To South Engeland
We spend the night in a dog-friendly hotel in Dunkirk and take the ferry to Dover the next morning. It is my first time on a boat, so my owners are a bit worried.
I have to stay alone in the car during the crossing in the hold of the ferry. The car windows are left ajar and there is a special place on the end of the boat where there is enough fresh air.
I am not really at ease due to the strange sounds and movements that the boat makes. After an hour of sailing mom and dad are allowed to come and take a look. I am still well-behaved in the back seat, concentrating on the strange movements.
My owners leave me again and I keep calm for the next hour. The adventure can begin once we have driven off the boat!
Check the website of your ferry company for useful information and rules well before departure.
We make a stop at the beach of St Margarets Bay to view the white cliffs. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed on the beach here. We take a short walk and the owners eat their first scone.
We continue to Folkestone, a nice town by the sea with a very nice fish stall (foodtruck) near the fish market. I make my first English splash in the sea. Here is a large beach where dogs are allowed. Tip for the owners: take water shoes, as there are many pebble beaches in England.
Our next stop is Dungeness National Nature Reserve. They call this the desert of England and it clearly has something mysterious. There is a desolate vibe: there are ships and wrecks of ships on the beach, there are small fishermen's houses, there is an abandoned railway and you see high-voltage lines everywhere. There is even a nuclear power plant. Despite this strange atmosphere it is a nice stopping place and you can take the most beautiful photos.
Beachy Head, Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters
We park our car at Beachy Head and take a wonderful hike to Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters. I can walk off leash very often, only when we walk close to the abyss, I have to walk back on the line. The views are very beautiful. The owners eat their lunch on the beach at Birling Gap. We walk back through fields, pastures and forests. I can get off the leash very often, except when we walk in a meadow with cattle. Otherwise I can not control myself from chasing behind them. We come across all kinds of animals such as sheep, cows, horses ... .
Brighton - Portsmouth
Our journey continues towards the west and stop briefly in Brighton. Because it is very busy and difficult to find a parking space, we drive to Portsmouth. We read on the internet that there is a food festival and we’re going to take a look. In Portsmouth you have a spacious feeling with the many squares and parks. The food festival is both a hit for the bosses and me. I get an ice cream from Parkers Pets. We eat our delicacies under a tree in the park. Portsmouth is in our experience a nicer, calmer place to stop than Brighton.
New Forest National Park
This is a beautiful environment to drive through. You can probably see and do a lot of beautiful things here. We do only a small piece and near Whitefield Moor we encounter wild cows and horses. There is no fence or wire anywhere. The animals walk around free. We make a nice walk in the Blackwater Woods. I usually stay on the leash, this is much safer with all those wild horses and cows in the neighborhood.
Durdle Door & Man O'War Beach
Locals tipped us this spot a number of times. We visit Durdle Door on a warm Sunday and are clearly not the only ones who have this idea. We park a little bit further and make a brisk walk, all the way to the beach. There we do not immediately find a quiet spot, so we go to the neighboring beach: Man O'War Beach. Here it is clearly quieter and we’re able find a place in the shade. Dogs are allowed everywhere, so we take a refreshing dive.
Isle of Purbeck
We make a mini road trip on the peninsula and have the best views along the way. We regularly stop to take pictures. In the late afternoon we arrive in Swanage. A nice, cozy fishing village where we make a nice walk in the evening sun. Mom and dad order tasty fish & chips and crab cakes in The Parade (one of the take-away's) and eat with sea view. We see the sunset while we wait for the mini-ferry back towards Poole.
We make a stopover in Weymouth Beach, which has a the soft sandy beach for a change, blissfully on the paws (and the feet). There is even a big piece of beach especially for dogs. We walk over the cozy seawall and through the nice town center with cool shops.
Our next stop is Chesil beach. A very large beach with many stones, where the water quickly becomes deep and there often is a strong current. A special bank has formed here over the years that makes you see water left and right of you.
Dartmoor National Park
We stay in a top airbnb near Ashburton and on the edge of Dartmoor.
We visit Becky Falls in the morning. We find this rather expensive (£ 8.25 per person) for what it is. You can make 3 different walks where you can see some nice things, but the rest of the park is way more beautiful. So we stop past Haytor Rocks where we have a very nice view of the rock.
Dartmeet, where the East and the West Dart merge into the Dart, is also a must do. Here I can let myself go all the way in the water and swim excessively.
