"Random Barking" is the term we use to describe the dog's unpredictable periods of barking for no apparent reason, probably because he's heard a car door shut half a mile away and thinks a doggy treat is about to arrive at the front door. "Random Barking" has occurred quite a lot recently, often late in the evening or early morning, when Dogs Mum and Dad are attempting to sleep.
It was then with some trepidation that we set off to stay at the Red Lion Hotel in Grasmere last weekend, on our first visit to a dog friendly hotel. Before arrival we had a trip to the Western Lakes, taking in the little Railway at Eskdale and a short walk and a run around the woods at the nearby Stanley Ghyll. We reached Grasmere late in the afternoon and after checking in the dog had a good sniff round his new surroundings, clearly finding some good smells to keep him entertained for a while.
We ate in the Lamb Inn, which is adjacent to the hotel. The dog was made very welcome and offered a few treats and water, and Dog's mum and dad enjoyed a few drinks in the bar.
Night time soon came and the dog didn't disappoint. After about 10 minutes, and a brief spell of Random Barking as residents drifted back to their rooms, the dog was firmly stationed on his lead next to the bed, under orders to be quiet! Happily, he stayed that way and soon adjusted to his new surroundings, giving a peaceful remainder of our stay.
Our second evening was spent al-fresco in the Ash Cottage Hotel, which was virtually deserted following the afternoon's thunderstorms.
There were several options for short walks around Grasmere, which is lovely at dog waking up time around 6.30am. We took in a short early morning walk up the road towards Easedale Tarn and round the woods at the back of Butharlyp How, footpaths alongside the river and a lovely path alongside Grasmere itself, which was fenced from adjacent fields so fine for off-lead walking.
We also visited Grizedale Forest, which was great dog walking territory. A few words of advice though, watch for mountain bikers and watch out for humans flying through the air (they certainly gave the dog a fright) as they traverse the high ropes and decent from aerial runways which form the "Go Ape" attraction at Grizedale.
Fortunately the weather was great so hoteling with the dog was fine, but it could have been difficult had we returned wet and bedraggled. The Red Lion itself was comfortable but expensive for our needs, which didn't really include the leisure facilities on offer. We'll no doubt return to stay in Grasmere but a simple cottage would probably be a better option for us.
Click here for the Red Lion website