It may have rained then rained some more, but Poppy absolutely loved her very first assignment as #CanineCritic2018 in North Cornwall!
As the Canine Cottages HQ was en route to our Cornwall cottage, we stopped by at their offices to meet the team and more importantly, so Poppy could get lots of fuss, cuddles and tasty treats! You can read all about our visit here.
After meeting the Canine Cottages crew we headed for Appledore, a gorgeous village near to Bideford full of character and colourful little cottages. Although the team at Canine Cottages HQ had fed us plenty of cakes, we just had to stop at Market Street Kitchen, a lovely dog-friendly café on a pretty back street in the village, for our first scone of the weekend.
The sun was shining so we were keen to pack as much into day one as we could to make up for the less than perfect forecast for the rest of the weekend. En route to our cottage, we made a pitstop at Hartland Quay, a remote headland on the South West Coast Path.
We walked for about half an hour along the path to Spekes Mill Mouth, a beautiful waterfall cascading off the clifftop and down to the sea below. As with most coastal paths, it’s not a flat walk with plenty of ups and downs and hills and cliffs, but it was well worth the effort and the rugged rocks along the coastal path are just stunning.
We then headed to our home for the weekend, the lovely Bootlace Barn just outside of Bude. The cottage was a great base for the weekend, with everything we needed from tea, coffee and fresh milk, to wine and cookies! We had a lovely warm welcome from the owner and felt immediately at home with the cosy interior. Poppy quickly found her favourite spot on the sofa by the log burner for a snooze after a busy day of adventures.
We were keen to spend the evening in Bude to see our very first Cornish sunset, and it did not disappoint. We had a lovely sunset walk along Summerleaze beach where Poppy was happy to have a good run around and make lots of new four-legged friends before checking out Bude sea pool, an amazing tidal pool right above the beach filled up twice a day at high tide.
It was only a short stroll past all of the colourful beach huts and along the coastal path to Starboard at Rosie’s Kitchen, a lovely dog-friendly restaurant overlooking Crooklets beach, with beautiful sunset sea views and delicious pizzas from their wood-fired oven.
With day two came the rain, and lots of it, so naturally we headed straight for a pub! When we heard about a pub called The Springer Spaniel near Launceston, we just had to try it out (thankfully they let in cockapoos too!). We had a lovely welcome from their pub puppy Ernie then headed straight for the table by the log fire to dry off. There were treats on hand to keep Poppy happy and a delicious menu to choose from for the humans.
With a short break from the rain, we drove into Boscastle, a small fishing village south of Bude. The cafes were bustling, and it’s definitely the place to go for a dog ice cream with each café serving its own version of the canine cuisine! We decided to explore a bit more of the coastline and took the (very steep) coastal path out of Boscastle and away from the crowds.
The views from the top were spectacular, and a half hour walk along the coastal path brought us to Boscastle Farm Shop and Café, the perfect place to catch our breaths and pick up some treats for Poppy. Although dogs aren’t allowed inside the café and farm shop, they have a great range of dog treats and gifts, and a large garden area to sit outside and enjoy the views.
By morning the rain had almost subsided and we were keen to find another beach so we drove to Duckpool, a quiet and remote beach surrounded by cliffs, and a stone’s throw from our cottage. There aren’t any dog restrictions on this beach, and Poppy absolutely loved it! She immediately started zoomies in and out of the rock pools until she was completely soaked. It was probably our favourite beach of the weekend, a perfect mix of sandy stretches and rocky coves and pools.
Wanting to explore a bit more of Bude itself, we parked up to spend a few hours walking along the canal and wandering around the town. It really is a great coastal town, with so many cafes and independent shops to explore. We also discovered that rowing boats can join wheelie bins on the list of things Poppy is scared of – after coming across a little boat called Poppy, we desperately wanted a picture but she wasn’t having any of it! The rain returned and we quickly found shelter in The Barge, a quirky and very dog-friendly restaurant permanently moored on the Bude canal.
Seeing as we started our trip with a cream tea it was only right that we ended with one! Within ten minutes of starting our journey home, we couldn’t resist stopping at the dog-friendly Docton Mill Tea Rooms for another delicious scone and a quick look at their beautiful gardens before the long journey home.
If Poppy's adventure has inspired you to visit the area, take a look at our range of dog-friendly accommodation in Cornwall and start planning your own pawsome holiday. You could even stay at Bootlace Barn just like our Canine Critic!