July: Happy Holidays with Dogs
In the second part of our blog about dog friendly holidays, we’ve headed north and unearthed some dog welcoming hotels, cottages, glamping venues and pubs which take looking after dogs and their owners to the next level.
As we know from experience, there’s a difference between dog welcoming and dog tolerant, and the devil is always in the detail: warm showers to wash your dogs down, walks from the door to the (dog friendly) beach and doggy treats on arrival are what we think makes a holiday extra-special.
We’ve rounded up some places we know and some we like the sound of. Enjoy!
The Cholmondeley Arms Pub with rooms, nr Malpas, Cheshire
This friendly pub has all the essentials and a few key extras: a cosy atmosphere and open fires as well as a massive collection of gins and a drink specially brewed for your four-legged friend! Dogs are allowed in all areas of the pub and there’s a jar of biscuits on the bar. Pooches are clearly quite high on the agenda as ‘Belgian Beer’ is provided exclusively for them. But don’t worry, it’s an alcohol-free chicken/beef based drink and dogs love it apparently.
Dogs are welcome to stay in the ground floor bedrooms and there is a charge of £10 per night. With a midweek price per night of £90 for a double room which includes breakfast, we think this is great value.
Scamper Holidays, Glamping in the Gower Peninsula, Wales
As you can tell from the name, dogs are quite a main feature at Scamper Holidays. They specialise in a range of eclectic glamping accommodation ranging from Shepherd Huts, to Camper Vans, Pods and Lodges, on two sites: Rhossilli and Llangennith. From Rhossilli you have direct access to the truly beautiful beach, which was voted the No1 dog-friendly beach in The Times. You can take up to three dogs with you and on request they can also provide blankets, bowls, towels, poop bags and dog treats. Although they do charge £30-40 for valeting they are very dog orientated and the website is full of useful information about dog friendly beaches, pubs and cafes. A four-night break in August in a Shepherds Hut in Rhossilli will set you back only £525, and if you want to push the boat out you can peruse the luxury extras list and decorate it with bunting or order a Welsh Cream tea. There is still availability for summer 2017.
The Trigonwy Hotel, Dumfries, south west Scotland
If you read the reviews of this hotel you will see that they don’t use the star symbol, they use paws. And the number of reviews from dog owners giving the maximum five paws is rather high! It’s not surprising for a hotel which has been awarded the best pet friendly hotel in the UK perhaps, but it’s an encouraging start.
This is a luxurious hotel and the prices reflect that - a classic double bedroom is £120 including breakfast. You’ll get beautifully furnished rooms though, with Egyptian cotton sheets, and every room is pet friendly. They take up to three/four well behaved dogs and a welcome box will be presented to your pooch on arrival. If you feel the need, you can order pet sitting, or, spoil your beloved mutt with a pamper visit or some Reiki from the on-site practitioner! All doggy extras like bowls and beds are provided free, but there is a charge of £9.50 per room for pets. Although you can’t eat in the restaurant with your dog, you can eat all the food available in the restaurant in the bar with them if you wish. If allowed, your dog will get a free sausage for his breakfast too. Most of the residents have or like dogs, so off the lead walkies from the front door is a sociable event in the mornings!
Experience Mor– a small Pembrokeshire cottage company
Ruff and Tumble have personal experience of these cottages and rate them highly. This privately-run company owns its cottages and clearly understands the needs of dog owners. With most of the cottages having warm outside showers, large boot rooms, enclosed gardens and solid flooring, it’s hassle free from the beginning. Add on access to rivers from the front door for doggy water babies and private woodlands to roam that come with some cottages, and it becomes dog paradise as well as dog practical. The nearby beaches of Newport Sands are dog friendly as are many of the beaches in Pembrokeshire. The cottages sleep between four and nine and prices start at around £800 for a larger cottage per week off season. There is late availability in summer 2017.