Last minute dog-friendly short breaks# Camping
No matter where you go in the United Kingdom, there are so many things to see and do. Castles, parks, cultural attractions, historic monuments, ruins, amusement parks, scenic drives, vibrant cities and quaint market towns and fishing villages. When it comes to finding a place to take dog-friendly short breaks, the possibilities might be a bit more limited. We’ve compiled a sample of some of the best dog-friendly places around the country, along with some things you and your dog can do together while you’re there.
If you’re a dog owner, you know how hard it can be to plan a getaway that’s suitable for both you and your furry companion. The United Kingdom is a fairly dog-friendly place overall, but some municipalities are known for their reputation for being great places to take last minute dog-friendly short breaks.
Things are changing and more and more places are becoming more open to dogs and businesses are seeing the advantages of offering dog-friendly services. After all, many people have dogs and consider them part of the family and nothing is more heart-breaking to a pet parent than having to leave their pet during their Campervan holiday behind.
1. Malton, England
Malton is a small market town in North Yorkshire, England, but despite its size, it’s famous in a big way for dog owners. The town has recently been named the Most Dog-friendliest Town in the UK. Many businesses allow dogs to accompany their families including shops, restaurants and attractions.
Some of the attractions in Malton that welcome dogs include Dalby Forest and The Malton Museum. Ryedale Dog Field and Castle Gardens are two of the best parks in Malton for dog-walking.
When hunger strikes, there are plenty of places that will welcome you and your dog with open arms so your best friend doesn’t have to eat kibble alone back in the Campervan. The New Malton, No. 46 Bar & Restaurant, Stew & Oyster Malton, Yorkshire Tea Rooms & Restaurant and Chapter One Bistro are some of the dog-friendly eateries around Malton. There are also many places nearby that make for great day trips and many of them are also dog-friendly including Scarborough, York and Helmsley.
PaulCamper tip: Every April, Paws in the Park takes place in nearby York. The event is free and features a dog show, demos, crafts, food stalls, rides and vendors.
Dog-friendly campsite near Malton
Oskada Park is a perfect dog-friendly campground in Malton. There is no limit to the number of dogs per pitch (most campsites limit it to 2 dogs per pitch) and the pitches are large enough to offer some space for all of you. Additionally, there is a stream nearby where your dog can refresh on sunny summer days.
- The small shop with dog treats and more things
- Dog wash and groom room
- Play area
- Pitches with electric hook-ups are available
- Open from April 1
2. Dog-Friendly Short Breaks – Bristol, England
Bristol is a beautiful city situated on the River Avon in south-western England. It’s known for its long maritime history and the lively harbour with restaurants, shops and galleries housed in historic buildings. It’s also known for being a popular destination for last-minute dog-friendly short breaks.
Although many churches around England don’t allow dogs to enter, Bristol Cathedral, which is known for its stunning architecture, is one of the most popular dog-friendly attractions in the city.
Another fun thing to do with your dog is to take a boat ride with The Bristol Ferry Company. See the beautiful harbour from a different angle and hop on and off at different points. Number Seven Boat Tours offers dog-friendly tours down the River Avon to Beese’s Riverside Bar & Garden and Eastwood Farm Nature Reserve.
On Sundays, The Tabacco Factory Market in the Bedminster/Southville district is a great place to go with your dog and if the mood to go shopping strikes, many shops around Bristol welcome dogs including Mon Pote, Casper, Storysmith, Toyville and Friendly Records.
A walk in the park
Many parks in Bristol are dog-friendly so there’s no shortage of places to go for a walk. Bark Park for Dogs, Stoke Park Estate, South Street Park, Victory Park, Conham River Park, Marksbury Road Open Space and Perrett Park are just some of the parks that welcome dogs.
For a quick half-day trip away from the city, the historic city of Bath is only 45 minutes away and has many attractions and businesses that welcome dogs. Cheddar Gorge is another great place to explore and on the way there, you can make a stop at Cheddar Paws Bakery to grab a special treat for your furry companion!
Dog-friendly restaurants in Bristol
After a long day of exploring, you and your dog will want to relax with a good meal. A number of pubs and restaurants in Bristol allow dogs to wine and dine with their owners including Broken Dock, The White Hart, The Lazy Dog, Mud Dock Cafe, No. 1 Harbourside, Brew Dog Bristol and The Crafty Cow.
PaulCamper tip: In June, DogFest at Ashton Court takes place in Bristol and this fun-filled festival for dogs and dog lovers alike features a variety of activities, shows, displays, vendors and demos.
