The blog has been quiet for a while. This has been in part because we've been revisiting our favourite walks but also because we took the dog on holiday to Cornwall. This entry shares some of our experiences and gives our view on whether taking your dog on holiday is a good idea.
Obviously the location is important. We stayed in a very pet friendly log cabin deep in the woods of South East Cornwall. We were able to almost literally fall out of bed straight onto a wonderful off lead walk in the mornings and enjoy an atmospheric woodland walk before bed.
We made sure we had everything the dog needed before we left. Food was weighed out and bagged in daily portions. Bowls, dishes, toys, towls, leads and bedding were all packed. We invested in some cheap sun shades from Pets at Home to keep the sun's glare off the dog whilst in the car as well as a really useful utility belt with a water bottle and fold up water bowl.
It's a long way from Preston to Cornwall. The dog had all home comforts on the back seat of the car, suitably harnessed of course. We stopped every couple of hours (Strensham and near Exeter) for a bit of a walk, a wee and of course a big drink. Remember that if it's a hot day you'll not be able to leave your dog in the car whilst you use the services, you'll have to take shifts!
We didn't venture too far immediately after we reached our cabin. The dog was a little on edge but seemed happy enough with the sights and sounds of the woods.
So, was Cornwall dog friendly? We thought so. There was very little that we weren't able to do because of the dog. We enjoyed visits to many sea-side villages, pubs, cafes and beaches. You have to do a little homework to find the dog friendly beaches (the Cornwall County Council website is a good start) but they were never far away. We found some excellent pubs (using the Good Pub Guide) which provided great food (the Ship in Lerryn and the Blue Peter in Polperro are highly recommended)and allowed the dog to sit quietly in the bar area (enjoying the fuss of course). What was really surprising were the number of shops that were happy to allow the dog in - we didn't always take up the offer but it was a nice touch. Many many shops had water bowls outside. Walks were never a problem and if it's hot on the beach or the cliff tops there are loads of shaded woodland walks to choose from.
In summary, we had a great time which was enhanced by taking the dog. Maybe it's not for everyone, if you have an elderly dog which wouldn't take to the change of surroundings or the journey for example, but don't be worried about whether you'll find a dog friendly county when you get there. No, you can't take the dog on Fistral beach in Newquay or many many other hugely popular and crowded beaches, but would you really want to visit them anyway? There are plenty more to choose from!