North Norfolk is doggy heaven with expansive beaches, mystical woodlands and dog-friendly pubs galore. The cute and quirky Little Thornage cottage provides the perfect dog-friendly base for exploring the stunning North Norfolk coastline and countryside – all in a beautifully decorated package.
Originally built as two worker’s cottages, Little Thornage has since been tastefully renovated and converted into one handsome property. Although compact- looking from the outside, the interior actually reveals a nice spacious layout that was plenty large enough for two adults and two woofers. The stylish décor was impressive and created a real homely feel to the cottage, with a cosy wood burner in the living room.
However, Little Thornage is also very functional for dogs – with a fantastic entrance hall and shower room greeting you, which was fantastic for cleaning off wet and sandy dogs after a day of scampering across the Norfolk beaches. The whole ground floor is also tiled, so there is no fear of muddy dogs ruined – all in all the perfect mix of stylish enough for humans and dog-proof enough for muddy paws!
The only potential down-side to the cottage was the size of the garden – the cottage is situated on a triangular plot in the middle of three roads (extremely quiet roads – we saw a total of three cars during our stay!), which means that there isn’t a huge amount of outside space for dogs to tear around in. However, for us this wasn’t an issue as they were so tired from exploring Norfolk during the day that we didn’t need much amount of outside space.
PET FRIENDLY PERKS
The owners had added some nice additional touches for their poochy guests – such as some doggy welcome biscuits, a couple of spare dog bowls and a dog blanket (and of course some essential poo-bags). There were also some nice perks for us humans too – a pack of biscuits for us, a pint of milk and some tea and coffee to keep us going upon arrival.
FOOD & DRINK
The well-equipped kitchen and lovely dining room is perfect for a self-catering break if you fancy cooking after a long-day at the beach. The cottage is conveniently located near Holt, which has a fair-sized supermarket as well as some smaller grocers to choose from. Foodies will love Bakers and Larners of Holt – described as the Fortnum and Mason of East Anglia! The traditional food hall is like a treasure trove of goodies – from artisan cheeses and fine wines to sweet treats and cooking essentials.
If you prefer the luxury of being cooked for there are plenty of dog-friendly pubs that serve up some fantastic food in the area. One of our top choices is pretty much on your doorstep at The Kings Head pub in Letheringsett is a short stroll away and serves up some fantastic gastropub style food, with firm favourites in the style of “The Kings Classics” thrown in to keep the traditionalists happy. Our two dogs were made more than welcome as we dined, with a bowl of water and a dog biscuit each. We enjoyed the cosy confines of the pub, but there is a pretty beer garden for warmer days.
If you have worked up an appetite frolicking with the dogs at Wells-Next-the-Sea beach, The Golden Fleece pub in Wells offers up some super-tasty wood-fired pizzas as well as an extensive menu of pub classics and some interesting alternatives – the Jaffa Cake dessert is a must-have. Again, our two dogs were made more than welcome, and fell fast asleep under the table as we tucked in!
WHAT TO DO
Dog owners won’t be at a loss for things to do. Wells-Next-the-Sea is a must at low tide – the beach becomes a vast playground, full of stinky wonders for your dogs to explore. If it really starts chucking it down you can seek shelter in the pine forest that extends along the whole beach – our dogs had a fantastic time tearing through the trees. In fact, all of the beaches along the North Norfolk coastline are dog-friendly year-round, the stunning stretch at Holkham is a wonderful walk – and easy to see why it was chosen as the setting for Shakespeare in Love with its sweeping vistas and rolling dunes. Whilst in the area why not take a walk around Holkham Hall? Dogs are allowed around the estate, though on-lead as there are deer roaming. They are also allowed inside the newly refurbished café as well as the Victoria Pub.
WHAT TO BRING
The cottage is extremely well-equipped for humans and dogs alike. The cottage is self-catering so you will obviously need to bring your own food and toiletries, but other essentials such as washing-up liquid, salt and pepper etc were provided. You will need to bring your pooches’ bed and some towels and you are good to go!
WHEN TO GO
The Norfolk coastline is stunning at any time of the year – it was pretty windy and rainy when we went, but the deserted beaches were still breath taking and the muttleys loved tearing around the dunes.
WHY WE LOVE IT
- Offers all the home-comforts for a cosy break with dogs in-tow
- Perfectly positioned for exploring the nearby beaches, country parks, pretty towns and abundant dog-friendly locations along the North Norfolk coast
KIPPER & RUDI’S VERDICT
Little Thornage cottage was wooftacular – in fact we think it should be our permanent weekend getaway destination. We loved curling up in front of the fireplace after a day playing on the beach.
PRICES & BOOKING
We booked via Holidaycottages.co.uk who offer a fantastic range of dog-friendly holiday accommodation throughout the UK – they even have their own in-house canine critic Sage the Labrador to make sure all the properties are up to her tail-wagging standards. A 3-night break at Little Thornage costs from around £300 – £500 to depending on the time of year and season. There is also a fee of £20 per dog, per week. Book at www.holidaycottages.co.uk.