Apple Tree Cottage review by Darcy and Darla: Canine Critics 2022 winners holiday cottages

Canine Critic

Apple Tree Cottage review by Darcy and Darla: Canine Critics 2022 winners

Darcy and Darla 06 June 2023

Intrepid Canine Critics 2022 winners, Darcy and Darla, have been on their third pawsome adventure of 2023 to review another one of our dog-friendly cottages.

Having been to Ghillie’s Cottage in the Highlands of Scotland, then Tyffynon in the Brecon Beacons earlier in the year, this time they headed to Apple Tree Cottage in Dorset. The weather was kind for their entire holiday and they fell in love with the picture-postcard cottage.

To stay up to date with the fun-loving duo’s latest antics, follow them on Instagram – @darcyanddarla. And if their Dorset trip inspires you to book a holiday in the area for you and your canine chum(s), then browse our full range of dog-friendly cottages in Dorset by clicking the button below and sniffing out the perfect holiday home for you.

Canine Critics’ review of Apple Tree Cottage

Apple Tree Cottage - dog outside with toy in mouth

We arrived in Dorset in the beautiful sunshine and were very lucky it stayed around for our entire stay. The cottage is a fairy-tale thatched roof property hidden away down a narrow track in a quiet village. All you could hear were birds chirping ... no traffic, no street noise, just nature.

The cottage

Darcy and Darla napping in front of wood burner

The cottage felt like it was out of a storybook with its traditional features and a huge, beautiful, secure garden for us to run around and play in! We made the most of the garden every day while the humans relaxed or had a game of table tennis in the games room. The kitchen was equipped with everything we could possibly need, with a fridge/freezer for our food and a large oven for family dinners. Through the kitchen sits the dining room/living room which we spent a lot of time in at night watching movies all cosy in front of the wood burner.

After long days exploring Dorset, we were very happy sleeping in front of the fireplace with our comfy beds and blankets. Upstairs were two double rooms and a bunk bedroom for the humans to sleep in. There was also a bathroom with a modern shower and a large bath. The whole cottage has exposed beams, making it feel even more comfortable and homely!

The area

montage of dogs out and about

The village of East Chaldon is very small and quiet, but it does have a pub a short walk from the cottage and it’s, of course, dog friendly in the bar and the large beer garden. The location of the cottage was one of our favourite parts because you can walk straight to the most beautiful places right from the front door. Main attractions such as Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove are a 10-minute drive away or an hour’s walk with some stunning views along the way – well worth the walk at least once!

Darcy and Darla at Durdle Door

Durdle Door is obviously famous for its unusual rock formation and gets busy but, if you get there early, you will beat the crowds. Mum took some pretty photos of us in front of Durdle Door and we loved running around on the beach! On the other side of the rocks, there is another beach called Man O’War which is also dog friendly all year. This beach was much quieter and we had the best time playing in the sea and walking along taking in the views. There are also giant rocks that are encrusted with fossils; it was so interesting to see them up close and personal. You can walk directly from Durdle Door to Lulworth Cove along the coastal path and you’ll get to see the beauty of the Jurassic Coast along the way – there’s nothing quite like it!

Darcy and Darla in Dorset

Lulworth Cove is a place we could spend every single day and never get bored. It’s a beautiful small gem with so many thriving small businesses and things to do. The cove itself is perfect for swimming, paddleboarding or kayaking as it’s incredibly calm compared to the wider ocean. Mum was sad she didn’t bring her paddleboard, but we made the most of it with lots of swimming and splashing around every chance we got. There are also ample places to hire equipment to use on the cove and boat rides too.

We ate at the same place twice during our stay, it was so good! It’s called Lulworth Cove Inn and the humans enjoyed different meals there each day in the beer garden while we were treated to their doggy ice cream – yum! There were also lots of beautiful walks you can do up towards the coastal path above Lulworth Cove to take in views of the ocean and the stunning cliffs along the coast. There were so many trails, we didn’t get to try them all but the ones we did weren’t difficult, and we got to see the waves splashing against the rocks from up high.

Enjoying their Dorset holiday

One of our afternoons was spent meeting up with some friends who lived locally, and we did a beautiful hike together at a National Trust site called Golden Cap. Before this though, Mum decided to take us for a walk along the coast starting in Charmouth (just 10 minutes from Golden Cap) and we took a trail up through the fields and along the cliffs where we had the best views of the Jurassic Coast and the dog-friendly beach below us too. We headed so far before turning back but there were so many options to follow different routes depending on where you wanted to end up!

Darcy and Darla with two sausage dogs

When we arrived at Golden Cap, we hiked up with our sausage dog friends to the trig point (or triangulation pillar) and had 360-degree views of what seemed like the whole of the South West! This walk is definitely one we recommend and is about 40 minutes from the cottage. We headed for some food afterwards at The Anchor Inn in Seatown, where we had some lovely treats, and the humans enjoyed some very fancy meals with a view of the beach.

Having fun in Weymouth

We decided to explore different areas as much as we could during our stay too, visiting Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth. Mum said her favourite out of all of these was Weymouth because it was so picturesque. It has a lovely colourful harbour with ample choices of places to eat and drink. We went to a place called The George Bar and Grill where Mum enjoyed the best tacos and crab cakes she’d ever had (taking her word for it since she didn’t share) … and it’s dog friendly inside as well as outside. Poole also had a pretty harbour and lots of places to eat and drink as did Bournemouth.

Our last day was spent looking for rocks and fossils at Ringstead Bay while we had our last swim of the holiday. We took the coastal path along to a pub called Smugglers Inn which leads you straight into their beer garden. We stopped for some water and to refuel in the shade. The pub and grounds were really quirky, and the menu had a great selection too. There were quite a few other dogs relaxing after their walk and the water bowls and water tap provided for all of us were very much appreciated! A perfect pit stop before heading back along the beach and spending the remaining few hours (in possibly the best garden we will ever visit) playing chase and napping in the last of the sunshine.

The verdict

Darcy and Darla at Apple Tree Cottage

We had the most wonderful week away and got so lucky with the almost constant sunshine! We absolutely LOVED the cottage as it truly did feel like a home away from home. The garden is every dog’s dream and is secure, so the humans have peace of mind while they relax as, apparently, it’s their holiday too.

If you haven’t visited Dorset yet, then this is the best base you could ask for. A little slice of heaven hiding away in East Chaldon!

Explore the South West

We have dog-friendly holiday homes across the South West, not just in Dorset, so why not paw through the options and explore this delightful, pet-friendly part of the country?

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.

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