Loch Tay Highland Lodges was presented with the prestigious award for ‘Best
Scottish Self Catering Accommodation’ as well as runner-up in the award for ‘Best
Scottish Glamping site’ at the Scottish Outdoor and Leisure Awards ceremony held
in Glasgow at the end of October.
Jo Barrie, General Manager for Loch Tay Highland Lodges was there with her team
to collect the award:
‘We are delighted to win this award in such a strong category of finalists as well as
defending our title of ‘Best Glamping’ accommodation. We have worked hard this
year to improve our site and the accommodation on it, as well as striving to deliver
the best customer service and experience to everyone who visits our site. This
award is testament to the whole team at Loch Tay Highland Lodges and we are
The very best of Scotland’s outdoor and leisure industry was showcased in the
glitzy award ceremony at Glasgow’s Marriott Hotel on October 29th.
Thousands of public nominations were received across 17 categories including
Scotland’s Best Glamping and Scotland’s Best Self Catering Accommodation.
Over 25,000 votes were received in support of favourites across the country to
create a shortlist of 115 finalists. Each business was asked to take stock of their
business and provide a submission in support of their win, before an independent
judging panel performed assessments of the customer-facing elements.
Hosted by Des Clarke, the Scottish Outdoor and Leisure Awards Gala Final was a
celebration from start to finish. Warren Paul, CEO and founder of the Scottish
Outdoor and Leisure Awards is also delighted with the reception in only year two.
He said: ‘The inaugural awards created firm foundations to develop SOLA into an
annual competition and a mainstay event of the industry and now we are seeing
new businesses from across the country engage in year two. It’s a fantastic
opportunity to celebrate the businesses that help to showcase our beautiful
Country; Well done to all our finalists and congratulations to our 2017 winners. I
look forward to an even bigger event in 2018!’
PetStay, The Alternative to Kennels have announced that they have won the
5* Franchisee Satisfaction Award run by Smith & Henderson.
Carole Davy, Managing Director and PetStay founder said “We are incredibly proud to have won this prestigious award and to be recognised for our franchise model, training and on-going support along with our branding and the excellent relationships we have formed with our franchisees. It is such an important award for PetStay as it comes from our franchisees. Although 5 stars have been achieved we are always looking to continuously improve and develop further to help the franchisees to successfully grow their businesses.
Smith + Henderson, an independent research agency, coordinate the 5 Star Franchise Satisfaction programme. Steven Frost, CEO, said PetStay was awarded 5 Star Franchisee Satisfaction based on positive feedback from their franchisees. They rated it above average across all five key areas that we measure in our industry benchmarking programme, such as training and support and the relationship with their franchisor.
Compared with the industry average PetStay were scored higher with head office support 18% above average, franchise system 10% above average, proven system 16% above average, respect 13% above average, trust 17% above average, do It again 18% above average.
Overall PetStay came out at 8% above the industry average score
PetStay have been established since 2005 but franchised the home-based business in 2012 and now have 35 branches nationwide with over 500 home checked, licensed & insured dog carers. Over the years PetStay has established an excellent reputation for providing a home from home environment for dogs, using hand-picked local carers who provide the best possible care for dogs while their owners are away on holiday.
Each of our franchisees have their own team of dog carers. After an in-depth consultation with the customer they then match the dog/s to one of their carers, next they organise a meeting for the customer to go visit the carer to make sure everyone is happy, this is a good time for the holiday dog/s and carer to bond and hear all about their routines. PetStay have a policy of not mixing dogs from different households so the service is exclusive to them.
We aim to grow to 50 branches by 2019 and are interested in hearing from anyone who would like to join one of the leading pet franchises in the UK.
We are looking for hard working, self-motivated individuals with a passion for dogs and the drive and determination to succeed. If you enjoy giving excellent customer service and want to provide the very best home dog boarding service in your area, we would like to hear from you. You’ll have a head start with PetStay, we want to work with people who believe in our service and have a genuine love for dogs.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for our franchise prospectus or call Carole on 01482 307684 for an informal chat with a member of the PetStay Team.
