If you’re looking for some dog-friendly hotels and staycation spots, you’ve come to the right place! Here, Chrissy Harris shares the latest on pooch-friendly holiday hotspots and doggy news.
DELIGHTFUL DIGS FOR YOU AND YOUR DOG
We all did an excited lap on arrival at Dittisham Hideaway. It was partly because Penny the labrador, me and my husband Luke were really pleased that we’d managed to find this idyllic spot near the South Devon coast without too many awkward silences and Devon lane dramas (reversing is a key skill in these parts).
But we were also delighted to see how lovely our digs were. I’d packed layers, thinking that a shepherd’s lodge in early spring could be a bit nippy, come sundown. Once inside, however, the under-floor heating and woodburning stove made us realise that we weren’t going to be roughing it (or ruffing it!) in here at all. And the interiors – cor. These five luxury shepherds lodges have been kitted out in style with fashionable fabrics and accessories, fixtures and fittings. The view outside isn’t bad, either. Lush green hills, flower-filled hedgerows and sheep – the full Devon experience.
We got out in among it as soon as we could, walking to the village of Dittisham (locals pronounce it Ditsum) before getting the ferry over the River Dart to Greenway, Agatha Christie’s hideaway.
Then we headed back to our hideaway for some home cooked food (the lodge kitchen is small but perfect for two) and a wood-fired hot tub. Penny ate some of the treats, kindly left in the welcome hamper before crashing out on the sheepskin rug. It’s a dog’s life, isn’t it?
As well as the shepherds huts, there are luxury treehouses and an Airstream caravan on site.
A Peak Season three-night Pooch Escape for two people and one dog in a shepherd’s lodge is £950. The price includes a visit to Toodles dog grooming salon in Dartmouth for a pamper session with a mud massage. dittishamhideaway.co.uk
HIGH-FLYING DOGS NOW WELCOME ON SCILLIES HELICOPTER
Penzance Helicopters has launched the UK’s only dog-friendly scheduled helicopter flights – welcoming canine companions to fly direct to the Isles of Scilly.
As the only scheduled helicopter service from the mainland to the islands, Penzance Helicopters offers the fastest and most convenient way to make the 28-mile crossing – and now dogs can come along for the adventure too.
And to support Cornwall-based The Cinnamon Trust – the national charity for the elderly, terminally ill, and their pets – Penzance Helicopters will also be donating £1 from each dog flight fare.
A nine-seat Sikorsky S76 helicopter services the direct routes from Penzance to Tresco and St Mary’s – two of the secluded islands that form part of the archipelago – putting visitors, and their four-legged friends in quick and easy reach of quiet beaches, wide-open spaces, and outdoor adventures.
The 15-minute helicopter journey, perfect for day-trippers, overnight visitors, and residents, is now complete with a canine crate to safely accommodate one medium-sized or two small dogs per flight.
Simon Mitchell, managing director of Starspeed, operator of Penzance Helicopters says: “We’re very excited to enable both Scilly residents and those visiting the opportunity to travel with their canine companions. Having recognised an increase in demand, this new addition offers dog owners a convenient and reliable mode of travel and furthers our commitment to delivering the best possible service for the Isles of Scilly.”
For safety, dogs aboard the helicopter service travel in a fitted CAA-approved dog-crate from Sky Kennels with tickets priced at £35 per crate, one way. There isn’t a weight limit, but they are required to comfortably fit within the crate (L75 X W50 X H53cm). Larger dog tickets can be requested at an extra cost, subject to availability.
For further information visit penzancehelicopters.co.uk
DRESS YOUR BEST FRIEND UP TO THE CA-NINES
TOG24’s new dog coats come in either a padded insulation design with reflective reversable sides (with matching human jackets also available!) or fleece coats for the snug, svelte look, depending on your preference and breed.
And TOG24 have not just stopped at coats…the range also features collapsible dog bowls (never leave home without one) and some ‘hilarious’ dog toys.
Safe to say, this range really does have the bow-wow factor. tog24.com/collections/all-dogs
IN ASSOCIATION WITH FORTHGLADE
Natural pet food makers Forthglade have launched tasty new soft bites for dogs. The natural multi-functional treats are designed for your dog’s needs. There’s joints and bones (salmon oil, chondroitin and glucosamine), digestive health (parsley, ginger and chicory) and rewards (honey and banana). 90g bag £2.25. Guaranteed to set tails wagging! forthglade.com