Now that most of our Canine Critics’ Awards winners from 2020 have enjoyed their week-long reward and have sent us back their dog-friendly cottage reviews, we thought why not collate them into a woof-worthy blog to see what they were barking about?
From the Isle of Skye all the way down to the Isle of Wight, as well as some places in between, we’ll keep you pup-to-date with all the Critics’ antics, whether you like the idea of finding dinosaur footprints, cooling off under waterfalls or heading to model villages to try and convince yourself that you’re not just a little sausage dog!
Read on below or click the button to fetch the winners’ page.
Sky Lark Lodge, North Devon
Ruff-viewed by: Phil, Niko and Teddy the Alaskan Malamutes
Canine Critics category: The Superstars
“What was most important to us was finding somewhere that accepted three dogs, and not just any dogs…three giant dogs! We needed big open spaces nearby, and a fenced-in area so the dogs can relax outside when we were in the accommodation. Being snow dogs, they love the cool breeze in their fur as much as possible. Sky Lark Lodge did not disappoint!
The shower is a must-have for dogs; it was huge, even by our size standards! The lodge had its own large fenced-in balcony and the dogs loved spending the evenings on it watching the little goslings potter by, just a stone’s throw away on the lake.”
Beach Hut, Eastbourne
Ruff-viewed by: Barrie the Anatolian Shepherd
Canine Critics category: The Rescue
“The criteria for the accommodation were short and simple: beach within walking distance; secure, fenced-off garden; and a good fish and chip shop nearby. The choice turned out to be easy: Beach Hut at Eastbourne ticked off all the boxes plus a few extra – the lovely, dog-friendly Princess Park was less than 2 minutes from the house, and it is on a quiet street with plenty of parking spaces and just a short walk from the town centre.
We were delighted at how spacious and clean the property was! Between just one adult and one dog (the house can host up to four adults and a dog), we had a choice of two beautifully decorated double bedrooms, a large living room area with a TV and very cosy sofas, and a dining room. Fresh milk was waiting in the fridge, which was big (handy if your dog is raw fed like me).”
Mandallagh Cottage, Isle of Skye
Ruff-viewed by: Talyn the Norwegian lundehund
Canine Critics category: The Rarity
“When we arrived at our cottage, we were welcomed by the most amazing sunset. I had been in the car for a while, so I went off to explore the fenced garden. It was huge - and I mean huge! The cottage is big enough for a whole family and two dogs! I am only little, so it was a palace for me.
There were plenty of rooms to explore and a room with a huge window that looked out onto the sea. My mums called it the ‘’viewing room”, it gave us a stunning view across Loch Pooltiel and the 'Little Minch' to the Outer Hebrides. It was our favourite, with two large sofas so you could sit comfortably and just take in all the scenery.”
Yar Brook View, Isle of Wight
Ruff-viewed by: Daphne the Chiweenie
Canine Critics category: The Mini Mutt
“Yar Brook View is a beautifully appointed property within walking distance of the pretty village of Yarmouth and its ferry port. It was lovely to have such a spacious borrowed home. The owners provided a comprehensive guide to the cottage and local area, which was helpful. They also telephoned to check everything was ok, which was very thoughtful. A dog bowl was provided and local yummies for the humans, such as milk, bread, butter, eggs and cake, which was much appreciated.
The highlight for me was the garden, where I spent most of my time – my humans were safe in the knowledge that it was secure. The garden gets the sun all day, so my humans bought me a paddling pool, so I didn’t get too hot.”
Madoc's Barn, Beguildy, Shropshire
Ruff-viewed by: Fredrick and Royston, the golden retrievers
Canine Critics category: The Siblings
"The garden was all secure so there was no need for anyone to keep watch on us. There was even a hot tub but appawrently doggos don’t go in there, which was a shame because it looked really fun. We were right up in the mountains, quite out of the way but the best location for some zoomies!
There were fields all around the barn, which the nice lady who owned the property said we were allowed to roam - there were a few stray sheepies but the fields were so big we didn’t even notice them. The grounds were all enclosed so nobody could escape, and some of the fields were even full of Christmas trees - can you imagine the sniffs?!"
Deepdean Dexters Den, Ross-on-Wye
Ruff-viewed by: Yogi the Newfoundland
Canine Critics category: The Hero
"The complex of accommodations on the grounds are linked to an animal sanctuary. I’m in paradise - how wonderful to be staying in the depths of this peaceful countryside surrounded by all these stunning animals.
To my surprise, as the entrance gates to Deepdean Dexters Den opened, there were two zebras playing in a field, which certainly gave it a WOW factor! And as we drove down towards the car park, we also viewed wallabies, capybaras and reindeer peeping through the fence.
The accommodation we stayed in was a beautiful and cosy cottage, well equipped with everything you require from a dog-friendly accommodation. In the master bedroom, a stone window seat awaited where you could sit and take in the stunning views from the landscape beyond. And wow, a maze in the back garden! How much fun did I have losing the hoomans every morning?!"
Apple Tree Lodge At Talgarth, Crickhowell (10mls N)
Ruff-viewed by: Ronnie the rescue terrier
Canine Critics category: Critics’ Choice
“My favourite part about the lodge was the floor to ceiling glass doors that looked out onto the apple trees in the garden – a perfect place for me to squirrel watch! At the bottom of the decking was a wooden tub filled with really hot water?! My dad called it a 'hot tub'.
The lodge was like a little cosy cabin but remained spacious and modern. It was very different to my house at home as it was made mostly out of wood, an eco-lodge is what my mum called it. We spent most of our evenings chilling out and relaxing (well, I was busy snoozing and taking advantage of the underfloor heating!) in the open plan living/dining/kitchen. It really felt like a second home to me!”
The Old Stables, Glastonbury (8mls E)
Ruff-viewed by: Talyn the Norwegian lundehund
Canine Critics category: The Rarity
"When we arrived, we were welcomed by the owner, who has two lovely Jack Russel terriers. He told us where we could find the local shop, and some nearby walks and pubs. And if that welcome wasn’t enough, we found a bottle of wine (I wasn’t allowed any!), and some lovely pastries in the fridge. Firewood for the wood burner was all stocked up and ready to go too.
Outside, we had a fully secured little courtyard, with an automatic gate. It also had a little seating area and a hot tub! You read that right! A hot tub. Oh my, my mums said it was absolutely lovely to soak in after a full day of exploring. In the evening you can turn on the mood lights making the experience very romantic. It is definitely the selling point of this place. And my mums can’t help but want one now."
Providence House, Kinghorn, Fife
Ruff-viewed by: Filey the border collie cross
Canine Critics category: The Helper
"The flat was on the second storey and it took my people no time at all to follow the arrival instructions and get us inside. I checked out my new pad immediately and discovered not one but two huge windows looking out onto the beach, so even when I was inside, I could still get my tail wagging by admiring the view from the lounge and bedroom.
The bathroom is a place I avoid as it normally means me getting a shower, which I hate, but I did hear the bipeds exclaim in delight at the underfloor heating and large shower. Apparently, there was some lovely smelling soap left as a gift too. They also said the bed was very comfortable, I offered to confirm this by checking it out myself but was told I was not allowed, it was lucky I had bought my own."
Has your dog got the bow-wow factor?
Don’t worry, we’ve got more reviews on their way to keep your tails wagging, so keep an eye out for those, and in the meantime, if you think that your poochy pal has what it takes to be a Critic, make sure you register here.
If your pup keeps hounding you for a holiday, we’re here to help with our full range of dog-friendly properties. Retrieve our collection here.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.