Look out for us in Dogs Today magazine – we have won another Holiday of the Month Award!
After speaking to our recent fluffy guests Alfie the Cavachon and Badger the Miniature Dachshund, we thought it was only fair to get the bigger picture and feature a larger breed too!

Brodie the Leonberger is one of the largest dogs to have stayed in our cottages. Together with owner Lily Heard and her husband Chas, Brodie regularly visits Blakeney for the brilliant walks and incredible coastline.

Brodie -puppy winter

Pictured above: Brodie’s first ever trip to Norfolk as a puppy was a snowy weekend winters break!

Brodie’s Profile

Age:  5 Breed: Leonberger Location: Lincolnshire Personality: Laid back, friendly, a real softie! Hobbies: Swimming, long leisurely walks on the beach, meeting other dogs and generally chilling out!

About Brodie the Leonberger

 Nicknamed the gentle giant, Leonbergers have a calm, affectionate nature and Brodie is no different.

“Brodie looks like a big fluffy teddy bear, so he gets a lot of attention, especially in Blakeney because everyone there seems to be a dog person,” says Lily.

“He’s not really bouncy or interested in playing, he’s is a laid back guy who just loves to relax. Activities aren’t really Brodie’s scene, but he does enjoy a leisurely walk or swim and he loves the sea.”

Brodie - beach in winter

Pictured above: Brodie relaxes on Holkham beach on a winters day. 

Leonbergers are intelligent, brave and agile creatures who love the water. Because of this many are trained in water rescue and make excellent working dogs.

“Swimming is one of Brodie’s favourite things to do on holiday. When we’re walking along the coast you’ll often find him in the sea or paddling at Blakeney Quay.” 

Holidays with Our Gentle Giant

Over the past few years Lily has visited Blakeney six times, either for holiday with extended family or short break with her husband. The family love the outdoors, which makes North Norfolk a perfect destination.

“We’re all outdoorsy people, so we do a lot of walking, visiting the beaches and taking in the sea air.

“In Blakeney you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to walks. Holkham Beach definitely stands out for me. No matter how crowded the car park, the beach is never busy.”

Brodie and other dog

Pictured above: Brodie makes friends on Holkham Beach during a winter holiday.

For Lily, North Norfolks general enthusiasm for dogs really makes the holiday.

“The local people are so friendly and accommodating to Brodie. Many pubs, restaurants and cafes are dog friendly as is the local bus service ‘The Coasthopper’. The Anchor Inn in Morston, The Wiveton Bell and The Salthouse Dun Cow in particular are great as they serve superb gastro pub food and are very dog friendly.”

Brodie’s quirky character always goes down well with the locals.

“The landlords are a big fan of Brodie. On one occasion Brodie decided to stand upright on his back legs and put his front paws on the bar waiting to be served. Everyone thought that was hilarious,” says Lily.

Holiday Accommodation for Mountain Dogs  

As Leonbergers are classed as giant dogs, it’s important that Lily finds a holiday cottage which accommodates Brodie’s large size which can be a challenge.

“Plenty of living space is essential for Brodie as well as a good sized garden. I always look for a stylish, luxury finish. I don’t want to come on holiday and be disappointed by the standard of interiors just because I have a big dog.”

“It can be really difficult to find quality accommodation that will allow a dog the size of Brodie… The first time I spoke to The Blakeney Cottage  Company I knew I had found something really special. Not only did they know what a Leonberger was, which is unusual, they took time to talk me through numerous houses and why each one might suit us as well as Brodie. They know their houses inside out, are always friendly and they genuinely cared about finding the right  house for us! Now when we call to re-book they always ask after Brodie!”

Brodie - sunshine

Pictured above: Brodie sunbathing in the garden at Barn House.

Barn House is Lily’s favourite dog-friendly accommodation for its spacious, homely design.

“We have stayed in a few houses with The Blakeney Cottage Company now and they have all been fab but I would say Barn House stands out for us. It has a lovely garden for Brodie to roam around in, the house itself is also large and done up to a really high standard with beautiful decor (I’ve stolen plenty of ideas for my own home). Also it’s only two minutes from one of our favourite walks along the Coastal Path.

“The rules for the Blakeney Cottage Company are that dogs aren’t allowed on the furniture or in bedrooms, which is fair. Brodie’s bed is nearly as big as my own and luxurious enough. He’s always completely at home there.”

A Friendly, Beautiful and Perfect Destination

Lily has been on many dog-friendly holidays to places like the Lake District, Cornwell and Devon, but says Blakeney is her firm favourite.

“One of our major concerns when taking Brodie on holiday is that we can include him in the majority of activities – in North Norfolk that’s never been a problem. That’s why we keep going back.

“Not forgetting of course, North Norfolk is one of the driest parts of the UK – a real bonus,” says Lily.

“We love Blakeney and can’t wait for our next visit to Barn House this September.”