Meet Phil, Niko and Teddy, the Alaskan Malamutes with the warmest of hearts - and social media sensations! After winning our Superstars category at the 2020 Canine Critics awards, these three huggable hounds took us up on our offer of a week away to the fabulous North Devon coast.
Luckily, their owners became the pup-arazzi for the week so we could catch a glimpse of their getaway to the South West.
So, sit…stay… and enjoy this review.
Well, what can we say about our totally pawsome break?! We stayed in North Devon at Clovelly Lakes. 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. Clovelly Lakes did not disappoint!
The accommodation itself was super spacious for a log cabin stay, utilising the area to fit three bedrooms. Sky Lark Lodge was the name of ours. The shower is a must-have for dogs; it was huge, even by our size standards! There wasn’t a washing machine inside the cabin which was needed for all the dirty dog towels but there was a free laundry room literally round the corner which we used regularly. 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 (disclaimer: no stones were thrown at goslings during our break 😁).
We lost count of just how many lakes there were to walk around at the accommodation, but rest assured there were plenty of opportunities to stretch all our legs on our doorstep without even having to veer too far afield.
This was handy on the day a thunderstorm hit and the weather was miserable, as we were able to make the most of our home away from home and have a cosy day at the cabin, with the dogs enjoying walk after walk around the lakes, and even a bit of doggy paddling, in between each downpour. We were able to let the dogs take the lead and help us explore the acres and acres of open fields surrounding the lakes. This yawning expanse was all part of the Clovelly Estate and proved an exceptional bonus if you want to let your dog off the lead in a secure area and run free to their heart’s content.
We managed to see so much in just a week. First off and closest to us was Clovelly village, a harbour village famed for its steep pedestrianised cobbled main street, traditional architecture and donkeys. An almost vertical walk takes you down to the coast passing beautiful houses with the dog-friendliest vibe, and pubs and cafes that welcomed us and the pooches with open paws. Oh, and not forgetting Clovelly Gardens, just 3 miles from the cabin, where you can spend hours walking your pet.
Additionally, there’s Bucks Mills, a dog-friendly beach which was probably the nearest beach, around a 5-mile drive from the cabin. There’s a free car park and one walk is a hilly forest, great for a hike with your bestie, and then in the opposite direction is a stone beach and waterfall (great for avoiding bringing loads of sand back to your log cabin).
Our absolute favourite place to visit though was near Lynmouth which was about a 40-mile drive from the cabin. We went there for the day and visited a lovely cafe at the National Trust’s Watersmeet, which is located at the bottom of a valley with a huge garden and trickling stream. We made the most of the space and enjoyed some fantastic walks surrounding the area. We followed this with a trip to Valley of Rocks which offers a wonderful dog walk on a coastal path with stunning views of the coastline. Just be careful with your furry pals as there are some steep paths and, as we found out, some mountain goats climbing up to surprise you!
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