Guides, Ideas

The Ultimate Dog Friendly Campervan Tour

As a dog owner, you will know all about the heart-wrenching decision to leave your pet at home when you go off for a family holiday. But, as a campervan owner, too, you’ll know that you can get the best of both worlds. Campervan trips are the perfect, uncomplicated solution when you want your doggy to tag along.

In today’s guide, we’re going to go through creating the perfect, dog-friendly campervan tour. We’ll look at everything you need to do before you leave, and also recommend a few locations that will give you – and your dog – the perfect trip away. Let’s take a closer look, starting with the basics.

Preparation

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First of all, make sure your campervan is big enough for your dog. A small terrier will make do with almost any size of campervan. But if you have anything larger – a lab, for example – they will need more space. There’s a safety issue, too, of course. You can buy special harnesses for travelling with dogs which strap to a seat – and they are worth investigating. We would also suggest a few weeks of dog training. Once you arrive in a strange area, your pet will want to explore – and the excitement can overcome them. You have to be confident they will come to you when you call them, so a little reminder of who is boss won’t go amiss!

 

Booking your pitches

Be careful about booking campsites. Not every site is dog-friendly, and even those that are can be host to dog-unfriendly people. A little research is needed, and you will need to keep your pet secure on most sites. Ensure you have plenty of tethers and a robust collar – the last thing you need is your dog to sneak off and create havoc. Oh, and don’t forget those doggy bags – you will need to take extra special care to clear up after they do their business. Check out the Camping and Caravanning Club for a list of all the dog-friendly sites. Also, read up on some reviews before choosing your perfect destination. And this campsite booking website is definately worth a look.

 

The best campervan tours

OK, so now that’s out of the way, where is the best place for bringing your dog with you on a campervan tour? Given the complexities of travelling abroad with animals, your best bet is right here in the UK. And there is plenty to choose from. We’re blessed with vast expanses of the countryside that your pet will love – and plenty of campsites that will let you pitch up with your dog in tow. The big question is when you are going on a tour, where is the best area of the country?

The good news is that as long as you have time on your hands, there are plenty of options. A few hours driving every couple of days will give you a chance of exploring a large amount of the country. But our choice? Well, you need to take into account a few things. The better the weather, the more you can get out and explore. You also want to seek out somewhere with a wide variety of landscapes, full of interesting smells for your dog. And we would always recommend staying as close to the water as possible, whether it’s the sea or a winding river.

In our eyes, the perfect place for your dog-friendly campervan trip is along the southwest coast. With this in mind, why not follow our guidelines for a dog-friendly campervan tour through Cornwall, Devon, and Dorset?

 

Cornwall

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Cornwall is a great county of southwest England, full of fabulous walks for your dog. There are craggy headlands, sandy beaches, and plenty of rivers inland for canine water lovers. Start in the far west, on the Penwith Heritage Coast, and take in Sennen and Porthcurno in the south. There is more than enough for you and your canine friend to explore, from winding country roads to spectacular views of the Atlantic.

Once you have had your fill, head east along the southern coast towards Penzance. It has incredible countryside and interesting nooks and crannies along its coastline. We also recommend heading north at this point in your journey. St. Ives, Perranporth, and the northern coast of Cornwall are all beautiful locations for brisk dog walks.

Here’s our 14 day Cornwall by Camper itinerary.

 

Devon

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Moving up from Cornwall takes you straight into Devon. Again, be sure to explore the differences between the northern and southern coasts. And, don’t forget to make use of the vast expanse of Dartmoor. You could spend days here, and there are plenty of dog-friendly pubs dotted around the place for refreshment after a hearty hill walk. There are many different campsites in Devon – most of which are dog-friendly. Try the Newberry Valley Touring and Camping Park on the North Devon coast. It’s right next to a dog-friendly beach and just minutes away from beautiful walks and convenient amenities.

Ashcroft Farm in North Devon is also recommended. It’s an enormous site, taking in 2 acres of countryside, and a short drive away from a variety of beaches. Not only that, but it has a dog kennelling service, meaning you can leave Fido for the odd day if you want to go somewhere unsuitable for pets.

 

Dorset

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Dorset is a quiet, beautiful county that has a lot on offer for dog walkers and lovers of the countryside. The Jurassic Coast is an absolute must-see, covering 95 miles of land between Dorset and East Devon. It’s renowned for its rocks, which you don’t have to be a geologist to enjoy. The area is home to 185 million years of the Earth’s history – including the bones of some long-lost species. Who knows, maybe your canine friend will dig up the next exciting dinosaur discovery on your trip?

Try out the Pebble Bank Caravan Park if you want to pitch up for a few days. It’s dog-friendly and has spectacular sea views to enjoy. A little further east lies the Woodyhyde Campsite, on the Isle of Purbeck. Again, stunning views, spectacular walks, and breathtaking scenery await.

What are your favourite dog-friendly campervan tours? Let us know about them and share your experiences!