Dog holidays
Monday, 30 November -0001

A ruff guide to the holiday retreats where dogs really are welcome

Written by Wendy Gomersall

Forget fumbling around with foreign currency and immigration queues, the worst thing about holidays isn’t dropping off the dog at kennels, it’s collecting him on the way home. That hurt look and days of punishment as licks and tail-wags are withdrawn. The solution is obvious – take doggie on holiday with you. I’ve sniffed out some Fido-friendly establishments…

For discerning mutts, there’s Chien Bleu, a travel company offering a special twonight doggie weekend (5 to 7 October), from £295 per person, at the historic Old Swan and Minster Mill, on the banks of the River Windrush near Witney, in the Cotswolds. The break includes individual photography sessions, a two-hour guided walk and a moon-lit stroll to the Minster Lovell Hall ruins, plus a welcome hamper of doggie delights.

Chien Bleu also offers a two-night Gourmet Experience at the Rectory Hotel and nearby Potting Shed Pub, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, from £310 for two humans and one dog: 0800-033 7385,

Posh pooches will adore Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire in Dogmersfield, Fleet. A four-legged host – resident black Lab, Oliver Beckington – greets furry guests. The hotel has teamed up with pet outfitters Mungo & Maud to ensure quality pampering, including grooming products, feeding bowls and organic treats. Dogsitting is available. A cleaning fee of £35 per dog per stay is charged. Rooms from £270 per night: 00800-6488 6488,

Brighton loves dogs and pooch-friendly establishments include The Neo, rooms from £100 per night – – The Oriental, from £89 – – and, for posh pups, The Grand on the seafront, from £108 –

Holidaying dogs

There are dog-friendly beaches to run around or Hove-based pet boutique Doggy Fashion (01273-777555) has doggy buggies to hire, from £3 an hour. Take Rover to Brunswick Grooming then book Brighton Dog Photography (below left) – – to come out and take a photo of your happy hound.

Dog-friendly Carmarthenshire has a number of holiday options. Caban Casita is a log cabin for two, plus dog, in the lovely Teifi Valley with acres of woodland to explore. Its 1970s-style retro interiors include a special pet bedroom. From £167 for a two-night stay (Friday to Sunday) this summer:

Book into Typoeth Cottage near Brechfa Forest and owner Suzanna will train visiting dogs for £10 per hour – she has 40 years’ experience at The Bellmead Training School for Kennelmaids. From £250 for two people per week: 01559- 384483,

Four-legged visitors to Combe House in Gittisham, Devon, receive Toby’s Dog- Friendly Walks, compiled by Toby the Dalmatian. The book features 10 coast and country itineraries, each with dog-friendly pubs and refreshment stops – even dog waste bins – en route.

Dogs are welcome to stay in all bedrooms at Combe House, a member of Fine Individual Hotels, from £215 per night; dog charge from £10 per night, with welcome doggie pack: 01404-540400,

Does your dog have a favourite holiday home? Tell us below!

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