North Devon has the dog friendly know how

Britain has been a nation of dog lovers for years but it seems in the last 5, it has become an obsession. The number of dog owners is increasing and with that so does the dog friendly facilities on offer.

And surely to be able to spend precious holiday time with the whole family including the four legged members, well that is just the perfection. It is now easier than ever to travel with dogs, find dog friendly accommodation, dog friendly activities and even eating and drinking places where they are allowed.

dog friendly north devon

It’s a doubt many owners don’t relish the thought of a holiday destination with a diverse landscape so every day children and their four legged companions can enjoy something different, it is where regions such as North Devon really come into their own. This extremely diverse landscape offers things to do and walks whatever the weather, all too important with the UK’s slightly unpredictable climate!

The stunning beaches have to be the number one attraction in the North Devon area. Woolacombe and Saunton are both dog friendly beaches and the expanse of white sand is simply family heaven. If it’s hot then the sea provides dogs with a much needed way to cool down and there’s endless space for playing ball and Frisbee.

dog friendly camping north devon

Beyond the beaches are dunes, the craggy moorland of the North Devon coast and Exmoor National Park, all doggy delights. There are many well signposted routes including the South West Coast Path especially around the Combe Martin to Ilfracombe area where the route passes along a dog friendly beach and various dog friendly pubs. This route takes in The Hangman Hills, full of history and intrigue and prehistoric hill fort of Hillsborough.

Dog friendly accommodation can be found is various forms. A recommendation for location and quality of facilities is Stowford Farm Meadows North Devon camping and caravan site at Combe Martin. They have dog friendly camping, caravan pitching and static rentals and the 70 acre site has dog friendly, waymarked walking routes handy for morning and evening trundles out. On top of that the dog day kennel service means even though you love them, a dog free day can be had, handy when wanting to visit an attraction. The site is fully equipped with a shop, places to eat and drink, a heated pool, crazy golf and entertainment.

More great dog friendly Lake District self catering news

We’re talking Lake District, we’re talking luxury, we’re talking dog friendly which can only mean excitement in our camp. In a time when the “Hound Pound” is riding high, many dog owners and also their canine companions don’t want to settle for second best anymore when it comes to dog friendly accommodation.

I’ve just read some great news for dog owners and their four legged friends. A self catering holiday cottage near Newby Bridge has not only been stupendously renovated but is now also dog friendly. To top off the greatness the owners of the cottage are allowing two of our four legged friends to stay which for us two canine families is even better news.

luxury lake district cottage

The Living Room at Barrow Hollin

The cottage is called Barrow Hollin and is located on a quiet road yet with easy access of the A590 between Newby Bridge and Witherslack marketed by The Lakeland Cottage Company. Newby Bridge and Lakeside have three hotels with restaurants and bars for food and at last glance had dog friendly areas in the bars. Over to Witherslack and The Derby Arms is a fab pub, dog friendly and very gastro like so everyone is happy and of course, real ales. Just 1.5 miles away from the cottage is The Crown Inn, again a great gastro type pub, real ales and plenty of local produce. It’s not hard to grasp you will not go hungry staying at this holiday cottage! Barrow Hollin is also within easy reach of Cartmel for the offering of food and beverages there as well as for Cartmel Races.

dog friendly cartmel

The Utility/Doggie Room at Barrow Hollin

The area is absolutely littered with walking routes from low level to around the lake to proper fell walks. Windermere Lake Cruises are also dog friendly and a trip from Lakeside down to Waterhead, stopping off at Bowness perhaps is a grand day out.

The interior is a thing of beauty with original features galore including wood panelling. Out into the garden and that is also a delight with views and a great area for the dogs to explore. Talking of practicality hear and the utility/dog room as it is called provides an ideal place for boot and waterproof storage, washing facilities and a place for the dogs to bed down and also eat. It is a utility room you’d happily live and sit in I can tell you and the dogs have a rug and a great view of the open countryside to enjoy.

My only piece of advice is to put the dogs in the car before you start to pack the bags at the end of the week or short break, they won’t want to leave!

