by Isabel Conway
As a new decade begins and we plan our holidays for the year ahead where better or that short pick me up than a trip across the border to Northern Ireland to visit pet friendly locations that can accommodate our much loved pets?
Tourism NI has introduced a range of pet friendly accommodation, welcoming restaurants and bars across Northern Ireland that provide some extra touches that will ensure pets have a great trip too.
Northern Ireland has everything you need to take your pet with you. With dog-friendly hotels, bars and restaurants, and stunning walking locations, your holiday experience will be one to remember. Take a look at Tourism NI’s recommendations. For those looking for top accommodation options, Lusty Beg Island Hotel, in County Fermanagh, has been awarded Northern Ireland’s first GOLD Paw Grading from Dog Friendly NI’s PAW Grading Program.
The rural island resort has two areas where owners and dogs can dine together. Solo travellers visiting on their own with their dogs are also assisted.
There’s even a dog wash so muddy dogs can get spruced after their walk along the fantastic dog trail.
If you’re heading for Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coastal Route, The Inn on the Coast, between the harbour towns of Portrush and Portstewart in County Antrim, offers spacious accommodation with excellent walking routes. There are dedicated pet-friendly rooms on the ground floor for up to two dogs and your pet is welcome at the seating area of the foyer and in the reception, where you can relax and enjoy a drink or meal. The Inn even awards a Good Behaviour Certificate and a treat for your furry friend on check out.
For anyone who wants to escape to the country, Blessingbourne Country Estate, nestled on 550 acres of County Tyrone woodland and private lakes, has five dog friendly luxury self-catering apartments. The estate offers an idyllic setting for outdoor activity and adventure, including the bespoke Blessingbourne Woodland Walk, through mature woodland and open farmland whilst you and your pet explore Tyrone’s beautiful countryside.
And if you just want to relax for the weekend, the Brown Trout Golf and Country Inn, in Aghadowey, County Londonderry, has a full range of dog-friendly accommodation, especially the spacious 4* courtyard cottages. Guests and their pets can enjoy walks on the pathway alongside the golf course, then relax afterwards in the bar and lobby. The inn has a south-facing patio for long summer days and four open fires for dark winter nights.
In terms of pubs and restaurants the Dirty Onion in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, is home to one of Belfast’s biggest beer gardens boasting a cosy peat fire inside. It is also one of the city’s most dog-friendly establishments. Stop off for a pint and your dog can enjoy some complimentary water and fresh tasting home-made doggie treats at the Doggie Dock. The bar also hosts seasonal Pooch Social events. So if your dog is a potential ‘ A Pet’s got talent’ and can entertain an audience it may be the start of a glittering career.