Deepdean Dexters Den review by Yogi: The Hero Canine Critic 2020 holiday cottages

Canine Critic

Deepdean Dexters Den review by Yogi: The Hero Canine Critic 2020

Yogi 11 October 2021

What an absolute hero! Yogi the Newfie truly is a dog that gives and gives and gives. It didn't take us long here at Canine Critics HQ to award Yogi with the winner's rosette for our Hero category at the 2020 Canine Critics' Awards. This Newfoundland was tongue down the best applicant for this category.

Not only does Yogi work as a Water Rescue Dog, but he is also a certified Therapet who works with children with learning disabilities. His amazing nature and friendly character (not to mention his huggability) make him extremely suited to his job, so we were more than happy to give him a little holiday.

He chose to take his hoomans to Ross-on-Wye to a stunning stone-built cottage with 360-degree countryside views, set within an animal sanctuary.

Now that you have a newfound (land) respect for the work of all Therapets nationwide, have a read of Yogi's review below.

Yogi on a stone table in a garden

Well, here goes, folks, my adventure trip to Deepdean Dexters Den, ‘The magical retreat’.


Took the hooman parents along to the beautiful retreat set in the heart of Ross-on-Wye. We arrived and I was super excited to meet all the hoomans and animals connected with Dexter’s Den, which is set on a farm. To my surprise, as the entrance gates 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.  

Yogi enjoyed meeting wallabies, zebras and reindeer

The complex of accommodations within the grounds is 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. The hoomans that stay within the accommodations donate all of their pennies towards the feeding and medical bills of these animals. Some animals are kept within a secure part of the animal sanctuary away from the guests as they may have special needs. The main funding for these animals comes from the guests staying within the accommodation. 

Yogi with elephant sculptures and then resting

The accommodation we stayed in was called ‘Dexters Den’, which is a beautiful and cosy cottage, well equipped with everything you require from a dog-friendly accommodation. There’s a stunning herringbone floor within the dining/sitting area, which led us to a winding stone staircase rising to an open-plan master bedroom and bathroom, with a surprisingly massive traditional bath! Within the master bedroom, a stone window seat awaited where you could sit and take in the stunning views from the landscape beyond.

Deepdean Dexters Den

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Wow, a maze in the back garden! How much fun did I have losing the hoomans every morning?! There was also a lynx called Zak and horses called Mocha, Spot and Toby, who I’d chat with when I was having a play around in the garden. My daddy hooman liked to take a morning dip in the swimming pool located not far from our accommodation, and I made a good lookout at the side with my life jacket on.

The swimming pool and maze at Deepdean Dexters Den, along with horses and a lynx

Our first day

We went to Goodrich Castle which was only ten minutes in the car. Goodrich Castle is a medieval castle ruin north of the village of Goodrich in Herefordshire. Prices into the castle grounds were affordable and there was lots to see and learn, as there were friendly guides who show you around. Ideal if you have a family and a picnic as you can sit within the grounds of the castle.

On the way back we all enjoyed a walk along the River Wye, where I waddled and played and cooled down in the water. Ice creams were greatly enjoyed from the local shop in Ross called Gelatis.

Yogi at Goodrich Castle

Our second day

We travelled to Gloucester Cathedral, just 25 minutes away in the car. The weather wasn’t the best today; a little rain but it was still very warm. The cathedral was formally known as the Cathedral Church of St Peter and the Holy and Indivisible Trinity, which stands north of the city near the River Severn. It originated in 678 with the foundation of an abbey dedicated to Saint Peter. There is a donation box for running costs at the front door.  

We then ventured off to the cathedral coffee shop for afternoon tea and scones - divine to say the least. It was a very busy coffee shop but plenty of room and well priced. Overall, it was an enjoyable day out.

Gloucester Cathedral

Our third day

This took us to Symonds Yat, and as I’m not a mountain pooch, my hooman daddy drove to the viewing point, where my hooman mummy took breathtaking photographs of the views. Wow, you could see for miles! There was a large car park within the Forestry Commission grounds so no need to hunt for parking. I must point out the drive up to the viewing point is extremely steep with passing places. We sat and had a hot chocolate, and I had a lovely bowl of cold water at the cafe located at the bottom of the viewing point.

Symonds Yat is a beautiful valley overlooking the River Wye. Yat Rock is one of the most well-known viewpoints in the Wye Valley. The name Symonds Yat is reputedly derived from a combination of a 17th-century sheriff of Herefordshire called Robert Symonds and a Yat which is the local name for a gate or pass.

Symonds Yat

Our fourth day

We went to the beautiful Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail located around 20 minutes away by car. We explored the world-class sculptures, which are both permanent and temporary, within the Forest of Dean. There were 16 sculptures within the forest to look for and enjoy.

I enjoyed running around on my extendable leash as doggies need to be kept on the lead. I found the first sculpture, which had been handcrafted from a sweet chestnut felled on the site trail. The white presence of the sculpture shimmered through the trees as the sun shone, which caught my doggie eyes!  My hooman mummy spotted her favourite sculpture, Totems, which was three coloured towers symbolising the relationship between humans and the forces of nature, which were once perceived as mystical ancestors. My hooman daddy found the sculpture, Plastic Pavilion, which was a magical canopy provided by the recycled, coloured bottles swinging in the slight breeze.

Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail

Our last day

We travelled to the wonderful Butterfly Zoo in Ross-on-Wye, five minutes away in the car. Wow, as soon I entered the zoo, I was surrounded by hundreds of coloured butterflies - it was absolutely amazing. But I would recommend taking a jacket or jumper you can take off as my hooman parents were hot at this indoor attraction. I found it great as I had a bowl of cold water given to me.  

Next to the Butterfly Zoo was a traditional maze which was great fun. I decided to tag along with my hooman daddy as we made a great team, and we were first to the middle where we sat for a while in the central temple. The maze was planted in 1977 by two brothers who still to this day help with the maintenance and upkeep of the maze.

The maze at Ross-on-Wye


The best part of the holiday was the accommodation and all the animals, it was just amazing. There was so much to do and see. We were also very lucky as we got to see a private animal sanctuary where all the pennies go for the upkeep of the animals.

Please note that these animals are within a private area of the animal sanctuary that's not accessible to guests. But these photographs show where the pennies go, and without the pennies of the accommodation, this animal sanctuary would not survive. There were plenty of opportunities to see some of the exotic animals, and there were always animals wandering about in the open fields.

A lynx, emus and capybaras at the animal sanctuary


My hooman parents and I rated this accommodation 10/10 and will definitely be back, it was just a wonderful holiday for us all.

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