All information in this blog post is correct as of the publishing date, 25.09.19.
Dogs are an important part of the family and taking them on holiday is getting easier than ever, so you don’t have to leave them at home again. From the variety of dog-friendly cottages in Guernsey to several dog-friendly beaches, Guernsey is one of the best destinations to take your dog on holiday. If you are planning your first trip to the island or visiting for the first time with your dog, we have put together a guide on the places to stay, where you can eat, and the beaches which allow dogs, so you can be sure your stay on the island is perfect.
Guernsey has loads of dog-friendly accommodation, including hotels and self-catered apartments, offering a style to suit everyone’s preference. However, there are a few things to look out for when searching and booking the right accommodation as most holiday accommodation won’t allow dogs in food service areas, have an additional charge per night or week for the dog or restrict the size and number of dogs allowed. You may also want to check that the accommodation has some outdoor space for your dog or if there are areas nearby suitable for dog walks.
Self-catered apartments and hotels often accept a dog on a request basis or are only allowed during the off-peak season. You should also check if any accessories are provided too, such as a water bowl and bed, to avoid packing unnecessary items. Popular self-catered apartments include Vazon Bay, La Grande Mare and Rocquaine Bay. Popular hotels include the Duke of Richmond Hotel and the Old Government House Hotel & Spa.
Guernsey is home to several stunning beaches, with long stretches of sand and calm waters that are great for long walks with your dog, and much of the coastline allows dogs. However, keep in mind several of the beaches have a seasonal dog ban in place. The seasonal ban runs from 1st May to 30th September, and the main beaches which implement the ban include Cobo Bay, Fermain, Vazon, Ladies Bay, L’Eree and Pembroke Bay. Be sure to double-check which beach is open to dogs before you visit.
The beaches which do allow dogs throughout the summer include Bordeaux Harbour Beach, Grandes Rocques Beach and Saint’s Bay, though you must pick up after your dog, with bins provided by the beach. Be mindful of other dogs on the beach and use a lead if needed, keeping your dog under control. It is also a good idea to check tide times, particularly if you are walking in the morning or evening.
Guernsey has loads of fantastic attractions to occupy your time on holiday, from the stunning beaches to the breathtaking coastline. Several outdoor attractions on the island are dog-friendly, such as Candie Gardens, but it is a good idea to verify this before you visit so your dog is not turned away and a quick change of plans is needed. Outdoor parks including Saumarez Park, L’Ancresse Common and Delancey Park allow dogs, but they must be on a lead, well behaved and closely supervised.
Some outdoor attractions on the island do not allow dogs at all which includes the Little Chapel, Lihou Island and its causeway, due to the wildlife found on the island and the ever-changing tides. Most indoor attractions will not permit dogs either, except assistance dogs, such as Castle Cornet, Guernsey Museum & Art Gallery and the German Occupation Museum.
However, if you want to explore the island’s coastline, and wander around outside the iconic forts dotted along the clifftops, you can traverse many of the coastal routes but remember to keep your dog on a lead where required.
It can be hard to find a dog-friendly café, pub or restaurant wherever you are, and especially on holiday when you are unfamiliar with the area, so it helps to have a guide like this to read before you visit as you can make note of the dog-friendly eateries and which ones are best! Some of Guernsey’s favourite dog-friendly pubs that serve food include the Duke of Richmond Hotel which allows dogs in the bar area and outside terrace and The Plough – a popular place for walkers – that allows dogs in the garden, bar and restaurant.
When you are exploring the island during the day, you may consider packing a picnic or ordering food to take away but there are a few cafés which allow dogs in outdoor areas or well-behaved dogs indoors when it is not too busy. In the capital of St Peter Port, there is The Terrace Garden Café and Le Petit Bistro Café. If you are travelling to Herm or Sark during your holiday to Guernsey, there are places which welcome dogs; The Mermaid Tavern on Herm and Stocks Hotel in Sark, which has a dog-friendly pub and bistro.
Tips for Your Dog-Friendly Holiday
Before you set off on your holiday and have found the perfect accommodation, there are a few things to plan for. Pay a visit to the vet to ensure your dog is in good health and their microchip is up to date. For younger dogs, you may also want to brush up on their commands and obedience, so you feel confident about their behaviour on holiday. When it comes to travelling, make sure you take regular breaks so your dog can stretch their legs and that they are happy to stay in the car when on the ferry crossing, as dogs are not permitted in the passenger areas.
It is a good idea to have a checklist of the items you will need to bring so nothing is forgotten or left behind in Guernsey. These items include a leash, collar, harness, identity tags, dog blanket and bed. If your dog eats a particular brand of food, you might also want to bring that with you or check you can buy it easily in Guernsey.
When arriving, get your dog to settle in quickly; bring a toy or blanket, as familiar items help to calm them, and it can make a huge difference to the whole holiday if your dog is happy when spending time away from home!