We never set out to have five dogs, in fact I scoffed when we first got Scout and I kept being told "you can never have just one whippet". Five just kind of happened, one by one we rehomed more; they are easy dogs to have multiples of.
Accommodation for 5 dogs - not easy but not impossible!
Of course we didn’t really think about what the heck we were going to do for holiday's. We love taking the hounds with us, but the more we looked into it, the more we realised the majority of ‘dog friendly’ hotels and b&b’s come with the subheading ‘one or two small dogs’. And even if they were willing to accept more, it usually comes with a hefty extra charge per dog and a list of rules as long as a whippets nose (No dogs on the furniture….hmm, try telling that to a whippet!).
Of course I completely understand why people would be nervous about letting multiple dogs on their property, but surely there are places out there who understand & are completely nuts about dogs as we are??
When I took a booking for a shoot in the Cotswolds, I really wanted to bring my husband & hounds and make a weekend out of it, especially as it’s quite a long way to travel. I didn’t hold out much hope especially as it was also the school holidays; I checked local hotels, pubs, B&B’s to no avail, and then thought, what about AirBnB? Hurrah! I found a few places claimed to be dog friendly with no specification about how many.
We contacted a lovely couple who had a room in a traditional cottage in the quaint town of Bloxham (Husband was sold by the outdoor fire), and asked if they would be willing to accommodate us with 5 well behaved *ahem* whippets. No problem they said! They had a friendly little Westie who was used to sighthounds, it just so happened though, they were away the weekend of our booking so we would have the cottage to ourselves.
After check-in and meeting Jake the Westie we spent Friday afternoon at Countryfile Live as it was only 20 minutes away. Hmm…£30 per person was a bit steep to get in! If I’m being honest, this is probably a great place to go if you have kids but I doubt it’s somewhere I’d go with dogs again. I found there was only really a small selection of stalls who were aimed at dog families, (I think they’re missing a trick there) and the main shopping marquees were difficult to walk round with even one dog - I’ll stick to Dog Fest in future. The hounds are used to sleeping most of the day, so after walking round trying to hoover up the abundance of dropped food, they were exhausted, so off we trundled back to to our lovely, cosy cottage.
Husband and I were chatting in the car earlier in the year about what to do about holiday food - if we are staying at hotels etc we can’t exactly take chubs of Nutriment and ask the kitchen if they’d mind storing it!
We met the very lovely Guru Pet Food at Dog Fest and thank goodness we did - to find something that we could feed alongside Raw was exactly what we needed (I’ll do a little blog about how we got on with this later) Put it this way, the hounds thought all of their dreams had come true!
After a full on day, we heated up a curry, opened a bottle of very lovely wine (one of the Countryfile purchases which we bought alongside gin & some very fancy kitchen knives), and settled in to watch a film while the hounds slipped into a contented sleep in one of the multiple beds.
Saturday morning was spent with the papers and a coffee, I'm so glad we brought fleeces for the hounds as those big thick cottage walls really keep the rooms cool, even on a sunny day! We then had a stroll round the very pretty Stow on the Wold, I would have loved to have done a piece on the dog friendly pubs but we found that even at 2pm there was a 45 minute wait for food *top tip - find somewhere for lunch earlier rather than later!* #statingtheobvious
Sunday was the day of the shoot, a very lovely mixed bunch of 8 dogs and a toddler (I laugh in the face of never working with children or animals), and so, job done, home we went.
Thankfully multiple dog friendly accomodations do exist! I have heard great things about East Ruston Cottages in Norfolk and I have managed to dig out a few more, but your recommendations are always welcome!
Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your experiences if you holiday with multiple dogs.
Air BnB Dog Friendly Cottage: Bloxham, Cotswolds
Fleeces by: www.redhoundfordogs.co.uk
Fleeces by: www.redhoundfordogs.co.uk
Wool Dog toys by: www.thelounginghound.com *Coming Soon*