For cat and dog owners, one of the additional complications of going on holiday is working out what to do with our furry friends while we are away. Traditionally, pet owners have turned to kennels, for dogs, and catteries, for cats, but there are other alternatives to consider.
Noggins & Binkles are no strangers to travel. You can read about their journey to the UK from far flung tropical places in this post. Nowadays, however, they prefer not to travel with their humans, opting instead for a nice kitty hotel or, if they are very lucky, to be looked after in the comfort of their own home by a friendly and trusted neighbour. Generally speaking, cats, being territorial animals, can be more sensitive to changes in their environment than dogs so, for Noggins & Binkles at least, going on holiday with the humans isn't really on their to do list.
For dog owners, there are ever-increasing options that enable owners to take their furry friends with them. Not only does this mean that dog owners do not need to make complicated arrangements for their dogs while they are away but that the whole family can go on holiday together! This, coupled with a rise in so-called "staycations" within the UK, means that more and more people are choosing to go on holiday in the UK and to take their furry friends with them rather than going abroad.
In this post, we have put together a selection of luxury five star hotels in the UK that not only welcome dogs but that go the extra mile to accommodate and look after them.
Our gorgeous Labrador furry friends, Lexi and Benson, in their luxury vegan cork leather dog collars with brass buckles
Lucknam Park, Wiltshire
Lucknam Park in Wiltshire is a privately owned five star luxury Palladian-style country house hotel dating from the early 18th century and offering 42 individually styled bedrooms. The hotel is set in five hundred acres of listed parkland, which provides the perfect location for dog walking with plenty of woodland, riverside trails and open meadows for your furry friend to enjoy.
For £25 per dog per day, the hotel offers water and food bowls, a toy and welcome treats. Bedding, fleeces, towels, torches and a lead are also provided which means you can focus the packing on you! For the discerning doggie diner, a special room service menu is also available for a supplement.
For humans, the World Heritage City of Bath is only six miles away and both Stonehenge and Longleat Safari Park are within an hour's drive. A dog-sitter can be arranged for a small charge if you need to venture out without your furry friend. If you prefer not to leave the hotel, the on-site luxury spa offers a range of personalised spa treatments in eight therapy rooms in indulgent surroundings and guests can enjoy Michelin starred dining at Restaurant Hywel Jones or a more informal, seasonal dining experience at The Brasserie.
For everybody's comfort, there are a few simple rules for dog owners staying at Lucknam Park. These can be found here.
Bovey Castle, Devon
Bovey Castle, an Elizabethan five star country house hotel set in the heart of the Dartmoor National Park in Devon, sits within 275 acres of beautiful countryside all of its own and is renowned for the wide range of activities on offer for guests.
With 60 bedrooms and 22 self-catering country lodges nestled within the grounds, this luxury hotel welcomes dogs in most bedrooms and in all of the country lodges for a small fee of £25 per dog, which includes a bowl and bedding. In addition to the very wide range of activities on hand for humans (think outdoor pursuits, golf, archery and horse riding), this is a real home from home for four legged friends who receive a welcome pack at check-in and a plentiful supply of doggie biscuits at reception.
If wandering through the sprawling grounds of Bovey Castle isn't enough for you and your furry friend, Dartmoor National Park offers 368 square miles of wild, open moorlands and deep river valleys to explore. After a long day out, the Elan Spa offers bespoke spa experiences and treatments that have been specifically designed to relax, revive and restore the body and spirit.
Four Seasons, Hampshire
The Four Seasons hotel group should need no introduction to frequent luxury travellers and their five star outpost in Hampshire certainly lives up to the name by combining the discreet service that Four Seasons is renowned for with a quintessentially British country house hotel experience. Add a resident black Labrador, Oliver Beckington, and you have everything you need for the perfect dog-friendly get-away.
The hotel itself, set in an 18th-century manor house just an hour from London, enjoys an estate spanning in excess of 500 acres. These picturesque grounds provide the perfect setting for long walks with your furry friend.
It should come as no surprise that a hotel with its own resident black Labrador is dog-friendly. The philosophy at Four Seasons, Hampshire is very much that dogs are part of the family. This can be seen from the elegant dog beds, grooming products and feeding bowls that are on offer to visiting four-legged friends. On top of that, a food menu designed specially for dogs, with plenty of treats to choose from, is available upon request. Of course the hotel's concierge can assist with arranging dog-friendly activities and dog-sitting services in case you want to get a bit of me-time at the Spa or sample seasonal, natural food created using locally sourced ingredients at Wild Carrot or the other dining options.
Lime Wood, Hampshire
Hampshire is also home to Lime Wood, a beautiful five star country house hotel which offers laid back-luxury in the heart of the New Forest National Park, one of the largest remaining tracts of unenclosed pasture land, heathland and forest in southern England.
Accommodation at Lime Wood is split between luxurious rooms in the main house and other options, including garden lodges, spread out across the grounds of the property. Dogs are welcome to stay in the Coach House, Crescent and Pavilions as well as in the garden lodges. These options offer the perfect solution for guests to get away from home with their dog staying by their side. A fee of £30 puts your furry friend on the guest list and the hotel provides a dog basket as well.
Other than the obvious attractions of the New Forest, many people visit Lime Wood for the culinary experience available at Angela Hartnett and Luke Holder's Hartnett, Holder & Co. Whilst dogs cannot visit the main house which houses the restaurant, the hotel offers a dog-sitting service and lets guests leave their dogs in dog-friendly rooms unattended if they prefer.
Whichever option you choose for your dog-friendly break, it is really important when you take your dog to unfamiliar places to ensure that you are fully compliant with the relevant vaccination and identification requirements. You can read a bit more about what information you are required to have on a dog ID tag in the UK on this post. And remember, our range of luxury chrome and solid brass engraved dog ID tags will ensure that your furry-friend really looks the part when you check into your favourite luxury hotel.
It is important to make sure that you respect the rules relating to travelling with pets and take note of which areas your furry-friend can visit and which areas he or she cannot. Hotels and national parks will often require your dog to be kept on a lead in certain areas and you should follow these rules carefully. Don't forget to have a look at Noggins & Binkles' range of luxury, sustainable and vegan dog collars and leads/leashes before you travel. It is not only the humans that may need a new wardrobe to look their best before going on holiday!