Forget the stress of airport queues, traffic jams and most importantly,the heartbreak of leaving behind your beloved pooch, as there really is nothing more relaxing than a trip to a glorious part of our green and pleasant land with a furry friend in tow.
As a national newspaper journalist and former editor-in-chief of OK! Magazine, my family and I were spoilt by a fleet of exotic press trips – a break in the Maldives, long weekend in St Tropez or tour of India – we’ve done them all, writes Lisa Byrne.
However, since leaving London to return to my home town of York, and acquiring two mischievous but adorable Cocker Spaniels, Diggerley, 12 and three-year-old Merlin, the Byrnes (myself, husband Davey and 11-year-old daughter Brontë) have largely forsaken the promise of a sun-soaked paradise in favour of heavenly trips in God’s Own Country. Leaving our hairy sons behind for a foreign jaunt just proved too heartbreaking for us all.
We would sit by a Sardinian swimming pool sipping cocktails, reminiscing about what mischief the boys were getting up to back home, and often shed a tear or two.
Of course, we occasionally have the odd trip abroad but as long as we have our dogs, we’ll always have that huge heart-aching tug back home. That’s why we decided to explore more of the stunning countryside near our home in York.
So here is one of the best dog-friendly places we have been lucky enough to discover in North Yorkshire and five others you might like to visit…
1. The Talbot, Malton
If Malton is Yorkshire’s capital of food then The Talbot is its Buckingham Palace, renowned for hosting legendary feasts such as well as boasting sumptuous rooms, the hotel is simply breathtaking. And as we head close to The Talbot our boys, with happy recognition of a place they’ve previously visited, start whining in unison, desperate to escape from the confines of the car and leap across the gravel into the hotel.
On arrival, we receive a very warm greeting by the receptionist before racing up the beautiful staircase to our gigantic suite which includes two huge rooms, one with a vast super-king bed. Next door is an open plan lounge with original fireplace, large mirror and high ceilings adjacent to a gorgeous marble bathroom including a huge bath and Monsoon shower, packed with Penhaligon toiletries.
After a quick sniff into the corners and crevices, Diggerley and Merlin swiftly discover a table where a generous portion of treats are laid out, as well as the dog bowls and rugs to rest on. The hairy new Lords of the Manor then rush to the huge windows to take a sneaky look of the glorious scenery, boasting views of rolling hills and manicured lawns as well as enticing wildlife.
After unpacking we strolled into the centre of Malton, a beautiful chocolate-box town worthy of its reputation of being one of the loveliest in Yorkshire, where we found a food market in full flow the main square. With the dogs going bonkers over the tempting smells we decided to head back for dinner before it all proved too much for their delicate noses.
A large part of The Talbot’s cosy restaurant is set aside for diners who wish to eat with their canine companions so we relaxed over a gin and tonics and water bowls while contemplating our orders. A real treat for the senses was the devilled kidneys on sourdough, absolutely glorious, as was the roasted pumpkin and leeks with romesco, bulgar wheat and crispy sage. For the main course, we opted for a mixture of venison and claret pie with buttered greens and potatoes (heavenly) and crisp fillet of sea bream with purple sprouting broccoli, roasted red peppers, almonds and olives.
With no room for pudding we went for another look around Malton, recently voted the UK’s most dog friendly place, and discovered that we could bring our pub-loving pooches into most of the drinking haunts for a swift half or two. Diggerley and Merlin were certainly rather melancholy to leave such a slice of heaven and we will all be delighted to return soon.
5 other best dog-friendly hotels in Yorkshire
Thanks to a wag-worthy assortment of dog-friendly walkies, attractions and hotels, it’s easy to bring four-legged members of the family on holiday in Yorkshire. Here are five of the best dog-friendly hotels in Yorkshire, selected by the Good Hotel Guide.
2. The White Swan, Pickering
For a dog-friendly holiday that’s not completely focused on walkies, head to The White Swan, a friendly 16th-century coaching inn in the historic market town of Pickering, gateway to the North Yorkshire Moors. Dogs are welcome in the cosy, traditional bar and in the lounge, which has board games, books and a log-burner. The Hideaway bedrooms are perfect for pets, with stone flooring and a porch for doggy kit storage and towelling down. For a break from canine-centric activities, take a trip on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway; tickets for dogs are £3.
3. The Traddock, Austwick
Dogs are “very much a part of the ambience” at this Georgian house hotel in the Yorkshire Dales National Park – prime dog-walking territory. If you need a quick amble somewhere closer to your bed for the night, The Traddock has one and a half acres of grounds to roam (there’s a dog bin in the car park). And if it all gets a bit muddy, there are dog-washing facilities outside, and you can borrow a towel to dry your hound. Fortunately, facilities for dog owners are more sophisticated: some of the well-appointed bedrooms have a roll-top bath, and chef Thomas Pickard’s imaginative menus, built around local and wild ingredients, are varied and delicious.
4. The Blue Lion, East Witton
This is the sort of place where well-walked dogs can flop in front of an open fire! The Blue Lion is an 18th-century coaching inn with flagstone floors, sturdy oak tables and chalkboard menus in the dog-friendly bar area. Dogs can stay in the country-style bedrooms across the courtyard. Keep close tabs on your room key though – it’s attached to a cricket ball that might just prove too tempting a toy for your pooch! On the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the inn has several circular walks from its door, or you can go for a romp around nearby Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal; there are long trails through the gardens and deer park, and dogs on short leads are allowed in the abbey.
5. Yorebridge House, Bainbridge
Stylish Yorebridge House is living proof that dog-friendly hotels don’t necessarily skimp on panache. Two of the 12 rooms in this Victorian Grade II-listed former school and headmaster’s house are dog friendly – and they have a hot tub. Rangali has wooden floors, a large wet room-style shower and a sizeable private terrace so Rover can sniff around outside while you have a lie-in. Book African lodge-style Kariega for a private riverside garden with views of the Yorkshire Dales. There are ample grounds for more leg stretching and walks, and dog-friendly pubs in every direction. Dogs aren’t allowed in the hotel’s communal areas, but room service is available and staff have been known to dish out dog treats.
6. The Carpenters Arms, Felixkirk
Rainy days won’t get in the way of walkies at this chic dog-friendly pub-with-rooms on the edge of the North York Moors. Dogs can stay in the Garden rooms, which have a drying wardrobe for soggy kit, seating area, super-king-size bed and private terrace with views over the Vale of Mowbray. Pooches are welcome in the bar area of the appealingly rustic pub too; it has flagstones, low beams, wooden settles, a log fire in cool weather, local beers and hand-pulled ales. Tuck in to reasonably priced, hearty, county-showcasing dishes, such as roast rack and slow braised shoulder croquette of Yorkshire lamb.
(Article source: Various)