Posted 6th Jul 2015
The National Trust has over 150 holiday cottages where the dogs can come along too. So whether you’re looking for somewhere cosy to snuggle up in front of a roaring fire with your pooch, or are in search of a hideaway in the back of beyond to really stretch their legs, the conservation charity has dog-friendly places to stay of every conceivable size and style
Take your pick from listed manors crammed with history and character, to rambling farmhouses and pretty stone cottages, with every single booking supporting the special places the National Trust cares for.
Blakeney Lodge, Blakeney, Norfolk – bird watching heaven
Stay in this cosy one-storey cottage and you’ll be able to experience the unworldly beauty of Norfolk's northern coast and the abundance of birdlife. Depending upon when you visit you could observe Snow buntings and Brent geese during a winter walk on the windswept beaches, or, in the summer you can enjoy the spectacle of diving, screeching terns over the sea and the purple mass of sea-lavender on the saltmarshes.
Sleeps two plus two dogs.
Price for a two night stay from £228
Stretch your legs: Enjoy the Norfolk landscape and big skies on this walk along the coast path. Follow the coastal trail through saltmarsh to Stiffkey. Bring your binoculars, as there are lots of wildlife spotting opportunities across the marshes and scrubland. The wide open spaces are great for four legs, although parts of this walk require dogs to be on leads to protect ground nesting birds.
Caerllan, near Llandysul, Ceredigion – cliff top walks
This converted farmhouse is less than a mile from the beach and just a few minutes’ walk from Ceredigion's Heritage Coastline coastal footpath. The old smugglers’ cove at Cwmtydu, popular with Atlantic Grey seals and their pups, is close by. Visit the popular beach resorts of New Quay and Llangranog and the picturesque harbour village of Aberaeron or take a boat trip for a bit of fishing or dolphin spotting.
Sleeps five plus two dogs.
Price for a three night stay from £367
Stretch your legs: From this secluded cottage it’s easy to take a wander through the surrounding countryside. To explore the local area, Cwmtydu is only 20 minutes drive away and is a secluded spot for enjoying the coastal scenery and wildlife on a blustery walk. Nearby Llanerchaeron has a pretty riverside walk that takes in woodland, an ornamental lake and parkland, as well as café serving tasty local treats.
Lookout Cottage, Low Newton, Northumberland – golden beaches to explore
Situated near Newton Point, with uninterrupted sea views and the golden sands of Embleton just a five minute walk away, Lookout Cottage is a former coastguard’s cottage and comes complete with original bunkbeds. Alternatively, guests can snuggle up in the sitting room and enjoy the views from the sofa bed.
Sleeps four plus two dogs.
Price for a three night stay from £270
Stretch your legs: This secret walk will take you along the coast from Low Newton to Dunstanborough Castle. Enjoy panoramic sea views of the dramatic coastline and spot kittiwakes nesting on the cliffs. Take a picnic and enjoy a bite to eat amongst the romantic castle ruins.
Powders, Helford, Cornwall – a stylish getaway
Set in the perfect ‘get away from it all' location. Powders is a stylish 1930s wooden bungalow that nestles amongst the whispering pine trees at the spot where Frenchman’s Creek meets the Helford River. The former home of artist and sailor Powders Thurburn, the cottage has been restored with the latest eco-friendly techniques and materials, it has a large informal woodland garden and a path leading down to a private quay. It would be difficult to find a house with a more spectacular view: a haven for birdwatchers, walkers or those who just want to sit and gaze at the water.
Sleeps four plus two dogs.
Price for a two night stay from £351
Stretch your legs: It’s a short hop across Helford river by ferry for coastal walk that runs east of the valleys of the National Trust’s Glendurgan Garden. Amble along the pretty riverbank through a mixture of woodland and wild flower-rich fields, with stunning cliff-top views. Stop for a picnic or a barefoot walk on the beach.
Thorington Hall, Suffolk – a countryside escape
Thorington Hall is one of the best timber-framed houses in Suffolk and is the National Trust's largest holiday cottage. Not far from London, the Hall is a vast 17th-century farmhouse set in Constable country, which sleeps 16 people. Inside the large, bright rooms are informally furnished, yet retain the grandeur of powerful landowners who once farmed almost 1,400 acres surrounding the Hall.
Sleeps 16 plus two dogs
Price for three night stay from £1,295
Stretch your legs: Pull on your walking boots and explore Dedham Valley and Stour Valley on a walk that will take you and your four-legged companion through the heart of beautiful Constable Country. Take a break in the village of Flatfords for a cup of tea and slice of cake alongside Bridge Cottage.
Watergate Farm, Loweswater, The Lake District – walkers paradise
This typical Lake District farmhouse stands next to the National Trust warden's house and right by Loweswater Lake in a tranquil corner of the National Park. It is perfect for family holidays with its spacious rooms and traditional charm and character including a large farmhouse kitchen. The cottage is set well away from the road and is surrounded by woodland and open farmland with gorgeous views across the valley.
Sleeps six plus two dogs.
Price for a two night stay from £281
Stretch your legs: For a short walk in Buttermere Valley, follow the lake shore through Holme Wood, populated by deer and red squirrels. Hidden away in the woodland is the beautiful Holme Force, a secret waterfall that goes by the local name of 'the grey mare's tail'.
Willow Cottage, Crom, County Fermanagh – on the shores of Lough Erne
The romantic setting of Crom demesne with its harmony of parkland, woodland, water and historic buildings makes Crom an exceptional place for an unforgettable holiday. With views of woodland and lawn from the bay window this pretty stone cottage allows you to relax and watch the world and wildlife go by. It is just a short stroll to the banks of Lough Erne, where a moss-grown gothic turret crumbles quietly into the lake.
Sleeps three plus one dog.
Price for a two night stay from £206
Stretch your legs: Crom is one of the most picturesque and peaceful places in Northern Ireland. This 2,000 acre demesne is surrounded by tranquil islands and ancient woodlands with miles of trails to explore during your stay.
National Trust holiday cottages can be booked online at nationaltrustholidays.org.uk or over the phone on 0344 335 1287 with every booking supporting the conservation charity’s work looking after special places forever, for everyone.
Images courtesy of The National Trust: Mike Henton