The most dog-friendly train holidays in the UK

Around 9 million people in the UK own at least one dog. So, it comes as no surprise that holidaying with our canine companions is more popular than ever. And the best bit? Dogs are legally allowed to travel on trains for free, so you can hop on board with your dog in tow!

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August 26, 2021

Around 9 million people in the UK own at least one dog. So, it comes as no surprise that holidaying with our canine companions is more popular than ever. And the best bit? Dogs are legally allowed to travel on trains for free, so you can hop on board with your dog in tow!

But where are the most dog-friendly holiday spots? We’ve taken a look at the best locations for fresh air, open spaces, great hikes and beaches; alongside restaurants, cafes and pubs that welcome dogs with open arms. Start planning your next UK break with our guide below.

Brighton

Recognised as one of the most dog-friendly cities in the UK, Brighton and Hove should be at the top of your list for a UK rail journey. For starters, it has over 150 eateries that allow dogs, and is home to Brighton Pier, the South Downs and several beaches that welcome dogs all year round.

While you’re there, you can wander around the Brighton Pavilion gardens, or take your pup for a spot of afternoon tea. Perhaps the Laughing Dog Café sounds like something your pet would appreciate? Or maybe you’d both enjoy a seafront train ride on the 19th-century Volk’s Electric Railway? You could also coincide your visit with the city’s many dog-friendly events, such as the Saltdean Lido Dog Swim or the annual Pride Dog Show. In short, a visit to Brighton and Hove with your dog has endless possibilities!

Wiltshire

Another top spot for dog-friendly holidays, there’s much more to Wiltshire than history and Stonehenge. Overflowing with fascinating heritage, Wiltshire has been on the map for centuries – thanks to its Roman, Norman and Saxon influences.

Thinking of paying a visit to the scenic countryside of Wiltshire with your dog? You’ll be in good company. Walks in Wiltshire are among the best in the country, with over 8,200 routes to explore. As an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the stunning landscapes of this classic county will keep your eyes engaged, and your pooch’s nose busy.

Lake District

Arguably the most picturesque place in England, the Lake District is also a fantastic place travel to with your dog. Now recognised as a World Heritage Site, this cherished UK hotspot is home to some glorious landscapes, from mountain ranges and evergreen hills to sparkling lakes and grand hikes.

With endless space tire themselves out and plenty of fresh water to have a paddle in, your dog will have the holiday of a lifetime in the Lakes. You’ll also find that plenty of the idyllic market towns in the Lake District will welcome dogs at the local shops, pubs and cafés.

Pembrokeshire

National Geographic magazine has ranked the Pembrokeshire coastline as the second best in the world. That’s a pretty big claim to fame! With over 50 beaches and a total of 186 miles of sensational coastline, there really is something for everyone.

A popular place to choose for cosy cottage retreats, dogs will feel right at home. During the day, you can explore the endless sandy stretches of beach or visit one of the many islands in the region. In the evening, you can head to the lively town of Tenby or visit Britain’s smallest city, St David’s.

Bristol

A colourful city by appearance and nature, Bristol is stacked with dog-friendly hotspots, delicious places to eat and drink and plenty of open green spaces for walks. There are also several attractions that you can take your pup to, such as the Bristol Bus Tour, the Bristol Ferry Boats and Ashton Court Estate – with over 850 acres of land to roam through.

To make it an even more appealing choice, Bristol has a huge range of eateries to suit every taste. And you can’t visit this iconic city without having a pint at the Volunteer Tavern where you can hang out in the beer garden and meet the local pub dog!

Northumberland

Taking the train to the county of Northumberland promises to be a journey that you won’t forget. With spectacular views of the many parks and coastlines, you and your dog are guaranteed to a great staycation here.

Perhaps the most stand-out attraction in the area, Northumberland’s International Dark Sky Park is the largest night sky site in the whole of Europe, with Kielder Observatory on your doorstep for unforgettable stargazing.

It’s also a great opportunity to pay a visit to Hadrian's Wall with your dog, one of the UK's most famous ancient ruins.

Norfolk

With a whopping 90 miles of completely unspoilt coastline, Norfolk is the perfect holiday spot for dogs who want to really stretch their legs in the sand. Home to many points of interest like Great Yarmouth and Norfolk Broads, you and your dog will be overwhelmed with the stunning scenery of the beaches, seafronts and clifftops.

Dorset

One of the most famous and noteworthy counties in the UK thanks to its natural Jurassic coastline, Dorset boasts everything from fossil-filled beaches and coves to endless coastal walks and a collection of white sand beaches that are hard to beat.

As dog friendly as they come, you can visit your favourite attractions in Dorset with your four-legged friend by your side. Whether you want to take a walk with prehistoric giants at the Dinosaur Museum or you want to marvel at the sights offered on the Swanage Steam Railway, you’ll be spoilt for choice!

Not only is it quick and hassle-free to travel with your dog via train to your holiday destination, but it’s also one of the most sustainable choices you can make. And to make planning your trip even easier, you can let us to do all the hard work for you!

Plan your journey with us and get live updates, real-time crowding alerts, personalised rewards and much more. Get started today on Messenger: m.me/Zipabout.