Pembrokeshire’s Dog Friendly businesses have been recognised and celebrated in the county’s first Dog Friendly Tourism Awards held on the Slebech Park Estate. The Dog Friendly Awards initiative was created by Pembrokeshire Tourism and Burns Pet Nutrition and are designed to champion responsible pet ownership, whilst recognising the efforts of outstanding local businesses throughout the county who help to make Pembrokeshire a dog friendly destination for visitors. Following the launch of the Awards in January, over 400 entries were received across the six categories giving the judges from the Burns By Your Side Reading Dog Teams plenty to consider!
The award for Best Dog Friendly Beach went to Amroth. With plenty of sand to play on, rock pools to investigate and waste bins easily accessible, the judges felt this was a great place to enjoy some seaside fun.
The judges in the award for Best Dog Friendly Town or Village looked for evidence of the whole town or village being a welcoming venue for four-legged visitors and their owners! In this closely fought category Saundersfoot came out on top over the twin towns of Fishguard & Goodwick and Amroth.
The Best Dog Friendly Day Out award took into consideration factors that enabled everyone to enjoy a great day out in Pembrokeshire’s attractions. With so many great places to visit and explore the judges had their work cut out to pick just one winner, before ultimately deciding on Carew Castle as their top choice.
The Best Dog Friendly Pub, Restaurant or Café category judges were keen to find a warm welcome for all visitors along with provision for those not using cutlery to eat! Having visited all three finalists including the Brewery Inn, Cosheston and the Hope Inn, Pembroke, the winner was named as the Temple Bar in Amroth.
For the Best Dog Friendly Campsite or Caravan Park award judges looked at how venues were able to go the extra mile to make pets welcome and safe whilst on holiday. Coastal Wood Camping was the winning campsite who offer plenty of space for all to enjoy their holiday, and great dog friendly facilities.
For those not so keen on camping, the Best Dog Friendly Holiday Accommodation award looked at hotels, guesthouses and B&B providers throughout Pembrokeshire the judges were keen to find providers who were clearly committed to welcoming dogs to their premises. Cwm Connell Coastal Cottages beat off tough competition from Fron Fawr Holiday Cottages and Coastal Wood Holidays to win in this category.
John Burns of Burns Pet Nutrition explained how much he and the Burns By Your Side Reading Dogs Team had enjoyed the judging saying, “It’s been great to see first-hand the incredible work that these businesses are doing to make Pembrokeshire a dog friendly destination”. Echoing this, Dennis O’Connor, Tourism Liaison Manager at Pembrokeshire Tourism said, “Pembrokeshire is a very special place for visitors and we are delighted to have been able to recognise the work of dog friendly businesses throughout the county as well as our fantastic towns and beaches. Increasingly visitors are looking for dog friendly destinations to avoid the distress of leaving their pets in kennels, so the wonderful coast and countryside that Pembrokeshire offers is particularly appealing”.
Loch Tay Highland Lodges were presented with the prestigious award of ‘Best
Glamping Site, Scotland’ at the inaugural Scottish Outdoor and Leisure Awards
ceremony in Glasgow in late 2016.
Jo Barrie, Loch Tay Highland Lodge’s General Manager was there to collect the
‘We are delighted to have won this award in such a strong category of finalists.
We are passionate about giving our customers the very best service, and our
Glamping accommodation offers our visitors another way to enjoy their
adventure in our beautiful area of Scotland. This award is testament to the whole
team at Loch Tay Highland Lodges who have been striving to deliver the best
customer service and experience to everyone who visits our site.’
The judges at the Scottish Outdoor and Leisure Awards were set a difficult task
as 1000 of the very best leisure businesses across Scotland engaged in the
inaugural event – voted for by the public they gave a true reflection of what
Scotland has to offer for both visitors and staycationers.
A massive 8,000 votes were cast by the public with 17 categories being
represented from campsites and holiday parks to outdoor festivals and adventure
The sparkling, red carpet gala evening was hosted by Scottish comedian and
broadcaster Des Clarke.
‘We are very proud to have been awarded Best Glamping Site in Scotland’
continued Jo ‘and look forward to welcoming you soon to Loch Tay Highland
Pembrokeshire Tourism and Burns Pet Nutrition have launched the first ever Dog Friendly Pembrokeshire Tourism Awards. The awards are designed to encourage responsible pet ownership and recognise the efforts of outstanding local businesses throughout the county who are helping to make Pembrokeshire a dog friendly destination for visitors.
