Planning Our Next Trip – To Where?

TRAVEL, UK Places

I’ll start this post by saying our ‘next trip’ would have been Walt Disney World Florida and I have written plenty about that here. It is unfortunate that we can’t go as planned but we aren’t the only ones and it is for the best at this time. That does not stop us from planning our future Disney trip and plenty of others that we would love to do too.

For the last two years we have enjoyed a Winter holiday with our friends and their adorable cockapoo, Ares. At first we spent our time in Yurts in the Lake District with the second in a hotel in the Cotswolds. These breaks (as they would with dogs) are largely spent on walks or in dog friendly pubs. As the world might be back travelling come Autumn/Winter a dog friendly break will be more than welcome. I would love to see Scotland or even get on the channel tunnel and head to France depending on when and cost.

If we are not able to safely travel until next year then we will definitely be thinking about rebooking our Florida holiday. This will depend on Disney’s most popular times, (we wouldn’t want to pick a highly popular date) holidays available at work and how much flights and hotels will be in the new year.

Travelling in Derbyshire

I already know my husband really wants to get back to the Lake District. He’s a walking kinda guy and misses the great outdoors after a while. Before we drop a lot of money on a bigger holiday we may have to plan a weekend break up in the Lakes to involve plenty of walks, fresh air and good food. 

This also goes for the Peak District. We are lucky enough to live within a couple of hours drive of the Peak District so this will be a day trip for us, most likely on the motorbike as it will need a run after being stood for so long. 

That is it for now. From the above we have possible trip ideas for a day, a weekend, a week and a fortnight. When all this is over we will hopefully be healthy and in a position to travel again to one (or all) of the options above.

Do you have any travel wish lists?

Chocolate labrador dog in the Lake District

Camping With Dogs

TRAVEL, UK Places

This post contains affiliate links.

Last Autumn we went on a group holiday with two friends and their adorable cockapoo. We planned on keeping our trip to the Lake District fairly cheap and decided to camp or ‘glamp’ in yurts for the week.

Camping with a pooch isn’t all new to me. We used to take our family German Shepherd camping for the weekend but I can’t say I was a responsible adult at the time (still not sure, jokes) and don’t remember the whole ‘letting out’, ‘stopping barking’, ‘escaping under the door’ details.

Tents are a little odd sometimes. You’re basically in an open field miles from nowhere without a lock on your front door. You wouldn’t do it on your house so I have no idea why we do it or not on our tents. Apparently we’re more trustworthy in the wild. This also proves problematic when you add a dog to the mix as most tents zip to the floor and a dog can figure out once the nose is under the canvas it can probably wiggle right out. Locks can be added if there are two zips on the door, just make sure you know the code/have the keys when you do that first unzip and run to the loos first thing in the morning.

We are lucky Mia either doesn’t know how to escape or that she doesn’t want to but I’ve seen other dogs behave differently. A friends’ dog we went camping with wanted to be with mum and he would go through the tent door at any time she was away, the lock on the door was a rope that you slipped over a wooden ground peg.

Chocolate labrador in the great outdoors

Although not a runner Mia does tend to get up on her high horse about every noise outside. Whether it’s as simple as a look up towards the noise or a bark to let any dangerous intruder/random normal passer-by know we are in there she is all about the alertness. It’s great for us and we know our backs are covered but it can get a little noisy first thing. With Mia in this situation reassurance is key.

I’ll be doing some more on dog holidays soon but if you’re yet to catch up see my dog packing blog post or for something a little more glam than camping try a Weekend in the Cotswolds.

Until next time,

L x

Mia in her dog friendly holiday accommodation

How We Choose A Dog Friendly Stay

TRAVEL, UK Places

I am starting to strongly believe that there are millions of hotels, b&b’s, youth hostels and airbnb’s in the UK alone, no, billions even. So how do you pick where to stay? What to see? Add on to that taking a dog and well it’s another ball game altogether. That is why I decided to put together a little something about how we choose a dog friendly stay.

Choosing where to go.

We have a couple and their cockapoo pooch who we love to go on dog holidays with. Going with another dog-friendly couple for me makes the holiday a little bit easier for a couple of reasons. One of these being we’re not stopping anyone from doing anything. I would hate to be that person that had to say we couldn’t do a certain thing or go to a certain place because we have a dog and dogs aren’t allowed in. Don’t get me wrong if we chose to go on holiday with someone we would kind of expect them to understand but I may still feel like that sometimes. Another reason being they ‘get it’. If your dog starts sniffing the lamppost and the whole group comes to a halt or you have to constantly pull your dog back because ‘no, not everyone who walks in the pub wants to stroke you’.

When we choose where to stay we do tend to look for places known for their dog friendly areas that include lots of walking but somewhere with a town because the four of us are not really into cooking. The areas we have either been or have looked into are The Cotswolds, Lake District and Cornwall and for the next holidays we are likely going to stay in Scotland and see what further North has to offer.

Choosing where to stay.

As two couples we have previously stayed in tents, yurts and hotels. I must say now I think the future will include more hotels, bed and breakfast accommodation and/or holiday cottages as we have decided we thoroughly enjoy those extra comforts. Booking these we either look on sites such as Petpyjamas, HolidayCottages or Airbnb/Booking.com and select the pets allowed option. We have to be aware and read the small print on if the accommodation charge extra for dogs staying in the room. I have seen places charge anything from £10-£30 for a dog staying which I can only guess goes to room cleaning, what I don’t quite understand is the room should be cleaned properly anyway but that’s a question for another day. Some places offer dog friendly rooms for no extra charge and we’ve recently booked through PetsPyjamas as they ensure dogs go free.

