Category: Poppy

Poppy loves Cath Kidston

A little while ago, Poppy received some very pretty things from the lovely people over at Cath Kidston. I have been a Cath Kidston fan for a long, long time and I’m pleased to report that Poppy is most definitely a Cath Kidston dog!

Poppy the sun dog

One thing I find frustrating about dog accessories that you find in pet shops is that they are often dull, over the top (what dog needs a diamante collar?!) or expensive. With the Cath Kidston range, you get something pretty, reasonable and lovely. I really like the collar that Poppy received, as it’s nicer than a lot of others we’d seen, but it’s only £8 so it doesn’t break the bank.

Poppy on squirrel patrol

We also received a matching lead, but we keep that for ‘best’. We mainly use a retractable lead for when Poppy is in squirrel hunting mode. The other day, we turned a corner in the park and saw 8 squirrels. Poppy didn’t know what to do with herself! But when we’re walking through town or stopping at the pub for a drink, then the Cath Kidston lead is ideal. It’s hard wearing, pretty & perfect for getting Poppy to walk closely. Plus, when we stop somewhere for a drink, I can put the handle of the lead round the chair leg to keep Poppy close, which isn’t something you can do with the retractable. I really like the accessories that they currently do, but would love for them to expand the range even further. A Cath Kidston harness – I’d buy that. Cute spotty dog coat, yep, Poppy could do with one of those! Heck, I’d even Cath Kidston poo bags! Anything to brighten up that job!

Poppy the sleepy dogThis bed is probably Poppy’s most favourite thing. I hadn’t finished getting the cushion in before Poppy got in it! She loves it. She likes resting her head on the edge, as well as having something to lean against when she’s curled up into a little ball. It’s such a lovely, cosy bed, she spends almost all day in it. Just wish I could have one for me!

Poppy treat tin

We also received this lovely treat tin, which we keep some of Poppy’s treats in. We’re trying to train Poppy to go into her bed in the kitchen without being asked and stay there. When she does it, she gets a treat from the tin. These treats are only used for this purpose & a bit fancier than her regular treats. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. We’re working on it!

We’re always working on something with Poppy. At the moment, it’s about getting her to wait for her dinner. As soon as it gets dark, she’s jumping over you, climbing over you, anything to get you to get up and get her dinner. She is one demanding pooch!

*While the Cath Kidston dog accessories we received were free, my review is my honest opinion.

Dog Walks in Pembrokeshire ~ Saundersfoot Beach

Last weekend we headed down to Pembrokeshire to visit my Mum. We wanted to go to the beach for a walk and decided on Saundersfoot. During the Summer, it’s incredibly popular with holidaymakers & tourists. But during the winter, it’s turned over to the dogs! There were quite a few there on Saturday, leaping about in the waves.

Saundersfoot beach

We stayed on the main beach in Saundersfoot, though there are a couple of others you can access nearby. We arrived as the tide was out, which is when Saundersfoot beach is at its best. It’s a lovely beach, really wide and lovely golden sands. It gave Poppy a great opportunity to have a run around off the lead. It’s a nice and easy beach to walk along and is accessed straight from the harbour.

Saundersfoot

Be wary of razor clams that live in the sand. They can cut your feet if going barefoot and might be an issue for some dogs, though Poppy only gave them a little snuffle before moving on. It’s a great beach to go for a dog walk. It’s really spacious and you get great views of the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast. Great, rain or shine!

Dog walking Pembrokeshire

The Walk: Saundersfoot beach is a lovely long, wide beach (when the tide is out) but be aware that dogs are restricted during the summer season.
Cost: Free
Car Park: There’s parking right by the beach and it’s a Pay & Display car park. It’s quite a small car park but there are a few other car parks around the town.
Refreshments: There are quite a few cafes and restaurants in Saundersfoot so there are plenty of places to get a cup of tea. 
Toilets: There are public toilets on the harbour.

Dog Friendly Cornwall

It seems like an absolute age since we were on holiday in Cornwall. I’ve been so busy/disorganised that I haven’t finished blogging about it yet. I was really impressed with how dog friendly Cornwall was. The only downside was that we were there in the last week of the Summer Season, which meant that many of the beaches that weren’t dog friendly were still closed off to Poppy. This was a bit of a bummer, as it felt like a lot of the dog friendly beaches were either miles away or not as nice as the ‘human only beaches’! We stayed in Little Sandcastle, which is a dog friendly cottage in Cadgwith Cove. Pretty much the whole of Cadgwith is dog friendly & Poppy was a big hit with locals & holidaymakers alike!