The open spaces of Pembrokeshire are becoming increasingly attractive for dog owners as a holiday destination and with miles of fantastic coastline there’s every opportunity for the holidaying pooch to enjoy themselves just as much as their owners without having to endure the trauma of separation. Many of Pembrokeshire’s tourism providers and businesses are dog friendly and their numbers are increasing as demand to accommodate four legged visitors continues to rise.
Tourism Liaison Manager; Dennis O’Connor said “The tourism economy is extremely important to Pembrokeshire and with an increase in staycations reported last year the Dog Friendly Pembrokeshire Tourism Awards present us with a unique marketing opportunity. We are delighted to be collaborating on this with Burns Pet Nutrition, a highly respected and ethical company and pleased that the awards will be judged by the Burns by Your Side Reading Dog teams who already do so much excellent work in communities across the county”
Environmental impact is a vital consideration for tourism providers in the county and Pembrokeshire Tourism together with the team at Burns Pet Nutrition are working with the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority to stress the importance of visitors helping to keep Pembrokeshire dog friendly by following the Countryside Code, respecting other people and their animals and protecting the natural environment to make sure everyone can enjoy our great outdoors.
Burns By Your Side is part of the Burns Pet Nutrition Foundation – a charitable trust set up by John Burns to improve the lives of people and pets. Since 2015, Burns By Your Side reading dog teams have worked with local schoolchildren to improve literacy and confidence skills across the county. Reading can often be a scary experience for a child, but it has been proven that reading to a canine companion reduces stress levels and creates an environment where children feel empowered and positive.
Speaking about the launch of the awards, Veterinary Surgeon and business owner John Burns said “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to promote our Burns By Your Side reading dog project while rewarding the amazing dog-friendly tourism businesses that Pembrokeshire has to offer”.
Nominations for the awards are open until midnight on Monday 27th February. Judging will take place 1-31st March before the awards winners are announced at a special ceremony at Slebech Park Estate on 23rd May.
Members of the public, visitors, tourism operators, community councils and local tourism associations are encouraged to submit nominations online at www.pembrokeshiretourismawards.net
Beautiful holiday properties that welcome pets are hard to find – except in dog-loving North Devon.
This beautiful area’s known for having loads of dog-friendly pubs, attractions and beaches, as well as stunning scenery and walks. Most North Devon beaches welcome dogs, with some such as Saunton and Instow allowing owners and their pets totally unrestricted fun and freedom. In recent years more and more of the area’s holiday properties have started to accept dogs too – including some with hot tubs, amazing views, thatched roofs and beautiful decor. Take a look at this selection of stunning pet-friendly holiday properties in North Devon from Ocean Cottages (who specialise in luxury properties in this area), with ideas for where to take your best friend to walk and eat nearby.
See more dog-friendly holiday cottages from Ocean Cottages www.ocean-cottages.com/dog-friendly-holiday-cottages-north-devon/
See more details on dog-friendly beaches in North Devon www.ocean-cottages.com/pet-friendly-holidays/
Stunning views: Gull Rock, Woolacombe
The pics speak for themselves here … amazing ocean views out to Lundy Island, glass-edged balcony and stylish décor, and secluded Combesgatebeach and endless Woolacombe beaches just a short walk away, with gentle surf that your dog will love to splash through. Gull Rock sleeps 4 in two bedrooms, and has a very large terrace plus lovely master en-suite, which has french doors leading to a further patio and further stunning views.
More about this property www.ocean-cottages.com/woolacombe-holiday-cottages/2-gull-rock/ Walk: the Old Railway Line – an easy stretch of tarmac pedestrian and cycle path that you can follow round to Ilfracombe 5 miles away, or beyond
walk details www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/walksdb/139/# Eat: The Red Barn in Woolacombe village – good pub food in this surfy beachfront pub that often hosts live music www.redbarnwoolacombe.co.uk/
Sleeps nine in style: Eden, Croyde
The small, surfy village of Croyde is full of dog-lovers, and lots of beautiful holiday properties. This includes Eden, which has just had a total makeover – but don’t worry, it’s still very welcoming to dogs! It offers open plan seaside living in the heart of Croyde, with a large garden, wood burning stove, huge table football and private, hot outside shower, so there’s no need to worry about any of you walking sand through the house!
