Finding the perfect gift can be stressful for some people. They tend to overthink it, second guess themselves, and spiral into anxiety. We urge you to turn these feelings around, take the pressure off of yourself and enjoy the experience of gift-giving.
The saying that it is ‘the thought that counts’ still rings true. We aren’t saying that it doesn’t matter what you choose as a gift, but rather than taking the time to realize why you have selected that gift is most instrumental. When writing the card, or handing over the present, we urge you to explain how you decided that your gift was perfectly suited.
Luckily, finding a present for the dog lover in your life is relatively straightforward, since you already know what is near and dear to them. You also have a whole other four-legged friend that you can spoil with gifting ideas on their behalf. We are here to make your search even more effortless and provide inspiration for spoiling the dog lover in your life.
Photo Session The best gifts are ones that we wouldn’t think to buy for ourselves, or never knew how much we wanted until we got them. This is precisely the case for having a professional photoshoot with man’s best friend. Taking pictures of pets isn’t the easiest, so look for a professional pet photographer that is experienced in capturing a dog’s best angle. This is a present that will be treasured for decades to come.
Photo Frames Every dog lover will relish having a dedicated photo frame with a memorable picture of their companion. If you have time to make an order in advance, then consider purchasing a personalized frame with the dog’s name engraved into it. You could even be sneaky and take a quick snapshot and put it into the frame before delivery.
Dog Clothes There is nothing more delightful than seeing a dog wearing a sweater. Honestly, check out this picture of a dachshund in a stripy Picasso jumper and tell us we aren’t right. In addition to being incredibly adorable, dog clothes are needed in cooler climates and for older dogs that are no longer as active as they used to be. If a pup is going to wear clothes, let them be super stylish.
Restaurant Gift Certificate Who doesn’t love getting a gift certificate for fantastic food? What’s even better is if the dog lover in your life can bring their pet to dinner with them. Check out this comprehensive list of bars, cafes, and restaurants around the United Kingdom that are pet-friendly.
Holiday Has a dog hampered your plans for taking a romantic weekend away? There’s no need to stop traveling when you have a pet; just look for hotels and inns that will open their doors to your furry friends as well. The dog lover in your life will appreciate the gift of a break without having to deal with the hassle of finding a pet sitter.
There is nothing better than finding the perfect gift and putting a genuine smile on the face of your loved one. Holidays and birthdays are a fantastic opportunity to spoil those that you care about, but we urge you to consider giving on any random day. A thoughtful gift that is entirely unexpected is an excellent way to show how much you care.
One of the things to consider when you have a four-legged member in the family is finding a dog-friendly retreat. Sure, you can find a dog-sitter or take them to a dog-sitting animal clinic, but most dog-lovers and those who treat their dogs as part of the family would love to bring their dogs on holiday trips. You can even go on a dog adventure as part of your retreat. Holidays are opportunities for you to give your dog, which is often left at home when you go to work or school, the best time.
However, it’s no piece of cake to bring your dog on a getaway; you have to plan for it. You don’t want to regret making reservations for holiday accommodation that, later on, would reject you because pets are not allowed. Considering whether they’re allowed or not, there are other factors you should put some thought into before you choose a place. Finding the most suitable dog-friendly accommodation will help you have that perfect getaway you’ve been looking forward to.
In finding the best dog-friendly retreat cottages in the UK, you’ll need to consider these factors:
Location What does your dog most enjoy? Does it love running around and rolling over the grass? There are locations with the most attractive landscapes, like in the countryside locations. Suppose your dog loves playing in the snow. You never know when it’ll start snowing, so it’s best that you know which places are most likely to experience snow. You should decide on the location you want first before you start researching for the perfect retreat cottages. You can check various dog-friendly accommodation websites for more information on which areas you can enjoy most with your furry best friend.
Accessibility One of the considerations in choosing a retreat cottage is its accessibility. Accessibility in terms of accommodation means the capacity to cater to special needs, also keeping in mind the need to avoid anything that can induce stress and protect the clients. Most commonly, when people say their cottage is accessible, it means it’s wheelchair-friendly. Pet-friendly accommodation also defines accessibility as pet-proofing the place. Things that pets can break or choke on are the things you won’t find in accessible dog-friendly cottages.
Size Small and cosy places are ideal for getaways, especially for the Christmas holidays. However, these are suitable for couples or small families. When you bring your dog with you, you’ll need to have a roomier choice where your dog can play around or find its spot to sleep in.
