Dog Holiday Travel Essentials

Holiday Packing for Pooch

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Quite often when going away I pack way too much. This can be said for when I’m packing for myself and Mia, our chocolate Labrador. My husbands idea of packing is to grab his hold-all and just put it all in there which has always worked pretty well for him, my own not so much. In my panic I would probably end up taking shorts to Iceland or a puffa jacket to Florida. When it comes to packing for the dog however this is so much easier, she has no clothes and doesn’t care what the weather will be as long as she can go on walks and get fed. (With this in mind there has been times -Boxing Day walk comes to mind- where we haven’t taken waste bags or a lead! That’s why I’m making this list)

Collar, harness and lead. The collar with her tag on as she has multiple, I don’t know where they go and I try not to ask. Her camo harness, we bought the Julius K9 harness and purchased a Size 1 as they state and we love it as she walks a lot better with it on and lead so we can minimise her saying hello to every single dog, person, bird and body of water.

Water bottle. I love the little water bottles with the drinking bowl at the bottom. They save carrying around a separate bowl and vat of water and we keep one or two other bottles of water in the car for when we need to fill it up. This was one super cheap but there are plenty on Amazon.

Towel. Mia is a mucky pup, any lakes, puddles or muddy banks she can get in she will. When we are on holiday it’s good to have a towel in the car before we get muddy paw prints through the accommodation.

Blanket. For a similar reason as the towel as it stops the back of the car getting super dirty. We can take it out to clean it and it makes it a little bit more comfortable too.

Seatbelt. It was my mum and dad that bought us the seatbelt that you can attach to her collar and click it in as you would usually.

Doggy bags. No not the ones with cake in at the end of a party. Doggy waste bags. I bought a box full from Amazon that were lavender scented because yes, I’m that person. I could also probably find a roll of waste bags in all of my coats, no matter how fancy they are, because that’s the dog owner life.

Food and treats. I like to measure out the food before we go so I know we have enough whilst we are away and take plenty of treats. I usually end up taking a little more than needed as we go on longer dog walks, followed by walking around towns so we end up using more energy on a ‘relaxing’ holiday than we would at home.

If I think of anything to add I will but I’d say this is a pretty rounded list. We don’t often take a tennis ball or toys as she doesn’t usually play with them at home and we go on plenty of walks. As mentioned in a previous post we often go with hotels and accommodation that are very doggy friendly, meaning they usually have a bed, bowl and a few treats. We can’t rely on this on every break away so we often also take a food bowl but it’s there just in case and makes us all feel a bit more comfortable taking Mia away with us knowing she will be welcome too.

Until next time,

L x

Mia in her dog friendly bed and breakfast in the Lake District

Dog Holidays – Accommodation

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We have had our chocolate Labrador Mia for nearly 5 years, she’ll turn 5 years old in July and we were able to bring her home in September, coincidentally on my birthday. Side note: I picked up a new car the year after so Mr LB had a lot to live up to after that! In that time she has made us completely happy (even during the nibbling phase but more on that later).

In the last three years my best friend and her husband decided it was time for them to get a pooch too and we’ve recently been organising and taking dog holidays together. There’s nothing extremely special about these trips, they’re simply holidays but with dogs. I know crazy right. The thing is there are differences and quite a few things to think about when planning – and also whilst you’re away – and some of those things only became apparent when you’ve done them. I have decided to put some of these thoughts together on different topics and hopefully remember some of my own tips for next time!

Does the accommodation allow dogs?

A basic question but having been on both sides as customer and working at hotel/holiday sites it’s not always quite so straightforward. There are many hotels that don’t allow dogs at all and some that do but only in certain bedrooms.

1. Size of the room – a couple of times we’ve found they may be bigger rooms as there’s a pooch too. A little bit more floor space goes a long way when you’re two becomes a three and one of those three has four legs.

2. Some hotels charge extra. We’ve seen anything from ‘no extra fees for dogs’ to £15 per night to £30 per room to extra cleaning fees if need be. No one is going to enjoy extra charges they weren’t aware of so it’s best to find out before booking.

3. They’re quite often ground floor rooms. The best ones are close to an exit to take your dog out without causing too much disturbance and going right through the hotel. Muddy paws and all.

4. Doggy common areas. Can you take your dog to breakfast? Can you take your dog in the bar/restaurant areas? Can you leave your dog in your room whilst you eat? These are all questions to ask when booking accommodation and vary from each place. We’ve had times where we have had to pop Mia in the car whilst we ate breakfast and others where she was able to stay in the room. Times where she could sit in the bar area where we were served food but couldn’t go in the main restaurant, it changes so I’ll always check out the policy.

