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ENOUGH drama-filled trips with friends from high school, NO MORE romantic holidays that end in heartbreak, SO LONG to lonely solo trips. Spend your next holiday with the one that matters most in your life: your pooch. Check out my favourite dog friendly cities, all of which are reachable by train, car or boat!
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Visit the city of romance with the one you love the most.
TRAVEL: Head through the Eurotunnel, as the Eurostar train sadly doesn’t take dogs on their services. Once in Paris, you can take dogs on all of the RER services within the city. Additionally, small dogs in bags are allowed on buses and trains.
STAY: Many Parisian hotels are more than hospitable to dogs, although if you want a cheaper option then AirBnB is the best option. But if you really want to treat your pooch, then head to Actuel Dogs. The four star hotel offers a swimming pool, soothing massages and cushioned ‘nap rooms.’ Warning: you may become jealous of your dog here.
EAT: Your pup looking quite fetching tonight? Check out the gorgeous Michelin Starred La Grande Cascade. Don’t think your dog knows a serviette from a spoon? Try Le Bel Vil Cafe in the east end of Paris.
WALK: Unfortunately the majority of parks don’t allow dogs. However, in the city centre head to Parc Montsouris or the southern end of the Luxembourg Gardens where your dog is welcome. There are also wonderful parks on the outskirts of Paris that are well worth exploring, such as Bois de Vincennes or Bois de Boulogne.
PAWSSIBLE PROBLEMS: Technically, dogs aren’t allowed at open air markets. Whilst the chances of being stopped are low, you could still face a potential fine. Speaking of fines, be diligent in picking up your pooch’s poop, otherwise face handing over up to 500 euros. Click here for more information about travelling in France.
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Similar to the climate in the rest of the UK and an incredibly short journey; Ireland is a fantastic place to sniff out dog friendly attractions.
TRAVEL: Pets travel free on Irish Ferries. The kennels on board are free of charge, or your dog has the option to stay in the car if it is safe to do so.
EAT: Without a doubt: Pupp! Pupp is a dog orientated cafe in the heart of the city centre which has some fairly good human delicacies as well, as well as a puppy themed gift shop. If your dog isn’t the most sociable, try the quieter Brownes with outdoor seating, dog bowls and plenty space for your pet to lounge around.
WALK: Griffeen Valley Dog Park, Killiney Hill and Corkagh park are all easily reached from the city centre. Rent a car and travel further afield for hillwalking or river walks.
STAY: Travelodges around Dublin all accept dogs. Ireland’s Blue Book also lists all the dog friendly cottages in the countryside – ideal if you plan to explore Ireland’s hills with your dog.
PAWSIBLE PROBLEMS: Always cooperate with the Garda police force in Ireland. If you refuse to give your information, you are guilty of an offence and can be arrested. Furthermore, if you refuse to pay a fine for not picking up after your dog, maximum fines can rise as high as €3,000!
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Wondering where to go with your extra cool dawg? Holland is your answer.
TRAVEL: The Dutchflyer goes directly to Amsterdam from East Anglia station. Small dogs travel for free, and large dogs cost just three euros. Once in Amsterdam, your dog can ride any of the buses or metros! Plus, it won’t cost you a paw or a tail – it’s completely free!
STAY: The Art Gallery Hotel is a quirky option if you and your dog have a keen eye for art. Alternatively, Amsterdam Teleport Hotel and Apollo Hotel IJmuiden Seaport Beach offer awesome seaside walks, and are quieter than the noisy city centre if you worry your dog may struggle adapting to a new environment.
EAT: @7 in Amsterdam is a healthy deli which also provides treats and water for your dog. Or if you’re feeling slightly fancier then try De Bakkerswinkel, which offers dog friendly high tea in the afternoon.
WALK: Vondelpark, Flevopark – all the parks! During the summer months, Flevopark even sets up a swimming area for dogs.
PAWSIBLE PROBLEMS: Do not get high if you are caring for a pet. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice to “avoid confrontation with anyone offering you drugs of any sort and stay away from quiet or dark alleys – particularly late at night. Even if you are tempted to buy, you risk arrest for doing so.”
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The city, not the bank
TRAVEL: Brittany Ferries depart from Plymouth and Portsmouth, and are totally dog friendly. Dogs can stay in cars or visit dog designated exercise areas for a run around!
STAY: Nh Ciudad De Santander and Eurostars Hotel Real are Santander’s dog friendly options, both very near the ferry drop off point. The Eurostar Hotel Real offers both seaside views and beaches for dogs that want to stretch out in the sun.
EAT: El Rincon de Teo is your best bet in Santander with outdoor seating and a vast seafood menu.
WALK: A number of beaches in Santander don’t allow dogs during the day, but evenings are free to let your dog off the lead. During the day, explore the Magdalena Peninsula with tree adorned paths and hills with beautiful views of the city.
PAWSIBLE PROBLEMS: Only take your dog in cooler months, as they won’t be accustomed to the heat during the height of summer. Spain has strict local customs: make sure both you and your dog abide by them!
Before you leave please, for the love of dog, prepare!
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•Ensure your dog has had a rabies vaccination at least three weeks before you plan to travel
•Get a tapeworm treatment (for the dog, not you) 1-5 days before leaving
•Your dog MUST be microchipped before travelling
•Bring comforting toys or blankets which smell like home for your dog – try to disturb his or her routine as much as possible
remember your pet passport!
Don’t get caught up in just your dog’s preparations – also remember to ensure your insurance is up to date, and you’ve researched human laws and customs! Check out the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s website for more information on how to Travel Aware.