As 2018 comes to a close, you may be thinking about your dog adventures for 2019 with a year’s worth of weekends to fill up with exciting doggy things to do. We often get asked for suggestions for weekend getaways not too far from London but far enough that you feel you have left the capital behind, so when Pets Pyjamas (the connoisseurs of dog-friendly travel) released the winners of their Dog-Friendly Travel Awards 2018, we sniffed out the pick of the pack that are perfect for a mini-break for London dogs.
As we well know, being dog-friendly can mean many things from ‘dogs tolerated to welcomed with open arms’. Pets Pyjamas have been championing the thousands of pet-welcoming hotels, cottages, manor houses, pubs with rooms and stylish B&Bs around the UK and Europe offering a truly pet-friendly experience for many years now, so what better way to recognise those that excel than through their Dog-Friendly Travel Awards.
Nominees for the top dog list in the Dog-Friendly Travel Awards 2018 were judged on five key dog-friendly criteria…
Winners could take home one of twelve coveted awards from ‘Best Unique Stay’ to ‘Waggiest Welcome’ and more. Here’s our pick of the pack especially for us London dogs as they are all easily accessible from London in approx. 2 hours or less…
Dog-Friendly Travel Awards 2018 | Best Unique Stay | Woodfarm Barges, Suffolk
If it’s a unique getaway you’re looking for, this is the one! Woodfarm Barges secured their winning spot as Best Unique Stay thanks to their two dog-friendly barges. Moored in Snape Maltings and Woodbridge respectively, these historic Dutch sailing barges have been lovingly transformed in luxurious, dog-friendly holiday accommodation sleeping up to six guests plus canine companions. Packed with character and original detailing paired with mod-cons, up to three dogs are welcome at each and treats, dog towels, bowls and more are all provided. Both are located for fun beyond the barge, with pet-friendly pubs, shops and cafes within easy reach.
Getting there: Escape to your floating barge stay from London Liverpool Street and be in Woodbridge in just 1h 30 mins. Book your stay at Woodfarm Barges from £250/night.
Dog-Friendly Travel Awards 2018 | Best Pub with Rooms | The Jack Russell, Andover
With each stylish bedroom (and even the whole pub) named after a breed of dog, you know you will be in safe ‘paws’ at the Jack Russell. Set in the glorious Hampshire countryside, perks include a welcoming bar and restaurant, lovely garden, two resident canine pals and endless country walks on your doorstep, with Stonehenge just 30 minutes away. There’s even special beer for your dog and a polaroid camera to add your snaps to the fabulous doggy guest book.
Getting there: In just over an hour from London Waterloo you can leave the capital far behind and be in Andover. Book your stay at The Jack Russell from £220/night.
Dog-Friendly Travel Awards 2018 | Waggiest Welcome | Widbrook Grange, Bradford-on-Avon
A previous ‘Best Newcomer’ winner, Widbrook Grange has impressed the judges once again. Dogs are at the heart of this idyllic country farmhouse retreat in Wiltshire – from the welcoming staff to the access dogs are afforded to the bar, snug and conservatory areas. Let’s not forget the 11 acres of grounds for them to run around either or the nearby canal walks – and for humans, they will love the indoor pool and extensive Gin Bar!
Getting there: Trains from London Paddington to Bradford-on-Avon take just under 2 hours. Book your stay at Widbrook Grange from £140/night.
Dog-Friendly Travel Awards 2018 | Home from Home | Coastguard’s Beach House, Rye
Guests can take their pick of exploring Romney Marsh, dog-friendly Camber Sands (see our Camber Sands feature for more inspiration) and the Medieval town of Rye in East Sussex at this lovely two-bedroom holiday home. Featuring a sociable open plan layout, with log-burning stove and gorgeous sea views from upstairs, plus a newly equipped kitchen and a farmhouse dining table for meals together. Of course if you fancy eating out, there are plenty of great fish and chip shops, charming taverns and restaurants within easy reach.
Getting there: Trains from London St Pancras to Rye take just over an hour but you may want to travel by car to take full advantage of the area. Book your coastal stay from £195/night.
Dog-Friendly Travel Awards 2018 | Fido’s Family | New Park Manor, Brockenhurst
Enjoy a fantastic stay with all members of the family in a dog’s paradise of the New Forest in Hampshire. Indulge in quality time with long walks together and while the dog catches up on sleep, splash around in the pool or relax in the spa. Local produce makes the restaurant a hit with all and dogs are allowed to join you in the lounge for meals.
Getting there: You can be in Brockenhurst in 1h 40 mins from London Waterloo. Book your New Forest retreat from £140/night.
Dog-Friendly Travel Awards 2018 | Top Resident Dog | Charingworth Manor, North Chipping Campden
Athena the Beagle is the star who landed Charingworth Manor in Gloucestershire the prestigious ‘Top Resident Dog’ title thanks to her own brand of hos-paw-tality – a welcome letter for every dog on arrival. Dogs and their owners love this super dog-friendly 14th century manor with newly refurbished guest rooms, a luxurious spa, intimate John Greville Restaurant and the hotel’s surrounding area of outstanding natural beauty where they can lose themselves for hours on end.
Getting there: A car is definitely needed for this Gloucestershire getaway. Book your stay at Charingworth Manor from £165/night.
Hopefully that’s given you some inspiration to get planning those dog-friendly mini-breaks! See the full list of winners for the Pets Pyjamas Dog-Friendly Travel Awards 2018 if you fancy a trip further afield too.