Talyn: The Sequel. The Old Stables review by the Rarity Critic 2020 holiday cottages

Canine Critic

Talyn: The Sequel. The Old Stables review by the Rarity Critic 2020

Talyn 11 November 2021

Talyn, the magnificent Norwegian lundehund, returns for his second instalment of Canine Critics after winning ‘The Rarity’ category of the 2020 Canine Critics’ Awards. This time, he decided to head west to the county of Somerset, a region famous for Cheddar cheese and apple orchards, and a landscape bursting with luscious green hills, towering tors and charming villages.

Being a breed of dog that has six fully developed toes, Talyn certainly made the most of this fascinating feature when climbing and navigating steep and slippery rocks. Talyn had so many wonderful walks on this holiday that by the end of his trip, he definitely was puffing… (lundehunde means puffin dog in Norwegian).

Here's Talyn’s latest cottage review!

Beautiful Talyn, the Norwegian lundehunde

Somerset really offers it all: long stretches of beach, moors, and rolling hills. Are you a morning or evening doggy? The sun catches those dales in a magical way. It really is a land of mystery and history.

Last time we were in the car heading north to the Isle of Skye. This time, my mums decided to explore the southern reaches of the UK: Somerset. The county where King Alfred the Great hid from the Vikings, where legends of King Arthur overflow. Somerset will not disappoint! 

We stayed at The Old Stables in Stawell - a beautiful location with perfect positioning. We were right between all the popular places; just 20 minutes from Glastonbury, Bath and Cheddar Gorge, and 10 minutes from a stunning beach that was dog friendly and horse friendly. We were also under an hour away from the smallest city in England: Wells. You may know it from the movie Hot Fuzz

The Old Stables exterior

The cottage 

When we arrived, we were welcomed by the owner, who has two lovely Jack Russell 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. 

The cottage has two bedrooms: one with a double bed and one with two singles. Everything is on one floor which makes it fantastic for people with mobility issues like Dutch mum. The kitchen was fully equipped, making our stay a home away from home. There was a dishwasher, and even a washing machine with a dryer inside. There was a spacious bathroom with a very nice corner bath, and also a separate shower. 

Outside, we had a fully secured little courtyard, with an automatic gate. We got a key fob for this on arrival, because knowing that four-legged friends like me are safe is always important.

Double bedroom, lounge and kitchen

Don’t worry, I am coming to the best bit! 

Outside 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. I wasn’t allowed in though 😒.

Halfway through the week, our host knocked on our door to present us with homemade apple juice, one of the nicest my mums have ever had. The extra touches really made us feel very welcome. 

The hot tub!

The area

I always thought Norfolk (where I’m from) was dog friendly. Somerset goes the extra mile. It is super dog friendly. The cottage is only 10 minutes away from a wide sandy beach where dogs like me can have a good run. You may also find some horses. I absolutely adore the beach. Living an hour away from it, we don’t visit as much as we would want. 

After having a nice walk on the beach, there are plenty of pubs for you to get a warm meal. We went to one that was in Taunton. Dogs were welcome, and the roast was sublime (my mums said). 

Talyn on the beach

But if you’re not a beach person, you can walk for hours on the hills, moors and in the woods. Or maybe you’d fancy eating the world-famous Cheddar cheese at Cheddar Gorge. The town of Cheddar, again, is very dog friendly, so you can take your pups into pubs or enjoy sitting outside planning your walking route. There is a route that goes all around the top of the gorge, and it is advised for dogs to be on the lead for safety reasons. We didn’t go around the top, but we did find a lovely off-lead walk taking you through some rocky bits. I truly showed what I was bred to do here, which is navigate through the rocks to then climb them! Now you know why I really need those extra toes! 

Using all six toes to climb the rocks

Another place worth a visit (because, believe me: there are many) is Glastonbury. Dogs are even more welcome there, even in shops. In fact, they ask you to come in. Glastonbury has a lovely vibe and there are plenty of things to see and do. It’s got the beautiful Abbey Grounds and Gardens, which I was allowed to explore on a short lead, and they even serve special doggy ice cream for the more adventurous types. You can hike up the Tor, which has a stunning view. Unfortunately, it wasn’t suited for those with mobility problems. But don’t worry, there were plenty of shops to explore instead. Plus, driving around and seeing the Tor from the road was something special in itself. 

Ice cream and Glastonbury Abbey

Another place we visited was Wells: a tiny city with one big cathedral and, get this, dogs are allowed inside as well! I found it very exciting to be in a church. What with Wells being very small, you can have a great afternoon here at a leisurely pace. If you follow the moat around the Bishop’s Palace, you will find a great place for dogs to have a run off-lead. And you can of course have a meal at the famous pub that was featured in Hot Fuzz

Wells cathedral

Seven days in Somerset is not enough; we will most definitely be back. And we would love to stay at The Old Stables again. What a cosy and beautiful cottage. This truly deserves to be featured on Canine Cottages as a prime location and stay. You are well looked after, and did I mention the hot tub

Talyn enjoying The Old Stables

Talyn’s verdict

If I had more toes, I would give an even higher rating. But as it happens, The Old Stables still gets a maximum of six toes out of six from us. It has been such an honour to go to these places for Canine Cottages. I am sad my time with them is over as a Critic, but that’s doesn’t mean my time for adventures is over! I will continue to be an ambassador and have new adventures. Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity. 

Talyn at sunset

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