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11 places in the UK that look like they're abroad

11 places in the UK that look like they’re abroad

The UK is filled with captivating destinations, from the quintessentially British Cotswolds to the dramatic Scottish Highlands, but it’s also home to places that wouldn’t look out of place on a postcard from the Caribbean or South Africa.

These exotic-looking locations, which can be found in Cornwall, Norfolk, the Inner Hebrides and even London, are ideal for dog-friendly holidays, especially if you’re worried about taking your pooch on a flight but still want to experience a tropical getaway.

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While we can’t promise you the heat of the south of France or Barbados, we’re pretty sure you’ll fall in love with these beautiful UK destinations that look like they’re abroad. Browse Britain’s most spectacular places for a staycation you can enjoy with your four-legged friend in tow

1. St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall

It may look like it’s straight out of northern France but this is Cornwall‘s very own tidal island, just 500 metres from the town of Marazion. While Normandy’s Mont Saint-Michel is one of the most visited attractions in France, St Michael’s Mount offers fewer crowds and just as much beauty.

While you’re there, tour its medieval castle, tuck into fresh local food and marvel at the sub-tropical garden with exotics from Mexico, the Canary Islands and South Africa. Stay at dog-friendly BB, the Godolphin Arms, for the most stunning view of the attraction. BOOK NOW

Alternatively, there are cottages and hotels you can check in to in Marazion. BOOK NOW

2. Little Venice, London

There’s no denying the beauty of Amsterdam or the Canal du Midi, but if you’re after a slice of boating heaven in a UK city, look no further than London and pretty Little Venice. The tranquil spot, where the Grand Union Canal meets the Regent’s Canal, has beautiful mansions as its backdrop and floating businesses, such as The Waterside Cafe, the London Waterbus Company and even a hotel on water, The Colonnade.

If you’re after a dog-friendly stay, Airbnb has properties in and around Little Venice which allow pets, from garden flats to mews homes. BOOK NOW

3. Holkham Beach, Norfolk

Like scenery straight out of South Africa, with its rolling dunes and sprawling stretches of sand, Holkham Beach is one of the best beaches in the UK and a terrific place to bring your furry friend.

The dog-friendly beach makes for the perfect weekend escape, where you can enjoy scenic strolls, visit the seaside villages of north Norfolk and take in the views of Holkham National Nature Reserve from new building the Lookout. Stay at pet-friendly inn The Victoria, run by the Holkham Estate, with just 20 rooms and classic English interiors – it’s truly stunning. BOOK NOW

4. Valley of the Rocks, Devon

Iceland? A scene out of Game of Thrones? A visit to this picturesque valley will make you feel a world away from home as you drink in the jaw-dropping views and watch the sunset at Devon’s mighty Valley of the Rocks in Lynmouth.

Arguably the most breathtaking location on the edge of Exmoor, this U-shaped valley can be explored on foot by climbing to the cliff tops and taking in the impressive views and refreshing sea air. Make the most of the area by staying in a pet-friendly holiday rental nearby – there are cottages, apartments and places with hot tubs available. BOOK NOW

5. Isle of Mull, Inner Hebrides

The Northern Lights are one of the most magical sights you can experience on holiday but you don’t need to head to Norway to catch a view of the natural phenomenon. The Isle of Mull is a great location for those wanting to take in the superb views as the beautiful Scottish island experiences very little light pollution.

Autumn and winter are the best times to visit and with a stay at Starfish Cottage, you’ll enjoy sweeping views across the dramatic Sound of Mull and a hillside setting for walks and wildlife watching too. The cottage is part of a collection of four and allows you to bring up to two dogs along for the adventure. BOOK NOW

6. Isles of Scilly, Cornwall

Officially offering the balmiest winters in the UK, the earliest spring flowers and a host of tropical flora throughout the year, you won’t find a more exotic spot in Britain than the Isles of Scilly. A visit to Tresco’s Abbey Garden and a walk along the dreamy white sand beaches will make you feel like you’re in the Caribbean. You won’t want to miss taking to Scilly’s turquoise waters either, with kayaking, swimming with seals and wreck diving some of the archipelago’s must-dos.

Check in to the dog-friendly Star Castle Hotel, a 16th century star-shaped castle set on the garrison of St Mary’s. The hotel has its own picturesque vineyard, where you can enjoy freshly caught lobster and a glass of crisp, chilled Chardonnay. BOOK NOW

7. Denbies Wine Estate, Surrey

One of the UK’s largest wine producers and Surrey’s best-kept secrets is Denbies Wine Estate, which could easily be mistaken for the vineyards of Bordeaux or Chianti. This beautiful vineyard was planted in 1986 and has won awards for its sparkling wine and rose. Its North Downs location with its south facing slopes, chalky soil and micro-climate, make it ideal for creating English wine.

