Thirty seconds. That’s all it took for Fletcher to run along the path at Blakeney Quay and jump into the water in sub-zero temperatures. He was closely followed by his doggy girlfriend Juno, who if you remember from our trip to DogFest last year, can’t actually swim! Of course chaos followed as she bobbed up and down and had to be rescued by her owners while Fletcher was taken back to the car to dry off much to his disappointment.
The reason for our Norfolk escapades was a weekend stay at the beautiful Gardeners Cottage in Blakeney. We often like to travel at weekends with our friends, along with our pet dogs, but finding accommodation that is happy to allow more than one dog is difficult, add to that my demands for a fireplace, stylish interiors and close proximity to a pub and good walks, and it becomes near on impossible. So when I stumbled across Gardeners Cottage and saw that it had all the features on my list and accommodated up to three dogs, I couldn’t believe my eyes! Was it too good to be true? Had I actually done it and found our ideal getaway?
Well I’m here to tell you that if you’re thinking of booking a mini break in Norfolk, I have just saved you precious hours of scrolling through Google searches for the perfect dog-friendly property in Norfolk – you can thank me later!
Available to rent via the Blakeney Cottage Company, which may I add have lots of gorgeous dog-friendly properties in North Norfolk in their portfolio, Gardeners Cottage is nestled off the high street, set back on Coronation Lane and just a short walk from all the best parts of Blakeney.
Within five minutes of the property you can reach the Quay for dog walks along the stunning salt marshes, visit the Blakeney Delicatessen for freshly made cakes and pastries and stop by one of the friendly local pubs. We particularly liked the King’s Arms where the pooches were treated to dog biscuits while we warmed up by the fire with a glass of red after a long walk – their takeaway fish & chips were pretty good too!
Gardeners Cottage ticks all the boxes for a stylish Norfolk getaway. Not only is it probably one of the most dog friendly cottages around but also the most photogenic – an interior bloggers and Instagrammers dream! It features five cosy bedrooms, chic interiors, a wood burner, an AGA cooker, a huge and well-equipped kitchen and roll top baths.
In total six of us stayed along with three dogs and there was more than enough space. While us humans made the most of the spacious kitchen enjoying dinner (thank god my friend new how to work an AGA, I would of starved if it had been left to me), board games and cheeseboards around the table, the dogs, Fletcher (a cocker spaniel), Juno (a staffy cross) and Chewy (a chocolate Labrador) made the most of the very secure garden – another rare commodity in dog-friendly properties!
These are three of the most hyper dogs I’ve ever come across, and they surprised me at how well behaved they were – despite the one occasion where a love triangle ensued and Juno and Chewy got stuck under a coffee table while Fletcher ran laps around them!
I had envisioned beautiful spring walks along the beach but no, during our visit in March the ‘Beast from the East ’ returned and made dog walking challenging. We were those kinds of people you see on the news during adverse weather conditions and you think: “who would be foolish enough to go out in this?” Well when you have three dogs with endless energy, the answer would be us!
Six very cold dog owners, crying with laughter and genuine tears at the Siberian weather front we were facing. The sand swirled around at Wells-next-the-Sea and we had grit in our eyes before we’d even made it down the wooden steps to the beach. Thankfully the footpath, which runs through the pine forest, offered some shelter and an extremely cold but enjoyable walk.
It became a battle of the breeds as we wondered which dog would tire and give their paws in first to the Arctic conditions. I’m sure you can guess that Fletcher wasn’t going to let the cold stop him. He even went for a swim – again!
Later that day, as Fletcher and Juno got restless for another walk, my friend and I pulled on our layers to brave another ice blast. Within two minutes we were blown off the path at Blakeney Quay and among fits of laughter while we held onto each other, we pushed our way against the gales over the marshes while the dogs remained oblivious to the wind – why don’t humans have that ability?
The weather showed no signs of letting up and Sunday we braved Salthouse Beach. We scrambled across the pebbled beach as a -6 wind whipped across our face. We may have screamed and cried but the pooches had a great time chasing balls and sticks as their ears and tails flapped in the air! The afternoon was finished by a browse around the shops in Cley next the Sea and trip to the pub before returning back to the cottage to thaw out in front of the fire and indulge in a roast.
This trip proved that no matter the weather Norfolk is a great destination for dog-owners year round. It also left me feeling quite proud that despite the Baltic conditions, I ensured Fletcher got the daily exercise he needs – I think I deserve some kind of dog owner medal! It also made me realise that as long as he is happy, then there will always be a smile on my face – even if on this occasion it was frozen!
- sleeps up to 12 people and three dogs
- Parking for up to 4 cars
- Dog bowls are provided
- Early booking is highly recommended
Prices start from £1,095 for a weekend in low season and up to £3,095 for a full week in peak season
The Blakeney Cottage Company is a family run business specialising in holiday properties situated both on the beautiful North Norfolk coastline and unspoilt villages in land. With a portfolio of over 140 properties, they have something for everyone. Many of their cottages are dog-friendly too! Houses can be booked for weekend getaways, midweek breaks and full week holidays and their friendly team are on hand to help you pick the perfect escape to North Norfolk.
Tel: 01263741777 | Email: [email protected]