It’s a dog’s life, or so they say, but these days that doesn’t sound so bad. Who wouldn’t want to wake up to a sausage breakfast, spend the day romping around rolling fields, and then retire to their own comfy bed? And if your furry friend is getting treated this well, just imagine how fabulous your stay will be.
1. The Ship Inn, Rye, East Sussex
All aboard the good Ship Inn, where the kitsch rooms and cheery vibe will put owners instantly at ease, and cool canines can put their paws up beside the pub’s roaring fire. Everyone will be well fed, too: indulgent suppers and cool cocktails for you, a cooked sausage breakfast for them. Best of all, Rye Harbour Nature Reserve and Camber Sands are just a short jaunt away – perfect for long, picturesque walks.
2. The Wheatsheaf Inn, Northleach, Gloucestershire
The Cotswolds is home to various cool coaching inns, but few possess the style and standards of The Wheatsheaf. Popular with well-heeled socialites as well as weekending families, it also keeps a place at the bar for furry friends. Dogs are welcome in the fashionable communal areas (there’s even a tempting jar of pig ears waiting behind the counter) and can stay in the three downstairs bedrooms, where they’ll be welcomed with their own beds, bowls and snacks.
3. The Gurnards Head, Zennor, Cornwall
Seadogs wanting to practise their paddle will love The Gurnards Head. This classic Cornish country pub sits on the untamed Penwith peninsula, with glorious coastal walks leading straight from the large garden, and hidden coves below. It’s an understated kind of place and perfect for outdoorsy types. You’ll get a warm welcome in the cosy bar and an excellent supper in the relaxed restaurant. Dogs stay free of charge and can accompany you throughout (just make sure you request a room big enough).
4. The Montpellier Chapter, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
If your pooch is more pampered than pastoral, a stay at The Montpellier Chapter could be just the ticket. It’s rare to find city hotels that accept pets, but this sleek Cheltenham hideaway is the exception to the rule. Not only will the lap-dog in your life receive complimentary treats in the bar, they’ll also get their own dog bed, dinner bowl and lead. Style-savvy owners will love it, too: the décor beautifully blends old and new, the wood-clad spa offers relaxing massages, and the cocktails are fabulous – try the ‘Montpellier Cooler’.
5. The Grosvenor Arms, Shaftesbury, Dorset
Deep in Dorset welly country, this grand old coaching house sits in the heart of medieval Shaftesbury, one of the Southwest’s oldest and prettiest hill towns. With excellent wood-fired pizzas, creative cocktails and a unique doggy menu, you and your canine chum may struggle to stray from the welcoming bar and restaurant. But do try: moments from the Grosvenor Arms you’ll find a promenade with far-reaching views across the Blackmore Vale, and within a short drive are Stourhead’s idyllic garden and the rolling hills of Cranborne Chase.
6. Hotel Tresanton, St Mawes, Cornwall
Not only is seafront Tresanton one of Cornwall’s top hotels – polished to perfection by famed hotelier Olga Polizzi – it’s also fantastic for pets. There are a handful of dog-friendly bedrooms to choose from (including one with a private garden), and all pooches get their own bed, blanket and food bowl. Guests can choose to take their meals in the special Dog’s Bar, bedecked with chairs and cushions in cute doggie prints, and Hunter wellies can be borrowed for walks along the coastal path and local beaches. Man’s best friend need never leave your side.
If you would like to talk about a freelance project or creative ideas, that would be just lovely.