A gorgeous rural cottage in the heart of Rutland where dogs are as welcome as you are!
Who says you have to settle for less when you rent a dog-friendly property? More and more companies these days are catering for families with four-legged friends and cottages.com offers a huge choice of UK holiday properties of all descriptions, whether you're a dog owner or not.
We had the pleasure of staying in Tom Cottage, a gorgeous, Grade-II listed thatched stone cottage in the picture-postcard village of Wing, Rutland. Originally built in 1750, it's a traditional cottage offering modern facilities and is the perfect blend of old and new – perfect for enjoying with your four-legged friend.
The cottage has three bedrooms, two doubles and a twin, so comfortably sleeps six, although we were a party of four adults and one shaggy dog.
The main bedroom is sumptuous with its exposed beams, and huge walk-in ensuite bathroom with low-level lighting, heated towel rail and luxurious rain shower. The piece de resistance though is the beautiful slipper bath positioned in front of the bedroom window (don't worry, it's very private!) - the perfect treat for a long soak after day out and a really unusual feature.
Each of the bedrooms has very pretty wooden shutters, which keeps the heat in and the light out, and are decorated to a very high standard. Bedding and towels are provided, as well as extras in case of cold weather, plus the usual touches of hairdryer, ironing board and iron, bedside lamps, plenty of wardrobe space, etc. The main bedroom also benefits from a TV (making four in total).
The double bedroom is every bit as nice (minus the slipper bath) and has an unusual aspect looking out over the patio and upper garden, with low-set shutters to provide privacy. There is plenty of storage space and the adjoining bathroom has a shower and loo.
Lounge & snug
Centrepiece of the spacious lounge is a lovely log-burner set in the fireplace with original low, exposed beams and windows to the front and rear of the property (some of which are originals). There's Sky TV and Wif-fi so you won't feel too cut-off from civilisation and two huge leather sofas to relax on as well as a selection of DVDs for a cosy evening watching a film. This is a big room so there will be no issues with space but if any of your party feels they want some privacy, there's a delightful separate snug opposite the lounge, with a TV, DVD player, small sofa and feature fireplace – ideal to escape to!
The kitchen features an extendable dining table with chairs, plenty of cupboards, an electric Aga, American-style fridge/freezer, Belfast sink, dishwasher, washing machine and lovely little original fireplace which it's easy to overlook! There's a tiled floor and windows overlooking the patio area. There's also a downstairs loo nearby and plenty of storage.
Tom Cottage is very tastefully decorated; it feels very much in keeping with the traditional cottage theme, but is cleverly understated. There's no shortage of the modern here though; the Aga is an electric one and looks authentic but in fact is probably quicker and more economical to use than it's traditional counterpart. As we were there in a blistering heatwave, we very much appreciated the fact the Aga was NOT on all the time! There's also a microwave/combi oven-grill if you find the Aga too taxing.
There is underfloor heating downstairs (which obviously we didn't use) and radiators upstairs, as well as a log burner in both the lounge and snug so this would be a warm and cosy cottage in the colder winter months.
There are a few of 'hidden' cupboards in this cottage, set into the wall, which look like originals and really add to its charm. Dating back to 1750 but renovated in 2012 it's a fabulous combination of traditional and modern, seamlessly blended. You really feel like you're living the country life but there are no compromises - the electric Aga, the power shower, the Wi-Fi and the phone signal are all very reliable! It's the perfect spot for a get-away-from-it-all weekend and the ideal base from which to explore all Rutland has to offer.
It's also a brilliant cottage to bring your dog as the hard floors downstairs mean you don't have to worry about mess or muddy paws and there's a stairgate at the top of the stairs to stop any inquisitive pooches from wandering up to the carpeted bedrooms. The cool kitchen floor is ideal for them to lie on after a big walk (and where they can keep their eye on the fridge...) And there are plenty of shady places in the garden/patio/car port to rest while they wait for their next walk.
There's a large patio area with patio furniture - we ate alfresco every day in the sunshine which was a real treat. A large car port houses 2 cars and there are stone steps leading up to a raised lawned area with flower beds and further garden furniture - a private spot to relax in with a glass of wine. The top lawn is also home to a small football goal (ideal for kids, large and small).
A large kettle barbecue is provided should you be lucky enough to enjoy warm weather (we were!) and to add to the outdoor fun, there's a full-size table tennis table with racquets and balls provided. Unfortunately, our dog got super-excited by the action on the table tennis and made it his mission to catch the ball and bite through it. Game over.
For dogs and children
Turn right out of Tom Cottage and a very short walk brings you to a field with a footpath (there are a number of footpaths to choose from round here) in which to exercise your dog. Double check there are no sheep in the field before you enter and if not, pooch can enjoy a bit of time off lead chasing the ball. A walk across the fields will eventually bring you to Rutland Water, home of outdoor activities such as walking, cycling, fishing, sailing or just chilling, It's also home to a floating, inflatable Aqua Park with climbing walls, trampolines and the UK’s biggest slides that younger members of your family (and even not so young) will love. Rutland Water is also great for cycling round and you can hire bikes from the bike hire centre there.
Wing is a tiny village - lovely to walk round and admire the traditional cottages – and literally a few minutes' walk from Tom Cottage is Wing Hall, a delightful little campsite that does Sunday afternoon cream teas (which we indulged in and can recommend) a farm shop serving local produce and essential camping items, a cafe serving breakfast and lunches and live music nights on the lawn. Sadly, there was one scheduled for the weekend after our trip so we missed out...
Just the shortest of walks will take you to the King's Arms, a traditional English pub with a bar and highly acclaimed restaurant with a reputation for serving home cooked food. We enjoyed a hearty meal there and the pub allows dogs in the bar area where there are hard floors, so no need to leave Pooch unattended in the cottage. They also do snacks and meals for dogs so if your dog is not content with begging for scraps from your plate, you can always treat them too!
So, if you fancy a relaxing getaway or an action-packed outdoor adventure, you won't go far wrong choosing this cottage; ideal for couples, those with children or grandchildren, with or without dogs, you will be well catered for. Possibly the only exception is those who are a little unsteady on their feet as there are lots of steps and stairs inside and the steps up to the lawned garden are quite steep.
Property: Tom Cottage
Property reference: RHHP
Contact: cottages.com tel: 0345 498 6900
Price: From £425* (£18 per person per night) for four nights’ self-catered accommodation. Sleeps six in three bedrooms, with two pets welcome.
*Tom Cottage is currently available from £425 for a four-night break including booking fee, based on arrival on November 22, 2018.
Book Tom Cottage now at https://www.cottages.com/cottages/tom-cottage-rhhp