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Holidays with Hugo ~ Our Pet-friendly trips in 2016.

Looking back over 2016, I hadn’t quite realised how many times we have gone away this year. We’ve camped, we’ve stayed in some fab hotels & B & Bs ,  stopped in a beautifully restored Showman’s Wagon in Cornwall and we have cosied up in a lovely cottage in the grounds of a Scottish Castle. And what is the common denominator of all our trips. Our cheeky Black Labrador Hugo, that’s who!   We hadn’t  initially planned to have so many holidays with our pooch ( or indeed so many holidays full-stop ~ oooops) , but it is really handy that dogs are made welcome at such varied types of accommodation, all over the UK.  Check out the following.

Elton Guest House.

A Friendly Guest House In Grange.   If you ever find yourself in the Cumbrian Seaside town of Grange-Over-Sands, like we did when participating in the Morecambe Bay Cross Bay Walk , The Elton Guest House is an ideal base for exploring this lovely part of the Lake District. The Elton is a Victorian limestone building with comfy rooms, a hearty breakfast and a very warm welcome from owners Lynn and Liam. Hugo got lots of fuss and attention and was even given a cooked sausage at breakfast. Lynn sorted out a table  reservation at a pet-friendly restaurant for us in the evening. Oh and did I say we were welcomed with coffee and homemade chocolate muffins on arrival. 🙂 The little touches really made our stay. Double rooms £82 per night, Singles £50, Dogs £8 per stay.

Icehouse Cottage.

A Cosy Cottage In Scotland.  This beautiful property in the grounds of Lochinch Castle in Dumfries & Galloway was our home away from home for a week in November. With a large enclosed rear garden, a wood burning stove and unlimited access to Castle Kennedy Gardens and Lochinch Castle Estate, it is the perfect countryside retreat. Hugo had plenty of walks in the grounds and the wildlife we spotted was amazing. The cottage is gorgeous inside too and bicycles and a barbecue are also provided.  For more photos check out my post here.  4 nights from £229.

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Howgill Lodge Campsite.

A Campsite In The Yorkshire Dales.  We have stopped at Howgill Lodge Campsite  near the picturesque Yorkshire village of Appletreewick, several times over the years. It’s a friendly little site with stunning views over the Dales and nearby riverside walks to  Bolton Abbey and Burnsall kept Hugo happy. Howgill has spacious pitches, each with it’s own picnic bench. There’s a small campsite shop, hot showers, toilets, payphone , laundry room and a dog exercise field. Two great dog-friendly pubs can be found in Appletreewick. Two people & a tent £21 per night. Dogs go free.

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Haweswater Hotel.

A Secluded Lake District Hotel.   The Haweswater Hotel is perched right on the lake in one of the lesser known areas of The Lake District.  It is just 20 minutes from J39 of the M6 , yet feels very remote and is surrounded by the beautiful Haweswater Nature Reserve. We stopped here over the May Bank Holiday and the chef packed us a lunch to take up into the fells. The hotel has an art deco inspired interior and some of the bedrooms look very elegant on the website. Ours was a wee bit pokey and could have been nicer I think, even though we were staying in a dog-friendly room. The staff were lovely however and if you love wildlife and walking, this hotel is for you. Double rooms on average £85 per night. Dogs £15 per stay.

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The Duke at Spring Park.

A  restored Showman’s Wagon in the Cornish Countryside.  Wow I loved  our stay in ‘The Duke’ at  Spring Park  in North Cornwall so so much. The Duke is a lovingly restored vintage Showman’s Wagon. He lords over his own pretty Wildflower Meadow and is equipped with everything you will need for a cosy stay, including a french enamel wood burner, fully equipped kitchen and a wood fueled hot tub. Hugo got plenty of walks in the surrounding countryside and the nearby Springer Spaniel Pub is dog-friendly and does great food. You can read more about our stay and see lots of photos here. 🙂  From £68 per night. Dogs £20 per stay.

Hotel Stays With Pets Pyjamas.   If you really want to treat your dog ( and yourself lol 😉 ) , you would definitely benefit from checking out the Pets Pyjamas  website. Browse their portfolio of pet-friendly cottages, dog-welcoming hotels, Country Houses and B & Bs .Look out for their unique packages which usually include a personalised box of treats for your pooch and even dinner for your dog. My post Hotel stays with Pets Pyjamas. will give you more information.

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Hugo at Jenny Brown’s Point near Silverdale.