To view Barrow Hollin and all of the dog friendly cottages in the Lake District area offered by The Lakeland Cottage Company, visit

By Jenny Andrew

Experience the Kalm of Kentmere on your next dog friendly Lake District escape

It’s correct to say, not a huge percentage of visitors to the Lake District will have heard of Kentmere or the Kentmere Valley. Tucked away with Windermere and Troutbeck to the west and Staveley to the south, Kentmere is a haven for real fell walkers and especially for those wishing to truly escape from the rat race.

We all love Windermere and Ambleside but their popularity is something not to everyone’s taste. The Lake District continues to get busier and busier year on year which has propelled even better services, more choice and in terms of food and drink, a really food lovers destination now.

kentmere valley lake district

The stunning and unspoilt Kentmere Valley.

But what is so fantastic about this National Park is the fact there are still places for a complete getaway, fully of just peacefulness and tranquillity of which Kentmere has it in abundance. The area provides direct access to some of the more challenging walks in the National Park such as the Kentmere Horseshoe and across to the awe inspiring Haweswater but also plenty of low level ones too. The valley is particularly enticing for us dog owners with very few roads, miles of open space with very little to get in our way. The latest Cumbrian Tourism #theplacetobe campaign image sums the valley up perfectly.

kentmere valley cottage

The Bothy, 4 star dog friendly holiday cottage

The Bothy is a perfect bolt hole. This sleeps 2 4 star self catering property enables a car free holiday upon arrival with countless walks right from the cottage door. It naturally allows our most prized possession, our four legged friend and is an easy 2 mile walk to the award winning Watermill Inn at Ings. The inn has its own micro brewery, serves hearty food and is extremely dog friendly, what more could you ask for from a Lake District pub? Around 3 miles away is the village of Staveley, great for stocking up on supplies especially from More Artisan bakery and Hawkshead Brewery. The Bothy is bookable through The Lakeland Cottage Company with off peak rates starting from £375 per week.

Dog friendly cottage in Windermere gets a “lick” of paint!

As one of the leading self catering resorts in the Lake District, Windermere Marina Village is also one of the leading dog friendly self catering operators too. Location, luxury and the facilities are all perfect for dog owners and their four legged friends.

New for 2015 is the redecoration and refresh of luxury Windward town house number 5. It has undergone redecoration throughout and new coordinating soft furnishings and bed linen. The property sleeps 6 humans and very handily, 2 dogs. As mentioned in a previous post and no doubt as many dog owners have come across, despite the ever growing choice of dog friendly self catering units and serviced accommodation available now, all too often only 1 dog is allowed. The 3 bedroom town house is set over 3 floors and an added bonus for humans and canines is the large, ground floor balcony with views over the marina, nosy dogs will be in their element!

dog friendly cottage windermere

Windward 5’s open plan living area leading out to private terrace.

For quick walkies first thing in the morning then either walk around the extensive resort or go next door to the park. The location means an extensive choice of walks can be done without the need for a car or a short drive opens up a huge area of the Lake District National Park.

Across the marina is The Boathouse Bar & Restaurant which is also dog friendly. Dogs are allowed downstairs in the bar and on the terrace.

This self catering property will not disappoint either humans or dogs. For more details visit,

The Lake District has been confirmed dog friendly!

In the Kennel Club Be Dog Friendly Awards, the Lake District won the great outdoors category. But that wasn’t all for the Lake District as Keswick won most dog friendly town/city.

“Be Dog Friendly is a Kennel Club Campaign to encourage, recognise and reward places and businesses that go the extra mile for the benefit of the UK’s 8 million dogs and their owners”.

To make these awards even better, not just having this accolade but also the fact the win was based on public votes. The comments made by the voters for the Lake District were centred hugely around the amount of places to walk with dogs up the fells, the many paths, bridleways and lakeshores but also the choice of amount of dog friendly accommodation, pubs, cafes, shops and attractions that allowed dogs.

dog friendly lake districtEspecially when it comes to dog friendly accommodation, the choice in Cumbria and the Lake District is vast. Every type of accommodation can be found from town centre B&B’s to country house hotels and all manner of holiday cottages and apartments from basic to 5 star luxury.

As a Kennel Club campaign, Be Dog Friendly is also there to encourage and educate owners in practical tips and advice on how dogs should conduct themselves when in dog friendly places. These tip bits of advice include not leaving dogs unattended whether in a pub or at a hotel room for example also being vigilant when it comes to house training and hygiene. All common sense tips yet which a small proportion of owners appear to forget from time to time.