Amenities Some retreat houses or cottages have rooms mostly made for dogs. More so, not only must you consider the dog, but you should also keep in mind whether you can enjoy the amenities of the dog-friendly accommodation of your choice or not. You only want the best for you, your family, and your dog.
Costs Your budget is one of the most crucial aspects in finding the best dog-friendly retreat cottages. It’s what provides you with the range of the places you can only avail. Although, you don’t have to worry if you don’t have that big of a budget. There are affordable pet-friendly places you can book. Nonetheless, it’s best to do your research since not all that’s affordable to accept pets.
Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, The Old Mill Holiday Cottages are in the perfect location to explore the stunning scenery and beautiful views that North Wales has to offer. Located in Flintshire a ‘Hidden Gem’ and only 1 hour from Liverpool and Manchester. Many of our favourite walks are lesser-known and are much quieter than in Snowdonia.
As a family, we’ve always enjoyed being out and about discovering new places, but with the addition of our new dog Eli, we’ve got more excuse now than ever!
I hope you love our ‘Top 5 Walks in North Wales’ as much as we do! All of these walks give you the feel-good factor, but for walks that have stunning views, I’ve also included a ‘Stir-you-soul’ rating as well 😊
1. Penycloddiau Hill Fort, Llangwyfan Difficulty Level – Moderate Time – 2-hour circular Footwear – Walking boots Views to stir you soul – 5/5 Distance from the cottages – 3 miles
Penycloddiau is the largest hillfort in the Clwydian Range and one of the largest in Wales. Recent archaeological searches have found stone tools dating back 4000 years to the Bronze Age.
There are many walks in this area and on the main its usually very quiet (Don’t tell anyone!!).
Our favourite trail begins at the far right-hand side of the car park. The path takes you up a gradual incline through pine forest. (The path is a bit rugged in places, be careful of tree roots and uneven ground). Once through the wooded area, the views to the left over the Vale of Clwyd are just breathtaking! Continue up the hill to the top of the hill fort – In good weather, you can see for miles around, the views are just stunning!
2. Moel Famau to The Jubilee Tower Difficulty Level – Moderate Time – 2 ½ hour circular Footwear – Walking boots Views to stir you soul – 5/5 Distance from the cottages – 10 miles
Park at the lower car park (Change needed for parking). Here there is a nice picnic area, play park and toilets. Moel Famau is the highest hill within the Clwydian Range, there are several walks from this area, for a range of abilities – Which makes this, and Loggerheads the most well-known and popular of the walks listed.
There are x3 main trails signposted here. Our favourite is the purple trail – it’s a steady climb upwards (And gets your heart pumping!) It takes you through open countryside and woodland area, with beautiful views across the Clwydian Range.
The last section of this walk is the most challenging and includes a 30-minute steeper section – However, once you get to the top, you’re rewarded with reaching the Jubilee Tower, and stunning views across as far as Liverpool!
The Jubilee Tower was built to commemorate ‘Mad’ King George III and dates back to 1810 – However, it was never completed!.
3. Loggerheads Country Park Difficulty Level – Easy/Moderate Time – 1 to 2 hours + Footwear – Sensible Foot-ware (Weather depending) Views to stir you soul – 3/5 Distance from the cottages – 7 miles
Loggerheads Country Park is a very accessible walking area (Suitable for off-road prams as well) with a large car park, café, gift shop, picnic area and toilets. (Please note change needed for parking).
Loggerheads Country Park is such a wonderful place to go walking at any time of year. If you like, you can wander by the shallow river and quietly absorb the sounds and the beauty of the woodland. Or if you’d like a bit more of a work-out take a hike to the top of the cliffs, its hard work to get up there, but the views at the top are outstanding! When you come back to level ground, there’s a café, gift shop and field where dogs and children can run and play games.
4. Clwydian Range – Afonwen – Known Locally as ‘The Tank Track’ Difficulty Level – Easy/Moderate Time – 1 to 2 hours – Or much further if you wish..? Footwear – Walking boots Views to stir you soul – 4/5 Distance from the cottages – 3 miles
From the village of Afonwen, take the left turn towards ‘Afonwen Craft & Antiques Centre.’ (An ideal stop off – perfect for gifts and it has a great café.) Instead of branching left, continue straight up the steep hill. Please note – This road is known locally as the ‘tank track’ do drive carefully, the road is very steep and has main pot-holes!
