Discover the short holidays where everyone’s indulged . . .
Just because you’re off on a jaunt ‘en famille’ doesn’t mean you have to forsake the little luxuries that you and the family deserve. We’ve 'sniffed' out five family and dog-friendly, the best of UK luxury family breaks with the dogs, in destinations of all shapes and sizes, and while they’re all very different, you can be sure that each one of them is of the finest pedigree. Grooming optional, but you might want to take an outfit for the evening (diamante collar for the pooch perhaps).
Family and dog friendly luxury breaks:
- Idyllic Derbyshire country cottage with local pub and all mod cons
- Sensational luxury self-catering with a magnificent Scottish setting
- Fun-packed classic family destination with outdoor activities galore
- Stylish and elegant Devon hotel retreat for getting away from it all
- Suffolk hotel suites with fabulous kids stuff plus grown up bar-restaurant
- Cool East End London hotel designed by Conran + Partners
Our first stop is the picture box pretty Spinney Cottage which enjoys blissful rural views of the Derbyshire countryside. Set by the peaceful village of Sheldon, the beautifully renovated luxury cottage sleeps eight in four bedrooms and not one, but two dogs are most welcome. They and their owners will love the farmhouse kitchen with beamed ceiling, Rangemaster cooker, wood burning stove and cosy ambiance, and before the teenagers rebel, fear not, there is also Sky TV, WiFi and a large heated games room with pool table and ping pong. An enclosed garden is a godsend for dogs and small children alike and possibly best of all, there is a good country pub just 100 yards away for the nights you don’t fancy cooking. Chatsworth House and Bakewell are within easy reach for days out.
A Perthshire hidden gem, Knock Castle is nestled above Crieff and set in the heart of Perthshire, surrounded by 8 championship golf courses. This is an amazing place for family holidays with many activities and facilities for guests of all ages. When it’s time for walkies, the acres of land available for you and your faithful friend to explore, there is also a swimming pool, spa and when the kids are out walking the dog, relax and enjoy an afternoon tea by the fire. Some of the many activities Knock Castle will organise; quad biking, archery, wakeboarding, Shetland pony rides and a cinema, to name just a few of the endless things to do. If coming by car is not an option, there is a helipad for landing.
Hotel Endsleigh is rather special: a Grade I Listed fishing and shooting lodge in the heart of the West Country, between Bodmin and Dartmoor. When you can’t bear to leave the pitter patter of little paws behind, Hotel Endsleigh is definitely worth considering with top canine appeal due partly to the stunning valley setting and stretch of river and all round welcoming spirit. It’s super family-friendly too with a total of 6 large suites to accommodate whole teenagers on sofabeds as well as younger ones in mini beds plus a baby listening service. The interior is lush country house hotel with a bit of a stylish edge (more roll top bath than Jacuzzi). The grown ups will enjoy the modern European cooking with plenty of organic and locally sourced ingredients and a children's menu is also on offer
Back to Scotland for a top of the range luxury self catering option, only a couple of hours from Inverness Airport and just 45 minutes over the hill to Applecross. Glasnock House is exquisitely decorated (recently featuring in Beautiful Homes magazine), spacious and full of luxurious touches that all the family will appreciate, from the well stocked farmhouse kitchen, walk in power showers, fully equipped gym with glass wall looking out onto breathtaking scenery and even a ready-made playlist of 8000 tracks on the iPod. Dogs are welcome and can flop down after endless running about on the country estate (just try to avoid muddy paws in the sitting room!).
“The country house hotel where luxury and family life go hand in hand”, sounds like sweet music to us and on further inspection this re-invented stately home doesn’t disappoint. It is totally geared up to families, while recognising that mum and dad also sometimes want a quiet glass of champagne every now and then. What’s more, the things to do are actually quite appealing even to those of us well into adulthood – who doesn’t like a wander round a fairy garden, a visit with some farm animals and trying out the woodland cycle trails? Crucially, two hours free childcare is included each day, and a gem of an idea is the Sunday Breakfast Club where exhausted parents get to lie in while their children are collected from the room and entertained. Genius! Throw in a cinema room and children’s high tea plus a very generous attitude to dogs (there is a great accommodation option in the Butler’s Quarters which has its own pooch-perfect walled garden) and you’re onto a winner.
Located at the cross section of some of London’s most dynamic neighbourhoods with both the fast moving financial metropolis of the Square Mile and the super-hip East End South Place Hotel is also within a short tube ride to The O2 Arena. Their bedrooms are suitable for small to medium-sized pets and they love to welcome four-legged guests, so much so, they have partnered with pet emporium, Pets Pyjamas, to make sure your pet has as much fun as you do with king size dog beds, a welcome gift, food bowls and a local dog guide. South Place Hotel are also about to offer Doggy Afternoon Tea.. We have it on good authority they are currently working on the menu so watch this space!