More about this property www.ocean-cottages.com/croyde-holiday-cottages/eden/ Walk: Croyde beach allows dogs from October-April, and the less restrictive Woolacombe (see above) and Putsborough are a walkable distance round the headland, taking in spectacular views round Baggy Point along the South West Coast Path www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/walksdb/26/ Eat: National Trust’s Sandleigh Tearooms at the start of the walk to Baggy Point serves excellent cream teas, snacks and lunches, and welcomes dogs to the pretty garden seating area. www.sandleighcroyde.com/
Thatched and cosy: Chuggs Cottage, Croyde
The owners of cosy Chuggs are open to welcoming more than one dog, which can be hard to find – especially in a cottage as pretty as this. Your dog will love sleeping off those long coastal walks in front of the cosy logburner – then running around again in the garden. Chuggs sleeps up to 6 people and is in the village near its dog-friendly pubs and cafes, but still just a short walk from the beach and dunes.
More about this property www.ocean-cottages.com/croyde-holiday-cottages/chuggs-cottage/ Walk: Saunton beach is around the headland from Croyde in the other direction, and allows totally unrestricted access for dogs on its 3 miles of golden sands – and they love to run in the dunes behind too. It’s an easy walk from Croyde through coast and country from Croyde walk details: www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/walksdb/106/ Eat: The Thatch, also in the heart of the village, actively welcomes dogs, and serves legendary nachos (and cider, of course!). www.thethatchcroyde.com/
Traditional and spacious: The Long House, Georgeham
With an enormous walled garden and enough room to sleep 10 people, The Long House is a traditional Devon cottage, and a great place for a dog-loving family gathering. It’s in a very pretty hamlet surrounded by countryside but near all the great beaches, and has a large kitchen and choice of dining areas, including alfresco on the patio. The owners love dogs themselves, so will happily welcome yours into their beautiful property.
More about this property www.ocean-cottages.com/georgeham-holiday-cottages/the-long-house/ Walk: Fabulous walks can be enjoyed throughout the surrounding countryside and Croyde Beach, Putsborough Sands and Saunton Beach are just a short drive away (approx 4 miles). Eat: The King’s Arms in Georgeham village serves excellent food and drink, and very much welcomes dogs, too – there’s always a bowl of water out for them. www.kingsarmsgeorgeham.co.uk/
Hot tub and direct beach access: Amana, Croyde
Ocean Cottages has a number of dog-friendly properties with hot tubs, and Amana is a great example. You’ll love sinking into the bubbles with a glass of wine after long days walking along North Devon’s beaches – and though your dog won’t be able to join you in there, he will be able to enjoy the doggy bliss of an outdoor hot shower! Amana sleeps up to 5, and is just behind Croyde’s dunes, with direct access from the garden to the beach footpath.
More about this property: www.ocean-cottages.com/croyde-holiday-cottages/amana/ Walk: It’s easy to walk or drive to Braunton, then pick up The Tarka Trail, a well-maintained walking and cycle track which runs along the coast and countryside of North Devon for over 30 miles. www.devon.gov.uk/tarkatrail Eat: On the other side of Bideford Bay the Tarka Trail runs by The Pier House, a great pub-restaurant that not only has stunning coastal views, but welcomes dogs to the extent that it has signs in ‘dog language’ – just for them! www.thepier-house.co.uk/
When you’re looking to book a weekend away, the last thing you want to do is worry about what you are going to do with your pet whilst you are away. Over 46% of UK households have a pet, and we know it can be hard to leave them behind when you go on holiday, so why not take them with you? Whilst we know it’s not really viable to put your pet through the stress of getting on a plane if you’re going abroad a few times a year, a mini-break here in the UK could be the perfect opportunity to take your four-legged friend with you on holiday, as he can be easily packed in to the car with your weekend bag to enjoy some time away from home with his owners.
Booking a stay in a pet-friendly hotel has so many benefits, read on to find out how an overnights stay with man’s best friend in the Lake District could be your best break yet!
