PLANNING A DOG FRIENDLY HOLIDAY? DISCOVER BRITAIN’S DOG FRIENDLIEST.

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There are plenty of holiday lets out there which boast of being unique or quirky. But in our experience very few of these claims actually feel genuinely true. Certainly even fewer are canine compatible! The glorious getaway that is Spring Park however, is an exception. We’d even go so far as to say it’s in a league of its own.

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Set in an incredibly rural part of Cornwall, 6 miles from Launceston and a mere stones throw from the Devon border, Spring Park is surprisingly easy to get to. Turn left off the A30, along a glorious road through rolling hills scattered with sheep and cows, turn left at the Springer Spaniel pub and Bob is pretty much your uncle. The location – on the edge of a tiny hamlet named Rezare – is surrounded by farmland, woodland and the meandering river Tamar. At night it is SO dark and SO quiet – a perfect retreat.

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Spring Park is owned by Paddy and Kitty, a thirty-something couple with a passion for surfing, big shaggy beasts and free-wheeling finders of cool retro designy stuff. Available for hire are 4 vintage wagons and 2 barns. Please don’t let these terms conjure up images of something rudimentary, primitive or a bit draughty though because you could not be more wrong! Wood burning stove? Check. Fully equipped kitchen? Check. Spacious bathrooms with steaming hot showers? Check. It’s no wonder they’re listed with  Canopy & Stars, Alastair Sawday’s acclaimed directory to unique and special places to stay.

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If you book one of the barns you’ll also be treated to toasty under-floor heating. People treats and dog treats await every patron on arrival and each accommodation option is beautifully presented with an eclectic mix of vintage furniture, quirky trinkets, books, artwork and blankets aplenty. The cosiness of each carriage or barn simply cannot be underestimated and you’ll feel at home right away – even though your own home is unlikely to look anything like it! You will also have use of your own private landscaped garden and a fire pit for toasting marshmallows under the stars. Yep, really!

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So, what exactly are these motley crew of cabins on wheels? Well, Duke is a handsome 1940’s showman’s carriage set in a meadow, surrounded by high hedgerows for privacy and seclusion (Motley’s favourite!). Pip is a tiny 1930’s steam-roller ‘living van’ (who knew these things even existed) with a separate spacious living area while Maiden is a 1940’s railway Ale wagon. Hercules was built on a 1940’s showman’s trailer chassis and although the cabin is not of the same era, the workmanship and detail that has gone into creating such an individual space is phenomenal – 1940’s cinema seats and a beautiful hand painted kitchen. Set in it’s own little wooded area it really is something out of a fairytale. There are a couple of new additional ‘projects’ on the go too which will undoubtedly add their own unique charm and style to Spring Park over the coming months and years.

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We’ve had the pleasure of visiting Spring Park in Summer, Winter and Spring. On each occasion the surrounding landscape changes and naturally the feel of the place changes. Long dark winter evenings make your petit home-from-home a wonderful warm retreat where twinkly lights lead you through pathways to your front door. If you’re headed there with your hound we’d recommend a good collar light for night-time pee performances. On a moon-free evening it really is pitch black! The Springtime flowers bring colour and life to Spring Park and the warmth of summer just makes for lazy days to lie on the grass and read a book or a great magazine. Your mutt however will be dragging you down to the river for a swim with a floating toy.

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One of the most wonderful things about Spring Park is that you could stay there on numerous occasions in a different wagon or barn and have a different experience in each one. If there’s ever a reason to go back again and again this is it.

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So for your next dog friendly holiday adventure put Spring Park on your radar. Your hounds will love ya for it.

Spring Park, Rezare, Launceston, Cornwall, PL15 9NX
http://www.quirky-holidays-cornwall.co.uk
tel: 07805 990302

 

 

A KYLIE-FRIENDLY, LILY-FRIENDLY, DOG-FRIENDLY PUB NEAR BRISTOL

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We’re definitely not your average dog lifestyle company. So it stands to reason that we’re constantly on the hunt for dog-friendly pubs that are anything but average. This absolute beaut out near Chew Magna lake, just south of Bristol is a real gem of a find. The Ring O’ Bells in Compton Martin is what we call a proper country pub… with a great backstory.

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Not many rural pubs (this one is a on a hillside in a gorgeous valley overlooking a lake) can boast the following claim to fame: Where else can one have a meal at the very same table that Kylie Minogue has been photographed winding and grinding atop, or sat in a quiet corner nook where Lily Allen or the dude that is Mr. Glastonbury (Michael Eavis) tucked into their Sunday lunch. Or where Coldplay has gigged… just for the heck of it. This one can.

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The point is, this lovely little find in the middle of nowhere is a fantastic country bolthole where you get dine in good company, and if you’re really lucky, drink real ale rubbing shoulders with proper beardies… and possibly pop royalty! WITH. YOUR. FREAKIN’. DOG. We love it.

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If you’re ever in this part of England and manage to find this great dog-friendly pub near Bristol, you might want to double check if your dog thinks taxidermy is alive. Tucker wouldn’t stop growling at “Moonshine” the giant stuffed, bespectacled ox head mounted over the fireplace. Silly little dude seriously thought it was real and comin’ to get him. Ridic.

 

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We’d also suggest perhaps bringing one of these… that beautiful dark flagstone floor can be chilly in the cooler months. Available at www.houndworthy.com.

The Ring O’ Bells, Compton Martin, Bristol BS40 6JE