It’s the start of a new year, and we can’t wait to see what it has to bring! We’ve been fortunate to visit so many great dog-friendly attractions this year. We’re delighted to present an award for The Dog’s With Me 2017 Dog Friendly Awards to:
Our trip to the Cotswolds Wildlife Park was one of my standout moments of the year. We were pretty surprised on first hearing that the park is dog friendly. To be honest we were also somewhat sceptical about how much we would actually be able to do. We needn’t have worried. While there are a few small sections dogs aren’t permitted, for example; the petting zoo and the Madagascar Walkthrough, for obvious reasons, everything else is dog friendly. Unlike other zoos you feel so much nearer to the animals here. The fencing and enclosures are discreet, keeping you safe while enabling you to get up close and personal with the 260 species that call this place home.
We used the Eurotunnel for the first time at the end of the year. What we expected to be a challenging journey was actually plain sailing! (or should we say ‘training’ 😉 ) Every part of taking your pet away with you has been thought through. The detailed information provided on the website before you set off left nothing uncertain. Then there are the fantastic facilities to let your dog run around safely off lead before you depart, having a go at agility if they dare! The return leg was just as smooth, with a quick pit stop at the pet reception to get Ari’s first stamp in his passport, lasting all of about 3 minutes. We can’t wait to plan our next trip with the pup to the continent knowing how easy the journey will be.
Having popped into countless stores this year we had to include them in our roundup. Each and every time we have been in to one of the shops, the staff stop to greet Ari, offer him water and a treat and give him a good stroke. We also love that there are refreshments for us, which is particularly helpful if we’re in a new town struggling to find anywhere dog friendly. They will often also suggest places we can go nearby with the pup. Finally, their clothing is gorgeous, we particularly love their big jumpers, knitted scarves and winter coats perfect for a dog walk in the bracing winter.
We’ve made several visits to Wyevale Garden Centres this year. Each of them has had a huge range of plants, ready for Ari to have a good investigate of. The staff always offer a warm welcome and great advice on making your garden more exciting for your dog to spend time in, using all of their senses. Many of the stores also have pet departments .
This summer we did a tour around Cornwall discovering some of the best dog friendly attractions that the County has to offer. We had seen leaflets for The Seal Sanctuary and were so pleased to discover it was dog friendly. We chose one of the hottest days to go, so many of the inhabitants were having a lazy day. Their personalities all really shone through. We really enjoyed seeing the penguins, Ari was very interested in watching them dive over and over into the pool.
What a wonderful place the Minack Theatre is. We paid a visit on our tour around Cornwall this summer, on a glorious sunny day. The pictures of this place do not do it justice, the views are just spectacular! It is amazing to see how much work has gone in to making this place over the years. The exhibition centre is really informative although Ari wasn’t too keen on the dog statue we found halfway through. The gardens are a joy to be in, it feels as though you’re in another country with the bright blue waters below. The café has a great selection of food including cakes and drinks, which you can enjoy whilst looking out over the beautiful bay. A great way to spend a day.
We only discovered Hotel du Vin on a recent last minute trip to Yorkshire. Having had such a great stay in their Harrogate hotel, when picking somewhere to stay the following evening in York it was a bit of a no-brainer. In Harrogate we were able to take advantage of their ‘Settle In Sunday’ offer by spending £75 in the Bistro and only paying £30 for our room. While we weren’t able to dine in the Bistro with Ari we were able to sit in the cosy bar to dine. The rooms in each hotel were quite different but both offering a taste of luxury. We didn’t feel like we had been given the duff room because we had the dog with us. He settled in well we all had a great nights sleep. We’re already planning our next trip to include a stay at a Hotel du Vin.
As always we’d love to hear if you have visited any of these great businesses. Let us know of any that you think we must all visit in 2018!