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Our little black book of enchanting places


Five festive breaks with your dog by Maggie O'Sullivan

Posted in DESTINATIONS By Maggie O' Sullivan

Fancy Christmas away this year but don’t want to be parted from your pet? Our friends at PetsPyjamas have sniffed out five perfect getaways for the festive season and, if you book through their website, they will throw in a personalised Pet Christmas Box. Our founder Niamh Barker has also selected the perfect Travelwrap or cashmere accessory to wear on those wintery walkies.Christmas Cottage, Berkshire (sleeps 2 + 1 dog)

With its festive name and pillar-box red front door this gorgeous little cottage in Bray-on-Thames is the perfect Christmas getaway. Forget slaving over a hot stove: Christmas Cottage is just moments from three of the country’s finest restaurants (The Fat Duck, Waterside Inn and Hinds Head), while for Fido, there are some great walks along the Thames Path National Trail. If he likes company, the owner’s two labs, Sambucca and Truffle, will be happy to join him. From £350 per night.

Niamh’s choice: Cornelian Cashmere SocksThe Old Surgery, Cotswolds (sleeps 9 + 1 dog)

Owned by photographer and artist Maria Stengard-Green, The Old Surgery is a stylish Elizabethan townhouse in Tetbury, 20 minutes south of Cirencester. Inside, there are four bedrooms (two with ensuite bathrooms), an elegant vaulted drawing room with woodburner and beamed dining hall, while outside there is a pretty Provence-style courtyard garden. The Old Surgery’s countryside location means lots of good walks for Fido and for those last-minute gifts there’s Highgrove Shop in Tetbury, a treasure trove of organic food and branded homeware with all profits going to The Prince of Wales’ Charitable Foundation. From £1,195 for 3 nights.

Niamh's choice: Ombre Earl Grey Cashmere Scarf The White Horse, Sussex 

Situated at the foot of the beautiful South Downs, this cosy hostelry in Chilchester won ‘Best Pub’ in the GQ Food & Drink Awards 2015. The contemporary, cottage-style rooms all open onto a private courtyard, so Fido can get outside to stretch his legs, and come with a dog bed, food and water bowls and a map of local walks, on request. Dogs are not permitted in the restaurant but are very welcome to join you for a drink in the main bar. Kick off your wellies, sink into one of the antique leather chairs and enjoy Christmas in the English countryside. From £95 per night.

Niamh's choice: Elspeth TravelwrapThe Cary Arms, Devon

Located on the South Devon Coastal Path, with direct access to a year-round dog friendly beach, the Cary Arms combines the charm of a traditional English pub with the style and comfort of a luxury boutique hotel. Dogs are warmly welcomed, and all dog friendly rooms include a pet bed, bowls and treats. The hotel also offers a Doggy Getaway package, which includes their 'Doggy Heaven' welcome pack, supper with your dog on one evening in the Inn, two nights in a Luxury Double Sea View Room, full English breakfast and a Classic Lunch Picnic Hamper. From £345 per night.

Niamh's choice: Bluestone TravelwrapRosewood London

You might not have thought of taking your pet to a smart London hotel but the glamorous Rosewood London in Holborn likes dogs so much it even has one of its own, a golden retriever called Pearl. Dogs up to 7kg are welcome and there are plenty of dog-friendly restaurants and pubs in the vicinity. The nearest stretch of green is Lincoln’s Inn Fields; Hyde Park and Regent’s Park both around 40 minutes’ walk away, though if that’s too much for Fido’s little legs, scoop him up and take him on on the Underground. From £320 per night.

Niamh's choice: Teal Travelwrap

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