Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Dog friendly holiday destinations in Ireland and England

Since we bought our lovely dog Pina, where possible we've tried to take her on holidays with us. Recently a Facebook friend asked for some recommendations which made me think I should add them to our travel blog, so here is a brief list. One thing that we've learnt from travelling with Pina is that not all hotels or B&Bs mean the same thing when they market themselves as dog friendly, so our advice here is to check exactly what it means before you travel simply to avoid disappointment or inconvenience.

We've graded the various places we've stayed with Pina based upon:
  • How welcome they make guests with dogs feel.
  • Location and other dog friendly destinations/walks close by.
  • The degree to which they go the extra mile for dog owners.
To get 10/10 the venue has to be pretty special and allow you to have your evening meal with your pet rather than have to leave them alone in what to them is a strange room or in your car.

Connemara, Ireland
In 2014 when Pina was about 6 months old we took her with us on a trip to Ireland, it was her first 'long trip' in the car and first trip on a ferry. She passed both tests with flying colours and since then she has proved many times to be a great traveller. To read more about Connemara and Cleggan Holiday Cottages where we stayed, click on the following link, Beautiful Connemara. The great thing about staying in a holiday cottage with your pet is that there are no restrictions within reason limiting where your pet can go. There is a great pub in Cleggan Village called Oliver's Bar where dogs are welcomed not only on the terraced area at the back of the Bar but also in the bar, great locally sourced food is served in both areas.
Dog friendly rating: 8/10

Cleaggan Holiday Cottages
First holiday, first holiday romance
The Lake District, Cumbria, England
In March 2015 we booked a long weekend to visit the stunning Lake District. On this trip we stayed in a very nice 'cottage' in Windermere Marina Village. To read more about this trip, click on the following link, Long weekend in the Lake District. There is a bar on the Marina complex where you can enjoy a meal with your dog by your side.
Dog friendly rating: 8/10

Lake Windermere

Studying the wildlife at the edge of the lake

Bank Holiday weekend in North Yorkshire, England
In May 2015 we spent one of the bank holiday weekends staying at the Laskill Grange B&B just outside Helmsley. We stayed in the cosy Foxglove Cottage which in a previous life was the farm's pig sty. This is a great B&B, I guess the only downside was that breakfast, which was delicious, is served in the main house where dogs aren't allowed in the dining area. That aside, dogs are made very welcome and there is so much to do and see in the stunning part of the country, you can also order an evening meal in your cottage which in our case we did and really enjoyed the experience. The amazing Rievaulx Abbey is only minutes away. For more on Laskill Grange and the surrounding area, clock on the following link and read on, North Yorkshire.
Dog friendly rating: 8/10

Laskill Grange
People watching at Rieuvaulx Abbey

West Cork, Ireland
In June 2016 the three of us along with Susy's Mum took a trip across to Ireland. After a few days with family in Dublin we drove to West Cork where we stayed at the fabulous Dunmore House Hotel just outside Clonakilty. The staff at the hotel were wonderful, so welcoming to dogs, they really made all of us feel at home while we were there. The hotel is fantastic, set on the Atlantic coastline so the views are beautiful. Dogs are allowed in the hotel bar where the food is great so a wonderful destination with your furry daily member. To read more about this wonderful part of Ireland click on the link, Family visit to Ireland June 2016.
Dog friendly rating: 10/10

Exploring around the Beacon, Baltimore

Stunning view of Bantry Bay from Bantry House

More from West Cork, Ireland
Around a three hour drive from Dublin, West Cork is a beautiful part of Ireland with lots to do, great food especially if you like seafood and some stunning scenery. We made another trip there in July 2017, this time the three of us stayed at Carbery Cottage Guest Lodge, a great B&B situated between Durrus and Akahista. As with our pervious visit to this part of Ireland we had a fabulous welcome. Carbery Cottage is a great place to visit with a dog and as humans you're in for a treat as the breakfasts are out of this world. Interested, click on the link to read more, West Cork 2017. As I'm writing this for some reason I can't find any photos so hopefully the Blogpost will do the trick.
Dog friendly rating: 9/10

Wheeldon Trees Farm, Derbyshire, England
Earlier this year (2018) Susy surprised me with a trip to Wheeldon Trees Farm to celebrate my birthday. Wheeldon Trees Farm has a collection of holiday cottages converted from the original outbuildings. The cottages are fabulous with every home comfort you can possibly think of and more.  They will even supply bedding, treats etc for your dog if required. Once you arrive there is no need to use your car as all your needs are catered for and there is some wonderful walking straight from the front of the cottage. I've just realised that I've not written a blogpost on this so until I catch up, here is a link to their wonderful website, just click here.
Dog friendly rating: 10/10

Wheeldon Trees Farm

Not a car in sight

Wells-next-the Sea, Norfolk, England
Earlier in July the unusually good English summer made us yearn for a trip to the seaside so having heard good things about Wells on the Norfolk Coast we looked for a dog friendly place to stay. Susy came across the Globe Inn and we booked a nights stay. The Globe is great for dog owners who want to travel with their dogs, dogs are allowed in the bar area where the food is really good and at breafast  there is a designated area in the restaurant where dogs are allowed so no worried about having to leave your dog in their own in your room or in your car.
Dog friendly rating: 10/10

Globe Inn
The beach at Wells is beautiful and huge, there is a large dog friendly designated area so another great reason for visiting Wells-next-the-Sea with your dog. We enjoyed our time at the Globe and Wells so much that we booked to return in August.

Having fun at Wells-next-the-Sea beach

Connemara, Ireland
We're just back from a break in Connemara, our second trip to this stunning part of Ireland with our dog Pina. We stayed four nights at the beautiful Lough Inagh Lodge Hotel. This is a wonderful, very welcoming boutique style hotel situated in the edge of Lough Inagh, which welcomes guests with their dogs. Just be aware that dogs aren't allowed in the bar area whilst food is being served so you will have to leave them in your room whilst you are eating. You do have the option to order food in your room however from a reduced menu. That aside the team at this fabulous hotel are great and they make you and your pet feel at home. It's a great place to explore the immediate area and beyond. Once you've experienced Lough Inagh you'll want to return. To see more of Connemara just click here.
Dog friendly rating: 9/10

Lough Inagh Lodge Hotel
View from the hotel 
Relaxing by the lough

The Malvern Hills, Malvern, England
Our most frequently visited destination with Pina is the Malvern Hills and the Malvern Hills Hotel which we found by chance when visiting the area for a family birthday. The Malvern Hills are a range of hills in the English counties of Worcestershire, Herefordshire and a small area of northern Gloucestershire which dominate the surrounding countryside of the district of Malvern. The Malvern Hills Hotel is located the other side of the road to an area known as British Camp, this is an Iron Age hill located at the top of Herefordshire Beacon.  The area is a mecca for walkers of all ages and very welcoming to dogs. The hotel is 100% dog friendly and the management understand that their guests like to have their dogs with them at meal time so they'll happily serve breakfast in the bar area where you can also enjoy a tasty lunch or evening meal. There is also a nice outdoor seating area at the front of the hotel where you can relax on a sunny day.
Dog friendly rating: 10/10

Malvern Hills Hotel
British Camp