Coastal Campsite in Lancashire.  By far the most scenic campsite on the Lancashire Coast Gibraltar Farm  campsite in Silverdale is a traditional working farm with breathtaking views over Morecambe Bay. You can even stay in ancient woodland adjacent to the site or just enjoy the coastal panorama. Gibraltar Farm has the usual campsite facilities and there are walks and beaches as soon as you step outside your tent. The farm even makes its own icecream. Tents from £12 per night. Dogs £1 per night.

So it looks as though we have certainly enjoyed many a dog-friendly holiday with Hugo in 2016. Next year ~ a cosy cottage in Keswick….then we had better get on with that decorating!

Where have you taken your pooch this year?

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Haweswater and Small water Tarn.

As we were staying at the Haweswater Hotel recently, we decided to spend a day exploring the surrounding countryside. There are various walks and footpaths in the area including one round Haweswater Reservoir ( some sections are currently closed after the bad weather earlier in the year) and others that go up into the hills. After looking at a map we decided to head up to a small tarn called appropriately enough Small Water. 🙂 There is a little car park at the far end of Haweswater where we parked. First things first though, Hugo had to take a dip in the lake.

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Haweswater.

Haweswater is actually a reservoir and was built in the thirties. Controversially the valley, existing lake and the village of Mardale Green were flooded to create it. Haweswater supplies water to the city of Manchester, to this day. It is situated in the North East of the Lake District.

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We followed the Nan Bield Pass sign from the car park.
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The sheep here are like mountain goats. 🙂
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Cotton grass waving gently in the breeze.
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Meandering our way along the rocky path.
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I think this little fella is a Great grey shrike. 🙂
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Amazing views.

About an hours walk up the path and Small Water Tarn emerges from over a rocky crag. What a rewarding scene! We didn’t see a single person and had it all to ourselves. 🙂

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Small water Tarn.
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Hugo after a paddle. Think he’s eyeing up our sandwiches. 😉

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The path continues up onto ‘High Street’, yes that is the name of a mountain fell. 🙂 Another tarn called Blea Water is somewhere over those crags too. But we decided to head back toward Haweswater and follow some of the path round the lake.

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Heading back towards Haweswater.
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Meadow pippit.
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Any ideas what these flowers are. Purple violet like, the leaves resemble green stars.

From the car park we followed the signpost saying Eagle Viewing Point. Here’s a sad story actually. Until very recently ( only a few months ago in fact) Haweswater and Riggindale , was the home to England’s only Golden Eagle. Alone here since 2004, he had been displaying every Spring in order to attract a mate. Not this Spring though. Maybe he has passed away. Or maybe he has finally given up and flown North. What I can’t understand though, is why the RSPB never tried introducing another female eagle into the area. It’s a shame….

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A disused Bothy. It was locked up and looked like it wasn’t really usable though.
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We enjoyed some fresh clear water from this little brook.
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Pretty vivid blue wild flowers.
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The perfect place for a swim. 🙂
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Looking over the lake.
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Canada Geese family.

Although the eagle is no longer in residence here there are chances to see plenty of wildlife including Peregrines, Ring Ouzels, Red Deer, Goosander, Flycatchers and Dippers.And the countryside, I’m sure you will agree is just stunning. 🙂

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Hugo enjoying the views.
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Red Squirrel enjoying lunch at the Haweswater Hotel.

Have you ever walked to a secluded tarn? Have you ever been to Haweswater?

Haweswater Gems.

Have you ever happened upon a hidden gem? At the weekend we stumbled across one. The remote and romantic looking  Haweswater Hotel  commands views over one of the lesser known lakes in The Lake District. It’s a beautiful country house hotel that looks down on Haweswater Reservoir. Haweswater began it’s life as a natural lake until in the 1930’s the surrounding valley (  and villages of Measand and Mardale Green) were flooded to create the larger reservoir it is today. Manchester Corporation built the lakeside road and the hotel replaced the flooded ‘Dun Bull Inn’. Haweswater supplies much of the North West’s H20. Of course it was raining buckets as we arrived! haweswater and 217haweswater and 222haweswater and 223haweswater and 221

Easter Sunday happened to be a cold, rainy and blustery day so it was with relief that we headed indoors into the bar/restaurant area , which has a huge double slate fireplace and is decorated in a fabulous art deco style. I loved all the retro prints adorning the walls and the little decorative touches such as the vintage luggage and fresh flowers. 🙂 The hotel apparently has many original art deco features from when it was built in the Thirties and the bar has recently been sympathetically refurbished to embrace its history. I am wondering whether it may have opened in 1937 perhaps?!

