Our editor picks her favourite top 3 dog-friendly hotels, pubs and locations in the region…
I’ll admit it, I’m obsessed with my dog, and if my pooch isn’t welcome, well then that’s a place I don’t want to visit anyway. You wouldn’t expect me to leave a child outside a restaurant, so what’s the problem with a cute doe-eyed pup? Fortunately, a fair part of East Anglia feels the same way, and more and more establishments are beginning to welcome our four-legged friends. To make travelling with a pet a little easier, read my recommendations for places to eat, stay and visit with your pooch…
Titchwell Manor, Norfolk
The North Norfolk boutique hotel goes to the top of my list for staying and dining with a dog. A majority of the hotel is dog-friendly including the bar area and a selected part of the restaurant. I was lucky enough to recently stay over-night with my Spaniel who seemed to enjoy his stay just as much as me.
Our dog-friendly room was spacious, extremely clean and contemporary. The room came with its own doggy bed, towel, water bowl and a bag of treats, which he wasted no time devouring. It’s close proximity to Titchwell Marsh and Brancatser beach mean there are miles and miles of walks to explore. Most beaches in the area allow dogs year round too. I did think he’d be inclined to jump on my bed in the night, but no, he understood the rules, and that doggy bed was obviously far too comfortable to move from. As well as great dog-friendly facilities, the friendly staff couldn’t resist stopping for a cuddle and giving him a cheeky treat now and then too. If you’re looking for a short break or a dinner date with your dog (and significant other of course), then Titchwell Manor ticks all the boxes. www.titchwellmanor.com
Hotel Felix, Cambridge
Due to demand, Hotel Felix has launched a ‘dog package’. You can now treat your canine to a cultural break in Cambridge. Located just outside the city, the hotel is an excellent base for exploring and extends a warm welcome to well-behaved dogs. Your pet can explore the spacious grounds, bask in sunshine on the Victorian villa’s south-facing terrace or snooze in the airy orangery. Nearby, take a walk together in the woodland grounds of Girton College or, better still, go punting with your pooch for fine views of the historic university buildings while gliding along the River Cam. An overnight stay costs from £220 per room (two-sharing) including full English breakfast and a bag of organic dog treats. There is a charge of £15 per dog per stay. www.hotelfelix.co.uk
Brudenell and White Lion Hotels, Aldeburgh
What could be better than a doggy holiday right on the seafront?
Set in one of Britain’s best seaside locations on Suffolk’s Heritage Coast, the sea front Brudenell and White Lion Hotels in Aldeburgh welcome dogs to stay with their owners in their rooms at £10 per dog per night. Every dog receives a welcome tasty treat and they can then enjoy the freedom of a beach run and a dip in the sea.
Both hotels are privately owned and overlook the stunning heritage coast; the White Lion offers relaxed dining in its informal Brasserie Bleue, while the AA two rosette Seafood & Grill at the Brudenell has a more serious food and wine offer. It’s also idyllically located just steps away from the beach with spectacular, uninterrupted sea views and dogs are welcome on its sea-facing terrace.
The Three Tuns, Great Hormead, Herts
A Sunday stroll and pint at the pub go hand-in-hand. Whether you live locally or fancy visiting somewhere new try the The Three Tuns, a pretty thatched pub dating from the 16th Century and nestled in the Hertfordshire village of Great Hormead.
A perfect dog-friendly destination the pub has a secure enclosed garden, dog treats on the bar and bowls of water at the ready for those thirsty after enjoying one of the lovely countryside walks that surround it. Landlord Neil Martin is the chef serving dishes which, as far as possible, use fresh local produce whilst his wife Anita runs the bar and front of house. They have two dogs themselves, Ruby the boxer and Zenna the Spinone. Ideal for any occasion, how about celebrating your dog’s birthday at The Three Tuns? It’s the perfect place for a ‘pawty’ and Neil will even whip up a birthday cake if you ask in advance.
Frequently referred to as probably the most dog-friendly pub in Norfolk, canine friends are welcome at the bar and even have their own doggy menu to choose from. Delicacies include pig’s ears, washed down with gravy and a doggy sausage roll! Water bowls are always available. www.theorangetreethornham.co.uk
The Sir Garnet, Norwich
It’s rare you find a city food establishment that opens its doors to dogs in the dining area, but thankfully The Sir Garnet does just that. Overlooking the market, visitors can enjoy a selection of tapas dishes, while their pooch enjoys the views. My dog was more than happy to watch over the Market Square from the second floor bay window while I enjoyed lunch with friends.
Paw-fect places to visit
Mersea Island, Essex
Approached by a causeway from the mainland, cut off at high spring tide, and just eight miles square, Mersea Island is a grand adventure for a dog and owners too. West Mersea has a May to September restriction but it’s still possible to enjoy the best of Mersea during these months. Dogs are welcome outside at the West Mersea Oyster Bar, let your pooch rest his legs while looking out to the sea as you tuck into freshly caught seafood. Try a spot of crabbing on the jetty or if you dog likes to feel the wind in his fur jump aboard Lady Grace Boat Trips. The 20-minute trip runs seven days a week and the captain is more than happy to welcome well-behaved dogs on board. If your dog prefers to run on the beach East Mersea allows dogs all year.
What dog doesn’t love a run on the beach? It’s no secret Norfolk is one of the dog-friendliest counties in the country, and with miles upon miles of gorgeous coastline available for your pooch to explore year round, plus plenty of cafes, pubs and restaurants offering homemade dog treats, make sure a visit is on your to do list this year!
Wyevale Garden Centres
It’s nice when our dogs can do the little things with us, which is why Wyevale Garden Centres are proud to say that its centres are dog-friendly. Many of its centres also have substantial traffic-free outdoor areas where dogs can run around – ideal for rendering the next stage of the journey little more than an opportunity for a restorative snooze. There is always fresh water waiting for pets at every centre. http://www.wyevalegardencentres.co.uk/garden-centres