If you've decided to treat the pooch to a getaway this year but can't quite settle on where, this guide to some of the UK's hottest spots for pet-friendly cottages has plenty in the way of inspiration. It ranges from the thistle-topped peaks of Scotland to the wavy bays of Wales, in search of somewhere to entertain all species of visitor.
Pet-friendly cottages in Wales
From coast to mountain, Wales promises plenty of space for throwing the tennis ball and unclipping the lead.
Take the dog down to the Gower
There are plenty of marked hiking paths wiggling all around the Gower Peninsula in South Wales. Dog-friendly stiles mean that many should be traversable for the 4-legged visitor, while virtually all of the beaches past Caswell Bay welcome dogs the whole year round. Particular favourites, where you can seek out stunning cottages, are Llangennith and 3 Cliffs – just be sure to keep the lead handy for crossing the golf courses and sheep farms.
Pembrokeshire's a dog-lovers’ haven
Pet-friendly cottages in Pembrokeshire offer access to some of the most stunning coastal paths in the UK. You and the barker will catch glimpses of porpoises and dolphins as you hop the stiles along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. Meanwhile, attractions like Pembroke Castle and Picton Castle allow canine guests, so long as they're kept on the lead and have a penchant for immersive Norman history.
Snowdonia National Park's dog-friendly pads
Pet-friendly cottages in Wales are rarely more sought after than in Snowdonia. You'll find plenty of places willing to host you and your tail-wagging compadre in the green vales around Beddgelert and Betws-y-Coed. In the former, you can even pay homage to Wales' legendary dog-hero, the princely pet Gelert.
Pet-friendly holiday cottages in Scotland
With its vast wildernesses and untamed national parks, Scotland could just be the perfect place to seek out your pet-friendly cottage this year.
A pet-friendly cottage in Fort William
Fort William is hailed as the outdoorsy capital of Scotland. It's the gateway to the superlative peak of Ben Nevis – the highest in the UK. Some dogs might find that a little challenging, but for active pups there's the Pony Track route to the summit. Lazier, medium-sized, hounds can settle in for a ride on the Jacobite train that was featured in the Harry Potter films, so long as they stick to 2nd class.
Take the dog to Lewis and Harris
The abundance of open grazing and roadways on Skye mean it's not the perfect island escape in Scotland for those with dogs in tow. However, the nearby Hebridean jewel of Lewis and Harris is a different story. It's a little remoter, with swatches of untrodden coastal landscape that hit a high on the white-sand bay of Luskentyre, which is wide enough for all your stick-throwing needs.
The Cairngorms for adventurers
The most intrepid pets of all can go for the Cairngorms National Park, which is like the beating heart of the Highlands region. Munros – mountains over 3,000 feet – make for excellent hill walking, so set out to conquer Broad Cairn and rocky Ben Macdui with the pup, before returning to warm your paws/feet by the fire. Certain times of the year require dogs to be on the lead in the Cairngorms, on account of lambing and rare nesting birds.
Pet-friendly cottages in England
A patchwork of dales and heaths, moors and magical coastal stretches imbue England with plenty that can keep wagging tails and laced-up walking boots busy.
Take the pooch to Cornwall
Cornwall is for the pup that loves the beach. A pet-friendly cottage with a sea view is a real possibility in these parts, which could mean doorstep access to the high-perched trails that wiggle around Trevose Head and down to Padstow harbour. It's worth checking whether the beaches nearest to your chosen rental have any restrictions on canine visitors before booking, because many – particularly around the St Ives area – impose time limits for the summer.
Accompaniment in the Lake District
It's not just loved-up couples who can enjoy the plaintive steamer rides across Windermere and Derwent Water in the Lake District. Most boat companies will welcome floppy-eared guests, too, offering special pet tickets. The region also has some challenging fell walks and an abundance of pubs that love a canine patron or 2.
The pup will adore Yorkshire
Yorkshire's vast dales are laced with more dog-friendly hiking paths than you can shake a stick at. Splashes in Hardraw Force waterfall can be backed up by visits to pet-friendly taverns that date to the Middle Ages, while cottages in these parts often have plenty of outdoor space for the pooch to run free.