We’ve started the spring season in style with a Holiday of the Month award from Dogs Today magazine!
To celebrate, we’ve spoken to our recent guest Steve Phillips, who has been on many holidays to Blakeney with wife Sam, daughter Sally, and dog Alfie.
Here Steve tells us why their fluffy family member can’t get enough of trips to the Norfolk coast.
Name: Alfie (The Phillips family had planned to get a male puppy and couldn’t bring themselves to change the name when they ended up with a female)
Age: 20 months
Breed: Cavachon (Cross between a King Charles Cavalier and a Bichon Frise)
Personality: Lively, affectionate and loyal
Hobbies: Chasing toys, stealing clothes and sleeping
Picture above: Alfie at Salthouse Beach near Blakeney
Alfie Goes Where We Go
Steve, Sam and Sally love the relaxing atmosphere of Blakeney rather than busy seaside towns.
“We really enjoy the peace and quiet as opposed to places like Sheringham which is a very hustle and bustle seaside area.”
When they first got Alfie 18 months ago, they couldn’t wait take her on wonderful coastal walks.
“There are so many walks along dog-friendly beaches and coastal footpaths, so the holiday is a treat for Alfie as well as us.
“She comes everywhere with us, we’ve never had to leave her in the cottage at any time. Even the local village pub is dog-friendly so we could enjoy a few meals out,” says Steve.
“Now we have Alfie we always try and go on holiday with her. We wouldn’t leave her in kennels as she doesn’t really like other dogs unless she knows them.
“I think we’d worry too much and wouldn’t enjoy the holiday – my wife would be thinking ‘what if she doesn’t like it there’.”
Pictured right: Steve, daughter Sally and little Alfie enjoying a day at the beach.
Relaxing after a Long Walk
After a long walk along the beach, Alfie loves nothing more than to curl up on her blanket and enjoy some much needed ZZZs.
“When we get back to the cottage after fun on the beach, she’ll fall in a heap on the floor and go to sleep.”
Steve and the family have stayed in 2 Garden Cottage and Snowdrop Cottage, both within close proximity of the beach.
“We chose those cottages as we needed somewhere with secure outside space for Alfie. They both had lovely courtyards. 2 Garden Cottage had a nice conservatory too, so we could sit in there and leave the door open for Alfie to wander in and out.
“Security is important for Alfie. She’s run out the front door at home a few times – we have to shout ‘biscuits’ to get her back, which always works.”
A Palace Fit for a Pampered Pooch
The interiors at both cottages were also perfect for Alfie to settle in.
“The modern, homely feel meant we all felt comfortable, including Alfie. She would walk in and feel a bit baffled for a few minutes, but once her toys and blanket were on the floor she was at home.
“In the welcome pack it also said ‘don’t worry about your dog jumping on the sofa’, which made us feel really relaxed. The first thing Alfie does when she walks into a room is jump on the nearest chair.”
Steve prefers to keep Alfie downstairs when possible so she doesn’t steal any clothes or shoes when no one’s looking.
“Snowdrop Cottage had an open wooden staircase, which she didn’t like climbing, so it was nice to not have to worry about that.”
Pictured left: ‘Seeing double’ Alfie (right) and Steve meeting Bonnie, the dog next door at 2 Garden Cottage.
Packing Alfie’s Doggy Essentials
Whether it’s a weekend break or two week holiday, Steve always makes sure Alfie’s essentials are packed:
• Bed or blanket – she’ll sleep on anything that’s hers.
• Food and water bowls
• Cuddly toys – which she soon scatters across every room.
• Tennis ball for the beach.
Pictured right: Alfie on the mini train at Wells-Next-The-Sea – just a short drive from Blakeney
Why Bring Your Dog to Blakeney
Steve offers advice to other dog owners considering a dog friendly holiday in Blakeney.
“I’d say do it. Just take the essentials so your dog has some familiar surroundings, but other than that just enjoy it.
“It’s such a peaceful, quiet location and very picturesque. You can wander for miles along the coast and watch the occasional boat go by. You feel like you’re miles from anywhere, enjoying some quality time with the whole family.”