Oak Tree Cottage: A Hidden Gem on a Welsh Nature Reserve Where Your Dog is Always Welcome

Off the beaten track, nestled in the heart of the beautiful Welsh Wildlife Centre & Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve in North Pembrokeshire, visitors both human and canine will find a recently refurbished getaway called Oak Tree Cottage – or the ‘Cwtch’ as it’s known to the locals.

Dog Friendly

A self-catering holiday cottage that’s perfect for those wanting to relax in comfort whilst surrounded by our amazing Welsh wildlife, and surprisingly, despite the vast and changeable spectrum of creatures that inhabit the beautiful Teifi Marshes, the reserve remains infinitely accessible to dog owners. The cottage itself is small and perfectly formed, and perfect for a small family or a couple, and is the ideal holiday retreat for those who are looking to disconnect from the rush of the world, and get back to nature.

There are no distractions to be had at Oak Tree Cottage. Itself set in the immediate compounds of the impressive Welsh Wildlife Centre, once the park is closed to visitors, the inhabitants of the cottage are given unique and unfettered access to the entire reserve and all it has to offer.

Watch otters at dawn, badgers and deer at dusk, kingfishers on the river and a wealth of flora and fauna during the daytime. Lulled to sleep by nature on the edge of a wood, in the heart of the nature reserve, you will have it all to yourself once the visitors have gone home. And with all of this fantastic, natural resource as your playground, comes winding walks through paths and walkways that your dog will love as much as you will.

Dog Friendly

The Cilgerran site is part of the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, a regional section of the UK’s overall Wildlife Trust network, and a large part of the South and West Wales Trust’s ongoing commitment is to encourage a ‘dogs permitted’ policy. Whilst the Trust encourages diligence in order to help minimise distress and disturbance to local wildlife, it is quintessentially a welcome hub in North Pembrokeshire for families and visitors who want to take their dogs with them to this unique and captivating space.

The cottage is run and managed by on-site volunteers and trustees, and bookings at Oak Tree are handled by FBM Holidays, a well-known local holiday letting agency. A welcome hamper is provided with each booking, as are fresh brown eggs from the hens that live next to the cottage when available.

To enquire further or to book your dog-friendly break in the absolute heart of North Pembrokeshire’s most enchanting and inviting natural area, please visit https://www.fbmholidays.co.uk/cwtch

How to keep your dog comfortable while travelling in winter

Even though our furry friends are just that – furry – even the poofiest pooches can get a bit chilly in the UK’s icy winter temperatures. Yes, dogs were originally wild animals (and some still are), but a few thousand years of domestication has led to a love of pampering. And who can blame them?!

With that in mind, here are a few ways to help your dog keep comfy while travelling in winter.

  • Find dog-friendly accommodation

This might seem like an obvious point, but when you’re planning your holiday with your canine friend(s), it’s definitely the most important!

The words ‘dog-friendly accommodation’ are like music to a dog owner’s ears, as the vast majority of accommodation is human-only. Finding the perfect hotel, self-catering cottage or bed and breakfast can often feel like stumbling upon gold dust. It’s not often that you find all your preferred amenities and luxuries in a property, with the addition of it being dog-friendly.

When it comes to finding the right accommodation for you and your dog in winter, comfort is key. Is there a safe, warm place for your dog to sleep? Is there a roaring fire to up the cosy factor? Is there an enclosed garden, so that you don’t have to walk around in the cold with your dog while they do their business? All of these elements make a holiday much easier and more enjoyable for you and your pup, so make sure you’re armed with your tick list before you browse!

Woodfarm Barns has all of these features, and more. We don’t just tolerate dogs – we encourage them! And that’s why our beautiful, luxury, dog-friendly holiday cottages are a perfect choice for holidays all throughout the year, and also why we’ve built our reputation in this market.

  • Take blankets in your suitcase

If your dog loves to snuggle, ensure you bring a couple of their favourite blankets with you in your suitcase.

Often, we care about our own comforts and forget that our pets enjoy theirs too. Bringing a couple of blankets along on your trip will not only keep your dog warm, but will provide them with a familiar scent of home. This is often very handy when a dog is in an unknown place, as it is likely to help them settle into their surroundings.

  • Wipe paws after playing in snow

Although we are usually blessed (or cursed, depending on how you look at it) with only a couple of days’ worth of snow per year in the UK, it often settles quickly during those cold January and February months, creating a super fun situation for our dogs.

It’s a real pleasure to watch your pet playing in the snow, however, it’s very important that their fur and paws are cleared of snow once they’re finished. Firstly, snow can become contaminated with chemical-containing products such as anti-freeze and de-icer. If your dog licks their paws after paying in snow, they could ingest those same products and become ill. Also, snow can dry out your dog’s paw pads and cause them to crack, making it painful for your dog to walk.

When they come back inside from playing in the snow, simply wipe down your dog’s fur and paws with a towel to clear away the snow or ice.

