My Fido-friendly favourites: Travel guide author ALASTAIR SAWDAY reveals his pick of cosy cottages where dogs are not just catered for but made the centre of attention
- Paws & Stay is a booking site that lists the ‘finest’ dog-friendly rentals around the UK, from Wales to Cornwall
- There’s a great dog-friendly pub 20 minutes walk away from Asphodel Cottage in the Cotswolds
- Stay in an Airstream in Holne, Devon, and spend your days taking to the nearby walking trails with your dog
Paws & Stay is a collection of the ‘finest places to take your dog’, from the teams behind Sawday’s and Canopy & Stars (file photo)
Dogs are often overlooked. And for a country like ours, whose people love their pooches with a devotion that knows no bounds, that’s a sorry state of affairs. A holiday ‘welcome’ often just involves an outside kennel, a chain and miserly biscuit, or a tiny back room with no window.
But dogs, who treat us like emperors, deserve better: a scratch behind the ears, a decent meal, a bed and — above all — a sense of humour. If your hosts don’t find your dog funny then they should pack it in. Those rare, unwelcome marks on the carpet are to be forgiven and laughed over.
Paws & Stay is a collection of the finest places to take your dog, from the teams behind Sawday’s and Canopy & Stars, which I founded 28 years ago. The result is a triumph of conviviality and comfort for dogs and their adoring owners. Here’s my selection from around the country.
FIELD OF DREAMS
The countryside around the Stargazer Trailer in Holne, Devon, is made for walking. Pictured is the area’s Holne Bridge over the River Dart
Stargazer Trailer in Holne, Devon, is an original 1970s iconic Airstream, but the interior and the outdoor shower have a frontier feel. There’s an enclosed field as well as treats and towels for dogs, so you could happily stay put, but the countryside around you is made for walking. The owners have trail maps and suggestions for local destinations and dog-friendly pubs, so take your pick, hit the hills and come back to stretch out on the deck.
STAY: From £128 a night, sleeps two humans and one dog.
Pack a ball you can throw from the deck while you doze in the sun, because this is a beach house more than worthy of its name. Sandy Toes in Shellness, Kent, is a remote place, so stock up and really relax into the beach bum lifestyle.
The enclosed deck means your dog is safe outside on their own, but with the enormous stretch of beach and nearby nature reserve to explore, they’ll be too tired to run off anyway. Well, you can hope.
STAY: From £285 a night, sleeps five humans and three dogs.
If your dog didn’t drag you out, it would be easy to spend all day sitting on the balcony of the Douglas Boathouse in Argyll & Bute, Scotland. Sunsets are spectacular, seals and seabirds are worth keeping an eye out for, or you can retreat into the lounge and the corner sofa by the wood burner.
When the dog does demand a walk, you have plenty of scope, from the loch’s shoreline to the deep woodlands of Puck’s Glen or the paths around Castle Lachlan.
STAY: From £135 a night, sleeps four humans and three dogs.
CLASSY IN CORNWALL
Comforts: Treat your dog at Round House East (pictured on the right) in Cornwall, where you’ll find towels and an outdoor tap to wash off boots and paws
Round House East in Truro, Cornwall, has a little of all Cornwall’s best bits: history, landscape, adventure and culture. The building is from the 1820s but decorated with contemporary flair and the nearby secluded coves of Great and Little Molunan both allow dogs. You’re fully expected to come home covered in sand and mud, so there are towels and an outdoor tap to wash off boots and paws.
STAY: From £105 a night, sleeps two humans and three dogs.
Come to relax and explore the area on long walks with your dog. It’s a hike from Top Lodge Cottage in Longtown, Cumbria, to the nearest… anything, so stock up on food, biscuits and books.
Once you’re settled, you’ll have nothing more pressing to do than choose between the indoor roll top bath and the outdoor one, in the woods behind the cottage. There’s a garden where dogs can be let out in the morning and evening, or take them to Hadrian’s Wall or one of the many routes through the estate.
STAY: From £105 a night, sleeps two humans and two dogs.
WALKS IN THE WOODS
Orchard Cottage in Presteigne, Herefordshire, is run by the Sidney Nolan Trust, which works with local schoolchildren and visiting artists from around the world.
Your stay contributes to their work, but is also a chance for you and your dog to enjoy the gardens and woods. There are treats and blankets, as well as the boot room for post-hike down time and the sun room for napping, while humans can stretch out on the sofa by the wood burner.
STAY: From £95 a night, sleeps two humans and two dogs.
SUSSEX SEA VIEWS
Breath of fresh air: Take your dog on a Paws & Stay at Harbour View House, Chichester, pictured above
The views of the water from the upstairs sitting room and the colourful nautical theme of beautiful Harbour View House in Chichester, Sussex, will have you reaching for your chunky roll-neck jumper and pipe.
The enclosed garden is perfect for letting the dog out in the morning and inside there’s plenty of space for them to stretch out, even if they still pick the middle of a corridor to sleep in. Lure them out of the way with the jar of treats provided.
STAY: From £244 a night, sleeps eight humans and three dogs.
WANDER IN WALES
You’ll sit surrounded by birdsong and natural beauty for a few relaxing days in the woodlands at Penffynnon Cottage in Llandysul, Ceredigion. Pets will love being able to roam the woods and there are brilliant hikes right from the door, with something for every ability. The glass sunroom is perfect for post-walk naps and if you leave the windows open in the mezzanine bedroom, you’ll be woken by a dawn chorus.
STAY: From £97 a night, sleeps two humans and two dogs.
The ‘calm, dreamlike’ Asphodel Cottage is set just outside Cirencester (pictured) – and there’s a great dog-friendly pub 20 minutes walk away
With its pretty thatched roof, exposed beams and open fireplace, Asphodel Cottage is the sort of calm, dreamlike place where you could spend a few days without really knowing where the time had gone.
Just outside Cirencester within Gloucestershire, there’s a great dog-friendly pub 20 minutes walk away if you don’t fancy cooking and the surrounding countryside keeps the casual feel going, with gentle strolls in the Cotswolds and along riverbanks to keep you and your pet happy.
STAY: From £149 per night, sleeps two humans and three dogs.
PUPS AND PUBS
Walden in Bromyard, Herefordshire, is one for pups who don’t mind heights, but staying in a treehouse is something you will both never forget.
Everything in Walden has been beautifully designed and built. There are also miles of woodland paths to wander, including a pleasant stroll over to the dog-friendly Green Dragon pub.
The roll-top tub out on the deck is such a lovely spot that even the most bath-shy dog might be tempted, but you’ll probably want to keep it for yourself.
STAY: From £170 a night, sleeps two humans and two dogs.
HEAVEN IN DEVON
Hill’s Cross Hide in Honiton, Devon, doesn’t just give you access to the beautiful coast and countryside, it puts you right in the middle of it.
Let your pooch run wild in the garden and field and let nature into your life. Breakfast on the outdoor beechwood bar, spend the day on the beach, hiking the coast or off on the moors, then hit the local dog-friendly pub (The Kings Arms) for dinner.
STAY: From £140 a night, sleeps three humans and two dogs.
- For more information or to book, go to pawsandstay.co.uk.
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