5. Does the accommodation supply anything? The great hotels/b&b’s that we’ve stayed at always prepare a little extra something in your room. We’ve previously had bowls, beds, treats, mats, towels and even a Kong tennis ball before on arrival. It’s a lovely gesture to see thoughtful additions and makes it a lot easier if you’ve forgotten bits or saves packing them if you know they’re already there.

We put these into practice when we stayed in the Lake District and even camping.

Until next time,

L x

A Dog Friendly Weekend in the Cotswolds

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For the last two years we’ve been able to go away with friends and their cockapoo pooch. Last year we stayed in the Lake District in a yurt and this year we decided to treat ourselves a little more and go with a hotel. I was set on the destination of the Cotswolds as it was the same drive for each couple and somewhere new to three of us. We booked our stay through Pets Pyjamas to ensure we were able to have dog friendly rooms and the bonus is that they ensure you don’t pay more for dogs staying. Sidenote: We will definitely be using the website and the hotels on there again.

We chose to stay at The Bear of Rodborough and I was very happy with the decision. The hotel looked lovely in the pictures and was in a great location for us. On arrival to our room we saw the hotel had provided a dog bed, blanket and water bowl, it was a good size with a bigger bed than we have at home and had all the facilities you could need in a hotel room. As we waited for our friends to arrive we decided to head down to the bar for a drink and bite to eat. The bar area we had been told was dog friendly so took Mia with us as she is pretty happy in public spaces, especially if there are treats involved. We found a table and our waiter made a great fuss of Mia which she thoroughly enjoyed and brought some treats over for her. (More than pictured, she’d already had some!)

We ordered food shortly after to which Mr LB went for pizza and I had the vegetable lasagna which was so nice I recommended it for my bestie to have when she arrived. This was the start of something as the food was continually amazing throughout our stay and I would go back to The Bear of Rodborough just to sit in the bar, chat and eat.

Our package included breakfast so in the knowledge the dogs were content we went to breakfast and enjoyed three courses. A big selection on the continental breakfast, followed by porridge and a cooked option. I didn’t choose to have porridge on the first morning but after everyone else reordered in on the second day I decided to try it too. Both mornings also included Eggs Royale for myself and a full cooked for the hubby.

The next day we spent on a walk near to the National Trust Roman Villa and in Cirencester and I would visit both places again. We stopped in the dog friendly pub The Crown and again had a tasty lunch before going back to the hotel, picking up some Christmas gifts in Cirencester town centre on the way.

Back at the hotel we showered, changed from our walking clothes and watched a film before going back to the bar to get together. We hadn’t originally planned on eating at the hotel both nights but they were dog friendly, served amazing food and there was no pressure to move all evening so it seemed like a great idea to stay instead of getting back in the car to find another destination.

There is no doubt I would stay at The Bear of Rodborough Hotel again as they were a fantastic dog friendly option for us and as you can tell above served amazing food over the weekend.

Have you got any dog friendly recommendations in the Cotswolds?

Until next time,

L x

Clumber Park, National Trust

Where to? Clumber Park

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We have visited Clumber Park many times over the years whether on our own, with family or taking the dog a walk. We have hired bikes and taken a ride through the woods before and strolled around the lake with friends after a bacon cob at the cafe. Mr LB has also even taken part in the Parkrun before. In short there is a lot to do at Clumber Park whether you just roll up or head to an event.

More recently I visited as I was in the area and fancied using my National Trust membership whilst there. One of the reasons why I love it, something I wrote more about here. The weather was horrendous and it continued to rain throughout my visit, luckily I had strong boots and waterproofs at the ready, but even still there was plenty to do. Somewhere I had never been into before was the Discovery Centre. I actually thought it was fairly new area to Clumber Park but was informed it has been there for a few years now. Aimed at children, before they are 11 3/4, there are also interesting things for adults dotted around and everyone could learn something.

Clumber Park, National Trust
Clumber Park, National Trust

After a walk to the lake and back I went up to the church. I decided not to go in thanks to my muddy boots and wet coat but it was lovely to see that the church was open to visitors.

Whilst at Clumber Park I also visited their second hand bookshop. I mentioned a few reasons why I love a secondhand bookshop in an Instagram post recently but ultimately it is a great idea to help reduce and reuse for the environment as well as giving the opportunity to read for less; when I looked, books cost 50p to £2, a bargain in my eyes.