  • Avoid leaving your dog in the car

Of course we all know that dogs should not be left in hot cars, but did you know that cold cars can be deadly too?

Car interiors lose heat very quickly in cold weather, meaning that anything left inside will become cold, including your dog. It’s most likely that they’ll just be uncomfortable, however in particularly cold climates or if your dog is exposed to low temperatures for a long time, they could develop hypothermia.

If you’re going to be travelling with your dog in the car, try planning ahead to make sure the places you’re visiting allow dogs. That way, your dog will be safe and happy knowing that they are with you, and you can rest assured that they are comfortable. For Suffolk-based holidays, the Woodfarm Barns-owned website whered www.wheredowe.co.uk owe.co.uk has lots of info on dog-friendly restaurants, shopping facilities and, of course, walks.

We at Woodfarm Barns and Barges hope you have a waggly tail of a time, wherever you plan to go on your winter holiday. We hope our top tips for dog-friendly winter travel come in handy, and help you and you dog keep safe and comfortable, and have lots of fun!

BREXIT – Your travel questions answered

Simon Calder, Independent Travel Expert, Edmund King, President of the Automobile Association (AA) and Jae Hopkins from Eurotunnel set the record straight

Show date: Friday 9th November

Show time: 1:00pm

With less than 6 months to go until March 29th, there has been continued speculation amongst politicians and commentators as to what Brexit will mean for travelling to the EU from the UK.

The outcome of this is a nation confused. That confusion spreads across areas such as Passports, both human and pet, EHIC cards and their validity, whether the need for an internal driving permit, a visa to travel, and even on to what this means for duty-free goods.

With much confusion, and with no sight yet of a deal or no deal position, who should we be listening to and where should be going for known information and fact.

Joining us to answer these questions and more live in the studio are Simon Calder, Independent Travel Expert, Edmund King, President of the Automobile Association (AA) and Jae Hopkins from Eurotunnel, the single biggest carrier of people to mainland Europe

https://www.eurotunnel.com/brexit

brexit pet passport

A doggie day out at West Dorset Leisure Holidays!

James and James in Marketing spent the day working with our newest Marketing recruits our two four-legged friends named Harry and Daisy and here is our write up from their eyes!    Woof Woof says Harry! We would like to welcome you to one of the WDLH parks this Autumn. Although they are all dog friendly, Daisy and I spent the day today at Highlands End Holiday Park. We can’t believe how many new friends we met today (A quick woof to Milo and Millie) and we would love to meet more. Here is our special guide to a perfect doggy day at Highlands End!

Daisy and I started the morning off with a fabulous run in the parks dog exercising field, which looks over Eype Beach and all the way out to sea. We had great fun running around and playing fetch as the field is enclosed and we didn’t have to have our leads on like we do in the park. We had a rest and a drink back at the motorhome before heading up to the park shop. Although we aren’t allowed in the shop we can sneak into the Cowshed where the views are outstanding and we got to hear the news while our owners sipped a cup of Dorset Tea.

Daisy loved the smell of the breakfasts coming from Martin’s Bar & Restaurant, but being the older more sensible dog, I persuaded her that we should go home for breakfast and save our visit until later when the football was on and we will get more treats! I will push for breakfast on our departure day or late in the week if it rains at some point!

Breakfast was long and we began to get a bit restless so after a few teasing barks we were off for a walk down to Eype Beach with a small picnic and day out swimming and rock pooling under Thorncombe Beacon. It is embarrassing to say but it took me ages to build the courage up to go swimming. Daisy, the silly billy, jumped right in but I preferred chilling on the pebbles. Once I was in though, wow it was nice to cool off. I was so pleased we took our ball and we swam for hours (doggy paddle) out to get the ball to bring it back to the beach. I won of course!

Once we had a drink and our owners had their picnic, we began the walk back up to Highlands End. I didn’t think about the walk back up as we went down to the beach from the cliff top park, but we stopped at a bench halfway up to take in the view. Being a bit sandy we had a quick wash in the new doggy shower by the toilet block and then we had a nap and dried outside the Motorhome on the grass.

Mid-afternoon we were off again. I don’t understand sports unless dogs are involved and all Daisy does is pop the ball, but we went up to Martin’s Bar & Restaurant, where so much of the building is dog friendly. We understand some of the building has to be non-doggy and we were just pleased to be allowed in with our lovely owners. We weren’t allowed a pint but the doggy bowl gave us a quick pit stop before settling in for a nap.

We had dinner in the bar, well we didn’t as the food was so good everything was eaten by our owners but they really enjoyed the Ranch Burger and the Fish and Chips! As night fell we managed a quick walk back in the dog field before settling down for a kip. I was so pleased I even managed to say goodnight to Jack and Matt the park wardens who were doing their checks. They were a great help when we arrived after our journey and showed us where we could have a run while we checked in!

