Dog Travel

3 Reasons Why Your Dog Needs to Visit Yorkshire

Forget the stress of airport queues, traffic jams and most importantly, the heartbreak of leaving behind your beloved pooch, as there really is nothing more relaxing than a trip to a glorious part of our green and pleasant land with a furry friend in tow.

As a national newspaper journalist and former editor-in-chief of OK! Magazine, my family and I were spoilt by a fleet of exotic press trips - a break in the Maldives, long weekend in St Tropez or tour of India - we’ve done them all, writes Lisa Byrne.

However, since leaving London to return to my home town of York, and acquiring two mischievous but adorable Cocker Spaniels, Diggerley, 12 and three-year-old Merlin, the Byrnes (myself, husband Davey and 11-year-old daughter Brontë) have largely forsaken the promise of a sun-soaked paradise in favour of heavenly trips in God’s Own Country.

Diggerley and Merlin

Leaving our hairy sons behind for a foreign jaunt just proved too heartbreaking for us all. We would sit by a Sardinian swimming pool sipping cocktails, reminiscing about what mischief the boys were getting up to back home, and often shed a tear or two.

Lisa and Merlin

Of course, we occasionally have the odd trip abroad but as long as we have our dogs, we’ll always have that huge heart-aching tug back home. That’s why we decided to explore more of the stunning countryside near our home in York. Here are three of the best dog-friendly places we have been lucky enough to discover in North Yorkshire.

The Talbot

If Malton is Yorkshire’s capital of food then The Talbot is its Buckingham Palace, renowned for hosting legendary feasts such as well as boasting sumptuous rooms, the hotel is simply breathtaking. And as we head close to The Talbot our boys, with happy recognition of a place they’ve previously visited, start whining in unison, desperate to escape from the confines of the car and leap across the gravel into the hotel.

Photo Credit: The Talbot

On arrival, we receive a very warm greeting by the receptionist before racing up the beautiful staircase to our gigantic suite which includes two huge rooms, one with a vast super-king bed. Next door is an open plan lounge with original fireplace, large mirror and high ceilings adjacent to a gorgeous marble bathroom including a huge bath and Monsoon shower, packed with Penhaligon toiletries.

A typical room and bathroom at The Talbot / Photo Credit: The Talbot

After a quick sniff into the corners and crevices, Diggerley and Merlin swiftly discover a table where a generous portion of treats are laid out, as well as the dog bowls and rugs to rest on. The hairy new Lords of the Manor then rush to the huge windows to take a sneaky look of the glorious scenery, boasting views of rolling hills and manicured lawns as well as enticing wildlife.

After unpacking we strolled into the centre of Malton, a beautiful chocolate-box town worthy of its reputation of being one of the loveliest in Yorkshire, where we found a food market in full flow the main square. With the dogs going bonkers over the tempting smells we decided to head back for dinner before it all proved too much for their delicate noses.

A large part of The Talbot’s cosy restaurant is set aside for diners who wish to eat with their canine companions so we relaxed over a gin and tonics and water bowls while contemplating our orders.

Photo Credit: The Talbot

Photo Credit: The Talbot

A real treat for the senses was the devilled kidneys on sourdough, absolutely glorious, as was the roasted pumpkin and leeks with romesco, bulgar wheat and crispy sage.

For the main course, we opted for a mixture of venison and claret pie with buttered greens and potatoes (heavenly) and crisp fillet of seabream with purple sprouting broccoli, roasted red peppers, almonds and olives.

Photo Credit: The Talbot

Photo Credit: The Talbot

 Photo Credit: The Talbot

With no room for pudding we went for another look around Malton, recently voted the UK’s most dog friendly place, and discovered that we could bring our pub-loving pooches into most of the drinking haunts for a swift half or two.

Diggerley and Merlin were certainly rather melancholy to leave such a slice of heaven and we will all be delighted to return soon.

Find Out More: The Talbot, Yorkersgate, Malton, YO17 7AJ or call 01653 639096.

