Dog Friendly Walking Holidays
The Contours Walking Holidays office has everything that you would expect from a working office: computers, printers, telephones, a buzzing fax machine and an overused shredder. It is not uncommon to stumble over a tired pair of walking boots nestled by the front door and there is certainly no shortage of maps on our shelves, but the most endearing aspect of our office is that you are never more than a few feet away from a dog.
Contours Walking Holidays knows how valuable it is to be in the company of a dog and with an estimated 8 million dogs in the UK, it would seem that we’re not the only ones.
Back in 1997, we were one of the first companies to offer dog friendly holidays. Now, with over 10 years of experience, we offer the best in dog friendly walking on selected trails in the UK. We would love for your dog to be a part of your holiday and will be only too happy to organise dog friendly accommodation throughout your holiday.
Our Dog Friendly Walking Holidays
We offer a select list of dog friendly walking holidays that have been chosen because they are suitable for you and your dog. This means that there is good access along the trail with minimal stiles and accommodation that will extend a warm welcome to you as well as your canine friend.
We want your dog to be as comfortable as possible after a long day of walking, so on all of our dog friendly holidays we will make provisions for the transport of their food and bedding. For this reason, walking with your dog will incur a daily charge of £7.
Please see the following list of the dog friendly trails that we currently offer. If you are interested in any other itinerary other than the ones listed below, please contact our office where we will be able to give you more information.
All dog friendly walking holidays with Contours Walking Holidays have been carefully selected because there is dog friendly accommodation available along the route. However, despite our best efforts, the number of accommodations that welcomes dogs is still very limited and availability can be restricted. As a result, the accommodation that we use may not be our usual choice, but will always be comfortable, clean and provide the best service for you and your dog. To avoid disappointment, we encourage early booking on all dog friendly holidays.
Where your dog will sleep
Many establishments have different dog friendly policies and you are likely to encounter different arrangements for your dog. Wherever possible, we will arrange for your dog to sleep on the floor of your room, but it may be necessary for your dog to sleep in an en suite bathroom, in a lounge, porch or other allocated room. We do not expect your dog to sleep outside in a kennel.
Dogs are rarely allowed in dining rooms and areas where there is food. For this reason, it may become necessary to leave your dog alone in an allocated room or in your bedroom. To avoid unnecessary stress on your dog and out of respect for the accommodation, your dog should be suitably behaved at all times.
In accordance with their own dog friendly policies, some establishments charge a fee for accommodating your dog. This will often be a small charge of between £2 and £10 per dog per night and allows for the extra cleaning that is associated with a dog. Contours Walking Holidays will indicate where these charges occur in your Holiday pack and this fee is payable directly to your accommodation on your arrival.
We have over ten years of experience in booking dog-friendly walking holidays and are committed to finding you the most suitable accommodation. We will do everything that we can to arrange the perfect holiday for you and your dog. On the rare occasion that we cannot find availability, or we encounter other related difficulties, we will contact you immediately to advise you of this and to discuss your options.
Where will my dog sleep?
When you book a dog friendly holiday, Contours Walking Holidays will select accommodation that is happy for your dog to stay too. Where possible, this will be on the floor in your room, but please be aware that some accommodations prefer your dog to sleep in an en suite bathroom, in a porch or in their lounge. We do not expect your dog to sleep outside in a kennel. Should this be the only remaining option, we would contact you to discuss your options.
Do I have to take my dog’s own food and bedding?
Yes. Neither Contours Walking Holidays nor your accommodations are responsible for feeding your dog or providing bedding. We strongly advise taking your dog’s regular food for the duration of your walk as it may not be available along the trail. Our daily fee of £7 takes into account the additional cost of transferring these items for your dog.
Is there a maximum number of dogs that I can bring on one of your holidays?
This is very much dependent on the size and behaviour of the dogs. The number of accommodations that welcome dogs can be limited and for this reason, we would not recommend walking with more than three dogs. However, if you are considering walking with multiple dogs, please telephone our office to discuss your requirements.
I have an assistance dog; can I still do one of your holidays?
Assistance dogs have access to areas that other dogs are not allowed, including hotels and land where dogs are otherwise forbidden. For this reason, assistance dogs may not be restricted to dog friendly walking holidays. If you have an assistance dog and are interested in walking one of our trails, please telephone us and we will be more than happy to discuss your requirements and the options available to you.
What should I do if my dog becomes lost?
If you decide to walk one of our dog friendly trails with your dog, you should take every precaution to ensure that your dog stays safe. For more information, read our leaflet: ‘Responsible walking with your dog.’
What if my dog gets injured?
It can be an upsetting experience to see your dog get injured, but there are steps that you can take to prepare for an emergency should one arise. For more information, read our leaflet: ‘Responsible walking with your dog.’
What do I do if my dog gets dirty on the walk?
Dogs attract dirt. It is inevitable that with mile after mile of countryside to enjoy, your dog will end the day with some mud. The accommodations that we use work hard to give you the most pleasant environment, so we ask that you pack a towel to wipe your dog clean before arriving at your accommodation.
Will I encounter stiles on a dog friendly walk?
Yes, all of our walks will feature stiles, gateways and uneven surfaces at some stage. Some stiles may not have a dog friendly mechanism and some may require some climbing. For this reason, your dog should be familiar with different stiles, or you should be prepared to lift your dog over them.
How fit should my dog be?
Your dog should be prepared for a long distance walk in much the same way as you should. Start by gradually building the length and duration of your dog’s walk until you think that he or she will be comfortable with the mileage involved. Introduce your dog to the sights and sounds of the countryside including sheep, scrambling over rocks and crossing stiles. Pay attention to your dog and his or her age. Dogs under 12 months are still growing and should not be walked for long periods of time. If it looks like your dog is struggling, stop for a rest. The more time you spend training your dog, the more time you will have to appreciate the walk. If you have any doubts about your dog’s ability to walk long distances, contact your vet for advice.
Why do some accommodations charge for my dog?
Unfortunately, many accommodation providers are not willing to accept dogs, but there are a select few who still do. To make this worthwhile, these accommodations may charge a small fee to cover the costs of the extra cleaning that is associated with a dog. Charges can range from as little as £2-£10 per dog per night. This charge is payable directly to the accommodation concerned, but Contours Walking Holidays will advise of any additional charges and where they occur in your Holiday pack.
Will I have to keep my dog on a lead?
Legally, dog owners are not required to use a lead on public paths as long as the dog is under control. It is an offence to allow a dog to chase sheep or livestock, so it is strongly advised that dogs are kept on a lead in any area where there are farm animals. If you have any doubts about your dog’s obedience, always use a lead.
Is it necessary to clean up after my dog on a dog friendly trail?
By law, anyone who allows their dog to foul on public land and does not clean up after them could be fined up to £1000. The Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 does not apply to land used for agriculture, woodlands, marshland, moor or heath, but Contours Walking Holidays strongly suggests that you clean up after your dog at all times.