We managed to do all of this within walking distance of the park so we are excited for tomorrow when we are heading off to explore the local area in our little pink Fiat 500. According to the Visitor Information area on the park, the local market is on a Wednesday and Saturday, plenty of pubs welcome us for lunch and we can enjoy an ice cream while walking along the pier at West Bay!!

Some must know info for your owners when you come and say hi, we found out there are a maximum of 2 doggies per booking, you must be on a lead and stick with your owner’s while in the park and we also can’t be left alone which is great as we want to be with them having a great holiday! During November, dogs are only £1 each per night with touring bookings. Hopefully we will see you on the park soon! Woof!

Ruff Guide to a Dog Friendly Home

The silly grin and gentle tail wag from our furry friends never fail to brighten our day. Not only do dogs make excellent house pets, but they are also proven to make our lives happier. After all, all they do is makes us laugh and smile (except of course if they get a poop or pee accident!).

However, it’s not all about them making us happy, because we, as responsible dog owners should also bring back the favor to them. There are lots of ways you can do that, one of which is by making your home as dog-friendly as possible.

Let them roam freely and safely inside your house and backyard and giving them quick access to essentials like food and water goes a long way for your canine buddies. You can also give them toys to play on so that they won’t get bored and be destructive.

It’s all about ensuring that they stay healthy, both physically and emotionally. And take note, dogs have feelings too!

Well, some of you might think that having a dog is a walk-in-the-park — but it’s not.

It’s just like raising a child, except for the fact that it’s harder! But then again, it’s not a big problem because we’re going to help you become a responsible dog owner. As long as you love what you’re doing and you know what to do, then you’re on your way to raising your “super dog”.

Want to know more? If so, then scroll down to check out this creatively informative graphic from AXA. It’s a life saver!

Ruff Guide to a Dog Friendly Home

Waggy Tails in Untouched Wales

It’s exhausting fetching sticks, being a loyal friend and companion, running after balls, day in day out! So Menai Holidays is offering your best doggy friend a FREE holiday! Now that is something to wag a tail about surely? And not only that but we can show you all the dog-friendly places where you and your best friend can go together.

  See our full range of Dog-Friendly Cottages here: https://www.menaiholidays.co.uk/cottages/types/dog-friendly-cottages/

However, it doesn’t stop there. Once your cottage is sorted we have your rest and play covered too. With our newly launched website not only can you find the perfect dog-friendly cottage but you can research and find …

Dog-friendly beaches https://www.menaiholidays.co.uk/explore/see-do/beaches/dog-friendly/

Dog-friendly cafes. https://www.menaiholidays.co.uk/explore/eat-drink/cafes/dog-friendly-cafes/

And… dog-friendly walks and attractions. https://www.menaiholidays.co.uk/explore/see-do/attractions/dog-friendly-attractions/

https://www.menaiholidays.co.uk/explore/see-do/walks/dog-friendly-walks/

So that wherever you go, your dog can come too! We look forward to seeing you and your furry friends very soon.

See our blogs on dog-friendly cafes in Anglesey, Snowdonia and the Llŷn and on dog-friendly beaches.

There is some small print to our “dogs go free” offer, so read on!

Bookings must be made between midnight 1st October & 31st October 2018 but you can stay between 1st October and 15th December 2018
The maximum we’ll pay towards dogs is £50. If there is a higher dog charge (staying for multiple weeks, or having more dogs than this amount covers) you’ll need to pay the difference.

Only one discount per customer
Dog owners can take full advantage of this offer by entering ‘WOOF18’ in the notes when making a booking online and hey presto, Menai Holidays will pay for the cost of up to two of your dogs to go with you for free, up to a maximum of £50.

Honours for Scotland’s top outdoor and leisure businesses

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
delighted.”

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!’

Loch Tay Highland Lodges
www.lochtay-vacations.co.uk

PetStay have launched their NEW sparkling website this month.

Managing Director Carole Davy says, “After many months of meetings, creativity and ideas flying about we are happy to announce the launch of our new website. We wanted to make sure we designed it with our customers in mind who are all dog lovers.”

Petstay

“We wanted to make sure we got our message across with a new clear and bright website that is simple to read and easy to navigate.”

“PetStay are a growing home dog boarding company and we are always looking to improve our online presence. We feel we have achieved this with the new website. ”

You can visit the new and improved PetStay website at www.petstay.net, we would love to hear what you think!

Petstay

Dog Friendly Pembrokeshire Tourism Awards Winners Announced

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!

dog friendly award winners

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.

dog friendly award

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”.

pembrokeshire dog friendly tourism awards

Loch Tay Highland Lodges were presented with the prestigious award of ‘Best Glamping Site, Scotland’

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
award:

‘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.’

Loch Tay Highland Lodges

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
experiences.

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
Lodges’

Loch Tay Highland Lodges
www.lochtay-vacations.co.uk