For those who have been coming to the Lake District with their dogs for years will no doubt notice the bigger and better choice of dog friendly accommodation and other services which is continuing to rise. For those who haven’t been, get yourself and your four legged friend there and it’s quite a high certainty that won’t be the last visit!

5 star dog friendly Lake District cottages can be found through The Lakeland Cottage Company agency.

We didn’t need a survey to tell us dogs have become more than man’s best friend

Well for starters also woman’s best friend! According to the survey, 23,000 admit to calling their dog their “Baby”. Now I don’t do that but once in a while I’ll find myself lying in bed with 2 Border Collies keeping my feet warm.

Not that unbelievably it was owners of small breed dogs who shared their beds with their pooches the most. More unbelievably was the amount of St Bernards that hoped on beds. I’m actually quite jealous at the thought of having such a big bed that can accommodate possibly 2 adults and a St Bernard!


Happy as larry on “his” bed!

But all in all this article just goes to show and confirm the UK is a nation of dog lovers and dogs are most definitely part of the family. We share walks with them, laughter with them even holidays with them.

Read the full article here.

Dog friendly Cartmel (it’s not just all about the food you know!)

Cartmel, now firmly on the foodie map (arguably the culinary capital of Cumbria) and also the horse racing calendar. Romantic, weekend away heaven in rural, rolling fell surrounding loveliness yet buzzing with understated life.

But after a recent visit to Cartmel, having not been there for a good 5 years or so, (also pre-dog ownership), we were completely and utterly shocked (in a good way of course) at the amount of visitors with dogs. Why being the location it is with plenty of open space and paths we were surprised we don’t know. Also that Cartmel is smack bang in long standing farming communities where dogs are not only companions but also workers. But the people walking throughout the village square and around we definitely visitors from out of the area.

cartmel dog friendly

Dog and tractor friendly Cartmel

We had gone without dogs. To say we were gutted was an understatement. It was only during the marathon 22 course menu at L’enclume did the thought of Mac and Cam not being with us, leave our minds. The problem time was during the day when we spent it all saying “ooh, the boys would have loved this pub” and spying loads of great walks we could have done with them.

For not only is Cartmel great outside for dogs, all the pubs are dog friendly too. But as with the whole of the village, the pubs are stunning too, they are all places where really good food is served, great , local real ales and you can even get Prosecco by the glass.

dog friendly cottage cartmel

Des Res for pooches and you in Cartmel

So we thought we owe it to Mac and Cam to return to Cartmel and of course with them in tow. Luxury, dog friendly holiday cottages are available from The Lakeland Cottage Company. Some of them have a 5 star gold rating fitting perfectly with 5 star Cartmel you and your dogs will experience in and around Cartmel. All their dog friendly properties can be viewed here.

Obviously, every dog is welcome in Cartmel but I really would advise giving Fido a little spruce up before visiting, you’d hate for him to feel uncomfortable!

Dog Friendly Windermere

With a healthy number and choice of pubs and bars, Windermere and Bowness are excellent places for dog friendly holidays.

Whether you’re staying up in Windermere and down in Bowness, there are plenty of well signposted and accessed walks to do to that you and your dog will love. Orrest Head is a must little walk. Starting across the road from the train station, Orrest Head is only a short uphill walk but the commanding views of Lake Windermere, the Coniston and Langdale fells are stunning. From Orrest Head you can choose to walk to Troutbeck and even onto Ambleside if you’re feeling energetic.

dog friendly windermereA lovely circular walk and for near panoramic views of the Lake District is up and around Gummers How. This walk is around a 3 mile walk, well signposted and with mostly good paths. A trig point at the summit means you’ve reached it and then it’s a case of taking in the view. Being 6 or so miles from Bowness, it is advisable to drive and park in the Forestry Commission car park at Gummers How.

gummers how windermere

Gummers How footpath and tripoint

What could be better than a cruise with your dog? Windermere Lake Cruises allows dogs on their regular sailings from Bowness where you can cruise down the full length of the lake or choose to just head down to Lakeside or up to Waterhead for Ambleside. Both locations have great walks for dogs as well as dog friendly places to eat and drink. The Windermere Ferry also operates from Bowness from Ferry Nab which can take you across the lake where the western shores of Windermere can be explored.