A visit here will give you the chance to sample 16 different wines from the indoor and outdoor winery. Spend a night or two at 18th century coaching inn The White Horse in Dorking, with its rustic country charm and fascinating history – Charles Dickens took up residence here while writing his first novel, The Pickwick Papers. BOOK NOW

8. Bude Sea Pool, Cornwall

Sydney may have Bondi Icebergs Pool but Cornwall has Bude Sea Pool, a partly man-made, partly natural swimming pool tucked beneath the cliff at the northern side of Summerleaze Beach. Locals and visitors alike come here for swimming, stand-up paddleboarding and just soaking up the sunshine in a fantastic seaside setting without the dangers of the sea, such as rips, big waves and surfers.

Check in to The Beach at Bude, a boutique hotel overlooking Summerleaze Beach with a cool New England-style vibe. It has a new suite for dog-friendly breaks and a top-notch restaurant headed up by Jamie Coleman, who has worked under Gordon Ramsay. BOOK NOW

9. Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire

Frequently recognised as one of the best beaches in the world, Barafundle Bay’s turquoise waters and golden sands appear more suited to the Caribbean than Wales. Take the 11-mile walk from Broad Haven to South Skrinkle Haven along the Wales Coast Path, the world’s first uninterrupted route along a national coast, where this stunning stretch of coastline is worthy of its National Park status.

The path passes right by Barafundle Bay, making it a great place for a well-deserved rest for you and your pooch at the golden stretch of dog-friendly sand. Stay in a lovely cottage, barn or apartment from Airbnb. BOOK NOW

10. Cheddar Gorge, Somerset

Can’t make it to Copper Canyon or Gorges du Verdon? At almost 400-feet-deep and three miles long, Cheddar Gorge is England’s largest gorge. Its weathered pinnacles and crags, makes it one of the country’s most remarkable natural sights. Explore the site from the stunning stalactite caverns, which reveal hidden secrets including fascinating stories of our prehistoric ancestors.

Stay at Granary Cottage, a converted barn set among two acres of grounds in the peaceful hamlet of Barton. It’s surrounded by fields, woods and the Mendip Hills, as well as local wildlife, such as the Gorge’s famous herd of goats and Soay sheep – an ancient breed native to Britain. BOOK NOW

11. Mayfield Lavender, Surrey

Rivalling the famous lavender fields of Provence, Mayfield Lavender is a soothing place to visit in Surrey – and not just for bee lovers. This rolling field of fragrant lavender is a haven for visitors of all ages and even welcomes dogs, as long as they’re kept on a lead.

While there you can visit the farm and take a few snaps with the sea of violet, have a bee safari experience and pick up some treats made with lavender, from fudge to shortbread.
Stay at the nearby White Horse in Dorking for its great dining, local ales and cosy atmosphere. BOOK NOW

Best travel accessories for your dog

Stay safe during your holiday walks with this dog lead featuring reflective stitching, making your pooch more visible during  low light conditions. It offers a sturdy and comfortable grip for you, too. 

This travel-friendly dog food storage system is compact, convenient and easy to use. We love the side-mounted food chute and the pockets that fit collapsible bowls and other adventure essentials.

Perfect for when you’re on the go, this must-have travel accessory will help you keep your dog hydrated on holiday, whether you’re on a challenging hike or enjoying a seaside escape. 

This car seat belt helps comfortably restrain your pet in the front or back seat. It comes in a pack of two for those with two dogs or two cars, and can adjust from 53 to 74 cm. 

Containing three inner chambers for dry treats, water and airtight storage, this set is perfect for a weekend away with your dog. It’s lightweight but rugged and makes for a great gift, too.

Heading for cooler climes? This parka will keep your dog’s body temperature stable in the cold weather. The winter jacket is ideal for dogs with wet fur and is quick to put on and take off.

A handy 750ml bottle that’s great for carrying water for your dog when you’re out walking. It’s lightweight and the stainless steel keeps water fresh for hours, while the plastic lid is used for feeding your pooch.

Made to ensure warmth and comfort while your dog is being transported, this bag has quilted outer fabric, luxurious plush fur lining and a fold-out water bowl. The adjustable shoulder strap keeps you comfy too!

Beco’s eco-friendly dog waste bags are made from sustainable materials and degradable additives, so they don’t put a strain on the environment. They’re built extra thick and strong to avoid unwanted messes, too.

A sumptuously soft and cosy pillow for pets, MS’ padded pillow providea the ideal snug spot for your dog to lay down their heads whenever they’re in the mood to doze off or relax during your holiday.

Protect your dog’s paws from tough terrain with these weather-resistant boots with their reliable closure system and protective innovation found in human walking boots.

A convenient tin to carry on days out, this comes complete with a pop-up dog bowl, printed waste bags and a stylish lead. Pop it in your bag for a day of playing in the park or a walk in the woods.

This water-resistant crate is foldable and ideal for use indoors and outdoors. It features durable Oxford fabric and every side has ventilated mesh panels to provide your pet with ample fresh air.

The easiest way to keep your car seats clean and dry, this durable seat hammock was created specifically for the dirtiest dogs, so wherever you’re off camping, exploring or walking with your dog, this water-resistant and grippy hammock is a must-have! 

This easily transportable pet bed is perfect for keeping your companion comfy during weekends away or long drives in the country. It’s complete with a carry handle and adorned with an eye-catching print, as well as being washable.