Clumber Park, National Trust, Second hand bookshop

No matter where I am visiting if they have a gift shop I am there. The National Trust shops are some of my favourite. They have a mix of food and drink, household cleaning products right through to gorgeous homewares, games and books. At the minute, dare I say it, Christmas is just beginning. My visit to Clumber Park included seeing lovely crafted decorations, festive food that I could have devoured there and then and some inspiring gift ideas. My family this year are trying something new to us, we are limiting ourselves to £20 per person for our Christmas gifts. This to me means one or two gifts and as my parents are also National Trust members my dad would love something for the garden and I’m thinking of a scarf or jewelry piece for mum. As a little something for the both of them and for when we go round on Christmas Day the food hampers looked very tasty. Or you know, a pack of mince pies just for me!

Clumber park, National Trust, shop

I already want to go again for a longer, hopefully drier, walk around the lake and thankfully won’t have to wait too long. If you’d like to see more National Trust adventures check out my Hardwick Hall post or my visit to The Workhouse.

Until next time,

L x

Clumber Park, National Trust

Why I love my National Trust Membership

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Both myself and my husband have been National Trust members for about 5 years now and as the saying goes, “I havent been everywhere but it’s on my list”. National Trust membership to us is no different than that, we would love to visit every destination and will hopefully get the opportunity. One thing about the membership is that you don’t even have to visit everywhere. The National Trust regularly create new events and hold different exhibitions at their locations and houses so you could visit the same grand house and get a different experience each time.

We first started our membership when visiting Hardwick Hall. On the day of our visit we worked out that it was cheaper (we were getting young adult membership) for the two of us to sign up for the year than to have access to both the hall and garden and parking just for that one day. We decided we enjoyed having these days out so much that we wanted to keep the membership going, even as it went to the full adult prices, over the years after.

Hardwick Hall National Trust

During the five years we have visited many places more local to us in the East Midlands area. From Clumber Park and The Workhouse in Nottinghamshire to Winster Market House and Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire we have travelled locally. On visits to the Lake District we have also seen Aira Force and Wray Castle and on our next trip I would love to see the Beatrix Potter locations.

Wray Castle National Trust
Clumber Park National Trust

The National Trust make the smallest homes and grandest houses accessible to the public including gardens and homes and I love that they maintain these places full of history for visitors. My favourite destinations are the ones with plenty of grounds to walk the pooch and follow it up with coffee and cake. As much as we love stopping at their cafes sometimes we like to have a cheaper days out and take some snacks. There’s nothing like opening a packet of biscuits and pouring warm tea from a flask to make me feel cosy on a long walk.

Apart from the cafes some sites have second hand bookshops, from one of which I picked up a great Disney artwork book for 20p a couple of years ago. I truly believe in recycling books in a way that others can enjoy them when you’re done reading. Alongside the bookshops there are also garden and gift shops. From gorgeous blankets and homewares to great food and drinks they’ve got so much to make great presents or perfect home additions.

For us the National Trust membership gives us unlimited days out where we could have a different adventure everyday for a low price. We’ll keep it for a long time and it’s great knowing that we are helping keep these places going and keep the locations well cared for.

If you’d like to see more on days out with the National Trust check out my Hardwick Hall and The Workhouse posts.

Do you have a National Trust membership? Which grand hall, coastline or historic place would you love to visit?

Until next time,

L x

Longleat Safari Park

Longleat Safari Park Cont.

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This is continued so if you haven’t already go see the original Longleat Safari Park post which covers the first few hours of the day and many of the animals that we saw. I soon realised that even though it was only a single day there was too much too include so here we are. Once you’re all caught up…

Before we went around the Safari in the car we took a tour of Longleat House. The house is still lived in by the Thynn family but parts are accessible and are as they would have been in the 19th century. I always find it interesting taking a look back in history and in same way would also love to see how the house has had to change over time.

If you follow me over on Instagram you’ll notice how much I enjoy green spaces. Whether this be gardens, grounds or parks I love walking around seeing the designs and plants. This was especially true at Longleat House where I could have spent all day in the rose garden looking at the glassed orangery. Whenever I am somewhere as huge as this I always try and imagine my days if I lived there. Days off going down to have breakfast in the garden or pruning and pottering when in reality if I did that the garden would become unruly and overgrown in one week flat.

Longleat Safari Park, Bath house

The house tour allows you to go at your leisure, as there isn’t a timed tour but guides in certain rooms to answer questions. It finishes with a wander through the shops and, as I have a soft spot for homewares, loved Emma’s Kitchen where they sold beautiful crockery and foodie treats which I wish I had bought then as I didn’t manage to pick anything up after the Safari drive.