Park in the small lay-by area. If you prefer a flatter walk, go through the 5-bar gate, to the right of the car park. Here you are on the Offa’s Dyke path, this is a much flatter and gentler walk, with sheep grazing in fields and isolated farms dotted around.
For a more challenging walk, climb to the top of the hill to the left – This is the chain of hills which make up the ‘Clwydian Range’. In the distance, you will be able to see Moel Famau. The landscape extends ahead of you, like a series of ‘big dippers’ For keen more experienced walkers, there’s plenty of scope for a long walk here…
5. Starting Point – The Old Mill Holiday Cottages Denbigh Road, Melin-Y-Wern, Nr Mold Difficulty Level – Easy/Moderate Time – 2-hour circular Footwear – Walking boots/wellies (Can be muddy in the Winter) Views to stir you soul – 3/5 Distance from the cottages – 0 miles!
This is a circular walk, beginning at The Old Mill Holiday Cottages. The popular Cherry Pie Inn is just next door – An ideal stop for lunch or an evening meal after a day sight-seeing.
Cross in front of The Cherry Pie Inn. Take the footpath between the two bungalow cottages. Walk ½ mile to the end of the lane, at the T-Junction, you’ll see a bench, with a footpath sign to the right. Follow the footpath into the woodland.
On entering the wood, the footpath is clearly marked and meanders alongside the pretty stream. There are many shallow pools, making it perfect for children and dogs to paddle in.
Look out for the ‘Teepees’ (This is a lovely spot for children to play) Continue on through the woodland, until you reach a stile. Cross into the meadow (Fabulous wild-flowers grow here in the Summer). Walk diagonally to reach the top end of the field.
Cross the stile into the lane. Turn left downhill, into the pretty hamlet of ‘Nannerch Mill’. Walk up the hill (The lane flattens out) and after approx.1 mile, enter the rural village of Nannerch. With ‘The Cross Foxes pub’ opposite, turn left and through the village past the church. As you are leaving the village take the left turn. Continue straight on this lane, which gradually takes you downhill and back to the bench.
At the bench turn right – you have then completed the loop and are back on the lane to The Old Mill Holiday Cottages. (Cross the road in front of The Cherry Pie, for best visibility).
I hope this has inspired you to explore this beautiful part of Flintshire and Denbighshire in North Wales.
Cornwall is an incredibly popular holiday destination not only for UK citizens, but for tourists all over the world! With a warmer climate than most of Britain, plenty of beautiful scenery, and a whole lot of character, it’s not hard to see why it’s so well-loved. If you’ve got a dog, you’ll be happy to hear you don’t have to miss out, either. There are plenty of dog-friendly spots in Cornwall that you can check out, and we’ve put together some of our favourites to get you started!
Padstow If you head to Padstow, you’ll be in good company – there are lots of dogs in this puppy-friendly town. A coastal fishing port, there’s plenty to do here, including visits to beaches, coastal walks, and plenty of tourist attractions. Take your dog to visit Prideaux Place, an incredible Elizabethan manor, or play fetch at Treyarnon Bay, a gorgeous spot by the sea. There are also plenty of restaurants, cafes, and traditional English pubs that will welcome your dog. If you decide to stay in the Padstow area, local company Harbour Holidays has a great selection of dog-friendly, self-catering cottages and holiday homes in the town and on surrounding beaches.
Penzance With plenty of culture and character, Penzance is a hot-spot for holiday makers, and dogs are always welcome! Wherrytown Beach is dog-friendly all year long and is the perfect spot to let your pup stretch their legs and frolic in the sea, and the popular Newlyn Art Gallery will be happy to have your four-legged friend to visit. After a day of exploring, head to one of the many dog-friendly pubs and restaurants for a tasty meal and a locally-brewed drink.
Newquay If you and your dog are beach lovers, it doesn’t get better than Newquay. Chilled out and with an undeniable surfer vibe, this is a town that can’t get enough of the sea. Check out the many dog-friendly beaches, including Fistral beach where surfers ride the waves, and enjoy fish and chips whilst your pup plays in the sand. Head to one of the dog-friendly bars, such as Whiskers, to enjoy live music and a drink, or take a look at the dog-menu at The Wet Dog Pizza.
Bodmin For history fanatics, Bodmin is the ideal Cornish holiday spot – and its super dog-friendly, too! It’s one of the oldest towns in the region, and the Cornish Rebellion of 1497 actually originated here. You can take a peep at the past at the dog-friendly Bodmin Jail or climb aboard an old steam train for an afternoon of fun. The Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry Museum is makes for a great day out, and it welcomes dogs, too! You can also enjoy many outdoor spots where your pup can stretch their legs, including The Camel Trail and Bodmin Moor.
