MOST Brits enjoy four holidays a year – three of which will be staycations in the UK. So wouldn’t a top 10 list of dog friendly hotels in the south of England be handy for the reported 6.7-million households owning a pooch?

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With 90% of all owners professing to “think of their dogs as being part of the family”, the statistics suggest that there are, indeed, an awful lot of people out there looking to book suitable accommodation – perhaps you may be one of them.

Here Basil, an Australian labradoodle (with a little help from his mum) shares some of his favourite places to stay, offering all the creature comforts.

So, whether wishing to take a one, two, three or more nights’ special getaway, close to home or further afield, all these lovely venues allow pooch and owner to eat together indoors so you can truly enjoy the most perfect family staycation.

The Captains Club Hotel

Christchurch, Dorset: www.captainsclubhotel.com

Captains Club Hotel

What the venue says:

The Captain’s Club Hotel is a nautical-inspired luxury dog friendly hotel in Dorset, sat in a pretty position overlooking the River Stour.

Willow, the hotel’s bouncy Chocolate Labrador is always on-paw to welcome furry guests on a relaxing break in one of the hotel’s dog friendly suites (where full kitchen facilities are provided) whilst humans can unwind with dinner at the 2 AA Rosette restaurant or boutique spa after a day romping around the nearby New Forest or dog friendly beaches.

Basil
Basil at the Captains Club Hotel

What Basil woofs:

Ahoy there shipmates… by jingo, I love the location of this hotel. You can take up pozzy and just sit for hours watching out of the river-fronted windows at the swans, ducks and fellow four-legged friends mucking about on the river.

Here us doggies are known as VIPs (Very Important Pooches) and myself and the many other dogs that visit certainly are welcomed aboard with fresh water bowls, ship’s biscuits and a doggy menu to choose from.

The Captain’s Club is a very special dog ‘welcoming’ hotel and each time I’m asked if I’d like to visit again, I woof an affirmative ‘Aye Aye Captain’!

10 Castle Street

Cranborne, Dorset: www.10castlestreet.com

10 Castle Street, Cranborne, Dorset

What the venue says:

10 Castle Street is a superb dog-friendly hotel situated on the edge of Cranborne Chase in the heart of Dorset.

This beautiful Grade II listed country house is surrounded by glorious formal gardens and ancient woodland.

A fantastic example of a traditional country mansion steeped in history, 10 Castle Street exudes both character and charm.

With individually designed bedrooms, fantastic food and wonderful hospitality, the hotel provide the ideal location for a weekend away with your four-legged friend.

Basil
Basil at 10 Castle Street

What Basil woofs:

Blink and you’ll drive past the entrance but once within the grounds, what a beaut country house and members club and well-deserving of a mention among these 10 dog friendly hotels.

I feel really comfortable here as the staff are so welcoming. When I want to run off some steam, I just make my way outside – bidding g’day to the resident pooch who strangely seems to be more than happy stretched out laying on his back whatever the weather. Then I have a mad five minutes before rejoining my pals in the bar or on the terrace.

Lunch or dinner for us pooches is served in the lounge where I’ve got lots of room to climb up on my Mum’s lap. Open to all. Casual, cosy and well, it’s cool bananas!

The Wellington Arms

Baughurst, Hants: www.thewellingtonarms.com

The Wellington Arms
The Wellington Arms in Baughurst, Hampshire

What the venue says:

The Wellington Arms is a boutique gastropub with four beautiful bedrooms. Situated in open countryside equidistant between Basingstoke, Reading and Newbury there are many beautiful walks and places to explore.

A sheepskin rug awaits to ensure your pooch has a warm welcome. There is a public footpath just through the pub gate out onto open fields where your pooches can be exercised off the lead.

Basil
Basil sniffing out the Wellington Arms’ offering

What Basil woofs:

Now, this is what I call a cracking pub making it into the list of dog friendly hotels. Well, it’s more a ‘restaurant with rooms’ and a jolly good, award winning, restaurant it is too! Grandma said she had the best cheese soufflé that she had ever tasted!

Fair dinkum, I was allowed to sit anywhere, no separate area here for us pooches, that’s for sure! As soon as my paws had landed, I was given my own bag of tasty treats and a bowl of water to keep me occupied.

Tums full, no worries, you can finish off your afternoon with a stroll in the fields and then, if wanting to extend your stay, book a room and take advantage of the king size bed, under floor heating and squishy goose down pillows.

Pooches get their own cosy blanket too!

The White Horse

Chichester, West Sussex: www.thewhitehorse.co.uk

The White Horse in Chichester
The bar of the White Horse in Chichester, West Sussex

What the venue says:

Kick off your wellies, sink into one of our leather chairs and eat the best of the great English countryside.

A true country dining pub, we pride ourselves on creating menus from the freshest local produce sourced directly from the woodlands, farms and country estates that surround us.

