Making our Exmoor holiday cottages dog friendly was always paramount. We know how much you love your four-legged family member, and that loyalty and fun spirit deserves to be rewarded with a getaway as well!
Owner Lucy has prepared this great ‘dogument’ that explains how she’s created a luxurious holiday retreat for you and your pooch. However, here our Guest Blogger, Lynne Scott, shares with you my her personal experience, starting with getting there and away.
Why you don’t want to leave Spotty at home
People choose a self-catering holiday so they can please themselves. Naturally when your fur friend is a part of the family, kennels aren’t an easy or cheap option. So, with an estimated nine million dogs in the UK*, holiday home providers are making it their business to accommodate pups and their owners! Here’s how to suss out property owners who go the extra mile to create the ultimate getaway with your dog.
Considerations for a dog friendly self-catering holiday
When you’ve found a holiday cottage you like the look of, it’s time to find out more information. Most providers who welcome four-legged friends will have a standard policy which protects their property. Moreover, some will charge for each pet to cover basic cleaning. However, there are also practical matters which will make all the difference to enjoying a relatively stress-free holiday. For instance, having a secure garden or an outside tap for washing your fur baby down after a walk, or the provision of beds which will save space in the boot.
Exmoor Character Cottages has everything you need for your pooch
So, what makes these Exmoor holiday cottages dog friendly? Let’s find out!
Getting to West Somerset is easy and scenic
Heading to Exmoor with its stunningly beautiful diverse landscape is just a short hop across the Quantock Hills from junction 24/25 on the M5. There are plenty of glorious stopping off points and opportunities to exercise your faithful friend along the way.
Stunning, spectacular location
Lucy Green is the owner of Exmoor Character Cottages, and you can choose between four gorgeous period properties on the West Somerset coast. Each of the retreats is on the doorstep of 37 miles of stunning Exmoor coastline. Flanked by wooded valleys, wild moors dotted with chocolate box cottages, medieval villages and small harbours, this really is a splendid part of the world.
All canine breeds welcome
Lucy welcomes four-legged friends of all sizes, which is undoubtedly a bonus. Moreover, two can come for free, which is even better. When you confirm your booking for one of the four cottages, Lucy just needs to know how many fur friends will be coming along. Following this, you will receive information on pet-friendly places to visit during your brilliant time away. Lucy also sends helpful things to know including beach access times and the contact numbers of the local vets. When you arrive, there’ll even be a little doggie treat on the welcome tray. There are pet beds, blankets, and food/drink bowls can be found on a cute little bone-shaped floor mat.
Lucy says: “We’ve seen an increase in the number of guests with fur friends of all sizes, from really tiny to pretty big! We go out of our way to make our cottages welcoming – some pets even ‘write’ comments in the Guest Books with their favourite walks. Very clever.” If that doesn’t demonstrate the lengths we take to make our Exmoor holiday cottages dog friendly, then what does?!
House rules for your fur friend
There aren’t too many rules other than to pick up after your pet. However, whilst the garden isn’t out of bounds, the bedrooms are! Like any other accommodation provider, Exmoor Character Cottages discourages washing muddy paws in the bathrooms. However, that should be no hindrance at all given all cottages have a hose in the garden along with a batch of towels just for our doggy guests! Woof woof!
Take time to settle in
When you arrive, you will want to settle in and relax at the start of the holiday. Your four-legged friend will be settling in, too. However, they might have a different way of showing it. Indeed, he or she might decide to let the whole neighbourhood know they’re in town! Over-excited pets can insist on barking at everything that moves, including next door’s cat! If this happens, take your mate outside on a lead until he settles down.
Dog friendly beaches
Guests are fortunate to have some beautiful secluded harbours along the Exmoor coastline from Minehead to Porlock and further afield at Lynton and Lynmouth. As such, if your pet loves the water, they are also in luck. There are plenty of beaches that allow animals as well.
- The main bathing beach in Minehead allows them between October and April
- Dunster and Blue Anchor Beach allow access all year round.
Many of Lucy’s guests ask for information on beach access, and they receive any updates upon their arrival.
Walking around Exmoor with your pooch
Water and your dog friendly walks
If your four-legged friend gets thirsty easily, we suggest you take plenty of fresh water on your rambling. This is so you can dilute salty sea water or contaminants from rivers. These aren’t so obvious and might cause upset tummies. Remember too that sea currents and tides can change quickly. As a result, check any warnings around the beach or lake. If you aren’t sure, keep your pet on the lead. Some areas, for instance, Bossington Beach, have strong undercurrents and Lucy advises against letting your faithful friend – or you for that matter – in the water here.
Pooch “walkies” on Exmoor
If you are on a serious walking holiday and want to cover some miles, head to the south west coast path, which starts at Minehead. A magnet for walkers, Exmoor is also home to the highest coastline in England and Wales rising to 433m (1421feet) at Culbone Hill. The diversity of the Exmoor landscape provides many opportunities for the family to enjoy an Exmoor holiday with your pet in great outdoors with plenty of places to paddle, run, swim and cycle. Here’s the essential guide to being out and about on Exmoor with your furry companion.
It goes without saying that keeping to the clearly-marked footpaths and your pet on a lead (if livestock is in the fields) is courteous to landowners. Moreover it keeps all animals safe. We always advise you to be especially careful around sheep, lambs, and Exmoor ponies.
Know where you are going
What appears to be well-trodden paths may not always mean a legal right of way, so it’s a good idea to check out the local area and keep a map handy when out and about. Lucy has produced a Little Book of Walks, which is available in each of the four cottages. For serious walkers Lucy recommends the excellent and good value Croyde Walking Maps, which are sold in the Exmoor National Park Centres.
Unfortunately, some dangers are not so obvious, so be aware of the problems of ticks and how to spot and treat them.
Making our Exmoor Holiday Cottages four-legged friendly has been a delight. It brings us so much pleasure knowing guests can enjoy their time away with their fur friend in tow. But that’s not even the half of it – find out what else makes Exmoor Character Cottages such great getaways!