People often assume that the only way to travel around the UK with a dog is in a privately owned/rented car, caravan or converted bus. While the case for a lot of the country (especially the more remote areas), you can still see and experience a lot using public and other transport.
We will not include flying as in the UK most domestic flights don’t allow dogs and, on those that do, your dog might have to go in the hold, which isn’t worth the stress for such short flight. Check out our post on the best cars for dogs if you do opt to travel by private or rented car.
Please be reminded that you are responsible for ensuring the safety and comfort of your dog. Make sure that you research and understand what each travel method would mean for your dog so that you can make informed choices. It’s your pooches holiday too!
Trains are the best for long-distance travel. The UK has an excellent rail network that can take you to most cities and many towns. See the National Rail’s website for details.
You can take two dogs on a train for free, after that there may be a small charge. They must be kept on a lead or (if small) in a travel cage at all times. If they cause a nuisance, the train company is allowed to ask them to leave.
You should consider the length of the journey before travel – what do they need? How often do they need to go to the toilet? Where will they sit/lie/sleep? Will the train be busy?
For an extra-special trip (and a £30 cleaning fee), you could take the Caledonian sleeper from London to Scotland. Read this review for a first hand account. Unfortunately, you can’t take your dog on the Eurostar to London.
For shorter journeys or those to more remote towns and villages, you should consider buses. Like trains, our bus networks are privitised and some companies have their own policies but I’ve not found any buses refuse my dog. Buses don’t have a nice and easy national website. You will need to find which bus companies service which areas to plan routes.
You will see that we recommend walking tours in most of our posts as they’re a great way of exploring new places. There are tours that use transport to cover a wider area.
For example, in London you can take your pooch on the London Bus Tour that covers the key sights of Central London.
You will need to research each tour company prior to travel as they can accept or reject pets at their discretion.
Finally, you have more basic (but sometimes more fun) forms of transport. Bikes are a great way to explore the countryside. You can allow your dog to run alongside or hire a buggy/carrier for them. Again, advanced research and booking is key here.
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