11 Favorite Dog-Friendly Hotels in the United Kingdom

Hotel dog-friendliness rated in England, Scotland and Wales

Since the introduction of the UK Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), more visitors are bringing their dogs along on vacation in the UK. That in turn has inspired more of the British to travel with a pet. It makes sense if your dog is like a member of your family. Kennels are expensive and not all animals adjust well to them.

I've been traveling with Wallace the Westie, our resident canine critic, visiting the growing number of hotels and inns that call themselves pet-friendly. We've made a distinction between pet-tolerant (doggie waits in the car when you're not in the room, doggie stays on the leash even in the most extensive woodland grounds) and pet-friendly hotels (the staff is usually happy enough to see you but completely ecstatic to meet your pet and lavish attention on him). 

Based on how warm the welcome was, how many treats were provided and now nice everyone was to him, Wallace the Westie has rated our stays by awarding 1 to 5 paws. Now Lulu the Westie has joined our ranks of canine reviewers. These are their favorites.

11 of 11

Tewkesbury Park Hotel and Golf Course

At Tewkesbury Park Hotel, Lulu gets the pampered pet treatment with a meal prepared by the chef.
©Ferne Arfin 2017

On her debut as a reviewer, Lulu the Westie was on best behavior at Tewkesbury Park Hotel where the Canine Retreat package is the latest thing in dog-friendliness. Since 2015, the family owned hotel, a short walk from thousand-year-old Tewkesbury Abbey, has been undergoing a stylish refurbishment, culminating in new pet-friendly rooms launched in December 2017. They come equipped with posh dog beds and towels, dishes and place mats plus a welcome pack of treats. You can even order a dog's dinner, prepared by the hotel chefs and finished before your pet's discerning eye. Here, Lulu waited with remarkable patience while food and beverage manager Leon enhanced her dish of chicken and rice with a mahogany colored sauce of deglazed pan juices.

Human companions are well looked after too - with memory foam beds, comfortable lounges and a peaceful spa and pool. The fairly-priced and accomplished restaurant has a comprehensive wine list catering to most tastes, wallets and geographic preferences. And did we mention that the patisserie chef is a genius?

Our persnickety doggy reviewer had a few little reservations. The French doors of our room looked out on the 18-hole golf course - a torment that required closed curtains most of the time since we could exit from those doors, but not return without circumnavigating the entire hotel. And, since all the dog rooms seem to be on the same wing, one restless pooch can set off the lot.

But all in all, with plenty of nearby fields, woodlands and hills to explore, first class canine cuisine and wonderfully welcoming staff, this one is a winner.

Dog Friendly Rating: 4.5 PAWS

10 of 11

The South Sands Hotel in Salcombe

© Ferne Arfin

Wallace the Westie was disappointed that the gorgeous South Sands beach outside our window was not open to dogs until October 1. But nearby North Sands Beach was dog friendly and he enjoyed a swim and a romp with other water loving pooches. This is a lovely hotel with lots of great walks - up and down hills but also along wooded paths and, if you have the stamina, up over a National Trust estate.

Wallace was also fascinated by the plumbing. Dog-friendly amenities included a nice soft and fresh bed, a huge cowhide chew and a welcome in the bar area while I had breakfast. The hotel lacked a lift but we soon found some carpeted back stairs that suited Wallace better than the polished wood spiral stairs.

Dog Friendly Rating: 4 Paws

09 of 11

Holbeck Ghyll in Windermere

Room in the Lodge at Holbeck Ghyll
Courtesy of Holbeck Ghyll

Wallace went wild when we arrived to find a robin splashing about in a bird bath right outside our door. This is a lovely country house hotel and the best rooms (whether you've brought your dog along or not) are in the The Lodge, a few steps from the main house. All the Lodge rooms have their own entrances and immediate access to the out of doors. My room also had a large - and dog or child safe - balcony. Wallace enjoyed hanging out on the balcony, keeping track of birds, squirrels and the owners' two, big black dogs. The grounds are lovely for dog and owner both. My only worry was a stream beside a steep path. Wallace likes the water so I kept him on the leash during our woodland walk.
Dog-Friendly Rating: 4.5 Paws

08 of 11

The Old Swan and Minster Mill in Minster Lovell

Wallace at the Old Swan
© Ferne Arfin

Wallace the Westie was ready to award 5 paws, the ears and the tail for this lovely retreat in a 600 year old inn, about 15 miles west of Oxford. The Old Swan and Minster Mill offers a warm welcome, a comfy bed and lots of treats for canine guests - as well as a very comfortable stay for their human companions. But I had to mark the hotel down just a little bit. With so many big bowls full of doggie treats everywhere - in the room, in the pub - Wallace would have eaten himself into a coma if I didn't watch him like a hawk. He would also have happily leapt into the fast flowing River Windrush if given half a chance. A charming country hotel surrounded by wonderful walks but just a few too many treats.
Dog Friendly Rating: 4.5 paws

Continue to 5 of 11 below.
07 of 11

Malmaison Oxford Castle

© Ferne Arfin

Malmaison is a generally dog friendly UK hotel chain. Their Oxford Castle made a big effort to please Wallace, providing a fresh, fleecy bed, a smart pair of porcelain dog bowls and a selection of choice treats. There was plenty of room for wandering and Wallace was welcome to curl up in the room, watching his favorite TV programs while I went about my business in Oxford. Because this is a city center hotel, there was not much grass around, but there were some nice quiet streets for walkies nearby.
Dog-Friendly Rating: 4.5 Paws

