5 of the best pet friendly holidays

Where are some of the best places in the UK and Europe to take your pet on holiday?

With more people deciding against having children, or putting it off until they are older and more financially stable, pets are becoming more important and being treated like members of the family. This means going along on holidays to enjoy quality time together and explore new places. But not every place is open to having pets along for the stay, so where are the best places to travel where your pet will be as welcome as you are?

Staycationing in the UK

Much of the UK is pet-friendly, with most regions having several pet-friendly hotels or camping grounds. If a hotel or self-catering cottage advertises themselves as being very pet-friendly, you can expect water bowls to be readily available, a sleeping area for the pet in the room, and plenty of treats from the staff members. The Lake District is an excellent destination for dog owners, with plenty of fells and lakes to walk your pooch and several dog-friendly cottages to rent. Some caravan sites and cottages also offer cat-friendly accommodation, but make sure you choose somewhere with plenty of space indoors or in an enclosed garden for your cat to explore and keep them on a lead when outside.

Wallonia, Belgium

With over 1,300 pet-friendly hotels and residences, this southernmost region of Belgium has plenty of open spaces where your pet can run and play to burn off excess energy. This part of Belgium is mainly French-speaking, and is fairly rural, making it the perfect destination for animal-lovers who want to bring their pet along and brush up their half-forgotten schoolroom French!

Oslo, Norway

With an abundance of green or open spaces for hiking, walking, or exploring, you can bring your pet along and stay in one of the many pet-friendly hotels and accommodations. Your pet will not be allowed into many restaurants for health and safety reasons, but you will find some places where you can eat outside with your pet. If you are content with skipping the formal dining experience of Oslo, you and your pet can enjoy seeing the fjords, ramble along the beach enjoying the water and the sand, or simply walking or jogging around the parks and pedestrian walkways.

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin is perhaps the most pet-friendly place in Ireland, with a number of hotels and pubs where your four-legged companion will be welcomed. Having said that, Irish public transport can be designed against the easy carriage of pets, with only small animals being permitted and sometimes needing to be in a pet carrier rather than simply on a lead.

Rome, Italy

There are plenty of pet owners in Rome, and your dog can join the locals in the many walkable areas of the city. A lot of hotels are welcoming to pets, but you should always check that your chosen method of public transport is amenable to bringing your pet along with you: small and medium-sized dogs are often tolerated on buses, but larger dogs and more unusual pets may be refused access. Expect to pay for a ticket for your pet, even if they spend the journey on your lap.

In all cases, always specify that you are bringing your pet with you, mention their size and species if these are unusual – a ferret, for example, or an exceptionally large dog. And remember, your pet is your responsibility, and you must be mindful that there are other people also trying to enjoy their holidays who may not be as much of an animal lover as you.

Clean up after your pet, make sure they do not bother other guests and be willing to move or sit in out of the way places – for example, health and safety regulations mean that your pet must be kept well distant from food preparation areas.

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