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Even though we hadn’t made a booking and just arrived hoping to warm up and shelter from the weather, we couldn’t have been made more welcome by the lovely bar staff.’ The Haweswater’ advertises itself as a haven for walkers  which is perfect as the area is a hiker’s and nature lover’s paradise. It’s also pet friendly and you can even holiday here with your dog. 🙂 I’m very tempted!

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We enjoyed some hearty pub grub for our lunch. Wil had the Venison stew and I settled for the haddock and chips which were both very good. And I definitely recommend the Courgette and lime cake that we shared for dessert. Very zesty and sublime. 🙂

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I must admit I was easily distracted whilst eating mine as we had a wonderful view of the lake. And on the sun terrace outside there was many a charming visitor. I spied Great Tits, Bluetits,Chaffinches,Nuthatches and to my delight a couple of the area’s native red squirrels. It looks as though the terrace and gardens attract plentiful wildlife.

 

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Just a couple more miles down the remote country road past the hotel is the southern tip of the lake. There is a little car park there and signage for various walking routes. With Hugo being on light exercise only at present we couldn’t really take him very far though.The Eagle Viewpoint sign certainly looks very intriguing! In fact the Haweswater area is home to England’s only Golden Eagle. The male eagle chose this scenic valley as his home many years ago and the RSPB man the viewing area. We will return!

 

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After taking a couple of photo’s of the lake we decided to head back along the country roads and  past our elegant yet friendly lunch host toward the village of Shap. On the way I made Wil stop off at Shap Abbey as it is somewhere we have seen signs for, but never visited. My pictures look deceptively calm as the ancient ruins were actually engulfed in blowy winds ,rain and sleet. Another gem we will have to revisit in nicer weather. 🙂

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What hidden gems have you discovered on your travels?

 

Photo an Hour ~ March 2016.

Janey’s  and  Louisa’s  #photoanhour challenge on Instagram is a photo challenge I do  enjoy getting involved in every now and again. It really is quite difficult snapping something you’re doing or seeing on the hour, every hour, for a whole day. The good thing about participating along with others on Instagram though, is you can see what everyone else is getting up to as well. And for someone nosy like me, that is great fun.:) It was Janey’s turn to choose the day and she picked Easter Sunday. Be prepared for the random and the mundane…….

8am. A black coffee to start the day.

9am. Car journey to visit family in the Lakes. I routed out a couple of cds for the trip.

10am. It’s a bit of a grey day travelling up the M6. But we do keep seeing old Vintage Buses for some reason.Aaaah Bisto Bus ,where are you heading?

11am. Landed at Mums and admired her potted geraniums in the window.

Noon. Headed out to find somewhere for lunch. We found a lovely ( and pet friendly) lakeside hotel looking over Haweswater.Built in the 1930s The Haweswater Hotel has a real art deco feel about it.Enjoyed a brew first to warm up then some grub.

1pm. Sharing some cake, but my picture is of Hugo watching us share some cake.We are meanies I know!

2pm. We have driven down to the end of the lake You can just make out snow on the fells there. As Hugo is still on light exercise we couldn’t take him on much of a walk,poor pup. 😦

3pm. Not far from Haweswater are the remains of Shap Abbey which we had a quick look round. It actually started hailing and the temperature was a pretty bracing 2 degrees. So didn’t linger long! I am going to write a more detailed post about the area soon.

4pm. On the way home now and we pass an Iconic M6 landmark.It’s the Forton Services near Lancaster! I must stop someday.

5pm.And home sweet home! And another brew! I think I had quite a few today.

6pm. We put Hugo’s cone back on. He has been wearing it for a week but being Easter Sunday, I thought it would be good for him to have a couple of hours off. Poor guy was neutered and after his stitches were taken out, the wound opened up again. More stitches are in there now. 😦 We have been trying to keep him calm but he is too bouncy for his own good. I know it’s probably the right thing to do, but I am quite regretting getting him done.

7pm. Cake! Sorry no Easter egg piccies. This is yummy Yorkshire Parkin given to me by this month’s Foodie Pen pal. 🙂

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8pm. And we will end with a piccie of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ which is always on in the background. 🙂

Thanks for dropping by. X