Family holidays for us really means taking our dog too

We’ve had our dog Barney since he was 6 months old and was left tied up to a bus stop the week before Christmas 13 years ago, at the time we may not have been looking to get a pet however he just kind of fell into our family life perfectly.  Paul was on the phone to the council as they received a call about an abandoned dog, they remembered he liked dogs and the next day Barney came to live with us…with the paper work completed after Christmas.


He fitted into our lives straight away, going into work with Paul daily and weekends being spent on long walks through Epping Forest with us. This was before we had children and we did enjoy a holiday or two yearly so it was only natural for the UK breaks to look for ones Barney could enjoy with us too.

One of the first was one I still remember fondly, our first visit to the Lake District where we stayed on a farm in the middle of nowhere. The owners had their own dogs as well as the sheep in the fields and horses (they had stables so guests could horse ride on the grounds and even have lessons).  All the guests there at the same time as us had their dogs with them. Our accommodation was a lovely 2 bedroom stone cottage.


During that holiday Barney went everywhere with us, if we went into town he came too and was allowed in all of the shops, when we went into the pubs for dinner he came too and when we went on a long hike he also came too – even the one which saw us getting lost and adding another 5 miles to our route. He absolutely loved that holiday even if after those hugely long walks he still wanted an evening walk and we were really shattered and worn out ourselves.

Obviously since having the children holidays with Barney have been a little harder as they need a lot of luggage and not having a huge car limited us on that option, but now they’ve gotten older and no longer need the additional added extras which holidays with young children require such as travel cots, sterilisers and nappies. This means we have added car space now and Barney has been once again enjoying holidays with us.

Only in October we had another family holiday to the seaside to stay in a caravan at Walton on the Naze, this is somewhere we have stayed before and where Harry chose to go for his birthday. Because Barney was coming with us we only had the option to stay in a silver grade caravan, whereas without we usually upgrade to a gold or gold plus – however the caravan was spacious, well equipped and suited us all perfectly despite being really very cold inside not that Barney cared one bit.

He loved that holiday and we spent a great deal of time on the beach and walking around the town, my sister also took her two dogs and came with us so there was a lot of visiting each others caravans. The only time Barney struggled was with the steps up to the caravan as he is 13 after all.

We are now looking at holidays for next year where we are able to take Barney along too – I’ve been reading an article from Bluechip holidays on favourite dog walking locations and have remembered that Cheddar Gorge was somewhere recommended to me by an old friend who always takes her 3 dogs there with her.  I will be taking a look and hopefully that maybe on our to do list for next year.

Of course, Cornwall is always a favourite of ours and Barney has been with us before but I would like to take him and the children back to Coombemill for a family holiday.  We last went when Emmy was 18 months old and I would dearly like to so Harry the joys of staying on the working farm – taking the tractor ride to the farm in the morning to feed the animals and to collect eggs.

“This is a collaborative post”


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