November 27, 2021

Pet-friendly holiday bookings soar in UK as some cottages sell out for summer

Travel firms have seen spikes in bookings for pet-friendly accommodation this summer as Brits plan UK holidays amidst lockdown restrictions easing.

Sykes Holiday Cottages has already noted an 85% year-on-year increase for bookings made in March, while Cottages.com revealed that bookings for pet-friendly breaks are up 100% compared to the same period in 2019.

Meanwhile Dorset Cottage Holidays has seen a 25% increase in bookings by families looking for pet-friendly holiday cottages. The company’s MD Leanne Hemmingway explained: “It’s been amazing to see so many bookings pour in for our amazing pet-friendly holiday accommodation this year, but dates are filling up fast so dog owners wishing to staycation with their pup will need to act fast.

“August is already sold out, and while we have dates available for the 2021 season, we don’t expect them to stick around as more people are choosing not to travel abroad this year and believe that the dog deserves a break too.”

beautiful brown dog put his head on the palm of the person and friendly looking with love on a background of green grass in the summer
Holidaymakers don’t want to leave their dogs behind

The Pet Food Manufacturer’s Association (PFMA) estimates that over 3.2million UK households have acquired a new pet during the pandemic, which no doubt is playing a key factor in the sudden surges for stays which also cater to animals.

Of course a staycation is currently the easiest option, especially for first-time pet owners. For a start there is still some uncertainty around foreign travel, not to mention that with Brexit there are plenty of new rules for travelling abroad with pets.

But it’s not just travel rules that play a role. Research conducted by pet food brand Tails.com found that 85% of dog owners would rather opt for UK holidays than go abroad and leave their pooch back home.

Two dog work together to carry a stick while on the beach on a sunny day
Dogs love a day out at the beach

The company also uncovered some of the UK’s best dog-friendly destinations, with Edinburgh topping the list thanks to its plethora of pet-friendly Airbnb stays, restaurants, and other facilities such as easy access to vets and dog sitters. Bournemouth also impressed thanks to its impressive numbers of pet-friendly green spaces and beaches, while Brighton took the third spot on the podium.

The top 10 list included:

  1. Edinburgh
  2. Bournemouth
  3. Brighton
  4. Southend-on-Sea
  5. Anglesey
  6. Newquay
  7. Bath
  8. Bognor Regis
  9. Cheltenham
  10. Oxford

If you are planning a holiday, you may want to check out TeamDogs.co.uk too – fellow dog owners use the platform to share their recommendations on the best pet-friendly restaurants and accommodation, as well as beautiful walks and other handy tips for heading off on a break with your pet.

For accommodation specifically, there are plenty of websites which cater specifically to pet owners.

Dorset Holiday Cottages, Sykes Holiday Cottages, Cotttages.com and Canine Cottages all offer dedicated sections whether you’re after a home that caters to a large group with pets, or you’re after a family holiday.

The Mirror’s travel newsletter brings you the latest news and expert analysis from across the industry, as well as plenty of travel inspiration.

Our travel experts also seek out the best deals whether for UK holidays or abroad.

It will be sent to your inbox twice a week, so sign up here.

It’s worth noting that some cottages and hotels do charge extra if you want to bring an animal along – but the destination where you’re headed could help keep those costs down.

For example, hotel room platform Hoo found that when it comes to pet-friendly hotels, Cornwall is where you could pay the most with an average cost of £18 more per night, while the Lake District proved the cheapest with an average of £14.57 per night.

The good news is that there are often deals to be found. For example, Hoseasons currently has a Pets Go Free deal which includes its luxury lodges, meaning holidaymakers could stand to save up to £140 off a week’s holiday in the UK this summer.

What have you found to be some of the biggest hurdles of travelling with a pet? Let us know in the comments below.