Five Reasons Why Herefordshire is the Perfect Dog friendly Holiday Destination
Are you planning a countryside getaway, but can’t stand the thought of leaving your four-legged family member behind? Then why not save on exorbitant pet-sitting or kennel fees and bring them along to join in the fun? With its luscious green hills and quaint market towns, Herefordshire is one of the UK’s hidden gems and a dog owner’s dream.
From accommodation options like pet friendly cottages to exciting day trips, here are five reasons why Herefordshire is an ideal choice for you and your pets.
1. There’s no shortage of pet-friendly places to stay
Herefordshire offers a wide variety of delightful independent hotels that welcome dog-owners with open arms.
The Feathers Hotel in Ledbury is a stunning timber-framed 16th century coaching inn which has a selection of dog-friendly rooms and allows pets to join you in the bar and lounge areas.
Or, for a more luxurious option, The Riverside at Aymestrey provides a top-quality service for both you and your pooch. For just £10 extra, your dog is welcome in any of the beautifully furnished rooms and is provided with a bowl, dog treats, a blanket and water upon arrival. What’s more, when it comes to your evening meal, special ‘dog tables’ are available in the bar, and you can even request a tasty treat from the chef just for your canine companion.
However, if you’d rather enjoy a more private break, there are hundreds of wonderful dog-friendly country cottages and holiday homes to choose from. The search feature on the Skye Cottages website, for example, includes an ‘allow pets’ filter and suggests more than 130 charming and affordable stays all over the county.
2. Your pup will be spoilt for walks
Often overshadowed by other natural beauty hotspots like the Lake District or Cornwall, Herefordshire provides a less travelled but equally as stunning alternative to Britain’s more touristy countryside escapes. Home to the Wye Valley and the Malvern Hills (both designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and with the Forest of Dean, the Brecon Beacons National Park and the Shropshire Hills close by, it really is a prime location for nature-loving dog owners.
There are countless walks of varying difficulties and lengths, but the Herefordshire Trail is undoubtedly a highlight. This 150-mile path connects the five major market towns of Ledbury, Ross-on-Wye, Kington, Leominster and Bromyard, combining panoramic countryside views with bustling small-town charm. You can join this route at any point and do as much or as little as you like, so it really is perfect for every person (and every pooch!)
3. You can enjoy a delicious meal with your dog by your side
A trip to the British countryside just isn’t complete without a traditional pub lunch, and Herefordshire is home to a whole host of dog-friendly establishments. If you’re based in the county town of Hereford, the Imperial Inn is an excellent choice. Your four-legged friend is welcome to join you in both their indoor and outdoor seating areas, and will even be offered water and treats, so they won’t feel left out as you enjoy your food.
Or, if you’re hoping to sample some of the finer food that Herefordshire has to offer, the Stagg Inn in Titley is an award-winning gastro pub that was featured in the 2020 Michelin Guide and allows your dog to accompany you for this exquisite dining experience.
4. You won’t be stuck in your cottage or lodge on a rainy day
It’s likely that one of your biggest concerns about bringing along your canine companion is finding dog-appropriate indoor activities for when the weather takes a turn for the worse. Well, Herefordshire is home to Eastnor Castle, one of very few heritage sites in the UK that actually allows dogs inside the historic house itself. Provided they are well-behaved and kept on a lead, your furry friend can join as you wander through the magnificent state rooms and admire the lavish décor of this 19th century revival castle. Plus, if you do happen to catch a little sun, a stroll through the beautiful castle grounds and visit to the abortorium are an absolute must. Dog-owners are provided with waste bags upon arrival, you will find several refreshment stations throughout the grounds to keep your pups hydrated, and there’s even a designated ‘dogs off lead’ area.
If you fancy a shopping trip, the Hereford Butter Market will also provide shelter from the rain. Dogs on leads are permitted to join you in wandering through this historic indoor market, which is located right in the heart of Hereford and is home to various local food and retail vendors.
5. There are endless adventures for human and canine family members alike
You certainly won’t be limited to long walks and pub gardens if your four-legged friend accompanies you on your trip to Herefordshire. In fact, there is a wide variety of exciting and unique dog-friendly activities on offer. For the more adventurous among you, why not check out some water sports opportunities on the River Wye? Certain canoe hire companies, such as Ultimate Canoe and Kayak or Hereford Canoe Hire are happy to let your well-behaved pooch join you in the boat as you paddle through the Wye Valley at your own pace and take in the picturesque views.
Or, if canoeing sounds a little too taxing for a relaxing countryside break, Kingfisher Cruises operates dog-friendly boat trips through Symonds Yat Gorge, offering a unique perspective on one of Herefordshire’s most popular tourist destinations. This comfortable 45-minute cruise runs several times a day from March to October and even provides an audio commentary so that you can learn more about the gorgeous landscapes and fascinating history of the area. Finally, if you’re looking for a more sophisticated day out, you could sample some local wines at the Frome Valley Vineyard. This peaceful winery offers tours and tastings for 18+ guests and welcomes your furry friends (just as long as they don’t drink the wine!)