Our accommodation is cleverly tucked away, taking full advantage of the peace and tranquillity that characterises our corner of the country and has received 5 Gold Stars from the AA awards.

Each of our rooms open out onto a private courtyard with our meticulously landscaped garden with rolling views of the lush Sussex countryside.

The White Horse
Basil at the White Horse in Chichester, West Sussex

What Basil woofs:

There’s a reason why they were awarded Best Inn of the Year (and a mention in my top 10 dog friendly hotels)! Not only do they serve great food and wine but by crikey they love us pooches and… cats too!

In fact, their wine is supposed to be the ‘cats whiskers’  – I know that I tasted one of the best sausages I’ve ever eaten for brekkie and had my first sip of cucumber water but best of all was the doggy beer that they kindly left for me in my room.

Yep, at the White Horse, all are welcome, especially us pooches and our families. Cheers!

Cliveden House & Spa

Taplow, Berkshire: www.clivedenhouse.co.uk

Cliveden House and Spa
Cliveden House and Spa in Taplow, Berkshire

What the venue says:

Cliveden is one of the most glamorous destinations for you and your pet. Once home to the Astors, this 300-year old house is steeped in a history of politics and parties with visitors including Winston Churchill and Charlie Chaplin.

With wonderful views over the river Thames, 376 acres of stunning National Trust grounds to explore, plus a fabulous spa – this is doggie heaven and a peaceful haven.

Basil at Cliveden House and Spa
Basil being look after at the Cliveden House and Spa in Taplow, Berkshire

What Basil woofs:

There’s a reason why soon to be royalty chose this hotel to stay the night before marrying her Prince!

Although it looks very grand, I shouldn’t have worried, I was made to feel very welcome. So much freedom to sit, wander and gaze.

I was cock-a-hoop to spot a sign saying ‘We love dogs… walk this way’ so I did what I was told (well, it would be rude not to) and followed my nose where I was able to run free within the 300 acres of National Trust woodland.

Royalty, nobility, actors, politicians, pop stars have all stayed here and now me and, hopefull, you too! I liked this hotel, heaps.

The Lygon Arms

Broadway, Cotswolds: www.lygonarmshotel.co.uk

The Lygon Arms in the Cotswolds
The Lygon Arms in Broadway in the Cotswolds

What the venue says:

Situated within the idyllic Cotswolds village of Broadway in Worcestershire lies the four-star Lygon Arms country house hotel. With roots dating back to the 14th century, it is steeped in history.

The Lygon Arms boasts two new restaurants in addition to a variety of relaxed lounges, a dedicated afternoon tea room and a summer alfresco courtyard.

From the moment your four-legged friend is welcomed at The Lygon Arms, we ensure they have a stay to remember from the pampering that is made over your dog by staff to the doggy treat left in room.

Basil at the Lygon Arms
Basil at the Lygon Arms in Broadway in the Cotwolds

What Basil woofs:

As soon as I arrived, with the crisp white snow and twinkling lights strewn everywhere, I felt like I was on a movie set… no wonder they call this Broadway!

The Lygon Inn (pronounced with an ‘I’ and not a ‘y’) is steeped in history and my four paws were welcome to go on walkabout virtually everywhere (apart from the main dining room).  It has to be woofed, they had the most super cast and put on such a great show.

Friendly, cosy and stunning. Broadway New York, or Broadway Cotswolds… Cotswolds wins every time! It was bonzer!

Hotel Endsleigh

Milton Abbot, Devon: www.hotelendsleigh.com

Hotel Endsleigh in Devon
Hotel Endsleigh in Milton Abbot, Devon

What the venue says:

Hotel Endsleigh is a Grade I historic house set in 100 acres of woodland, follies and grottos created by Humphry Repton.

The Duke of Bedford, chose this spot for his fishing and hunting lodge. Hidden on the edge of the Dartmoor, many of the 18 bedrooms have magnificent views of the gardens, the river Tamar and beyond.

Four-legged friends can dine with you in a small private dining room or outside in the garden.

However, if your pooch would prefer to relax whilst you eat they are welcome to sit behind reception. The hotel’s groundskeeper will even take Fido for a walk!

Basil at Hotel Endsleigh in Milton Abbot
Basil at Hotel Endsleigh in Milton Abbot, Devon

What Basil woofs:

Dinky-di, this hotel is beaut. When visiting, there was even a letter waiting on my bed (along with some treats) welcoming me to the hotel, outlining my orders of the day to… have fun and to stand by for lots of attention!

And, the staff didn’t disappoint – they loved us pooches, always ready to give a cuddle. The 208 acres of gardens and woodlands, complete with an enchanting dingle dell, were just heavenly with more sticks for me to play with than I could literally shake another stick at!

This place is truly magical and stuff of fairy tales.

