Travels with my dog
- Credit: Archant
Your dog is part of the family, so it only seems fair he or she should be included in your holiday plans. But it can be tricky knowing how to plan a great getaway which suits both you and your pet.
Thankfully, Norfolk is the perfect place to take your dog away with you as there are not only plenty of fantastic walks to enjoy, there are some great hotels, holiday lets, restaurants and cafes which will welcome you – and your four-legged friend – with open arms.
Fiona Snelson and Kevin Witt always take their six-year-old long haired Chihuahua Jasper with them on holiday.
“Jasper is like a member of the family and he comes everywhere with us,” she says.
“Since we bought him, we have only been on one foreign holiday because I just hate putting him in kennels. But it has given us a new-found appreciation of how lucky we are to live in Norfolk.”
The couple from Norwich, now tend to take lots of short breaks locally. Fiona says that research is essential and that having a dog does not exclude you from staying in lovely places.
“You do not have to compromise on quality for yourself. I think that tourism businesses really understand Norfolk’s appeal to dog owners and have really embraced it, providing excellent services and facilities. Many cafes and restaurants also allow dogs – and even if they are not allowed inside, most have outdoor areas and there is nearly always a welcome bowl of water. There are so many walks to go on with your dog here, especially along the coast. Part of the pleasure for us is seeing Jasper’s enjoyment at exploring new places and having these great adventures.”
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Top tips for a great holiday with your dog
Research is key. Think where you want to stay, where you want to eat and places you want to visit – a lot of tourist attractions are not dog-friendly so you need to consider this before you plan trips out.
Even if a hotel says dog-friendly, it might only apply to certain rooms so make sure you specify that you want to bring your pet when you book – don’t just assume it is okay as those allocated rooms may have already been taken.
Check whether there are restrictions on the size and breed of dog.
Think about outdoor space. Does the hotel have a general communal area only accessible through the main hotel or are there doors from your room straight outside? Remember your pet might need to go out in the night. If it is a cottage, is the garden safe and enclosed?
Find out if your dog is allowed to be left in the room/accommodation on its own without you. Many places have strict rules on this.
In the winter you can take your dog virtually anywhere along the coastline, but in the summer there are restrictions on many of the beaches. Be mindful of wildlife, especially seals. Holkham and Brancaster are not to be missed if you have a dog.
Consider how easily your dog settles in new places. Take some familiar items, such as his or her bed or blanket, or some toys.
Have dog, will travel
Some of Norfolk’s dog-friendly establishments for you to consider:
Titchwell Manor, Titchwell, PE31 8BB; www.titchwellmanor.com; 01485 210221.
The Hoste Arms, Burnham Market, PE31 8HD; www.thehoste.com; 01328 738777.
The George, Cley, NR25 7RN; www.thegeorgehotelatcley.co.uk; 01263 740652.
The Lifeboat Inn, Ship Lane, Thornham, Norfolk, PE36 6LT; www.lifeboatinnthornham.com; 01485 512236.
Norfolk Country Cottages, 01263 715779; www.norfolkcottages.co.uk. Dog-friendly cottages are available throughout the county.
Deepdale Backpackers Hostel and Deepdale Granary Group Hostel, Burnham Deepdale, PE31 8DD; www.deepdalefarm.co.uk; 01485 210256.
The White Horse, Brancaster, PE31 8BY; www.whitehorsebrancaster.co.uk; 01485 210262.
The Ship, Brancasterr, PE31 8AP; www.shiphotelnorfolk.co.uk; 01485 210333.
The Orange Tree, Thornham, PE36 6LY; www.theorangetreethornham.co.uk; 01485 512213.
The Victoria, Holkham, NR23 1RG; www.holkham.co.uk/victoria; 01328 711008.
Waveney River Centre, Burgh St Peter, NR34 0BT; www.waveneyrivercentre.co.uk; 01502 677343.
Strattons Hotel, Swaffham, PE37 7NH; www.strattonshotel.com; 01760 723845.