Holidays are great, especially when you're lucky enough to have almost two weeks of sunshine whilst staying with our dog in one of the recently converted lighthouse cottages on the Lizard in Cornwall!
The cottages themselves were great for the dog. The floors were tiled or wood, so easily cleaned. Each cottage has a small yard with a solid gate, giving and outside extension to the living space. The Lighthouse Complex is surrounded by a 6 foot high wall keeping you and your dog safe and secure from the surrounding cliffs. Perhaps the only down side of the cottages themselves is the fact that when it's foggy, a very very loud fog horn sounds, which can be heard over 3 miles away. Unsurprisingly, the dog was less than impressed, as we were, on the one night when it sounded. We weren't able to use the "free" earplugs provided as we wanted to be able to hear and reassure our grumbling and barking dog. I don't actually remember whether the dog stopped barking or whether the fog horn stopped, but we did eventually get to sleep, and awoke to wonderful sunshine.
The Lizard point requires you to take care of your dog. A small bowl outside the National Trust shop was dedicated to Skippy, who fell in May 2007. A small bunch of flowers near the top cafe were dedicated to a trusted friend. Posters asked us to look out for a lovely looking Springer Spaniel, who disappeared in early August 2007. My heart went out to those owners and the dogs who had fallen from the very very steep cliffs round here. It served as a warning for the duration of our stay and our excitable and easily distracted dog was never ever off the lead on the cliff tops.
Don't be put off visiting the Lizard with your dog though. We found plenty of places off off lead run arounds which were perfectly safe. There were no sheep at all in the area, only cattle, so paths crossing fields and the many green lanes were generally great places for a good run around. For those staying in the Lizard, I'd recommend the book "Five Walks from the Lizard", available in most local shops and the National Trust car parks, to give you a range of short but really enjoyable walks. These proved ideal for early morning jaunts, and we generally had the whole place to ourselves save for the occasional other friendly dog walker.
The Lizard itself isn't great for dog friendly beaches. The best we found were at Porthoustock and Coverack. Both had plenty of space and were safe for swimming with care. Most other beaches on the Lizard, especially the busy ones such as Kynance, either ban dogs in season or otherwise only allow dogs on leads.
As with our holiday in June, we had a great time, and I think the dog did too. We've never seen him so tired!
Roll on next summer!