Categories: Pet Friendly

Grab your lead and head for the door... we've rounded up some of the best dog walks in Northern Ireland as well as a few of the best places for you and your four-legged friend to bed down for the night.

Let loose along the Causeway Coastal Route  

The Antrim Cliff Path to Dunseverick Castle is part of the longer Causeway Coast Way. This 5-mile section of coast features some spectacular cliff landscape passing above a series of coves and the sea views are simply to die for.   

There are some spectacular beaches along the coast, so you’re never too far from a mile or two of sand stretching out into the distance. What dog wouldn’t love belting along the golden sands of Benone or Downhill, or you could really wear them out with a run along the strand at Portstewart where even a greyhound will be out of puff by the end.  

There’s no shortage of dog-friendly places to stay either. Ashlea House (3*) is a self-catering bungalow just five minutes from the three Portrush beaches. Also in Portrush, you’ll always find a welcome for pooch in the pet-friendly rooms at the Inn on the Coast (3*).  

Marine Hotel, Ballycastle

Ballycastle’s Marine Hotel (3*) always has a welcome basket of treats for your best friend. While in Ballintoy, near Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, the Fullerton Arms (4*) has been welcoming happy pet owners forever.  

A little further inland, the Lodge Hotel in Coleraine (3*) is a warm dog-friendly haven to base yourselves, while in Bushmills, home of the famous whiskey and its distillery, your bestie will feel right at home in the award-winning Ballyness Caravan Park (5*).   

Lakelands and forest walks to explore together in County Fermanagh  

Part of the Cuilcagh Lakelands UNESCO Global Geopark, Big Dog Forest Walk is a beautiful short walk that will allow you and your four-legged friend to explore some of County Fermanagh's best upland landscapes.   

For a more easy-going stroll, you can enjoy a dander around the grounds of Florence Court, the former home to the Cole family, the Earls of Enniskillen. This magnificent National Trust estate is surrounded by a large area of parkland, garden and woodland, with breath-taking views to Benaughlin and the Cuilcagh Mountains! 

With all that walking around the lakes, through the forests and up the mountains of Fermanagh, you and your pooch will need somewhere to rest. There’s no shortage of choices here.  

You’ll find pet-friendly hotel rooms and self-catering cottages at Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel & Lodges (4*) and if Lusty Beg Island Resort and Spa isn’t the loveliest piece of private island heaven for you and doggy, then nothing is.  

Make time and space for the Mournes  

Dog walking in the Mournes

The Mourne Mountains are a walker's paradise, with stunning walks to suit all abilities and all sorts of human and canine stamina reserves.

Under the gaze of Northern Ireland's highest mountain peak, Slieve Donard, you can discover the Mourne Mountains by foot with your doggy friend by your side. Dominated by a compact ring of 12 mountains rising above 2000ft or 600m, there are walks to suit everyone.  

There is also a section of the Mourne Way Walk as an option, part of a 26-mile off-road walk traversing the foothills from Newcastle to Rostrevor. This route provides amazing views of the impressive Mourne Mountains, the valleys and the historic Mourne Wall which was built to keep livestock from wandering.  

Alternatively, enjoy a walk along Murlough Beach, complete with a wide sandy beach and ancient sand dunes - perfect for a stroll with your pooch!

You and your dog will just love some of the dog-friendly places to stay here in County Down. 

Kribben Cottages

You and pooch will feel right at home in any of the five Kribben Cottages (4*), nestled in picturesque Annalong. Or maybe Dunhill Cottage near the historic Georgian town of Royal Hillsborough will become you and your doggy’s home from home.  

There’s another chance to get up close to nature in the idyllic retreat of The Byre in Dromore, while in Downpatrick, Dunnanelly Country House (4*) has cosy kennels for your best friend.  

You won’t need to see the Dogs Welcome paw-print sign or the waiting dog bowls at the doors of this place to know how welcome you are: the Salty Dog (3*) in Bangor just loves dogs, and humans are welcome too.  

If that selection of walks and accommodation isn’t quite enough to whet your appetite and get tails wagging then just start looking around and exploring all our other dog-friendly articles and recommendations. If it’s an inspirational trip filled with dog-friendly discoveries you’re after, you’d be barking mad not to come to Northern Ireland. 

Benone Strand
Beach
Image of beach with cliffs and sea in the background. The iconic Mussenden Temple is visible in the distance. In the foreground, 'welcome' has been ca

Benone Beach, multiple recipient of the European Blue Flag and Seaside Award, is a must-see when visiting the area. With seven miles of golden sand and a magnificent back drop of mountain and cliff scenery and stunning views across to Donegal.

Downhill Beach
Beach
Downhill Beach

Downhill is a golden sandy beach stretching from Downhill Cliffs in the east towards Magilligan Point. It's overlooked by one of Northern Ireland's leading landmarks, Mussenden Temple, and benefits from classic views of the Donegal Coast and beyond.

