thrilled to bound through!
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Pet friendly holidays in Wales
Wales is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the UK, and is one of the nearest green getaways available. Wales also has some excellent beaches, although from the 1st May to the 30th September, many ban dogs, so be sure to check ahead of time. Apparently, fur doesn't mix well with British holidaymakers, sun cream and straw hats. Ogmore, Pink Bay, and Newton Beach, however, are some of the beaches which allow dogs even during peak season – so they're ideal for that summer escape.
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Pet friendly holidays in Scotland
The vast expanse of the Scottish Highlands affects dogs in the same way it affects human beings: by inspiring an overwhelming urge to run and play; maybe even get a few somersaults in. And given that enjoying the countryside (when the famously cheery weather allows) is a national past time, you will find many excellent leisure – and rental – options for the whole family in Scotland. Dogs are particularly well catered for, including in many pubs and cafés. You can even boat Loch Ness with your dog on Jacobite Cruises!
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Pet friendly holidays in Ireland
Ireland, with its famous, rolling, almost glow-in-the-dark green hills, is practically dog heaven, and provides some unique pet holiday experiences. Blarney Castle, near Cork, for instance, doesn't allow dogs within the castle itself, but allows them elsewhere on the expansive grounds. Many beaches allow dogs, too, as long as they're on a lead: too many to list, in fact, but ranging from Donegal to Mayo to Cork to Dublin counties – and numerous points between. Also convenient: ferries from Swansea, Liverpool and Pembroke allow pets, making travel to the Emerald Isle easy-peasy.
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Pet friendly holidays in France
France may not immediately come to mind when you think about pet friendly holidays, but in fact, the country is chock full of pet friendly accommodation. In Paris, many (even most) restaurants will allow dogs – just ask! – though dog friendly parks aren't as abundant in the City of Lights. The Jardin du Palais Royal gardens, Jardin du Luxemburg, and Parvis de Notre Dame plaza all allow them, however. Also, many ferry routes and the Channel Tunnel allow pets to travel (although confirming beforehand is always a good idea).
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DEFRA have had a reform in the regulations which allow the free movement of pets re-entering the UK, which means that holidays with dogs or other pets to pet friendly holiday rentals abroad are much easier to arrange. DEFRA's Pet Travel Scheme
(PETS), states that as long as you meet the set requirements, pets welcomed back into the UK do not need to go into quarantine.
When people talk of pet friendly holidays, they are usually talking specifically about holidays with dogs. It is always recommended to talk to the owner directly about the suitability of their dog friendly holiday rental before booking your holiday with a dog. If you are travelling with another type of pet, it is strongly advised that you consult the owner first.
Pet Friendly Holiday Homes
This lovely apartment has been furnished by the owner who has opted for quality rather than economy & guests will not be disappointed. The design of this property is very unusual and rarely available. It appears from the front to be a bungalow wit...
Did you know that more than 800 guests have already enjoyed their holiday in Villa Denise? You must be wondering what makes this villa so special, but it's actually very simple. Villa Denise is an amazing holiday home who offers everything our gue...
Travelling to Spain with a big group of friends or family will guarantee you lots of fun. But staying in a large holiday villa with enough room for 18 people, that’s quite unique.
Villa Fortuna in Lloret de Mar has all the comfort you can expect ...
Surrounded by extensive grounds and vineyard, this vacation rental castle has been rebuilt in the 19th century by a Marquis. Heated Swimming pool, fitness center, tennis, mountain bike or the bar/restaurant will help you to relax and to enjoy one ...
Set in the golden triangle of Armagnac country in Gascony, Le Vieux Presbytère nestles into the hillside on the edge of the hamlet of Noulens. This sleepy village is surrounded by vineyards, fields of sunflowers and maize and has good views to the...
Your villa near Lloret de Mar center
Villa Esperanza is the ideal holiday villa for anyone who wants to enjoy everything Lloret de Mar has to offer, but doesn’t want to stay in a loud and crowded hotel. All the popular disco’s, the many restaurant...
Modern and comfortable Holiday villa with private pool for maximum 8 people, only 500m distance to the Beach Las Rocas of Moraira and small shopping centre. The villa is situated on a big plot of 1800m2, surround by nice lawn and pine trees. The p...
The garden facing south is very inviting with mediterranean charme, palm trees dandling softly at the the pool, from there you enjoy a nice sea view. Through the bushes lining the property left and right the pool area is private. From the property...
'A really fabulous cottage in a beautiful location'.
'The best holiday cottage we've stayed in in the Lakes( Visitor comments)
BEDLINEN, TOWELS, FULL SKY TV PACKAGE, PHONE & WIFI - NO CHARGE
This beautifully furnished cottage provides spacious ...
Bowes House has been recently refurbished to a high standard and is very comfortably furnished with antique furniture. It has the relaxed feel of a family home. The master bedroom has a 6 foot double bed that can be split into twin beds and an en-...