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The Durham Ox

Plenty of friends have sung the praises of The Durham Ox - it’s renowned across Yorkshire for serving glorious food and having luxurious accommodation in one of the most stunning parts of the county.

Photo Credit: The Durham Ox

After collecting our keys from the bar we headed to our new home, Rose Cottage, which was exactly how you would imagine a picture-perfect rural cottage to be.

A local walk popular with dogs and their owners / Photo Credit: The Durham Ox

Diggerley and Merlin were delirious as they happily explored the beautiful exposed beamed home built on two levels. The gigantic bathroom included a rainforest shower and lots of lovely L’Occitane products.

There was also a fully equipped kitchen, lounge and two large and very comfortable double bedrooms - so comfy it was very hard to leave Rose Cottage for a pre-dinner doggie walk but we needed to build up an appetite.

A cottage bedroom / Photo Credit: The Durham Ox

The 300-hundred-year-old family-run pub is situated in Crayke, a village that has an incredible history as it was where St Cuthbert’s body rested and was home to Echa of Crayke, an eighth-century Anglo Saxon saint.

The Crayke in the Spring / Photo Credit: The Durham Ox

After an evening walk to the local church which lies close to the imposing Crayke Castle, we relaxed in the cosy Tap Room bar of the where our furry friends lazed on the cooling flagstone floors.

We dined on a mixture of choices from both the A La Carte and Blackboard menu featuring locally sourced meats, vegetables, fresh fish and seafood.

Photo Credit: The Durham Ox

We would highly recommend sticky spicy belly pork and twice baked Yorkshire Blue soufflé to start followed by 8oz fillet steak with Dauphinoise potatoes and the low cooked confit shoulder of Dales Lamb.

Creme Brulee at The Durham Ox / Photo Credit: The Durham Ox

Crepe Suzette at The Durham Ox / Photo Credit: The Durham Ox

The Durham Ox is by far one of the best places we have ever eaten in. We can totally understand why it is so popular for locals, visitors and doggie companions alike.

Find Out More: The Durham Ox, Westway, Crayke, York, YO61 4TE or call 01347 821506.

The Fairfax Arms

There’s something very calming and spiritual about the countryside around Gilling and Ampleforth, its landscape appears almost otherworldly, which is probably why it was chosen as the location for the world-famous Roman Catholic monastery.

Photo Credit: The Fairfax Arms

In the shadow of Ampleforth lies the village of Gilling where pride of place is The Fairfax Arms, a pub which caters for locals and visitors who congregate en mass throughout the week, often joined by their canine companions.

Photo Credit: The Fairfax Arms

We arrived on a Sunday afternoon when the pub was heaving with lunch goers and lots of gorgeous pooches. After receiving a warm and friendly welcome by the bar staff we were taken to a very pretty dog friendly cottage with two large bedrooms and a lovely and a gleaming bathroom stocked with my favourite products by The White Company.

A typical room at The Fairfax Arms  / Photo Credit: The Fairfax Arms

Diggerley and Merlin enjoyed being spoiled with dog bowls, rugs, and lashings of treats to make them feel at home.

After a quick freshen up we headed across the courtyard to the bar and were escorted to a huge wooden table surrounded by large windows giving glorious views of the village.

Water bowls were immediately brought for the dogs from attentive staff as we ordered a feast of prawn cocktail starter, roast beef with delicious Yorkshire Pudding and seasonal vegetables and one of the most delicious cheese boards we’ve ever had.

The orangery at The Fairfax Arms  / Photo Credit: The Fairfax Arms

Following a blissful night’s sleep, we woke to a very misty morning and took the dogs for a long walk around the village, passing the historic Church of the Holy Cross Gilling East before indulging in a delicious breakfast (sausage tit-bits were devoured by the dogs).

Photo Credit: Alison Stamp

I would also recommend visiting Ampleforth as dogs are allowed on leads in certain sections of the beautiful grounds.

Find Out More: The Fairfax Arms, Main Street, Gilling East, York, YO62 4JH or call 01439 788212.



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