On the northern side of the North Pennines, this Edwardian mansion hotel is set among 1,000 acres of leafy woodland, farmland and vast, open expanses. Slaley Hall is a haven of rural activities, from dining to hiking, with abundant surrounding walks to please active dogs and their owners. With fishing, archery and clay-pigeon shooting offered as part of a stay at Slaley, as well as Derwent reservoir a four-mile hike away, you can spend whole idyllic days in the great outdoors with your bounding four-legged friend in tow.
Settle into a Classic room – specially reserved for canines. Two small dogs or one large one can fit in each room, ideal if you have a duo of dachshunds or a single sheepdog. Rooms have either courtyard or garden views and all come with a seating area to sit, sip tea and relax with your pup and a paper after an adventurous morning of chasing squirrels in the woods. The décor mirrors the rustic aesthetic of the hotel’s interior: think tweed-adorned armchairs, plump scatter cushions, plaid-clad throws and tartan carpets.
Treat your dog to a trek round the shore path at Derwent Reservoir for some splash fun – it’s a satisfying four-mile walk through Slaley Park. Once back, settle your pet for a snooze in your room and finish the afternoon with a quirky tea at the Dukes, an Edwardian style drawing room. The striking surroundings feature velvet wing chairs to sink into as you sample dainty cakes and sandwiches elegantly presented in a birdcage. You can also take afternoon tea as part of an experience package in the deluxe Slaley Hall spa. Take your pick from treatments like a Swedish massage or revitalising facial using all-natural products from premium beauty brand ESPA before a sip of bubbly in a fluffy robe by the pool.
When evening rolls around, start with a real ale in the 19th Bar with your contented companion at your feet – all the hotel’s public areas, excluding the restaurants, welcome pets. Then, let your dog dine in your room while you slip off to one of Slaley Hall’s three restaurants. The Claret Jug restaurant is a favourite with hungry golfers who’ve completed the hall’s 36-hole course. Expect pub favourites like local ham and cheddar sandwiches, beer battered fish and healthy poke bowls. For a formal evening meal, dine on dishes like aged Hereford cattle beef at Hadrian’s Brasserie with wine recommendations from the waiter to match your dish. Whiskey connoisseurs can then sip from the cosy Whisky Snug’s single malt selection as a nightcap while the fireplace crackles in the background. A slow stroll with your dog around the hotel grounds will relax both of you before bedtime – unless, of course, they scent something they simply have to investigate.