This is where we then got in our cars to head to the Drive Through Safari part of the day. It is a short drive from the house and you can even book a bus drive through the animals if you need one. On arrival at the gates we were also asked if we needed kennels if we had brought a dog so they’re ready for a few instances.

Once through the main gates you can then park up to see the giraffes and go into the Walk with Lemurs. They were in their enclosure with the goats and it was great to see them wandering around, taking food from the keeper (who was happy to chat as we were in there for a while) and running along the ropes above our heads.

Longleat Safari Park
Longleat Safari Park, Lemurs
Longleat Safari Park

We saw the giraffes shortly after with one quite close and the others waiting near the gates either for food or to go to bed. It was coming close to 3.30pm by this time and you could tell that the animals were getting ready to wind down for the night. Next time we would probably go late morning and swap the day around, seeing the house last.

Back in the car it was Safari time. Each enclosure is separated with double gates and the monkeys are one of the first. Surrounding their gate are car alloys and other parts that the cheeky ones have taken from passersby. At this point my husband asked if it was real or just for show and seeing them at work, jumping on and off of cars I don’t doubt that they are actual monkey finds. We got off pretty lightly going through as they had occupied themselves with the bigger car in front and most were sat in groups or with their babies which were very cute.

Longleat Safari Park
Longleat Safari Park, Lion

We slowly continued driving through seeing the lions and tigers and…wolves. The lions were mostly relaxing but with a couple that were seemingly swapping watch roles. In the tiger pen one tiger in particular was walking back towards the gate, closely followed by the keeper vans. It was the wolves that were the funniest with one lying down in the road refusing to move for the cars. He or she eventually got up with a little coaxing from the zebra print land rover so that the queue that had now formed could get past. We all loved the Safari drive but as previously mentioned we’ll go at a different time and probably go a lot slower next time to see more of our favourites. I’m not sure if you can stop for a few minutes but it would be nice to.

If you want to see some more photos of the animals head over to my Instagram @lilybanklife and check out the Longleat highlight.

Have you been to Longleat before? What was your most memorable animal experience?

Until next time,

L x

Longleat Safari Park, Meerkats

Longleat Safari Park

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We recently went on holiday to Center Parcs and while we were there wanted to go down the road and visit Longleat Safari Park. We booked our tickets online the day before and couldn’t wait to see the animals and potentially get our car attacked by the monkeys.

The first stop was Jungle Kingdom. I would probably have to say of the smaller animals the meerkats are my favourite. They seem to have tonnes of character and I could watch them all day. Longleat Safari Park have a fantastic meerkat walk through enclosure where the path goes right through their patch and they can even run straight out in front of you. On this visit there were some watching for predators (none around), some digging for food (plenty to go around) and some burrowing (throwing sand around). They were all adorable and I would go again just for that experience.

Longleat Safari Park, Binturong

Next up and in the same area was the Binturong, I didn’t know what this animal was at first and had to do some reading up on it. The family simply stood and watched as it ate snacks, which looked like sweet potato, sniffed at the air and occasionally walked up and down the tree branches. We then made it in time to watch the parrot show where they performed tricks and skills and it was great to hear that the birds themselves had been rescued showing just a small part of the work that Longleat do into helping animal welfare. The parrots were located in the Animal Adventure section which also included an indoor petting area. On one side of this you could stroke a guinea pig and on the other was a tarantula. My mum, who hates anything like that, actually held the tarantula so a big well done there. The keeper behind the table was very friendly and was happy to answer our questions even though she likely gets asked the same thing five times a day. Power to her.

Monkey Temple was up next and due to the cold weather in the morning they weren’t big fans of coming out to play. I also want to say just here that walking around isn’t just location to location as there are themes and decoration everywhere linking to the area you are in which makes it that little more thoughtful. Monkey Temple was no different with their giant statues and carving detail. It was also another area where the animals could come right out of their enclosure and run around on ropes and trees over head and after a little coaxing with some food one of the little marmosets did in fact come out.

The last immersive experience was the bat cave. I loved it and even though it is a slightly weird feeling when a fruit bat flies so close to you they are actually cute creatures with their fluffy bodies and big eyes.

It wasn’t long before we were hungry so stopped at The Chameleon Tree Restaurant and Coffee House. The food was good at a fair price and I would definitely eat there again next time.

