Way up North

With dog-ownership we have found that the best and least stressful holidays are the ones where we stay in a cottage. Hotels are too busy and Merlin gets upset when people keep walking past our door, camping is fun and we really love it, but it’s a lot of stuff to take. The cottage is warm and cosy and quiet and you can get an enclosed garden where Merlin has no chance of escape. It’s easy to stay in when the weather is less favourable and there are also options for cooking yourself to save some monies. What’s not to like. (The price, but hey…)

So we had booked ourselves another cottage at the end of August. Where? Well, we do love the South West Coast, but we fancied something different. We also love the Lakes but cottage prices are ridiculous there. Yorkshire then? Well, almost. We found a lovely little one just outside Appleby-in-Westmoorland. Technically in Cumbria but being East of Penrith it’s rather close to Yorkshire and right at the foot of the North Pennines. A new area for us to explore!

Someone is happy to have his bed.

Drove up Sunday morning. First outing for the new estate car and there was plenty of room for Merlin in the back, nice and snug on his bed even. All other bags but one found a space on the backseat. Easy.

Traffic was more or less kind with just one bit of traffic jam after an accident near Preston. Couple of breaks on the way and after 4.5 hours we arrived in Hoff mid-afternoon, a tiny village (with a pub of course) 2 miles outside Appleby. The weather had gotten better and better from overcast to blue skies and some fluffy clouds.

Our home away from home for the weak was The Dairy. A small single story 18th century building with garden next to a farm. Not long after our arrival the owners knocked on the door and introduced themselves, very lovely.

Our small abode with garden

We chilled with a cider in the garden whilst Merlin went to explore. Luckily he couldn’t find a gap in the fence. Phew. Had a snooze and I then went out with the pooch to explore the path by the river towards Appleby. Nice green fields, the first two with sheep, then high grass and shrub and trees trying to overgrow the path.

Merlin was happy as Larry whizzing to and fro and into the water of course. Turned around at the halfway point after 30mins. Nice path and some off-lead time so might do this tomorrow all the way into Appleby for an easy start to the week.

Hoff Beck

Back at the house Rich had woken up from his extended sleep. We had brought all ingredients for a proper British Indian curry house Madras so soon the whole cottage smelled like very good takeaway, haha.

Great start to our week up North. Let’s see what tomorrow brings as we venture into Appleby. There are said to be cafés and shops, a castle and a riverside walk. Sounds great.

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