Sitting right on South Beach, Heacham is Brincliffe Beach House. On entering the house, we were pleasantly surprised by how homely it appeared. We were welcomed with Tea, Coffee, Bread, Cake, Biscuits, a bottle of wine in the fridge, a bag of dog biscuits for our French Bulldog Polly and a huge bowl of fresh water waiting for her. I just love places where they welcome your dog along as much as they welcome you.
The house has three bedrooms. One with a double bed and two with singles. The double bed is slightly on the small side, lucky enough there were three of us so we all took a bedroom each. The house has everything you need, even providing a BBQ and different size dog crates stored in the Garage. It has an enclosed garden which backs right on to the sand dunes. The garden was brilliant for Polly as she could come in and out when she pleased. She loved the garden and we would often find her sprawled out relaxing with not a care in the world.
Go out the garden gate and the path leads up and over the sand dune onto South Beach. I love this beach. Whatever time of day you venture up, you will see dog walkers along the beach, although you would be lucky to see more than 6 people at one time. It is so peaceful, and you can walk for miles. It is a pebble beach, which is heaven to Polly, much to our dismay she loves to carry stones.
A holiday that can recharge your batteries in two days flat(?). Peace and quiet are the bywords here. Our home was the new ‘Shepherd’s Hideaway’ about 150 yards down the lane from the Kings Pitts Farm, Kingsthorne. This is a seriously well equipped shepherd’s hut in its own ‘dog proof’ paddock. Parking is off road behind gates just a short walk away. Below, fields and woods spread out with mountains in the distance. The only noise was that of sheep, assorted wildlife and the occasional tractor.
The hut is of a traditional style. There are four steep steps to the ‘front (stable) door’ but this is supported by a hand rail. If steps are a problem then maybe this is not for you. Once in it’s oh so cosy. There is a double bed, a cooking area with oven, two burner stove, sink and fridge. At the other end is the bathroom with a toilet, sink and shower. Also, there is a wood burning stove but just boiling a kettle leaves the hut toasty. Our hosts left us a basket containing; wine, bread, butter, jams and eggs from the farm chickens. All the essential food groups…very welcome.
Dogs ‘n Dracula – Our Romance with Romania & Adopting Transylvanian Orphan!
As a dog-friendly destination, Romania isn’t the first place to spring to mind.
“Packs of wild dogs, bears and wolves; pickpockets, scammers, corrupt officials; TERRIBLE roads, AWFUL drivers – and in 2018, rain, floods, anti-Government riots…”
And what about those vampires?!
Lured by magical landscapes and 25 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it was with trepidation that we crossed into Romania in our caravan with four Cavapoos - Kai, Rosie, Ruby and Lani. Well, we always had Plan B; turn round and go elsewhere!
However, I would like to set Romania’s record straight. From Day One, our experience was of nothing but kindness; an allotment-owner’s gift of luscious home-grown tomatoes, a Tourist Information Officer delivering us to our destination rather than give directions, “My Uncle’s home-distilled pălincă” (48% alcohol. Handle with care!) Warmth and generosity was literally a daily occurrence.
European money means that stray dogs are fed and neutered and the roads are improving rapidly - although the driving does belie Romania’s Italian heritage! Our Sat Nav possesses either a sense-of-humour or a ‘random adventure’ algorithm, which denied the existence of the excellent DN7 and took the caravan through a cornfield!
Bears are largely nocturnal vegetarians. You won’t see bears if they hear you coming and there is no record of healthy wolves attacking humans. It’s wise to carry a stick while hiking in case you meet fierce shepherd dogs protecting sheep - as in the Alps.
And far from “They beat dogs and it’s illegal to give them water” (a Romanian blogger!) our fur babies gathered crowds of cooing admirers EVERYWHERE!
The up side of a country rife with strays is that no-one is precious about dogs. Mark was asked to wear a T Shirt to visit the Dacian site of Sarmizegetusa Regia but the dogs could run free!
The converse is that Romanian dogs are less well behaved, so dogs are not allowed inside some attractions. A curator at the magnificent Corvinilor Castle told us “There have been a few ‘accidents’, so no dogs inside…” However, she let us all into the castle museums and offered to look after the pups while we went inside the castle!
We did go for the ‘full’ Romanian experience. Magnificent medieval castles, fortified churches and citadels; Dacian World Heritage sites; Dracula’s birthplace; we crossed the Carpathians via the Transfăgărășan -‘The Best Road in the World’; adopted a Transylvanian orphan…
We named him Blade, The Vampire Slayer.
