The pawfect holiday destination? Six reasons why you and your dog need to visit Surrey this summer:
Surrey is known for many things; the shopping, the stunning architecture, and being home to one of Britain’s largest vineyards. But did you know this iconic county in the South East of England also boasts some of the UK’s best dog-friendly spots? Let’s see why Surrey could be the ultimate match for you and your pooch this summer:
1) The idyllic walks
An obvious must for any dog owner considering a holiday away.
Whether you fancy a woodland walk through Hatchlands Park, or a leisurely wander around the Riverside Nature Reserve in Guildford, Surrey really does spoil you for choice. Not only will you stumble across some beautiful landmarks, but you’ll also meet some fellow animal-lovers along the way.
A personal favourite? Painshill Park in Cobham. For a small fee of just £10, this popular attraction has over 158 acres of greenery to explore, and their historical route is worth every penny. Featuring gothic temples and romantic bridges, the 18th century landscape garden is an ideal setting for any rambler. On top of this, the park also encourages you to bring picnics and play fetch as you take in the surroundings!
2) The pet-friendly pubs
What’s better than a relaxing summer’s stroll? A refreshing pint after.
As you can imagine, Surrey is packed full of some of the oldest pubs in the UK, and it only makes sense for them to cater to both customer and canine. Perhaps the most welcoming to our four-legged friends, is The Cyder House Inn. A fan favourite (thanks to their certified ‘dog station’), this classic country pub is situated in the heart of Shackleford and offers everything from dog bowls and blankets to complimentary treats upon arrival! What’s more, it’s only a five-minute drive from Puttenham common, making it the perfect pitstop for any traveller.
For those wanting to dine elsewhere, there are loads of great alternatives. From The Hare and Hounds in Claygate to The Bear in Cobham, there is no doubt that Surrey will give your dog the five-star service they deserve.
3) The cosy cottages
Much-like the pubs here, the holiday homes are just as accommodating and rest assured, you’ll have peace of mind knowing everything’s dog-proof!
In all seriousness, Surrey has some of the prettiest cottages available to rent throughout the summer months, and courtesy of Sykes Cottages, there are endless options to choose from.
If self-catering isn’t your thing, then why not opt for a pet-friendly hotel instead? The Runnymede-on-Thames hotel and spa in Egham is bound to make your stay as stress-free as possible and you’ll be able to relax knowing your pooch is getting pampered too.
4) The inclusive beaches
Everybody knows it’s not truly summer without sun, sand and an ice cream in hand (oh, and your dog running loose of course).
Whilst not all UK beaches are as welcoming to our furry friends as we may hope, Surrey certainly is! In fact, there are many dog-friendly beaches close by; the New Forest is just over an hour’s drive away, with seaside spots worth the trip.
A clear winner for most, is Milford-on-Sea in Hampshire. This four-mile stretch of shingled beach is open to dogs all year round and includes walks to a local castle, as well as lovely views of the Isle of wight.
Another beloved area is Worthing beach which allows dogs from the beginning of May up until the end of September. Around 40 minutes from the South Downs National Park, this pebbled shore is in prime position and even has its own pier, meaning you can enjoy fish and chips in the company of your close pal!
Along with its proximity to the sea, Surrey also has many local streams for your dog to splash around in. The Stepping Stones in Box Hill has become somewhat of a hotspot for its breathtaking views and magical surroundings.
5) The unique activities
Surrey clearly knows how to treat its canine and by offering experiences such as dog yoga, there’s no wonder why it’s so in demand.
For those wanting to do something a bit different this summer, there’s loads on offer. From local agility courses, to cycling side by side with your pooch, this county has gone above and beyond to make sure your dog doesn’t get FOMO.
Bark Park in Aldershot is ideal for the more active breed (especially those which like rolling around in hay bales and jumping through tyres). If this doesn’t sound like your dog, then how about Southwater Cycles? This family-run business on the outskirts of Surrey, is ideal for the more chilled type and no doubt they’ll be able to sit back and relax whilst you do all the hard work!
Alternatively, you could hire a narrowboat from Farncombe Boat House in Godalming. Not only do they allow dogs on board (with notice), but you’ll also see some spectacular views as you sail along the River Wey.
6) The local events
There’s no denying that the people make Surrey the loveable place it is, and this is especially true with their community-driven events.
In late May, Guildford hosts its annual ‘DogFest’. This is a two-day event in Loseley park and you can attend by purchasing tickets online. In the past, this show has welcomed celebrities and animal experts such as This Morning’s resident vet, Dr Scott Miller.
In addition to these A-listers, there’s also a chance to mix with like-minded owners. Whether you decide to take part in the festival’s 4km dog walk, or fancy stopping by a ‘Breed Meet-Up’, there’s so much to do.
Less well-known to the public, yet still a success in its own right, is ‘Shamley Green Village Fete & Dog Show’. Set in the picturesque village of Shamley Green, this fair has everything from clothing stalls to the ‘cutest puppy’ competition. If it isn’t already, this show needs to be on your summer bucket list!