Mia the chocolate labrador in the Cotswolds

Choosing what to do.

We always check the local area for nearby walks or places we can park the car and jump out and explore. The best place we have found doing this and going for a super long dog walk is probably the Lake District but there are plenty of walks in other places we go too. After walks we need to make sure the places we want to eat are also dog friendly. Sometimes we’ll have a walk around town and just check signs in pub windows to see if they allow dogs and other times if we are travelling into somewhere I’ll do a bit of an online search to make sure we’re not going to go hungry whilst visiting a local town. During our last dog friendly holiday they were allowed in the bar area and not the restaurant. This was fine by us as we could still bring the pooches and the bar area was cosy with the hotel team giving the dogs a fuss whenever they passed. As breakfast was served in the restaurant we couldn’t take the dogs with us but as this is a quicker affair (so we can head out for the day) we either put the dogs in the car or left them in the room. Another bed and breakfast we have stayed at dogs were not allowed to stay in the room alone. This meant one morning we bought Mia down for breakfast, no one else was in the b&b, and the second morning (due to her not settling with people coming in and out and she’s a greedy chocolate labrador) we popped her in the car where she is more than comfortable.

If you haven’t already check out my posts on dog friendly stays that we have been on or my thoughts on finding dog friendly accommodation. Our previous trips include stays in the Lake District and the Cotswolds which have all been great so now excuse me but I’m off to plan our next holiday!

Until next time,

L x

Bakewell, Derbyshire

My 2020 Travel Plans

TRAVEL

This year I have been very excited about planning holidays, getting destination inspiration and making packing lists for trips that are months away. You may have read my previous post on how travel plans can give me the fear most of the time but I am really trying to take those nerves and turn it excitement. I heard once that these feelings give the same reaction in the body and you can decide which to feel. Whether it is true or not I’m running with that.

So let’s begin…

Soon I’m going to Birmingham. The city is calling me and I love heading to Brindley Place for a nice lunch, going shopping in the Bullring and maybe even a little visit to the Disney section in Primark to get ready for our big holiday this year.

Birmingham, Brindley Place, Travel Plans

Next on the list is somewhere we have been before, read more here, but Camber Sands is a lovely beach, quiet early on in the year and the nearby town of Rye, featured quite heavily on Instagram lately is a lovely place to visit. A beautiful historic town with cobbled streets and picturesque cafes is exactly what I’ll be looking forward to in the next few months.

Chocolate Labrador, Beach Trip

Our big holiday this year is to go to Florida. This was my Christmas present from my husband and it is one of my dreams to spend two weeks in the Disney parks, Universal Studios and enjoying that Florida sunshine. We will be doing lots of saving up and I can’t stop talking about it to my friends and family and watching all the tip videos on YouTube.

I think then we’ll take quite a break from travelling. Summer should be good in the UK if it’s anything like it was last year and we can enjoy our garden with bbqs with friends and family and I am determined to do a car boot this year. If the weather is good too we shall also be doing a lot of dog walks. Our favourite places to go are in the Peak District or up in the Lake District so we might fit in a night away somewhere, maybe even go camping.

Millers Dale, Chee Dale,  Monsal Trail, Derbyshire

Our last plan is to go to the Canary Islands on a family holiday later in the year. We’ve been somewhere with my parents for the last two years so we shan’t stop now.

That’s all for the moment. I’m looking forward to each trip and using that excitement rather than the nerves that usually rear their heads. We’ve got something to save and work hard for this year and I’m using each one for drive. We are also super lucky to have all these plans and have family that won’t get sick of us for a whole week!

Have you got any travel plans this year?

Until next time,

L x

Clumber Park, National Trust

Why I love my National Trust Membership

TRAVEL, UK Places

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

Breakfast table at Lane Head Country Farm Guest House

Lane Head Farm

TRAVEL, UK Places

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

TRAVEL, UK Places

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

Winter in Windermere

TRAVEL, UK Places

In April 2016 we planned a trip to Windermere over Easter. My partner proposed to me on this break so it became a place that meant something to both of us. As a surprise Christmas getaway my now fiancé booked us into the Lyth Valley Country Inn for a relaxed weekend away.

On arrival to the Inn we were greeted with Christmas trees and decorations that made our welcome feel very cosy. We had afternoon tea on arrival consisting of a scone and coffees, just what was needed from a 3 hour drive and the drizzliness outside. They lit the fire, it was quiet outside and we felt immediately relaxed and very cosy.

When we arrived we were also told we had been upgraded and this would be music to anyone’s ears surely? Our room was decorated with blue tartan upholstery, wooden furniture and of course, a Christmas tree! The room was what we named “The Duck Room”, I’m not sure if this was its official title but it had duck photos on the walls so it seemed fitting.

Breakfast at the Inn was beautiful on both days. The first day we tried the bacon and maple syrup pancakes and Full English and the second day poached egg and salmon, along with the continental breakfast that was laid out. The evenings meals were also delicious, the photos can not and do not do them justice.

On our full day in the Lake District we visited Ambleside and Windermere. Both were places we had visited before so knew where to head and love both for their quirky shops, their gift shops and of course their outdoor gear shops. My favourite gift shop from the weekend was Love the Lakes where we bought some Christmas presents and of course, a little something for ourselves.

Sunday was our return home day but not before we visited Manchester Trafford Centre for some Christmas shopping. I didn’t realise how big it was and we had to have a Five Guys stop (no complaints here) before we carried on.

If you have visited the Lake District or any other part of the countryside you have enjoyed, tell me about it, I’m sure I’ll want to visit.

Until next time,

L x