The Clapper Bridge in Postbridge is an ancient photogenic bridge.
Make sure you drive through the Moors. Here the horses and cows roam freely and also on the road, so watch out in every bend! We were only a short time in Dartmoor, but you can stay here much longer and make great walks.
Probably there are lots of beautiful beaches in the area. We stop at Polridmouth Cove. Nothing touristy: parking in a "meadow" of the local farmer and pay in an old milk can. Mom and dad eat their lunch with a fantastic view!
Our next stop is even more beautiful, but also harder to reach. There is a road to Hemmick Beach, but it is slightly narrower than our car because of oversized hedges on both sides of the road. Fortunately, we do not encounter an oncoming car and there are 2 parking spots on the beach. This is clearly not allowed, so we stop for a short walk and make sure we continue driving. If you want to stay longer, use the parking a bit further.
For us this is one of the most beautiful parts of southern England. It is so varied and there are so many beautiful things to see and do. We make the most beautiful walks, visit blissful & quiet beaches, go shopping and the owners eat very lovely food.
Read more about our Cornwall adventures:
- Lizard Point
- Portheras Cove
- Geevor Tin Mine
- Cape Cornwall
- Sint Ives
- Harlyn Beach
Exmoor National Park & omgeving
We stay in the most quiet, remote Airbnb with a beautiful view which was ideal to relax. The Valley of Rocks is a must do. The view is very beautiful and the rock formations are unique. We walk from here to Lynton and have a constant view of the sea on the way.
Lynton is a cozy village with nice shops, cafes and restaurants. From here you can take the Railway down to get to the sea. We drive on and picnic in Simonsbath at the Barle river. We still didn’t see any wild animal, so we drive on. North of Exford we are lucky and we see our first wild ponies. Not much further there is a beautiful cow on the road.
The next day we drive to Clovelly, a picturesque village on the coast. No cars are allowed here and the cobblestone road goes down steeply. When you come back up, definitely take a break at Cottage Tea on their terrace overlooking the sea. We drive past Morte Point where we have a beautiful view again.
On the way to Bath we stop at Kilve Beach. A unique beach with the most beautiful rocks where you can also search for fossils.
Bath is a beautiful Roman city! It is certainly not a big city and is therefore perfect to explore on foot. Be sure to take a full day to walk between the beautiful historic buildings and occasionally visit a unique shop. In Green Park Station you have fancy food trucks where you can have a nice lunch. You can find also very good restaurants and cozy pubs in the center.
It is a bit warmer while we visit the city and mom and dad do not always want to take me exploring to spare me. Luckily we stay in a super (dog)friendly Airbnb where John, the owner, proposes to dogsit. I think this is great, so I can play with Dixie and Murphy all day long. Mom and dad are exploring the city in the meantime and come to get me every now and then to do something fun.
They visit the Roman Baths, a must do while you are in Bath, but maybe not quite worth the money. There are no dogs allowed here.
Our Glower friends live in Farnham. Mom and dad already have many nice sweaters and t-shirts with their unique prints. Be sure to take a look at their website. Farnham Park is a very nice park in the neighborhood. Many dogs run around here and usually not on a leash.
We also visit Bourne Woods, a beautiful forest where movies are often recorded. A lot of scenes from The Gladiator were filmed there. We make a nice walk with Hasse, the Glower dog.
Whitstable & Canterbury
We stay in a luxury airbnb near Whitstable, which is actually a large apartment with a large meadow where I can walk around. Whitstable is a very cozy village. We walk through the village with nice shops and continue the walk along the beach. Let your pawrents eat a lobster bun at The Harbor Garden Café. The Gin tonics and the local Whitstable Bay bear are also recommended. Be sure to also have a beer or cider at The Black Dog, a cozy micro pub.
The next day it rains unfortunately, but we still visit Canterbury. A beautiful city with nice places to discover such as The Westgate Gardens, a beautiful garden to walk through. The King's Mile is also a nice neighborhood where, just like in the center, you will find cozy shops and pubs. The catering businesses themselves clearly indicate whether or not your four-legged friend is allowed inside. But you will certainly find a good spot in a pub, lunchroom, restaurant ...
View the preparation of our trip via Google Maps. You will find both our own tips and travel tips that my pawrents have found on other websites and travel guides. Also useful as a guide to navigate on the go. Unfortunately we did not have the time to visit all these places, but most of them have been approved by us.
Have you found nice places on your trip?
Let me know!