Talland Bay Hotel

Porthallow, Cornwall: www.tallandbayhotel.co.uk

Talland Bay Hotel in Porthallow
Talland Bay Hotel in Porthallow, Cornwall

What the venue says:

Boasting a captivating cliff-top setting at Porthallow, the Talland Bay luxury hotel is just yards from the South West Coast Path and Talland Bay beach.

The 23-room boutique property offers a range of sea view suites, classic rooms, garden rooms and cottages, with pine-fringed lawns stretching down towards the ocean.

It is rare for a hotel of such high calibre to not just allow dogs, but rather spoil and indulge them. This includes the option to dine with their owners in the brasserie restaurant.

Basil at Talland Bay Hotel
Basil enjoys a treat at Talland Bay Hotel in Porthallow, Cornwall

What Basil woofs:

‘Is Basil allowed a biscuit?’ Fair dinkum, no word of a lie these were the first words that were uttered to my Mum as we checked into this bay side hotel. Food, as it turned out, was high on our agenda throughout our stay.

Staff literally stepped over pooches to serve dishes from the amazing menu and they didn’t seem to mind at all. In fact, at the same time, we were also offered our very own chicken breasts.

Fresh air and chillaxing were also a must. We took the pathway down to the all year round, dog friendly, shingle beach before running back to join my pals in the lounge for some more tasty treats.

This place is literally doggy-heaven.

Headland Hotel & Spa

Newquay, Cornwall: www.headlandhotel.co.uk

Headland Hotel & Spa in Newquay
Headland Hotel & Spa in Newquay, Cornwall

What the venue says:

The Headland is a luxury hotel with private cottages set on an exclusive cliff top overlooking Fistral Bay.

It offers the perfect blend of discreet English ambience and decadent four-star hospitality. Individually designed luxury hotel rooms and suites with ocean views, rosette-worthy dining from executive chef Christopher Archambault, and indulgent pampering and wellness at The Headland Spa.

The Headland is one of the most understated yet personal four-star spa hotels in Cornwall and one of the best dog-friendly hotels in Cornwall.

Basil on the beach in Newquay
Basil on the beach by the Headland Hotel in Newquay, Cornwall

What Basil woofs:

I LOVE beaches and what a beach! The hotel is situated on the cliff top of the dog friendly, all-year-round Fistral beach and they don’t mind if us pooches bound into the hotel all wet and sandy!

The staff are always on hand to give lots of ripper treats and affection (always helps at dog friendly hotels!). There’s no need to get mad as a cut snake as dog bowls of water are dotted around everywhere so us pooches never go thirsty.

Our dining table was set in a bay window overlooking the sea where I had plenty of space to stretch out under the table. Yep, I’m very at home here, it’s so spacious and relaxed.

Karma St Martin’s

Isles of Scilly, Cornwall: www.karmastmartins.com

Karma St Martin’s on the Isles of Scilly

Taking the dog with you on holiday shouldn’t mean being cooped up in a caravan park or a bare-boned B&B. Karma St Martin’s hotel is an award winning dog friendly hotel in the Cornish Isles of Scilly.

Karma’s stunning natural setting, creature comforts, and tranquil surroundings will leave you and your furry friend feeling like ‘Top-Dog’. Step inside and it’s revealed as a luxurious contemporary 30-bedroom hotel with an onsite restaurant featuring a dog friendly menu and Pawsecco bar.

The hotel boasts a beachfront location and, unlike most, the beaches of St Martin’s are dog-friendly all year round.

Basil
Basil takes a beach stroll at Karma St Martins

What Basil barks:

St Martin’s is unique, not only because of its travel options – I could fly by plane or sail by boat – it’s a magical, peaceful and totally unforgettable tropical island, just off the coast of Cornwall.

Lead-free, I was able to roam and explore the two mile long island… with no cars to care about, so no worries. From the moment that Dad stepped his sock free foot onto the deserted soft white sand, calmness prevailed and well, I quickly followed suit.

I loved every single moment here, it was pawsome! Good on ya’ Karma St Martin’s and welcome to my top 10 dog friendly hotels.

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Travel With Basil provides reviews and a growing directory of stylish dog-welcoming hotels and pubs/restaurants with rooms throughout the UK – featuring those venues that promise to provide a big, fat, all-inclusive welcome!

If you would like to read more about Basil’s travel experiences, then please visit www.TravelWithBasil.com. To recommend a venue that has lived up to its promise, please email Gday@TravelWithBasil.com.

Basil and Karen
Karen and Basil (Photo: Mily J Photography)

Basil’s suggestions are pawed in his opinion. Although he has been entirely honest about his experience, as sausages, walks and sticks are high on his happiness agenda, please feel free to undertake your own research too. After all he is just a dog, albeit a rather discerning one! – Karen, Basil’s Mum

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