If you’re heading to Cornwall with a dog, you can see that you’ll be spoilt for choice! There’s plenty for you to do and a whole lot of attractions to visit, so be sure to plan ahead for a dog-friendly trip that’s packed with fun.
If you and your dog are lovers all of the sea, sand, and sun, Cornwall is a great place to visit. With some of the most beautiful beaches in the UK and a warm climate, it’s ideal for doggy days out! To help you find some great spots, we’ve put together our five favourite dog-friendly beaches in Cornwall that you should definitely check out.
Perranporth Easily accessible and with a long stretch of sandy beach that’s perfect for dogs to run, jump, and play, it’s no surprise that Perranporth is a popular spot for dog owners! Bring a tennis ball for some great games of fetch and a towel to dry off your pup after a dip in the sea. It’s close to Perranporth village, making it great for those who can’t walk so far, and has a great seaside café so you can stay all day if you want! Just be aware that in July and August dogs have to be on a lead between 9am and 5pm. There are loads of great dog-friendly places to stay nearby including a great collection of holiday cottages, houses and apartments in Perranporth from Duchy Holidays. This way you and your dog can relax in your home away from home, close to this glorious sandy beach.
Watergate Bay Another large stretch of uninterrupted sand, Watergate Bay is a seaside haven for dogs. All year round, your dog can run free on the beach, exploring rock pools, playing with other furry friends, and splashing in the water. When it’s time for a break, set down a picnic blanket and enjoy some well-earned treats, watching the tide go out in time for sunset. Stay nearby at one of the wonderful dog-friendly hotels nearby including the sea-front Watergate Bay Hotel.
Mawgan Porth Pretty quiet and without so many tourists, Mawgan Porth is ideal for dogs who are a little wary of crowds. This is a Sunday Times award-winning beach, too, so you can be sure you’ve picked a good spot! The waves are great for surfing, there are plenty of walks you and your dog can enjoy, and the local area is full of fun things to do and dog-friendly restaurants. Many accommodation providers in the area also welcome pets.
Porthkidney Beach Just 2 miles from St Ives, Porthkidney is a pretty popular beach where dogs can be left to run free across the sand – just be sure to put them back on a lead when you’re on any of the footpaths. When the tide goes out, this beach stretches for almost a mile into the sea, making it perfect for dogs with long legs who really need to let off some steam. Just remember to bring plenty of snacks and water! The St Ives area is a wonderful place for a holiday, and you’ll be spoilt for choice for dog-friendly places to stay in the area.
Lantic Bay If you and your dog love a bit of adventure, Lantic Bay is the perfect beach spot. To reach it, you’ll first get to enjoy a mile-long walk across the lush cliffs that shelter the beach and breathe in the fresh coastal air. Once you’ve reached the sand, you can relax whilst your dog runs free, or join them for a dip in the sea. Lantic Bay is near Polruan, across the water from Fowey, on Cornwall’s beautiful south coast where you’ll find a huge range of dog-friendly pubs, restaurants and places to stay.
Finding a great beach for you and your dog to enjoy isn’t always easy, but with these great spots in Cornwall you should find one in one time. Just pick a spot for a holiday and explore with your dog. But remember to check local information as many beaches have seasonal restrictions for visiting dogs.
Whether you want to de-stress from a busy job or have a thirst for adventure, going on holiday is always something to look forward to. If you’ve got a dog, we definitely recommend bringing them along too! Not only do you get to explore a new place or relax by the sea, you get to do it all with man’s best friend by your side. If you think it’s time to get away with your pup, check out our top dog-friendly holiday spots in the UK for a bit of inspiration.
Cornwall Undeniably beautiful and with plenty of incredible outdoor locations, Cornwall is a hugely popular UK holiday destination – and its very dog-friendly, too! There are over 100 beaches that you and your pup can choose from, which is perfect for getting outdoors and letting your dog run, jump, and swim to their heart’s content. A bunch of the big attractions also let dog’s in, such as The Eden Project, and with a warmer climate you can enjoy plenty of time outside.
Lake District If you and your dog love going on long walks and enjoy beautiful scenery, the Lake District could be your next holiday spot. The wider area of Cumbria has 20 English heritage sites that’ll welcome your dog, including Ambleside’s Roman Fort, and the remains of Penrith Castle. There are also plenty of lakes and rivers that your four-legged friend can splash about in, and even a lake cruise out on Windemere that dogs can join in with for free!
