After many months of being grounded at home, intrepid doggy journalist TeamCocopup and I once again dusted off our travelling boots and set out to explore the best dog-friendly destinations the UK has to offer.
The first leg of our post-COVID adventure begins in the sleepy coastal town of Winterton-on-Sea, where we ticked off our very first dog-friendly staycation of 2021 at the wonderfully charming April Cottage.
April Cottage is coastal cosiness at its finest, and part of the Winterton Cottages portfolio. Winterton Cottages offers an incredibly wide range of self-catering accommodation in Winterton-on-Sea which boasts easy access to the breathtaking Norfolk Coast. All the cottages are also just a short drive away from all the tourist attractions of Great Yarmouth.
Great Yarmouth is just a short drive away and is once again beginning to welcome tourists this summer. You can explore all of the picturesque beaches of Norfolk’s east coast on one of Great Yarmouth’s open-topped buses (also known as ‘open toppers’). Later this summer, you can get lost in an artisan street food fair at the seafront’s historic Edwardian ‘Empire’ building, or have some family fun at the funfair in Pleasure Beach which has just introduced a new ‘Supreme Waltzer’ ride. Adrenalin junkies can also embark on a ‘Slingshot Ride’ or take in the view of Great Yarmouth’s ‘Golden Mile’ in a London Eye-style Big Wheel.
What April Cottage may lack in size; it certainly makes up for in comfort. This beautifully furnished home sits right in the heart of the town and is overflowing with character. Inside, the decor is shabby chic with a contemporary twist. Downstairs, there is a cosy living room with a TV and woodburning stove. A separate dining room leads to a small kitchen, equipped with everything you need to serve up a hearty meal. We were greeted with a delightful welcome package that comprised of posh dog-treats, snacks and of course, a bottle of pink fizz.
Upstairs, there are two bedrooms which each feature tastefully selected neutral interiors and can comfortably sleep four guests. The generous bathroom has a free-standing bath, while the second bedroom houses the shower. Not to mention, there is a small, enclosed courtyard, which is a bonus if you are travelling with your pups.
One of the cottage’s best features is how close it is to the Winterton Beach and the dunes, which are a short five-minute stroll from your door. The dunes offer plenty of incredible wildlife to look out for including skylarks and the rare Natterjack Toad. While we sadly missed them during our daily run through the dunes, we were told that in certain times of year, you can even see grey seals sunbathing on the shore.
TeamCocopup Charlie comes alive at the beach, and luckily Winterton Beach is very dog-friendly. It is the perfect spot to spend a quiet and energising afternoon under the sun, minus all the crowds of more popular beaches in the UK. You can also enjoy the sea air while watching happy dogs frolick along the shore and go for swims on the break.
While a lot of the beloved pubs and restaurants were closed during our visit, we ventured, just a short 15 minute drive away to the Boathouse at Ormesby, which boasted plenty of outdoor space to dine while enjoying the view of the Norfolk Broads. The Boathouse offered delicious pub grub, exceedingly friendly service, and a colourful array of birds to entertain you during your meal.
Walking enthusiasts (of both human and dog variety) have plenty to explore in Winterton-on-Sea with several coastal walks to choose from. Here, you can explore East Somerton and even see a ruined church hidden in the trees. On the beach, there are the Winterton Dunes, and in town, there are plenty of historical sites and quirky thatched cottages to marvel at too.
There are certainly plenty of beautiful and wonderful things to see at Winterton-on-Sea, and while COVID-19 may have meant that we couldn’t fully enjoy everything this beautiful seaside town had to offer, TeamCocopup Charlie and I certainly cannot wait to return when things gain a sense of normalcy again. Back to Winterton-on-Sea, a town suspended in time and brimming with character.