Dog friendly breaks in Britain
Sawday’s has scoured the land for places to stay where dogs are not simply tolerated, they are quite literally ‘top dog’ in the attention stakes. Here they share four special places for canines – and their (human) companions – to stay
Seaview (Isle of Wight)
High Street, Seaview, PO34 5EX, Britain
Everything here is a dream. You’re 50 yards from the water in a small seaside village that sweeps you back to a nostalgic past. Locals pop in for a pint, famished yachtsmen float in for a meal, those in the know drop by for a luxurious night in indulging rooms. The bar has nautical curios nailed to its walls, the terrace buzzes with island life in summer, the restaurants hum with the contented sighs of happy diners. The whole show is orchestrated by Andrew and a battalion of kind staff, who book taxis, carry bags, send you off in the right direction. Interior designer Graham Green oversaw the fabulous refurbishment; some rooms come in smart country-house style (upholstered four-posters, padded headboards), others are contemporary (cool colours, fancy bathrooms). Three new apartments have blossomed from a converted bank next door, another is on the way. Don’t miss the food. The hotel has its own farm – home-reared meat, home-grown vegetables, home-laid eggs, while the crab ramekin is an island institution. There’s a treatment room, too, for expert pampering.
Minimum stay two nights at weekends.
29: 14 twins/doubles, 3 four-posters. New wing: 4 doubles, 3 twins/doubles, 5 family suites.
£125-£220. Suites from £210.
Lunch & dinner £5-£35.
One week at Christmas.
From Ryde B3330 south for 1.5 miles. Hotel signed left.
Tel: +44 (0)1983 612711
The Queen’s Arm (Berkshire)
Newbury Road, East Garston, Newbury, RG17 7ET
This inn is utterly gorgeous with tons of character, fabulous food, super bedrooms and staff that care. The location too, couldn’t be better: you’re bang in the middle of Lambourne Valley – prime English horse racing country – with a couple of paddocks abutting the inn and a lively crowd gathering in the bar. inside are panelled walls, bold colours, gilt mirrors, art by the truckload and a fire that burns all day. There’s a mannequin in the restaurant, seemingly dressed for regimental dinner, and you can expect delicious food from head chef kevin chandler and his team: duck eggs benedict, rare breed sausages, baked Alaska with raspberry sauce. bedrooms are perfectly formed: expect smart colours, wooden beds, Vi spring mattresses and bathrobes in excellent shower rooms. one room has its own poker tab;e, all are named after grand old companies - Cordings of Piccadilly, Farlows of Pall Mall – and their artwork adorns the walls. you can fish the kennet or ride out locally; this is rural england at its finest. Fantastic.
Lunch from £7. Dinner, 3 courses, about £25.
Inn 10 minutes from J14 off M4; inn signed off A338 Wantage to Hungerford road at Great Shefford.
Tel: +44 (0)1488 648757
Millstream Camp (Shropshire)
Lower buckton Country House, Ludlow, SY7 0JU
The very pretty millstream camp is made up of two different spaces for a self contained escape – and a dog’s kennel replete with bed( though not bedding). the shepherd’s hut is beautifully decorated with vintage items from the house, feather down pillows and a huge duvet filled with welsh sheep’s wool, serves as the dog free sleeping space. the tipi, decked out with old indian saris, campaign trunks and a lacquered table, is your sitting room. as well as a pair of day beds with vintage rugs to lounge around on, you also have a hammock and seating area by the stream – damned at the mill, on hot days, to create a magical bathing pool. food and cooking are an essential part of a Millstream holiday. Carolyn runs cookery courses on site and food safaris: tours of local producers with ample opportunity for snacking. back at the camp you can use the barbecue, the wood burner or the camp fire to hone your skills. there are pots of herbs, a vegetable garden and even a gas hob so you can cook up a storm. and an annotated map with resident dog Copper’s favourite routes.
Hut for two
From £90 a night.
October to March.
Come through Leintwardine from the west. After 1/4 of a mile turn right towards Knighton on the A4113. At the hamlet of Waldorf turn right down narrow lane, signed, “Buckton & Adleymoor”. Cross the river and Lower Buckton is the second house on the left. Look for a green/white gate with a postbox on the wall.
Canopy & Stars
Tel: +44 (0)1275 395447
The Ship (Suffolk)
St James’s Street, Dunwich, Saxmundham, Suffolk, IP17 3DT, Britain
Once a great port, Dunwich is now a tiny (but famous) village, gradually sinking into the sea. Its well-loved smugglers’ inn, almost on the beach, overlooks the salt marsh and sea and pulls in wind-blown walkers and birdwatchers from the Minsmere Reserve. In the old-fashioned bar – nautical bric-a-brac, flagged floors, simple furnishings and a stove that belts out the heat – you can tuck into legendary fish and chips washed down with a pint of Adams. There’s also a more modern dining room, but don’t expect fancy food; what you get are traditional dishes in generous portions, bowls of soup with chunks of bread, and big platefuls of ham, egg and chips; in the evening, lamb, pea and mint casserole, or baked megrim in lemon butter. Up the fine Victorian staircase are spruced up bedrooms – simple, uncluttered, with period features, cord carpets, brass beds, old pine, little shower rooms. Rooms at the front have glorious salt marsh views, courtyard rooms are cosy with new pine, and the family room under the eaves is fabulous: single beds, a big futon-style bean bag, and a plasma screen for the kids.
15: 11 doubles, 1 twin, 3 family rooms.
Lunch from £6.95. Bar meals from £9.75. Dinner from £9.95. Sunday lunch, 3 courses, £18.95.
Village signposted off B1125 between A12 at Blythburgh and Westleton.
Tel: +44 (0)1728 648219
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