Dog-friendly campsite near Bristol
Gosswood Park Campsite is a tranquil, adults-only campsite in the Mendip Hills of Somerset, only 12 miles outside of Bristol. Once you’ve arrived, make sure to say hi to three Alpacas Huey, Dewey and Louie!
- Open from April 1 to October 31
- Dogs are free of charge
- Hot showers at no extra cost
- Hardstanding and grass pitches with electric hook-ups
3. Southampton, England
Known for being the famed port city that the ill-fated Titanic set sail from on its maiden voyage, Southampton, which is situated on the south coast of England only 110 kilometres away from London, is also known for last-minute dog-friendly short breaks.
The historic Southampton Town Walls is a fascinating attraction to visit with your dog and many parks are dog-friendly including Friends of St. James’ Park, Freemantle Lake Park, Shirley Pond Park, Green Park, Southampton Common and Toplands River Hamble Country Park. Hamble Point Yacht Charters offers dog-friendly boat tours that explore various areas along the coast. Dogs sail for free, of course!
If you’re seeking a place outside of the city to explore but not too far away, the New Forest is a nature area where you and your dog can explore many trails in a natural setting.
Where to eat in Southampton
In Southampton, there are plenty of dog-friendly eateries around the city. BrewDog Southampton, Maritimo Lounge, Brewhouse & Kitchen, Smugglers Bar & Restaurant, The Cricketers and The White Swan are just a few of the places in town where you can dine with your dog.
Paulcamper tip: In June, you and your dog can attend a fun festival called Dogstival which takes place in Broadlands Park. There are shows, demos and vendors and your dog can sample some delicious treats!
Dog-friendly campsite near Southampton
Three Trees Campsite is a dog-friendly adults-only campsite in nearby Romsey, which is about 8 miles by car from Southampton. It’s surrounded by scenic woodland walks and popular heritage sites.
- Hardstanding pitches with water and electric hook-ups
- Grass pitches with water and electric hook-ups
- Dogs are free of charge
- Open from March 1
4. Dog-Friendly Short Breaks – Edinburgh, Scotland
Scotland is known for its lenient regulations when it comes to wild camping but did you know that many of its cities and towns are dog-friendly too? That’s right and one of the top cities for last-minute dog-friendly short breaks in Scotland is Edinburgh.
Edinburgh is the perfect escape for roadtrippers who are interested in a mix of history, culture, foodie experiences and outdoor adventures and your dog can join you on many of these excursions.
Looking for a great hike to do with your best friend? The hike up to Arthur’s Seat is a great way for you and your dog to get some fresh air and exercise and see some spectacular views of the city. As long as your dog is leashed, they can join you on a tour of the Summerhall Arts Center. If other participants are ok with it, dogs are welcome to tour the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions.
There are also many dog-friendly parks around Edinburgh including Inverleith Park, Dovecoat Public Park, Harrison Park and Saughton Park & Gardens.
Wine and dine with your dog in Edinburgh
As much as you’re looking for a good, hot meal at the end of a long day, your dog is longing for something different from plain ol’ kibbles. At Malone’s, you can dine together on quality food and your dog can enjoy a delicious puppuccino. At Affogato, dogs drool over the doggy gelato. Other dog-friendly eateries around the city include Holyrood 9A, Tea & Sympathy, Caley Sample Room and Brewhemia.
PaulCamper tip: Each July, you and your dog can attend Dohhailes at the Newhailes House and Gardens in nearby Musselburgh. Enjoy exciting dog competitions, including Waggiest Tail and Best Lookalike, and shop local vendors selling a range of dog-friendly items.
Dog-friendly campsite near Edinburgh
Mortonhall Caravan & Camping Park is a dog-friendly campsite just outside of Edinburgh.
- Open all year round
- On-site bar and restaurant
- 4 different types of pitches for Caravans and Motorhomes
- Choose between fully serviced, with or without electric hook-up
Dog-friendly short breaks dos and don’ts
- Please clean up after your pet. Carry doggy bags with you and dispose of used ones in their proper place.
- Don’t allow your dog to approach strangers unless they indicate it’s ok. Some people are terrified of dogs!
- Have water available for your dog at all times.
- Don’t insist on taking your dog somewhere that is clearly not dog-friendly. There are plenty of other places that allow dogs!
Be mindful of your dog during times when they’re allowed off-leash. Keep your dog away from sand dunes, bird nesting areas and other protected places.
If you want to learn more about Campervan holidays with your dog, check out our guide on “How to go camping with dogs”. It includes a complete packing list as well as helpful tips on how to train your dog for travelling in a Motorhome as well as many more insights.
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