Portstewart Strand and Barmouth
The National Trust
Portstewart strand

Between Portstewart and the mouth of the River Bann lies the golden sands and domineering sand dunes of Portrush Strand Beach. This area of natural beauty and of scientific interest is owned and managed by the National Trust.

Ashlea Bungalow
Self-Catering
Ashlea Bungalow

This spacious detached 4 bedroom chalet bungalow (N.I.T.B. 3 Star) with a large garden is located on the periphery of and overlooking Portrush. Situated along with a cluster of purpose built holiday cottages in a beautiful country setting.

Inn on the Coast
Hotel
Inn on the Coast

Inn on the Coast Portrush, situated on the Coast Road, between Portrush and Portstewart. Ideal base for visiting the Giant's Causeway. Excellent golf courses nearby including Royal Portrush, Portstewart and Castlerock. We are a pet friendly hotel.

Marine Hotel Ballycastle
Hotel
Marine Hotel Ballycastle

Ideally located between the Glens of Antrim and the Causeway Coast, the Marine Hotel lies only 2 minutes from the beach and 2 minutes from the ferry terminal to Rathlin Island. The hotel has all conveniences including free WiFi throughout.

Fullerton Arms
Guest House
Fullerton Arms

A favourite stop off for tourists and locals alike. You'll find a tasty selection of food and drinks, stunning bedrooms, friendly staff, a relaxed atmosphere and handy tips on exploring the nearby area.

Lodge Hotel
Hotel
Spacious family room

Award-winning hotel situated fifteen minutes walk from the busy shopping town of Coleraine. The hotel offers 56 guest rooms, hair & beauty salons and excellent cuisine using the finest local ingredients. The perfect location to relax and unwind.

Ballyness Caravan Park
Camping & Caravan Site
Ballyness Caravan Park

A multi award winning park on the North Coast at Bushmills, Ballyness Caravan Park has 50 fully serviced hard stand touring pitches for both touring caravans and motorhomes.

Cuilcagh Lakelands UNESCO Global Geopark
Forest Parks
Old Castle Archdale Forest

Cuilcagh Lakelands UNESCO Global Geopark is located in the rugged mountainous uplands and the gentle rolling lowlands of Counties Fermanagh and Cavan, stretching from the northern shores of Lower Lough Erne in County Fermanagh to the southern shores of Lough Oughter in County Cavan.

Florence Court
The National Trust
Florence Court

Florence Court is a truly welcoming home. The house, formerly the home of the Cole family, Earls of Enniskillen, is surrounded by a large area of parkland, garden and woodland, with breathtaking views to Benaughlin and the Cuilcagh Mountains.

Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel & Lodges
Hotel
Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel & Lodges

The four star Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel is idyllically set on the shores of scenic Lough Erne, bordered by private grounds and gardens, yet only one kilometre from the historic Island town of Enniskillen.

Courtyard Rooms at Lusty Beg
Guest Accommodation
Courtyard Rooms at Lusty Beg

What looks like a little row of cosy terraced houses hosts all of our Courtyard Bedrooms. Each house is uniquely structured to contain 3 to 4 individual courtyard bedrooms. Each are decorated in a true “Lusty Beg” style encapsulating the traditional comforts you would expect from a hotel. Our Courtyard rooms are made up of both Classic and Superior rooms.

Kribben Cottages - Crannoge Cottage
Self-Catering
Kribben Cottages - Crannoge Cottage

A cluster of 5 luxury cottages nestled against the magnificent back drop of the Mourne Mountains in a rural picturesque setting close to the bustling seaside town of Newcastle. Cranogue is a 2 bedroom cottage with 1 super king sized bed and 2 ...

Dunhill Cottage
Bed & Breakfast
Image shows front of property with walk way and garden

This family run bed and breakfast, beside adjoining family farm offers the very best in luxury accommodation. Only a ten minute walk from the picturesque Georgian village of Royal Hillsborough. Located off the main A1 Belfast/Dublin Road. Pet Friendly.

The Byre
Self-Catering
The Byre

The Byre consists of a Hallway, Lounge with old beams, a Wood Burning Stove and an Integrated Kitchen with fridge and cooker. A door leads to a separate Bedroom with a Kingsize Bed. The separate Bathroom has a free standing Bath. Plenty of storage.

Dunnanelly Country House
Bed & Breakfast
Dunnanelly Country House

Dunnanelly Country House is a haven of peace and tranquility in the drumlins of County Down, with stunning views of the Mourne Mountains and close to all the attractions around Downpatrick and Strangford Lough, yet less than 30 minutes from Belfast.

The Salty Dog
Hotel
Fish and Chips in basket with accompaniments

The Salty Dog Hotel & Bistro offers a variety of dining experiences all serving great local produce in own inimitable style.