In most cases, there will be an extra charge for you taking your pet with you on holiday, this will depend on the kind of hotel you are staying in, and where it is. This cost is usually just to make up for the extra cleaning costs, bedding, bowls etc. that will be utilised by you and your dog throughout the trip. Generally, though, this cost will be much less than what you would expect to pay for booking an extended stay in a kennels, or if you are looking into a dog sitter for the time you are away. Not only does this mean you will be saving money on your trip away, but taking your four-legged friend with you can give you the peace of mind you need to have a really enjoyable break, without worrying about how your pet is doing back home!
A Different Daily Walk
Booking a mini-break in the Lakes gives you a chance to explore an area of outstanding natural beauty; there are so many walks and trails that you know your dog would absolutely love to join you on. Having a stay-cation with your four-legged friend too, means your dog can experience some of the best walks of his life and enjoy spending some time away from home with his family on holiday.
Pet-friendly hotels are becoming increasingly popular, especially in the Lake District. There are so many areas of beauty that you might not be able to imagine spending time in without your four-legged friend. Explore the countryside this year and enjoy an over night’s stay with man’s best friend.
Keswick has been voted the UK’s most dog-friendly town by the Kennel Club, with a number of dog-friendly hotels covering the town allowing you to have your dog join you on your break to the Lake District. The Inn on the Square is located in the heart of Keswick and offers excellent accommodation for the whole family and your dog, get in contact today to book your break!
They say that a dog is man’s best friend and if you are one of the estimated 8 million households that own a canine companion you’ll know exactly why this is so true.
Dogs really do become part of the family so it’s no wonder that more of us than ever are choosing to bring our pooch on holiday. While you can (thanks to pet passports) take them abroad we still think that renting a UK holiday cottage is the best way to go as there is usually plenty of outside space and no worries about a tricky flight.
Foxglove Cottage – North York Moors
Prepare in advance
Lesley Houghton regularly travels with her dog (a new addition to the family in the past year) and recently stayed at the School House in Sandsend. She says ‘preparation is key really, make sure you have as much information on the cottage and surrounding area before you set-off and make a list of everything you will need’.
We think that is pretty sound advice and a bit of forward planning should ensure your holiday goes smoothly and your pet stays happy and healthy. Here are 8 top tips:
Check the cottage is suitable for your pet
It really goes without saying that you will need to select a dog-friendly holiday cottage but you should also check the size of the property is suitable for your pet and there is enough outside space for your particular breed.
It is a good idea to check if there are any restrictions such as areas that are off-limits for pets (you don’t want an award winning flower border to get trampled or cream carpets to be ruined) or a limit on the numbers if you have more than one.
Plan your journey in advance
Remember that if you are making a long car journey that you take a bowl and some water with you and have plenty of stops (particularly if it is a hot day). Make sure your dog can stretch their legs and get some fresh air at regular intervals. If your dog is not used to travelling it is a good idea to try them on some shorter car journeys beforehand.
Don’t run out of supplies
Try and make a checklist of everything your dog might need before you set-off and make sure you have enough food, treats, any medication and the all-important poo bags. You’ll also need to take your dog’s lead and collar which should have a tag containing your contact information.
If you don’t want to take too much stuff with you it’s a good idea to check where you can purchase dog food locally (particularly if you stick to particular brands) and what items the cottage will have available.
Make the cottage a home from home for your dog
Your dog may be unsettled when they first arrive so it is a good idea to take as many of their things as possible. Familiar items such as your pet’s own bed, blankets and toys can make a big difference as the last thing you want is for them to feel worried and upset.
Show them their new surroundings and let them explore (where appropriate) so they start to feel at home as soon as possible. Dogs tend to be creatures of habit so stick to their routine of feed and walk times where possible.
Get the contact details of a local vet
Hopefully you won’t need to contact a vet on holiday but if your pet does fall ill or get hurt while you are away it is good to be prepared. Research some vets that are close to your cottage and keep their details handy throughout your stay.
It is also worth taking your pet to your own vet before travelling as well just to make sure they have a clean bill of health and are fully up-to-date with vaccinations and other treatments such as worming.
