There’s dog-friendly cottages in the UK, and then there’s luxury homestays that not only welcome four-legged family members, but encourage them to join in on the memory-making. With doors flung open by owners who love hounds as much as you do, our luxury dog-friendly holiday homes cater to the entire pack. Here are our top five things to consider when planning your next dog-friendly escape; think gardens bursting with sniffable flowers, nearby pubs with fireside spots up for grabs, and powder-soft custom beds that cocoon pets from tail to whiskers.


1. Know the dog-friendly beaches

A brown dog lies on the sand dunes on a beach at sunset

Whether you have your heart set on a celebratory home straddled on a cliffside, or a tiny seaside shack with lofty ambitions, the chances are you’ll find a dog-friendly beach within sniffing distance. When it comes to beaches in Cornwall that are dog-friendly all year round, Gorran Haven, Plaidy Beach in Looe, and Summerleaze Beach in Bude are among our favourites, but the south-west coast is bursting with famous spots and hidden gems.

Different beaches have different rules (in peak season, dogs might not be allowed off-lead until after 5pm, for example), so our Homestays Specialists are on-hand to advise you about the best dog-friendly beaches in the area you've chosen to holiday in. Beyond the West Country, we love Luskentyre Beach on the Isle of Harris, the shingle beaches of the Suffolk coast, and the sandy fringes of County Cork.

Why not browse the coastal retreats collection or read our round-up of the top ten dog-friendly beaches in Devon?


2. Book a home with an enclosed garden

A garden pond with lily pads and a thatch-roofed house in the background

What do our dog-friendly private homes in the country, on the coast, and deep in remote woodlands have in common? They all come with pockets of outside space. Some are miniature courtyards adorned with window boxes and fairy lights, others are grand manor lawns complete with topiary mazes and running tracks. An abundance of outdoor space is often the stuff of our town-and-city-escaping dreams; but when it comes to travelling with dogs in tow, there’s often more to consider.

Whether you have a “velcro breed” (attached to you at all times) or an independent roamer, we can advise which properties have gardens so enclosed that even the Harry Houdini of the dog kingdom would struggle to escape from them. Splash in the pool, grill veg on the barbecue, and flick through a book on the lawn with peace of mind.

Why not browse the luxury garden holidays collection?


3. Pick dog-friendly pubs, restaurants, and coffee shops

#Dog wearing a neck scarf and eating a snack

Whether you have your hearts set on a wood-fired pizza in the Lake District (we're looking at you, Base Pizza in Windermere) or find yourself searching for the most beautiful pub walk in the Peak District, the UK abounds with dog-friendly pubs, restaurants, and coffee shops that mean no one has to stay behind (no matter how cosy your holiday home might be).

When you book with Unique Homestays, you’ll receive a digital House Book that’s specific to your chosen property; think advice on all the very best things to do and see during your break, personally recommended hidden gem restaurants, dog-friendly local pubs, and perhaps even a tip-off of the best item on the menu. Worried that your hound might not be on best bistro behaviour? Bring the restaurant to you by hiring a private chef, perhaps even requesting a dog-friendly dish that will set their tails wagging.

Why not browse the fully-catered stays with private chefs collection?


4. Nothing beats walks from the door

An open doorway that looks out on coastal cliffs with a stone path

Room to roam has never been in such high demand. Now more than ever, we’re taking reams of enquiries from travellers looking for the best walking holidays in the UK. From galloping down private beach trails in lesser-visited parts of Cornwall to trekking through gorges in the hinterland of Snowdonia, our luxury dog-friendly cottages put your four-legged friend’s holiday experience at the fore, and that often means incredible walks straight from the front door.

Whether you’re curious about livestock in nearby fields, or simply want an opinion on which properties have the best hiking routes close to hand, our Homestays Specialists are on-hand to make recommendations on a location-by-location basis. But note, it won’t be a short list; from Scottish hideaways on St Cuthbert's Way, to cabins on the coastal path at Whitsand Bay, to our top dog-friendly walks in the Lake District, if there’s one thing we don’t have a shortage of it’s luxury homes with show-stopping walking routes on the doorstep.

Why not browse the wilderness retreats collection?


5. Choose a place where dogs come first

A small black dog sits in a stone bath in a garden with yellow flowers

Our curated dog-friendly collection includes, paws-down, the best-kept secrets on the dog-friendly travel scene. Some of our owners have had bespoke dog beds made especially to fit their stylish aesthetics, others fill their luxury welcome hampers with delicious dog biscuits to ensure that no one is left out of the evening cheese and crackers.

From toy baskets to fireside blankets to garden wash stations to baskets of towels by the door ready to clean off muddy paws after long country walks, our Homestays Specialists can find options to help you, and your dogs, make the most of their stay. Perhaps a canine massage or luxury grooming is on the cards? Whatever you have in mind to spoil your pooch, let us know; we’re dog-lovers here, so helping design their trip is one of the loveliest things we do. All we ask is that you send us a picture of them enjoying their holiday!

Why not browse the luxury dog-friendly holidays collection?