North York Moors and Coast With a ton of dog-friendly holiday properties to pick from, beautiful coastal towns, and rural moorland, the North York Moors and Coast are great spots for your trip away. Start your day with a walk along the beach before enjoying a traditional pub lunch, and head to the woods or moors in the afternoon for some stunning scenery. The best part? Your pup can enjoy everything with you!
Devon Head to Devon for warmer temperatures and beautiful beaches – it’s another firm favourite for dog-friendly holidays spots in the South. From coastal walks along the South West Coast Path to the grounds of Powderham Castle, there are plenty of activities you and your dog can enjoy together. In fact, there are over 25 dog-friendly tourist attractions that you can explore, so you can be sure of a full itinerary whilst you’re there!
Anglesey For an abundance of coastal trails, head down to Anglesey and let your dog explore the great outdoors. With over 125 miles of coastal walks, you’ll certainly be kept busy! The paths lead you to many interesting spots, including fishing villages, woods, cliffs, and, of course, a lot of wonderful beaches. Your pup will love spending all day outdoors, taking in the scents and sights, and meeting plenty of other dogs along the way.
All of these wonderful holiday destinations have plenty of dog-friendly cottages and holiday homes where you and your family can get away for a well-earned break with your four-legged friend. For inspiration visit the Dog Friendly Retreats website which is full of wonderful ideas for pet-friendly getaways all over the United Kingdom.
There a lot of dog-friendly spots around the UK that are perfect for a holiday, making it easy to get away from home without leaving your pup behind! So, if none of these catch your eye, be sure to check out what else is out there.
There is nothing quite like walking through the forest with your four-legged friend on a morning walk. Feeling the wind on your face and your dog tugging at the end of the lead. Hearing the cracks of twigs breaking underfoot and the sound of birds singing. Watching the beautiful sunrise between the trees and your dog’s tail wagging in excitement. Retiring to a cosy home – or home away from home – after a stunning forest walk with your dog makes it extra special. These are the eight reasons your man’s best friend loves the forest as much as you.
New smells There are millions of new smells to discover throughout the forest and your dog will enjoy finding every one of them. My Golden Retriever dog – called Marley – loves the smells of squirrels and rabbits in our local woods.
Seasonal changes From seeing the bright green of leaves and blooming flowers in spring to feeling the leaves crunch under your feet in autumn, your dog loves to walk through the forest in every season. Marley especially loves autumn as he enjoys kicking up the crisp leaves as he runs.
Take extra note of the weather conditions for your dog as they may feel cold in windy, rainy, snowy or icy conditions. It’s worth noting that seasonal canine illness is an unexplained condition that could potentially affect dogs in the autumn after people have walked with their dogs in wooded areas.
Forest bathing Forest bathing is a new therapy used to reduce stress or anxiety. Spending time in the forest with your dog can help reduce stress and anxiety in both you and your four-legged friend. Forest bathing involves walking slowly, breathing deeply and opening your senses to the forest. The therapy will calm and rejuvenate you and your dog.
Acres of woodland There are hundreds of acres of natural forest to explore with your dog. You and your dog can see the hundreds of acres available to explore as a challenge and discover every inch on your walks. The acres of woodland also mean there are hundreds of sticks for your dog to fetch. Remember to always bag and bin your dog’s waste and ensure dogs are safe playing with sticks. You should also check yourself and your dog for ticks after visiting woodland areas.
Meeting other dogs Dogs love to meet other dogs. Forest walks are the ideal place for dogs to meet and enjoy some playtime during their walk. Marley loves to play chase with other dogs in the forest on his walks.
Extra treats If your dog is well behaved on a forest walk, it is likely he or she will receive delicious treats. Your dog may behave well during an encounter with another dog or by complying to a recall request on the lead. Marley always knows that when we go for a walk he will receive treats if he is well behaved.
Cosy homes After returning to your cosy home – or home away from home in dog-friendly accommodation – your dog will love to curl up in their basket in front of a log fire at the end of the day. Every dog looks very cute curled up in their basket after a long day exploring.
Dog exercise areas Most forest areas request that dogs are kept on leads to ensure wild creatures and birds are kept safe as well as other forest visitors. However, some places (such as at Center Parcs on pet-friendly breaks) offer designated dog exercise areas where your dogs can be let off the lead. Your dog can enjoy the freedom of running, jumping or playing in these dog exercise areas.