Plan your trips around your pet
We are pretty sure your holiday will involve getting out and about so make sure any places you plan to visit are also dog friendly. Lots of Yorkshire attractions are happy to allow dogs though you will probably have to keep them on a lead. Check out The Good Dog Guide for more information.
Quite a few pubs will also allow dogs offering drinking water (and occasionally even doggy beer!) but it is a good idea to find out which ones will do this before your holiday.
If you plan to venture out without your pet, ensure it is OK to leave them alone in the property and that you aren’t gone for too long. You don’t want to come back to any nasty surprises! If you do plan to be out for the day you may be able to find a local dog-sitter to help out but again it is best to organise this before you set off.
Make sure your dog is well trained
You should probably ask yourself how well behaved your dog is before taking them to any cottage. Spending some time on dog training before your holiday (whether you do this by yourself or a local class) is a good idea.
Try and ensure your pet can obey some basic commands – even if this is just Sit and Stay.
Keep your dog safe
The last thing you want is for anything to happen to your precious pet so make sure the cottage and garden are secure and there is nowhere for them to escape (it is a good idea to have them micro-chipped though in case they do go missing).
Going for a walk with your dog through beautiful countryside is just one of the perks of taking them with you but it is important to be vigilant. If you take them off the lead make sure there are no dangers about such as cliff edges, streams or wild animals.
With these tips you should have a great holiday with your pet.
I started manonabeach® tentatively via YouTube in September, 2011 and put the website up in December of that year, as it started to become popular. From its origins in Cornwall, the project has now become national, featuring additional beach visits to Norfolk, Suffolk, Dorset, Sussex, East Lothian, Fife, Moray, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, The Highlands of Scotland, the Isles of Skye, Mull and the Outer Hebrides, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and The Gower, as well as Northumberland, Yorkshire and North Wales, including Anglesey. Through the seasons, manonabeach® returns to each region, building a picture of beach life through the year. There are now over 2,000 films on the website and manonabeach.com has developed into a fully fledged e-book, out of its beginnings as a daily blog. The website is a place where you can enjoy beach visits and a flavour of the beach when you’re not there, all built around beach goers’ answers to the question
“What does the beach mean to you…?”
The series celebrates the elemental power of the beach and its profound effect on people who enjoy being where the air, land and sea meet. The beach means different things to different people, whether enhancing creativity, decisiveness and energy, being restorative and settling, part of a routine, a reference point through generations, freedom or just fun.
In the narrative interviews on the site, you can see and hear people re-present their emotions, perceptions and recollections, all drawn out by the enhancing effect of the beach. manonabeach® is a construct, a passive Everyman, whose role is to bring qualitative findings directly to you, letting you draw your own conclusions from them.
Each beach page, accessed via a national or eleven regional maps, has details of facilities and features, a dog-friendly button, a Google map and bathing information.
The project has a well-being focus, as most viewers are urban and familiar with the beaches that I feature, but are missing the enhancing effect of these places. Through the website, viewers are reminded and often surprised by the wide range of stimuli on offer, where the air, land and sea meet. It’s a tonic, a pick me up at the end of a working day for some. 24% of the site’s visitors are in London and manonabeach® is watched in 138 countries. manonabeach®’s anonymity means that viewers aren’t troubled or distracted by the presence of a personality or celebrity. It’s almost as if the beach goer is talking directly to the viewer.
So what answers have I had to the question “What does the beach mean to you…?” There have been 635 different responses, in 1.080 interviews. Every answer has been meticulously recorded. Overall, the top five responses are:
Peace / calm.
I’ve divided the findings into six categories, with each category’s top five below:
Emotional and spiritual
I love it
Being near the water / the sea.