Koala Creek was an interesting visit as I had never seen a koala other than those on tv. They were quiet and enjoying a nap on a tree each. After a long wander round seeing more animals and just generally seeing the sights of Longleat we decided to go on the Jungle Cruise. The animals that we saw here were hippos, or more precisely the tops of hippos, who were clearly having a quiet day between themselves; Monkeys on the centre island and Gorillas in Gorilla Colony. My favourite part of the cruise was without doubt the sealions (and the sassy, quick witted keeper on the mic) which became very excited at the prospect of food. Passengers could purchase fish and feed the sealions who would shout, splash and wave to get our attention. They were individually great characters and I would love to learn more about them and do the Jungle Cruise again next time.

Longleat Safari Park, Koala

There is a lot more to come from our day at Longleat Safari Park as I haven’t even got to the Safari aspect yet! Keep checking back for more animal adventures and our look around Longleat House. If you want to see more photos and videos check out my Instagram or Pinterest.

Until next time,

L x

Hardwick Hall, National Trust

Where to? Hardwick Hall

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About 6 years ago myself and my husband joined the National Trust as young adult members. It worked out cheaper at the time that visiting the house and garden just for the one day and meant we could visit other places too. The time eventually came that we had to become adult members. The cost wasn’t much different and we were enjoying our membership so we still continue it now. We are fairly regular visitors to Hardwick Hall and I personally love the walk up the house along the driveway or the one taking you down to the Five Pit Trails. We are able to sit outside the National Trust cafe with the dog when we arrive at the house and go to explore the gardens afterwards.

Hardwick Hall, National Trust

The house is open on certain days and I visited on one of the days where the main house was closed but the kitchens and surrounding rooms were open to the public. The National Trust are great at sharing historical information with guests and make it suitable for people of all ages. When it comes to facts I am a bitesized chunk reader so appreciate the short stories and information that is dotted around. Hardwick Hall this time had a presentation about the house and groundskeepers who previously worked at the great house. A great snippet I took away was that the Head Housekeeper charged visitors who came to Hardwick wanting to try on a fine coat belonging to the occupants and made a decent amount of money this way. On a previous visit where we were able to go into the main house we found out that the Elizabethan built hall was home to Bess of Hardwick, a woman of wealth and power, and throughout the rooms it told of her story of wanting her granddaughter to take the throne.

Hardwick Hall, National Trust

My last excursion to Hardwick Hall included a stroll around the gardens. Although I have done this before there was a new spot that I hadn’t seen previously after delving a little deeper. The gardeners were out in force mowing the lawns and trimming hedges and I couldn’t help but think what a large undertaking it would be to own the house as one family. You would certainly need a team to come regularly to take care of such large lands and the cost that would surely come with this is practically mind boggling.

Hardwick Hall, National Trust
Hardwick Hall, National Trust
Hardwick Hall, National Trust
Hardwick Hall, National Trust

Another element of a trip to a National Trust site is the shop. I could spend hours in their shops and appreciate that everything chosen is curated to match their ethos. For example on my last two visits with my membership I noticed that they now have a range of household cleaning products that are made with organic ingredients. As a sidenote: I want them all.

Other than the visitors shop some halls and gardens have a second-hand bookshop and a garden shop. When we visited Eyam Hall (when it was taken care of by the National Trust) I found and purchased a Disney Animation book, a fantastic find in my eyes and I don’t believe I would have been able to get this in any local bookshop. Aswell as books I am an avid gardener, I mean, I try to grow things and spend a lot of time ‘pottering’ and not actually doing much of anything. This means I do however enjoy looking at flowers, bee hotels and plant pots until my husband can take it no longer.

Hardwick Hall, National Trust

The Hardwick Estate also includes Stainsby Mill, somewhere where we haven’t yet been so hopefully will be on the agenda soon.

Have you been to Hardwick Hall? Where would you suggest to visit?

Until next time,

L x

Breakfast table at Lane Head Country Farm Guest House

Lane Head Farm

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Our 2 night stay on this trip was gifted but all opinions are my own.

The sun is shining and it’s making me want to plan another adventure up in the Lake District. If you haven’t already make sure to read my previous post on day 1 in Troutbeck and catch up on our visit to Aira Force and our wonderful accommodation at Lane Head Farm.

After another hearty English breakfast at Lane Head Farm and Country Guest House we packed the car up and off we went for the day.

