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Five best dog-friendly breaks for spring

West Country escapes that will get tails wagging

dog friendly-smClassic Cottages, the UK’s leading independent cottage holiday specialist in the West Country, has over 350 dog-friendly properties to choose from across Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Exmoor, and – new! – Hampshire and the New Forest.

Here is our top pick for each area:


Arriving at Woodcutters Barn (sleeps five), a spacious property set in a peaceful rural location near Launceston, guests will find flowers and a cream tea, plus a hamper – not only for humans but also for their dogs, containing treats, towels and bowls. With five acres to explore, as well as fields and country lanes beyond, dogs will be worn out after walks and will doubtless enjoy a rest by the wood burner. Less than a mile away, the Springer Spaniel Inn – owned by Masterchef winner Anton Piotrowski – has ‘Waggytails Cocktails’ and locally-sourced food (from pub classics to an eight-course tasting menu).

A three-night stay at Woodcutters Barn costs from £56 pp (£279 total)*.


Dreamcatcher (sleeps two), an environmentally-friendly and unusually converted barn near Okehampton, on the edge of Dartmoor, has oak floors, granite worktops, solar-heated hot water, under-floor heating and a six-foot bed. Up to four dogs and four cats are welcome; the owners are true animal-lovers and provide bowls, blankets and litter trays, plus details of pet-friendly pubs and restaurants nearby, and a comprehensive list of dog-friendly beaches. If you – or your animals – are into yoga, mats are provided in the mezzanine snug under the eaves.

A three-night stay in April costs from £134 pp (£268 total)*. 


Two well-behaved dogs over one year of age are welcome at stylish Dairy Cottage (sleeps six) in the village of Morcombelake, less than four miles from Lyme Regis and closer still to the wonderful Jurassic Coast. The property has an ultra-modern kitchen, a wood-burner, a PlayStation 2 (including dance mats and karaoke microphones), and a selection of games, books and DVDs. Dogs can stretch out before the log fire while you enjoy a slow pint or two and a fresh crab sandwich at the nearby 17th century thatched George Inn.

A three-night stay costs from £65 pp (£390 total)*.


Creenagh’s Cottage (sleeps two) has a devoted following in its repeat guests and their approving hounds. A blissful bolthole, set on a farm – home to sheep, alpacas, goats and chickens, all well used to canine visitors – it’s within walking distance of Exmoor National Park. Plus, nearby Porlock Weir – a 15th century hamlet overlooking the Bristol Channel – has a four-mile stretch of beach, with grassy marshland behind it, on which dogs can go mad.

A three-night stay costs from £110 pp (£220 total)*.

Hampshire and the New Forest

Yatchman's Cottage-smNew to Classic Cottages’ collection, Yachtsman’s Cottage (sleeps four) is a whitewashed cottage, close to Lymington’s quay, where one dog (over a year old) is welcome. Stylish and cosy, with vintage touches, the courtyard garden provides a lovely spot for a glass of fizz or an impromptu barbeque, and the nearby wild-pony-filled New Forest has ancient woodlands and open heaths for your dog to explore. On a cobbled street in Lymington, The Kings Head offers guests and dogs a warm fireside welcome, guest ales and great food.

A three-night stay costs from £236 pp (£942 total)*.

*Please note: prices are based on maximum occupancy.

For more information and to book one of Classic Cottages’ coastal or country holiday discoveries – whether for a short break or longer – call 01326 555 555 or visit


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