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Three children *** One big, grey dog *** Two parents *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That’s us!

We’ve been blogging since January 2010.

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Debs Random Writings

Exploring with the Hound

One of the joys of holidaying in the UK, is that it’s relatively easy to take the Hound along with us. She’s so much part of the family that it wouldn’t feel like a holiday if we left her behind. It would be a bit like choosing one child to leave behind. Not happening.

I’m pretty sure she enjoys it too. Lots of interesting walks, time with all her pack, and pubs that reserve left over beefburgers for visiting dogs. What is not to like, if you are a four-pawed, furry companion?

That said, going away with a dog is no picnic. It can bring its own challenges. For a start, having a dog in the party, limits the accommodation options.

Camping is usually straightforward. We’ve also found some wonderful dog friendly hotels and cottages, over the years. Often the latter will specify the maximum number of dogs you can take. “Two small dogs or one medium sized one. Well behaved,” is a popular one. Hmm. She’s well behaved, but small or medium? No, neither of those.

The choice is a little bit more limited, but totally worth it.

Once accommodation is sorted, then it’s on to researching places to visit. Leaving her in the car, while the rest of the family explore a castle or stately home, is not something I want to do. I cannot begin to tell you how the words “Your pooch is welcome on a lead” make my heart sing. Seriously. I don’t even like the word pooch, but the sentiment is music to my ears. Dance of joy on the spot.

One of the best parts of going away with the hound in tow, is finding local walks, near where we’re staying. The first and the last walk of the day are important to get sorted. She needs them both. Every day. Wherever we are.

Sometimes, we find some real gems that we’d be hard pushed to discover unless we had the morning and evening walks to factor in.

Places and sights that are only found by taking a walk along a different footpath, that will never be found in a collection of the 50 best walks for the area. Although sometimes, you wonder why.

The last walk and the first one of the day can let you experience a different side to the area you are staying. Beyond the tourist attractions. Beyond the tour guides. Behind the scenes, so to speak. Conversations sparked with locals that would not happen unless we walked off the beaten track with the Hound.

I know, I would be less likely to explore. Less likely to head down a local route, labelled with nothing more than a simple footpath sign. Followed on the map.

She may make going away that tad more complicated, but that is more than compensated by the places and sights that she helps us to discover.

Can you guess which part of the country we’ve been exploring?

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6 Responses to Exploring with the Hound

  • Ginny says:

    I would guess Kent. This year we had our first holiday away with a dog. I know what you mean about cottages saying they want one small “well-behaved” dog. Finding somewhere suitable was a whole different thing to normal. But there seemed lots of cafes and pubs that welcome dogs, but I have slightly gone off the National Trust, as a lot of properties seem only let dogs into the grounds in the winter, or not at all.

    • Craft Mother says:

      It is different taking a dog too. I’m glad you found friendly cafes and pubs. I know what you mean about NT. I don’t like leaving our dogs in the car, so we take it in turns to go in the houses, while one of us sits outside with the hound. Never lonely as people love to come up and talk to the dogs. Last year, one castle took pity on me as I stood outside in the rain with the two dogs. They suggested I waited in the entrance hall with them both, which was very welcome. Don’t give up on them!

      Yes, you’re right. It was Kent.

  • Briony says:

    I am guessing Kent with those oast houses. Lovely part of the world.
    Briony
    x

  • Christine says:

    My daughter is still determined to get our family a dog. I would actually love one but work 9-4 so it’s not fair on the dog. Aside from that I’ve mentioned we wouldn’t be able to go on all of the holidays we currently go on – so I won’t be showing her this blog post! Glad you enjoyed Kent, it’s not a county that I’ve visited much so I should put that right sometime!

    • Craft Mother says:

      A dog does limit what you can do, but also opens other doors, so to speak. I know exactly what you mean about leaving a dog alone during work hours, especially when they are young. My old girl slept most of the day, but not true of our younger one. I couldn’t leave her alone. You should give Kent a try.

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