Is the Coleridge Way dog friendly? You bet it is.

I walked the route three times to write the Companion Guide and each time I took my black Labrador, Ozy, with me along all 51 miles of the path.

Of course, taking your canine companion with you on any holiday takes planning, but so does walking a long-distance path – especially in the sparsely populated Quantocks and Exmoor when you need to be confident that there will be a bed at the end of your day’s journey.

Therefore, booking ahead allows you to find out who does and does not allow dogs in their pub, B&B or guesthouse.

Your best starting point is the Visit Exmoor site or Quantock Online both of which have accommodation pages. Thereafter a web search for ‘coleridge way dog friendly accommodation’ will bring up a number of individual sites.

Once you have found your first dog friendly B&B then it pays to ask the proprietor if they are aware of the next suitable place along the route. The pet friendly community is pretty tight and it is likely they will know of someone who will take dogs for the following night.

Eating and drinking is also not a problem. All but one of the pubs on route is dog friendly and most publicans positively welcome dogs. In the larger towns (Porlock and Lynmouth/Lynton) many of the cafés also allow dogs. However, it is always polite to ask the bar staff if it’s okay to bring in a dog, especially if the dog (and you) are wet and muddy and you may be restricted to a flagstone bar area.

Most of the villages along the route have small shops and many of these will stock basic dog food. However, you may find your usual brand is not available or the shop may be closed. It therefore pays to have spare rations with you. This is fine if your dog eats dry food but bear in mind the cans can be heavy when you have to carry them in your rucksack. Also bear in mind that your dog will probably be expending far more calories than usual and may need extra food.

A basic dog first aid kit is useful and the Blue Cross have some helpful suggestions. Having said that most of what your dog needs is similar to what you need– although a good size roll of very sticky plaster and a few gauze pads will deal with most minor cuts and grazes; at least until you can get to your overnight stop.

Walking the Coleridge Way with a dog is a wonderful way of spending a few days – just remember to keep him or her under close supervision at all times and to comply with any requests to put your dog on a lead, including between 1 March and 31 July in open access areas.

Enjoy your walkies – Ozy did …

Music: Walk In The Park by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (…)