Onto places to stay and Windermere Marina Village have a number of dog friendly self catering cottages which handily allow up to 2 dogs. The resort offers safe access from cottage to the parking space with the only vehicles being other guests and marina staff around the perimeter 5mph road. The marina also has onsite a restaurant and bar and downstairs and the terrace are dog friendly. There are superb views of the marina from the terrace and plenty of space between tables for dogs.

pet friendly lake district cottage

One of the dog friendly cottages at Windermere Marina Village 

One piece of advice, make sure you take a camera out with you wherever you go as they’ll be so many excellent scenic dog posing shots to take!

The Rise of the Dog Friendly Holiday

The rise of the dog friendly holiday is a combination of a few factors, the increasing number of dog owners, our complete love and craziness for our four legged friends and our need to be savvy with our money. Take a dog on holiday and the cost is far, far less than outing them into a kennel with some accommodation even offering a pets stay for free policy. Kennels or home from home dog sitting can be anything from £10 to around £30 per night whereas even some luxury accommodation venues charging a rate of just those figures for a full week stay when coming with their owners.

It has just been reported in The Times, there are now 9 million dogs in the UK in 24 per cent of households and dogs, for the first time in 21 years, have overtaken cats in popularity. It really is the time for dogs with businesses relating to the dog sector opening left, right and centre and even the news that the amount of dog related books due for the Christmas market supersedes cook books! Is this really true that dogs are even more popular than Great British Bake Off??!!! Naturally we here at Nice Doggy blog agree dogs are better than baking but of course, having a passion for dogs AND baking is the best.

dog friendly lake districtIt is then quite understandable that we want our four legged family members to come on holiday with us and the demand has fueled a whole host of businesses opening their doors to dogs or as The Telegraph reported back in April this year, chasing the Hound Pound.

So dog owners have now more choice of places to stay and dog friendly things to do whilst on holiday, they can enjoy their time off with their canine companion and let’s not forget also save money on kennel fees along the way.

A dog friendly hotel in Cumbria both inside and out

As most dog owners know, it’s not just about the facilities inside the dog friendly hotel that make the decision of where to stay with our four legged friends, outside is as, if not more, important.

Where the hotel is located is a huge factor, it most definitely is for us. For instance, if your dog is used to the quiet then staying somewhere noisy is only going to upset the dog and you and definitely lead to a stressful stay. Of course, the following concerns don’t apply to every dog, some are perfectly adapt to stay and travel in any locations, busy, quiet, town or country.

Some hotels state they are dog friendly but really they just allow dogs in my eyes. With little in the way of grounds or places to safely walk dogs especially earlier in the morning and late at night for the necessaries, makes the experience a bit of a hassle. Having an enclosed garden or even just plenty of off road places to walk right from the hotel door, is great for dogs and their owners.

dog friendly hotel cumbria

Amongst all the grass and countryside nestles the dog friendly Tebay Services Westmorland Hotel

This blog is ultimately focused on the dog friendly holiday aspect of Cumbria and the Lake District but it is worth remembering that the positioning of Cumbria with the M6 motorway running alongside it makes it an excellent place for a long journey break. Breaking up a long journey is even more important when travelling with dogs. They even more so than up need to stretch their legs, get some fresh air and especially when it’s hot, cool down. A motorway services hotel with a difference than many people will be aware of is the Tebay Services Westmorland Hotel. What you may not realise is it is dog friendly. Straight off the motorway yet in the countryside, the hotel has a number of dog friendly bedrooms, a large car park and plenty of grounds for walks with even some special signposted ones. One guest, James Stevens, posted an excellent photo and few words on the hotels Facebook wall earlier this year:

“Jakey boy loves to stay at Tebay Westmorland hotel, the bank opposite the cark park is the perfect place to let off steam before settling down in his room with his humans. He has his own personal water bowl and nibbles, compliments of the hotel’s friendly staff!!!!!”

dog friendly cumbria

Jakey running through the grass outside the Tebay Services Westmorland Hotel

Although I’m sure the nibbles went down amazingly well with Jakey, I also imagine if he could talk (and don’t you wish they could!) he would say he loved the bank of grass to run through and the fresh, Cumbrian air just as much.

Oh, and the hotel is really good for humans too, we’d better not forget to mention that too!