To celebrate our second award from Dogs Today magazine, we spoke to guest Abi about dog-friendly holidays with her pampered pooch named Badger.

Abi Stacey, 32, from Essex, can’t get enough of holidays with husband Phil and their Miniature Dachshund, Badger.

Badger 2Badger’s Profile:

Age: 3
Gender: Male
Breed: Miniature Dachshund
Personality: Feisty, super-friendly, high-maintenance, a real prince.
Hobbies: Exploring in the garden, walking, trips out in his dog travel bag, snoozing under his blanket – even on a hot day.

“We called him Badger because dachshund means badger dog in German. Dachshunds are bred for badger hunting in Germany, while the miniature ones are bred for rabbit hunting. We thought the name Rabbit was too girly and Badger suits him beautifully,” says Abi.

Badger is Part of Our Family

For business owner Abi, Badger is a big part of her everyday routine, so when it comes to holidays she can’t imagine not taking him with her.
“He stays with me at my homeware shop all the time. He’s got a huge fan base – it’s actually quite a good sales technique because people will come in on a regular basis to see him.

“He’s like our child and I can’t imagine going on holiday without him.”

Phil and Badger

Pictured above: Badger and Phil striking a pose.

The pampered pet even went on the couple’s honeymoon to France.
“We got him a pet passport and drove all around France as a family. He loves exploring and having our full attention, so holidays are a real treat for all of us.”

Blakeney is our Favourite Holiday Destination

Abi’s friend who’s also a dog owner recommended Blakeney as a great holiday destination where they could take Badger.
“We stayed in Lodge Cottage near Holt for a week last September. The garden was perfect for Badger as it was enclosed and there was plenty of room for him to run if we didn’t feel like going on a long walk.”

The quaint, cosy style of this charming cottage was perfect for them.
“I love little, snugly houses. I’ve always been drawn to them and they suit Badger brilliantly with him being so small.
“It was nice to have such a wide choice of dog-friendly accommodation and you could tell they were all lovely properties. You don’t often get that with other cottage companies,” says Abi.

North Norfolk is Abi, Phil and Badger’s favourite holiday destination.
“Suffolk, Cornwall and Devon are also really good dog-friendly places. I have to say though Blakeney was fantastic and really stood out for us.”

Dog-Friendly Activities on the North Norfolk Coast

For the Stacey family, the great thing about Blakeney is all the dog-friendly activities they can enjoy together.

Abi and Badger

Pictured above: Abi and and Badger getting ready to see the seals.

Seal Watching:
You can visit the Common and Grey seals in their natural environment at Blakeney Point.
“We went seal watching and took Badger with us, which was great fun. It was quite funny watching his reaction when he saw the seals – he was very confused as to what they were. Everyone on the trip found him very amusing.”

Coastal Walks:
The picturesque, dog-friendly beaches make Blakeney a brilliant place for fluffy family members.
“All the beaches were amazing. Badger loves playing in the sand. He’s got gorgeous short, silky fur, so any sand or dirt just brushes off him, which is really handy.
“The stony beach in Cromer was one of our particular favourites.”


Pictured above: Badger enjoying a stroll along the coast.

Nature Reserves:
Just west of Snettisham beach is the RSPB Snettisham Nature Reserve where you can enjoy spectacular scenery while walking or bird watching with your dog.
“The reserve didn’t mind us bringing Badger as long as he was kept under control. It made a nice change being able to see other animals and take Badger with us.”

Shops, Pubs, Restaurants and Cafes:
Blakeney is full of dog-friendly pubs, restaurants and cafes – perfect for Badger, who hates to miss out on anything.
“You can tell Blakeney is dog orientated because a lot of the shops and cafes put bowls of water outside for any thirsty dogs.
“Badger came everywhere with us and we even managed to sneak him into the cinema in Cromer with his dog travel bag. That’s the great thing about having such a small dog.”

Abi and Phil also took Badger with them to lavish evening meals out at restaurants like The Pigs and The Gunton Arms.
“The owner of The Gunton Arms was an art collector, which we’re really interested in so that was lovely. They had a dog-friendly area so we could enjoy a nice meal and still have Badger with us.”

Abi and Badger 2

Pictured above: Abi and Badger enjoying the scenery on their seal watching trip.

Even Dogs Need a Break Sometimes

Dogs love nothing more than your care and attention. As a big part of the family, it makes sense to bring your pooch along on a relaxing getaway.
“I always feel really sad when people don’t take their dog away with them, because it’s a wonderful thing to experience. I think everyone should try it,” says Abi.
“Blakeney is a fun, relaxing, gorgeous place. Badger most certainly enjoyed his stay, and we can’t wait to go again.”