UK Travel: Best Road Trips With Your Dog

Connie PowellPaw Pet Travel Tips & Advice

UK Travel - Best Road Trips With Your Dog

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No need to leave your furry friend behind when you go on holiday in the UK – hit the road with your dog instead! The greatest thing about a dog-friendly road trip in this country is the sheer scope of possibilities for travellers who love pups – wherever you go, dog-friendly activities, attractions and camping spots are easy to find. 
And with our list of the 5 best road trips with dogs in the UK, you can discover the ultimate routes to explore with your pawed passenger!

Best road trips with dogs in the UK: 5 routes you can’t miss!

1. North Yorkshire

An adventure around North Yorkshire is one of the best road trips with dogs in the UK. Not only is the North Yorkshire town of Malton listed as the top dog-friendly town in the UK, but dogs are also welcome on almost all the county’s beaches, with only two (Scarborough South and Spurn Head) imposing full bans. Of the 40 or so remaining North Yorkshire beaches, dogs are either welcomed outright or allowed at certain times of the year – check online or at beach information boards for the latest info. Hire a campervan in North Yorkshire and start your road trip in Malton, sniffing out the exhibits of the Animal Art Gallery before heading for the coast. Drive east into the North York Moors National Park and to the coast at Ravenscar, then follow the coast north to Whitby via Robin Hood’s Bay, Whitby, Runswick Bay and Staithes. All these beaches are dog-friendly.

2. Edinburgh to Kirkwall

Listed as the best dog-friendly road trip in the UK by dog food company, this route from Scotland’s capital Edinburgh to the Orkney town of Kirkwall is doggie heaven. Its four main stopping points – Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness and Kirkwall – have hundreds of dog-friendly Airbnbs plus plenty of dog-friendly activities, including over 200 walking trails. Hire a campervan in Edinburgh and start this stunning trip at Edinburgh’s dog-friendly Portobello Beach for strolls and paddling, before making for Aberdeen and walkies around the 44 acres of Duthie Park. Next is Inverness and Loch Ness with its 23 miles of shoreline for dog-friendly hiking, then a ferry trip to Orkney and the final stop at Kirkwall to wander around its pretty harbour.

3. Atlantic Highway

The famously popular holiday destination of South West England is ideal for dog-centred road trips. This road trip starts in Somerset before joining the “Atlantic Highway” coastal road through beautiful parts of Devon and Cornwall. Hire a campervan in Bristol and start with a walk around the 850 acres of the Ashton Court Estate. From there, drive to the north Devon coast at Barnstaple and the 3.5 miles of dog-friendly beach at Saunton Sands. Cross the border into Cornwall to arrive at Bude, an actively dog-friendly town (most of the staff at the tourist information centre have dogs) where the vast majority of its award-winning beaches are dog friendly all year round. Next is Newquay, again with dog-friendly beaches all year round, and where dogs are welcome at the Rick Stein Fistral restaurant. Head to the 26 acres of Trenance Gardens and Leisure Park for activities and walkies, or have a stroll in Cardinham Woods in nearby Bodmin.

4. Brighton and the South Downs

The lively coastal city of Brighton is hugely dog friendly – around 25% of residents own dogs and the places you can take your dog to outnumber those where you can’t. Add the walk-friendly surroundings of the South Downs National Park and this is definitely a top pick for a dog-friendly road trip! It’s easy to start this one from London too. Hire a campervan in Brighton and kick off your trip with a walk on its shingle beach followed by lunch in one of the many dog-friendly Brighton restaurants and cafés (Lydia in Kensington Gardens will give your pooch a warm welcome!). Next, drive to Eastbourne for another beachy day around this seaside town and the white cliffs of the Seven Sisters. 
Eastbourne is the start of the South Downs Way, a 100-mile National Trail running to Winchester in Hampshire – plenty of scope for your dog to explore. Finally, drive north to the High Wealds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Ashdown Forest, a spectacularly scenic dog-walking destination.

5. Oxford, the Cotswolds and the Wye Valley

Last but not least on our list of the best road trips with dogs is a holiday around Oxford, the Cotswolds and the Wye Valley. Move from England to Wales on this cross-country road trip, packed with places your pooch will love!
Hire a campervan in Oxfordshire and start at Oxford for a walk around the colleges and lunch in a dog-friendly pub, then drive to the beautiful Cotswolds – Broadway Tower has spectacular views over this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as well as 50 acres of parkland to explore plus a dog-friendly café and restaurant. Cross into Wales next to arrive at Ross-on-Wye, at the northern edge of the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a whole wealth of walks from short trails to long-distance paths like the Wye Valley Walk (136 miles) and Offa’s Dyke Path (177 miles). Finish the trip at Chepstow at the Wye Valley’s southern side; dogs are welcome at Chepstow Castle and nearby Tintern Abbey.

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