We had heard from our b&b hosts that The Lakes Gin Distillery was only a short drive away so I definitely wanted to visit there before we left. On every trip to the Lake District so far I have managed to bring something back and most of the time it is mini gins for friends and family and always from The Lakes Distillery brand. As it was lunchtime we were a little peckish but with the large breakfast still maintaining our strength I chose to go for a chocolate tart and coffee. Mr C chose a cheese platter and we sat to enjoy the relaxing yet jovial setting. The food was wonderful and looked as appetising as it was. After a bite to eat we visited the on site shop where I simply had to get a branded tumbler. I mean I didn’t have to but I had to.

We took another stroll on our second day too. We had done the same walk with friends previously but somehow managed to get lost and miss our ferry back, (I know, don’t ask) so thought we should probably do the actual route. I wanted a steady walk with the distance but not the height and so that’s what we did at the bottom of Catbells. There were open spaces for Mia to run around – meeting plenty of dogs on the wayand as always, plenty of surrounding views. We made it to a fantastic spot on the lake where we spent a fair while before turning around. There’s something about being in nature with the water and the greenery that is so relaxing that everyone should visit a similar place if they can.

Lake District Dog Walk

It was sadly time to head home after our antics but not without first nipping back to Lane Head Farm and Country house to say goodbye and a huge thank you to our wonderful hosts for the weekend. I honestly couldn’t recommend the b&b enough and we will certainly be back soon.

Until next time,

L x

the entrance to the dog friendly b&b

A Weekend in The Lakes

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Part of this trip was gifted. Our two night stay and dinner at Lane Head Farm were kindly offered to us yet all opinions are my own.

Ok, ok we love the Lake District. It isn’t hard to see with it being on my Instagram, features in my blog and now in prints on the walls around the house. I don’t think we’ll ever tire of the natural surroundings from the hills and beautiful slate buildings to the multiple lakes (or bodies of water, as I’m told) and we’re already planning our next break.

This visit we stayed at Lane Head Farm Country Guest House and we were warmly welcomed right from the start. We had never stayed in Troutbeck before so didn’t really know what to expect but for me it was one of the best locations we’ve ever been in. A short drive into Keswick can get you a day of retail therapy or that last minute walking gear and a little further along can get you to The Lakes Distillery. One of the major location bonuses was the fact that there are incredible views for miles, simple or long walks and you are close enough to choose your hill of choice for that day. Having previously walked Catbells, Blencathra is definitely a ‘to do’ on our next visit.

Lane Head Farm is dog friendly so Mia also got a great greeting. A treat is the way to a chocolate Labrador’s heart and she is no different. Our hosts also thought about Mia in the room too and supplied us with a towel (for muddy paws), treats (for well behaved pups) and a bowl (for forgetful humans). I love additional touches like this and it really makes both us and pooch feel more at home.

Day 1

Well, what morning doesn’t start with a hearty breakfast? Especially one with lots of walking. This meant me and the hubby went full English, I mean we could have gone for fruit and cereals but that’s just not us *see shrugging emoji*. A good 10/10 for breakfast and we were on our way.

When we spoke to David and Suzette the Lane Head Farm B&B owners they were filled with walk suggestions and tips so we took their recommendation of going to Aira Force. Well, wow, I can honestly say it is now one of my favourite places. Being close to the B&B it is a beautifully scenic, National Trust cared for area with waterfalls and streams throughout. We will be going again and taking a different path just to see more of it next time.

After Aira Force, a wet dog and a wet bottom (yes I fell in, casual) we decided we needed food. Another recommendation was a visit to the Dog and Gun in Keswick centre to try their popular goulash. Very tasty may I add and we’ve had it in Budapest itself.

Our next stop was another frequent haunt. There is a garden centre in Ambleside that beats the garden centres near home. On multiple floors and supplying pretty much any gift, home decoration, clothing or garden furniture you could need the place is big and could be an afternoon in itself. It also had a ‘smallest house’ replica so I was content with the cuteness.

As it sometimes (regularly) does in the UK, it rained. This made us completely change our plans and instead of finding somewhere to eat out I pretty much wanted to head back to the B&B where there was a warm shower waiting. After a quick call to Suzette they were happy to squeeze us in for dinner at Lane Head Farm and it was the best decision! Local gammon and egg with chips was just what the day ordered after being out for so long exploring. The rest of the evening was spent with David and Suzette hosting at the bar whilst chatting with us and the other guests. We learnt so much more about the Lake District during that conversation and it was great to sit, chat and meet different people from all over the UK and further afield. I never expected the experience being at a B&B so it was such a welcome extra.

Keep an eye out for Day 2, there’s plenty more to come!

Until next time,

L x