Canine Cottages recruit 10 sets of top dogs each year to sniff out the best properties and locations across the UK. It’s a dream job for both the humans and their four-legged friends. With the 2020 Critics handing over the reins to the new paw squad, the Canine Cottages team are looking back on the Critics’ adventures from the past year, sharing 8 canine approved holiday destinations.
Filey, winner of the Helper category, originally from Dorset, recommends Fife in Scotland, mainly for the plethora of waters from lochs to coastal bliss, as well as the Geocaching opportunities. Along with his humans, he recommends checking out Ravenscraig Castle, Pettybur Beach and Loch Leven in particular.
Shropshire, West Midlands
Located just on the Welsh border, winners of the Sibling category Fred and Roy had a fantastic time splitting their stay between the two countries on a visit to Beguildy. Some of the brothers’ favourite walkies included Offa’s Dyke (where Fred left Roy in Wales before they were reunited and went for dinner at dog-friendly pub The Banc), the woodland walk of Lower Fishpools and New Radnor for a quick dip in the waterfall. Find out more about their stay here.
Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
Water rescue dog Yogi opted for a safari-esque stay in Ross-on-Wye set at an animal sanctuary where he met a whole host of animals, including zebras, wallabies and reindeer. Yogi certainly got the steps in on his 5-day stay, with highlights including the Butterfly Zoo, the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail and a visit to Symonds Yat.
Brecon Beacons, Wales
Ronnie the wanderdog ventured to the Brecon Beacons in Wales. As a very well travelled dog, he loved the amazing array of natural wonders to explore right from the doorstep of their lodge. They enjoyed a 10-mile hike, a visit to South Wales’ largest natural lake, cafes in Hay-on-Wye and so much more.
Isle of Skye, Scotland
Talyn, winner of the Rarity category, recommends the Isle of Skye, commenting: “I might be a Norwegian breed, but I had never seen mountains. I came from the Netherlands (just like my Dutch mum) and that country is flatter than a Dutch pancake. So, to be able to climb on a real mountain was great, even though my mums kept laughing at me because I wasn’t sure where to put my feet.” He particularly loved the Fairy Glen, the neolithic site of Dun Beag and Neist Point Lighthouse; hear more about just how dog-friendly the island is in Talyn’s full review here.
Yarmouth, Isle of Wight
Daphne the sausage dog headed out of the big city for her stay, opting to escape to the Isle of Wight – she even bought her paddling pool along for the trip to stay cool. Their humans said that because the island is so small, you had time to explore nearly everywhere with plenty of long walks across the fields and coastal paths at sunset. Their best bits included the beaches St Helens and Seaview, (especially as they’re dog-friendly all-year round), The Garlic Farm, Ventnor Botanic Garden and Godshill Model Village which was just the perfect size for dinky Daphne!
Social media superstars Phil, Niko and Teddy absolutely loved their week away on the North Devon coast, exploring all that Clovelly and the surrounding areas had to offer. Their highlights included the dog-friendly beach located a short drive away at Bucks Mills, the long coastal walk at Valley of the Rocks, as well as, of course, the wonderfully dog-friendly village of Clovelly itself with plenty of pubs and cafes to visit. Hear all about their stay here.
Barrie the rescue champions Eastbourne in Sussex as ‘a very dog-friendly place’ where most cafes and restaurants have dog bowls with fresh water and dog treats, and the staff were oh-so-ready to spoil her! She loved Towner Art Gallery for a few Insta snaps, Seaford Head Nature Reserve and Cuckmere Haven (bonus points because it featured in the Harry Potter films and Robin Hood!).