Livelihoods and occupations
Friends and family
Peaceful / calm
Relaxing / chilled out
Wide open spaces
Occupations and activities
It’s clear from the viewing figures that people prefer the unspoilt, undeveloped beaches and there’s clearly a link through the generations that’s important to people. The most popular beaches on the site are not necessarily those that you might expect or that are best known and the subject of the heaviest marketing by tourism agencies. With due deference to the non-Cornish regions, who have only featured since October 2012 or even more recently, here are the top ten most viewed beaches at manonabeach.com:
1. Rinsey Cove, Cornwall, here
2. Holywell Bay, Cornwall, here
3. Polly Joke, Cornwall, here
4. Kynance Cove, Cornwall, here
5. Cley-Next-The-Sea, Norfolk, here
6. Covehithe, Suffolk, here
7. Southwold, Suffolk, here
8. Aldeburgh, Suffolk, here
9. Porthilly, Cornwall, here
10. Crantock, Cornwall, here.
There are regional characteristics that distinguish beaches and may inform the attraction in each place. Long granite headlands feature in Cornwall and West Wales, with the sea often viewed close up from the side, whereas big skies and bird life, including migratory, have a resonant impact in Norfolk and Suffolk. Man’s relationship with nature is starkly visible through the string of lighthouses up the North East coast of Scotland, while the picturesque golf links of East Lothian and Fife, along with North East Scotland, Suffolk, Sussex and Cornwall’s inshore fishing communities and Cornwall’s surfers and wild swimmers highlight the wide diversity of beach use.
The beach is a wonderful place for us all to enjoy. Its ever changing nature, whether on a daily or tidal basis or through the seasons, guarantees an element of anticipation and excitement in any beach visit. You just don’t know what and who you’ll meet there when you go to the beach, meaning that you’ll always have a different answer to the manonabeach question “What does the beach mean to you…?”
Your summer holiday has finally been booked and you’re looking forward to spending some quality time relaxing in the sun with close friends and family.
But whilst you’ll be away, have you stopped to consider who’s going to look after your other family member – your beloved pet dog, of course?
If not, don’t panic: we’ve compiled a list of safe and sensible suggestions so that your four-legged friend is left in good hands.
Option 1 – Dog Kennels
Your first option is to house your dog in kennels until you return from your much-needed summer break.
There are plenty of kennel services to choose from, but it’s worth opting for one based on reputation, so ask other dog owners and friends and search online to check reviews.
Some kennels will be more luxurious than others, but essentially they all offer a similar service.
Remember to ask how much exercise your dog will receive each day and whether this comes at an additional cost.
It’s also worth finding out how much space they will have available. If you own a large dog, they’ll require a sufficient area to roam around in.
Be sure to visit the kennels as well. You’ll get a good indication of how the staff will treat your dog, the condition of the premises and how many people will be interacting with your pet.
Option 2 – Dog-Sitting
If kennels are off the cards, what about getting someone you know to stay at your house and dog-sit whilst you’re away?
In this instance we’d recommend choosing someone with whom you have a good relationship – and if they own dogs, or have owned them before, even better.
This might be a sensible option if you know your pet will feel more comfortable staying in the environment they’re used to as opposed to moving to new premises.
If dog-sitting sounds right for you, just make sure that the person looking after your pet will be with them at all times.
Getting someone to call in at your home and check on your dog every now and again is the wrong approach and could even be deemed animal cruelty.
Option 3 – Home Dog Boarding
Slightly different to the above, home dog boarding means that your pet will stay with someone else in their own home while you’re away.
Think of this as your dog’s very own holiday or getaway where they get to unwind until they greet you with a wagging tail upon your return.
Just as you would for dog-sitting, make sure the people looking after your dog are reliable and trustworthy and understand the needs of your pet.
Recommendations, reviews and ratings will also play a key part in determining which home dog boarding option to choose, so once again, don’t forget to ask around.
Always make sure you meet the sitter in advance before you go on holiday so that you know you’re making the right choice. This will also give your dog a chance to become familiar with their surroundings before they end up staying there.
According to The Kennel Club, you should also check references and insurance cover and leave the sitter your contact details.
Finally, if it is a legal requirement in your local area for the individual or business to have a licence to provide this type of service, you should check this as well.
Which Option’s Right for Your Dog?
As each and every dog has their own individual requirements, try and pick the best service to meet their needs.
You know your own pet better than anyone else, so think through your options and go with a choice that you’re confident your dog will enjoy.
Ideally, you want to cause your dog as little distress as possible while you’re away so that they have their own holiday too.
If you get it right you’ll know for next time and both you and your dog can reunite after a well-earned break.
This post was written by GJW Titmuss, a leading online pet supplies, food and accessories store.