This week on Pawfect Weekend I am delighted to welcome our youngest ever guests! At 7 months and 3 months, Tasha and Jack must have their hands full. Carry on reading to find out about their Pawfect Weekend at home in Derbyshire, as well as away in Whitby and Stratford-upon-Avon. Thanks for being our guests guys – now you can go back to terrorising your parents! They have their own blog which you can find here.
1) Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
We are Jasper and Effie and we are so excited to tell you about our Pawfect Weekend plans! We live with our hoomin helpers: Tasha, who is a student veterinary nurse, and Jack who is an engineering apprentice.
I am Jasper, and I am almost 7 months old. I am a cross between a Jack Russell Terrier and a Toy Poodle (which is affectionately referred to as a “Jackapoo”!). My favourite activities include long hikes in the countryside, playing fetch and digging holes!
Effie is my new best buddy, the hoomins were just fostering her but she became a foster fail and will hopefully be staying with us forever now! She is only about 3 months old and is an Australian Kelpie/Border collie mix. She’s super crazy and likes getting as mucky and soggy as possible- she’s a real wild child and the hoomins are proud of me for teaching her the ropes.
2) What is your favourite dog friendly town or city in the UK?
So far Stratford upon Avon has been my favourite city break!
I got to ride on an open top tour bus with the hoomins which was so much fun. I recommend sitting at the back so you get all the wind and smells in your face and ears! I was also allowed to visit lots of beautiful gardens (Anne Hathaways cottage gardens are particularly stunning!). I wasn’t allowed in the houses but there was plenty for me to do while the hoomins took turns going inside. The staff were so nice to me and even gave me a couple of treats!
We had a lovely walk down the banks of the River Avon. If you walk far enough there are some fields which are popular with the local dogs and their hoomins and you can run around off lead with them for a little while. We found everyone to be really friendly!
On the way back up we walked around the town square, there are lots of things to do here- shopping, sculptures to look at, places to sit and take in the pretty surroundings and most importantly places to eat!
Our suggestion would be a lovely 18th-century pub called The Black Swan but affectionately also known as the Dirty Duck. If you’re lucky you might meet a famous actor or actress as it is close by to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. The food is your usual pub grub but is well priced and the service is quick and friendly. The pub is dog friendly outside and in the bar area – it is very popular so you may want to book ahead.
3) Can you tell us about your Pawfect Weekend at home?
We live in Derbyshire and are so lucky to be only a short drive away from many of the gorgeous views and adventures available in the Peak District.
Our Pawfect Weekend would start on Saturday morning with a hike in the Goyt Valley. The Goyt Valley has it all: open fields, hills and heather, woodland and reservoirs. It is the perfect place to go for stunning and accessible views. There are walks to suit all abilities, from young pups to active adults.
We would stop for lunch on our way back at The Red Lion in Bakewell, a local dog friendly pub with delicious food. After a quick pop around the shops in Bakewell we would return to the car over the Lovelock bridge.
As it is our ‘Pawfect Weekend’ we would still have bounds of time and energy for an afternoon stroll at Dovedale. Dovedale is most famous for its iconic (always busy) stepping stones across the stream, and Thorpe Cloud for those who fancy a hike up the incline. If you walk along the easy to follow tracks there are plenty of bridges, caves and side tracks to follow to get away from the busier areas. All that’s left on the agenda for Saturday is lots of snoozing to get ready for our Pawfect Sunday.
Sunday morning we would rise and shine early to make our way up to Mam Tor. Mam Tor is a large hill in the Peak District with panoramic views of Snakes Pass, Castleton and other surrounding areas. If you’re up for it you can hike up the hill and back down to Castleton, where there are plenty of dog friendly attractions including the visitor centre, pubs and plenty of shops. There are also some caves to visit nearby too!
After a well earned nap at home, we would head out for lunch at Swarkestone garden centre. Dogs are welcome in the outdoor seating areas. After lunch we would go for a jolly at either Mercia Marina to browse all the the shops, or up to Foremark Reservoir for sandy fun.
Foremark is a favourite as we are at least a two hour drive away from a beach, so Foremark’s man made ‘fake’ beaches are appreciated greatly! On the way back home we would stop at one of the pubs on the Trent and Mersey canal for a drink as the sun goes down.
4) Can you tell us about your Pawfect Weekend away from home?
As we live so far away from the coast, our ideal weekend away from home would have to include a seaside visit! The hoomins have visited Whitby without us and said it was amazing. They saw lots of dogs with their families having a great time. We would start off with ice cream for breakfast and an early morning stroll down to the beach for a dig and a run about on the dog friendly section of the beach.
We would then visit Whitby Abbey, and take in all the ruins and views there before walking back to the town centre for lunch and an amble around the shops. We would finish the day off with fish and chips and a play in the arcade before driving to York for an overnight stay in a dog friendly hotel.
Sunday morning would be spent walking around the walls of York, visiting the minster and the beautiful surrounding gardens. The market stalls and shops in York would be our next call, and we would get dinner at The York Roast before returning home.
5) What do you look for when you are choosing a place to go away to?
Plenty of easy to find local walks, especially woodland, beaches and trails. Dog friendly places to stay, eat and rest are always top of our wishlist, as well as easy parking.
6) Do you have any top tips for travelling with your dog?
Our main tip is get them used to short journeys, and build it up. Having a familiar scent helps, so try and take a favourite blanket or their bed with you. Our essentials for travelling also include a travel bowl and something to keep them occupied.
7) What items would you never travel without?
- Hoomin and dog first aid kits
- Towel/blankets/dog bed
- Baby wipes
- Spare lead and collars
- Dog treats (and bribes!)
- Camera and accessories
I am a bit of an over-packer so I take more than I need!
8) Any other dog friendly gems or fabulous adventures you would like to tell us about?
Elvaston Castle is lovely for people and dogs alike. Poppy Wood is a local enclosed national forest area perfect for all lead dog walks for those still learning recall. Fraisthorpe and Bridlington are some of our favourite beach areas to visit and are very dog friendly.