As we near the end of 2017, we’ve been reminiscing about our first 12 months with Cooper. At the end of July, we booked our first ever dog-friendly short break in sunny Hunstanton.
For our first mini break with Cooper, we opted for the beautiful dog-friendly location of Norfolk. In July, we booked a last minute, one night stay at The Lodge, in Old Hunstanton, including breakfast and dinner. A seemingly popular offer for this well located, beautifully styled hotel, restaurant and bar.
We arrived in Hunstanton at lunchtime and braved the darkening skies to venture 5 minutes down the road to the beach. Most people were heading in the opposite direction by this point but with waterproof jackets and an excitable pup ready to play, we followed the signs and wasn’t disappointed.
It was Cooper’s first time on the beach, his first encounter with both sand and sea, and he loved it! We walked the stretch of beach towards new Hunstanton, exploring rock pools and taking photos. A light drizzle passed overhead and we picked up the pace into the town. Once there, Cooper was leading the way and trying to smell everything he could in his new surroundings. It was fairly crowded but he was well-behaved, phew!
After walking the length of the promenade, we picked up ice creams from East Coast Gelato (sadly they don’t make dog-friendly ones, oops) and turned our tired legs around. We made it as far as the lighthouse (a few miles away from the hotel) when the heavens opened and we got absolutely drenched! Thankfully we managed to take refuge in a nearby public toilet block with a family who was also soaked through. I’ve never seen Cooper that wet besides bath time! As with a typical English summer, it didn’t take long for the sun to come back out and we found a shortcut back to the hotel. Strangely enough, we were pretty much dry by the time we got in.
Accommodation at The Lodge is split between the main hotel and their courtyard rooms, however only the latter are dog-friendly. Not a problem for us though, as the courtyard rooms were all stunning and located on the side of the property in a private area. Ideal for when Cooper needed to nip out and do his business.
Due to the last minute nature of our booking, we were allocated The Snug and actually couldn’t have been happier with the selection. Who doesn’t love a superior room?! It had everything we needed, and then some, plus Cooper was well looked after too – there was a dog blanket, dog bowls and treats in the room for him!
That evening we ate in the bar at The Lodge, as we’d pre-paid as part of our package. There was a slight mix up with our table reservation but the staff were really helpful and soon located another table for us in the dog-friendly part of the bar (dogs aren’t allowed in the restaurant area).
Cooper had already eaten his dinner, after an action-packed day, and quickly stowed himself under the table to watch the world go by. He got plenty of attention from the waiting staff, which is a regular occurrence when we go out! We ate 3 courses – including some of the nicest steak we’ve ever had – and enjoyed a cocktail or 2 before retiring for the night.
As this was our first night away with Cooper, I wasn’t sure how he was going to behave but I needn’t have worried. He was good as gold and I don’t think he could believe his luck when his bed was put next to ours! Cooper normally sleeps downstairs at home and, in the early days, he hated being separated from us.
The next day we ate breakfast in the bar area, checked out and packed up the car, before heading back down to the beach. With only being away for a short time, we wanted to make the most of the beautiful surroundings. Once on the beach, we walked in the opposite direction to the day before and explored the Nature Reserve managed by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust.
Cooper went back in the sea but only when chasing his ball; he didn’t seem all that fussed about it, despite our encouragement to go swimming! For the moment he remains very much a land dog. Sand dunes anyone?
We thoroughly enjoyed our mini break in Hunstanton and would recommend The Lodge to anyone – whether you have a dog or not! The rooms were lovely, staff were friendly and the food was delicious. We stayed mid-week and the bar was always bustling with people, both eating and drinking, which created a nice atmosphere.
Is there somewhere you would recommend in Norfolk to visit with our four-legged friend? Send us a message and we’ll check it out.
Photo credit: Ben Squire