If you haven’t already booked your holiday for this year I suspect you are thinking about doing so.

If you are anything like me you will want your dog/s to share your holiday with you, which is why our holidays for the past 8 years have predominantly been in the UK with Northumberland, the Lake District and the Peak District being some of our favourite holiday spots.

When we changed vehicles one of the main considerations for us was whether the new vehicle would be suitable for our holidays i.e. would it have sufficient room for the dogs, their luggage, our luggage, us and my mum (for the occasions when she comes with us!) We try to fitina few short breaks during the year, whatever the weather, and whilst we don’t mind returning to the same property if we happen to find a good one, we alsolike to find new places to explore.

It can however prove tricky to find a holiday cottage that will accept 3 dogs and once I find one that does; does it meet all our requirements?. The most important requirement for us is that the property has an enclosed garden. Unfortunately we have arrived at many holiday cottages which list an enclosed garden as one of its features, and this in fact turns out to be false advertising! We like to be able to let the Spaniels out in the morning whilst we (Phil) take care of breakfast. We don’t want to have to worry about the dogs’ noses getting the better of them and them escaping out of the garden to explore areas they shouldn’t. An enclosed garden should be exactly what it says – I have in the past had to move garden furniture and recycling bins to try and block open areas where even a small dog could escape from, which isn’t an ideal start to a holiday!

Another pet hate of mine is wooden stairs with gaps. We once stayed at a beautiful house in Anglesey where the living area was upstairs (to make the most of the view) and whilst the property was dog friendly, I don’t think the owners gave much thought to a Springer Spaniel trying to get up the stairs at Springer Spaniel speed when they installed the staircase!

Something else I consider when booking a holiday cottage is whether the local pub is dog friendly or not. When the dogs come on holiday with us we would (obviously) never leave them in the property unattended nor would we want them to spend their holiday in the car so I always do a bit of research into the local hostelries before making a booking. I also research the local area to find suitable walks and exercise areas for the dogs. I also consider whether there is a local shop nearby to stock up on cocktail sausages (Daisy’s favourite) in case we run out.

In fact the whole process of booking a holiday is based entirely upon the dogs and their needs! Daisy loves taking a dip in a lake, Oscar loves woodland (and sheep, but the less said about that the better!) and Buster loves jumping into a river for his tennis ball. After a busy day they all love sleeping in front of a real fire so with all of this in mind; this year we have booked a holiday barn in Glenridding, Cumbria which:

  • “is a short distance from Ullswater Lake”….
  • “adjacent to woodland”…
  • “has a river flowing through the woods”…and
  • “with “a wood burning stove”.

That is all the dogs’ boxes ticked. It also has a pub nearby which ticks Phil’s box. It also claims to have an enclosed garden so I will have to report back later in the year as to whether my box gets a tick…..