The Fab Four became The Famous Five when the campsite owner told us that the affectionate little black stray probably wouldn’t survive when the campsite closed for the winter. With summer temperatures in the 30s, the sign for snow chains outside seemed incongruous. But before his first birthday, Blade received toys, collar, lead and tag, a microchip and jabs - and a passport to a new life in England!
It is just 30 years since the fall of communism. Romania has some way to go. But as with Blade, there is definitely hope for a better future!
So, Romania with dogs? It’s a ‘YES’ from me!
Just back from a lovely short break in Lustleigh, South Devon. We stayed right in the village at Little Holme Cottage. Cottage warm and cosy, sofa is a little tired but plenty of hot water and bed very comfy. So many dog and human walks straight from the village you don't have to over the car all week if you don't want to. WE recommend Primrose Cottage Tea Rooms about 30 paces away. Superb food and very dog friendly, if they are clean and dry or wet and muddy. Also dog friendly cafe at Parke about an hour and twenty mins walk away. Also excellent food and dog friendly
We stayed at Stablewood Cottages, nestled behind the dunes of the beautiful Budle Bay, on the Northumberland coast. The cottages are set yards from the beach, with walks either round Budle Bay, or past the breakwater and to Bamburgh, and the wonderful castle. The cottage had a small enclosed garden with a bbq built in and nice tables, opening on to a large shared garden with just 3 other cottages, each having their own fenced off veranda with magnificent views over the bay. Stablewood own the Apple Inn at Lucker, just a few miles inland, and they are just as dog friendly, serving wonderful food. The cottage was well equipped for those that prefer to stay and cook their own meals. This place is simply perfect for a peaceful get away, the bird life in the bay was wonderful, the sunsets lit up the sky, and from the beach we could see right over to Holy Island. Staying at the cottages also entitles you to a free swim and treatment at their spa, which is also in Lucker. We had an amazing stay at this beautiful place.
Yeomadon Farm Cottages. Four Dog Friendly super clean cottages on working farm. Four fishing lakes, lots of walks and dog friendly beaches nearby.
JESSY DOGGY'S FAVOURITE STAY
HOSTE HOTEL DOWN NORWICH WAY
LOVELY ROOMS & COMFY BEDS
EVERY NIGHT TO REST OUR HEADS
TASTY FOOD FOR US TO DINE
EVERY NIGHT WE START TO WHINE
FRIENDLY STAFF WHO GIVE ADVICE
THIS PLACE WE KNOW IS REALLY NICE
MASSIVE BEACHES FOR US TO RUN
WE WERE LUCKY - LOTS OF SUN !
IF WE'RE GOOD WE GET A SNACK
REST ASSURED WE'RE COMING BACK !
What an absolutely awesome place to holiday with your fur friends! Full of dog friendly cafes, beaches and restaurants and even a little water powered train that takes you up the side of the cliff from Lynmouth to Lynton. Highly recommend the walk to Watersmeet, a beautiful hidden cafe in the forest, next to a waterfall. We have always holidayed with our dogs in Cornwall and were dubious about trying somewhere new but we are so glad we did as Lynmouth is a hidden gem with gorgeous views. It’s one of those places where dogs needs are considered and there is a real animal loving community spirit. As I’m sure most dog owners would agree, feeling like your dogs are welcomed as part of the family makes the holiday so much more enjoyable. Thanks for having us Lynton and Lynmouth :)
Hi, we had the best holiday ever with our 4 labradors in Cropton, with Forest Holidays, the holiday wasn't cheep but by gumm it was worth every penny. The lodge we stayed in had wood floors and all in one level so was great for my old girl who is 13, they also have underground heating which the girls loved after a day out exploring the surrounding woodland. On site the girls had to be on leads but it's such a small park and such a short distance to the areas where you can let the dogs run free and oh boy did they run, the Forrest in which the site is set is full of fallen trees, leaves, logs, foxes, deer, rabbits we even saw a badger out side our lodge.
I can highly recommend staying at Una St Ives in West Cornwall. As a family of four, we took our 18 month old Miniature Schnauzer Roxy & we stayed here in August for a week. The site is made up of 28 2/3/4 bedroom houses, some of which had hot tubs. The site also offers free use of the Spa, Swimming Pool, Sauna, Steam Room & Gym. The on-site restaurant, Una Kitchen, was also extremely dog friendly & the food was of a very high standard.
The location was perfect for exploring West Cornwall. We visited St Michael’s Mount, The Minack Theatre, Lands End & Mexico Towans beach in Hayle, all of which were dog friendly.