06 of 11

Hotel du Vin Bristol

Wallace at Hotel du Vin
© Ferne Arfin

Wallace and I visted Bristol recently to see about all the Gromits unleashed around the city (Bristol is home to Aardman Animation, creators of Wallace and Gromit). We tried the Hotel du Vin and found it the most dog friendly place we'd stayed in a long time. Wallace liked the sweet little doggie blanket they had ready for him to sleep and just generally hang out on. The doggie treats were pretty good too. A little more grass nearby would have upped the score, but Wallace is an urban chap and likes interesting city walks too.
Dog-Friendly Rating: 4.5 Paws 

05 of 11

Moorland Garden Hotel in Devon

Moorland Garden
© Ferne Arfin

This Devon hotel has good food, relaxed lovely rooms and Fido is welcome too. What more could a sophisticated dog lover want? The Moorland Garden, in Yelverton, on the edge of Dartmoor, is a place that foodie, discerning, traveling dog owners should know about.

It is a well-decorated, nicely maintained hotel in a lovely part of England's southwest. It has an award-winning kitchen, beautifully manicured lawns, a wildflower meadow and a flawless welcome for well-behaved pets.

The hotel sits on 9 acres of lawns, flower gardens, mature woodland and natural fields. There's plenty of space and your dog is free to to run around and explore every corner. Wallace enjoyed rolling on the clipped lawn, sniffing out some of the neo-classical statuary and romping through the tall, floppy meadow grasses. For a city dog, this was clearly canine heaven. And, if you don't believe dogs can smile, just  click here to see for yourself.

Dog Friendly Rating: 4 Paws

04 of 11

Ardanaiseig Hotel, Loch Awe in Scotland

Wallace Investigates a Statue at Ardanaiseig Hotel
©Ferne Arfin

Among the glorious country house hotels of Scotland, Ardanaiseig is, without a doubt, the most dog friendly we visited. They don't provide a bag of treats or a special bowl but the laissez faire attitude toward Fido says it all. There are extensive lawns and gardens, forest paths, acres of empty land and a lake for doggy athletes to swim in. No one raises an eyebrow at doggy antics and it's clear the owners believe that if you have the good taste to choose their hotel, you also have the good sense to make sure your canine guest behaves well. Wallace liked his swim and got a bit fresh with some of the statuary. His only quibble - no kibble. Well no dog biscuits anyway.
Dog Friendly Rating: 4.9 Paws

Continue to 9 of 11 below.
03 of 11

The Cary Arms, Boutique Inn on the Beach in Babbacombe

dog treats
© Ferne Arfin

Wallace the Westie was thrilled by the collections of treats laid on for him at the Cary Arms, on the water in Babbacombe Bay, Devon. I was impressed with the slate floor - immune to muddy feet and beach sand. This luxury inn treats dogs like honored guests and dog lovers as responsible adults. When I relaxed in the guests private lounge, Wallace was free to wander and in the dining room he was also welcome, though on the leash of course. He even enjoyed the chic, walk-in rain shower, enclosed in glass and Carrara marble, at the hotel staff's suggestion.
With so many good smells and the sea to splash in, Wallace awards the glorious Cary Arms a Dog-Friendly 5 Paws and a star.

02 of 11

Prince Hall on Dartmoor

Prince Hall
© Ferne Arfin

If you don't like dogs and your idea of a luxury country house includes punctilious service, immaculate surroundings and a high gloss on everything, you'll probably want to ignore the rest of this.

Arriving at Prince Hall, across an ancient flagstone porch, past rows of wellies and walking boots, bins of brollies and walking sticks, is a bit like arriving at a friend's back door. You almost feel that you should knock instead of just walking in.

Inside, people chat in a comfortable sitting room while a huge golden retriever curls up on the floor and an overwrought little black schauzer runs circles around her. Wallace soon joins the pack and while the dogs peacefully get to know each other, their owners enjoy tea and conversation. That's a typical welcome to Prince Hall. And the dogs are great ice-breakers and levelers.

Prince Hall, high on lovely, lonely Dartmoor is without a doubt the most dog-friendly hotel we've ever tried.  And on top of that, their award winning restaurant is worth a trip all on its own.

Dog-Friendly Rating: 5 Paws and a whole lotta stars!

01 of 11

Burley Manor in the New Forest

Pet-friendly wing at Burley Manor
© Ferne Arfin

Burley Manor, a faux Medieval country estate built by Victorians, is set in glorious grounds, plonked in the middle of the New Forest. Deer and roving domestic animals come right to the edge of the estate - so there's plenty to bark at. Fortunately, there is also a nearly invisible fence that keeps your canine pal and New Forest wild life apart.

The dog-friendly rooms are separate from the main manor house but close enough to enjoy meals at this lovely place which bills itself as a restaurant with rooms. And unlike some, so called dog friendly rooms, these are not hidden away in an unpleasant corner or furnished with worn carpets and second rate furniture. In fact, Burley's dog friendly rooms are spacious and luxurious and they open directly onto the hotel lawns. 

No dog bed is provided but there are generous sized bowls and very nice, gourmet dog treats hand baked by a local maker. And for you, some rather nice home made cookies as well. Wallace liked rolling around in the grass.

Our only reservation, a pool on the lawns was surrounded by a fence but not a fence that would keep a determined dog out. And, in the dead of winter, when we visited, I did have to keep a sharp eye on Wallace the Westie and that accessible pool. 

Dog-Friendly Rating: 4.5 Paws