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?