Cadgwith Cove

Obviously, the coastal path was dog friendly, which was great as we could access it directly from Cadgwith Cove, where we were staying. Poppy loved walking along the coastal path & navigated the path very easily. Though she didn’t seem to appreciate that she’s a bit more agile on muddy paths than we were! We discovered some beautiful places along the path and next time we go, I’d like to walk along more of it. If we do, must remember to take a map!

PorthlevenWe had high hopes for Porthleven beach, but getting to the (very small) dog friendly part of the beach took ages because it wasn’t clear where it started. Plus, we were there in the morning and the tide was still in so we only had a really short bit of beach to walk on. However, that being said, I’d love to go back to Porthleven when the tide is out/out of season because the beach is massive! Well worth a visit (after checking the tide timetable!)

Kynance BeachKynance Beach was an interesting one. We didn’t actually walk on the beach, as it wasn’t dog friendly until October. But we wanted to try out the cafe so walked down the ‘easier’ coastal path section that avoided the beach. This was a lovely walk, not as steep as the other path & there were livestock about so dogs on leads please! However, while we were enjoying our lunch (I had a jacket potato as big as my face!), other dog owners walked across the beach to access the steeper walk. We went back up the way we came down, as I was in agony with my back & needed to take it easy. The beach is quite small, so I’d only go as part of a bigger walk with a cheeky cake stop at the cafe!

Lizard Point

The Lizard Point was a real adventure for us, though I think Poppy got a bit bored! We took loads of pictures of her being the most southwesterly dog, but she doesn’t look impressed, does she?! We parked in Lizard and walked down to the point. This is a nice walk and it’s sectioned off from the road, which is good as it’s mainly a single lane. We also had a look at the lighthouse and Poppy was welcomed in with open arms (which was good, because the fog horn went off & freaked her out a bit!) The only bit she couldn’t visit was the actual light bit, but there’s an area where you can leave dogs if you want to see it.

Coverack Cove

We went to Coverack Cove on one of the greyest, dampest days of our holidays. But that didn’t stop us! The beach is full of pebbles, so sturdy shoes are a must. We were the only people on the beach for most of the walk, so we let Poppy off the lead. She loved it! She’s really growing in confidence on the beach and loves exploring rock pools. She’ll run on ahead for a bit, then turn back to check where we are. At one point, she started to go back up to the steps towards the road. Panicked, I called her with her ‘Get here now!’ call and she jumped off the steps. It’s about a six foot drop. Yep. Ol’ Basset legs, who isn’t supposed to jump so as to stave off arthritis as long as possible, jumped from that height. I nearly cried! She just trotted up to me & wanted a treat! We walked back along the beach after the tide had gone out a bit and there were lots more rock pools to explore. A great find!

Roskilly's

I’m not going to lie to you, we went to Roskilly’s for the ice cream! We knew it had a walk, but we weren’t sure what it would be like. It was ace! On the walk, we saw ducks swimming around on a pond, bees buzzing around their hives, a hidden orchard & a we walked through a field of cows. This was an interesting one, as we were not sure if Poppy had seen any before. To say she was unsettled might be an understatement! She didn’t know whether to bark or run. We kept her on a short lead and moved quickly & quietly through them. The cows didn’t pay us any attention! Poppy took a huge interest in sniffing where they’d been walking – wonder if she recognised the smell of their hooves from the hoof chews she has at home? Poppy also sat with quite nicely with us in the courtyard, while we tried some of their delicious ice cream! A must visit!

GunwalloeOn our last day, after a visit to Halzephron Inn, where Poppy was pretty much loved by everyone, we headed down to Gunwalloe beach. We turned a corner & looked out onto miles & miles of dog friendly, empty beach. We could not believe it! All the time, we’d been driving by this massive beach where Poppy could roam free! We let her off the lead and headed across the beach. There’s a reason it’s dog friendly – it’s really difficult to walk on. It’s made of tiny pebbles that are tricky for anyone who isn’t on four legs! I really earned my wine that day! It was a fab beach to visit though. Poppy was off the lead for most of the walk. She kept running to and from us quite happily, though she was a little too interested in climbing the rocks! She definitely enjoyed herself though.

There are loads of other places that we didn’t get a chance to visit, which we’re hoping to go to next time. Have you been to this part of Cornwall? What are your dog friendly top tips?

Dog Walks in Oxfordshire – Port Meadow, Oxford

Anyone who knows Oxford will know about Port Meadow. It’s a pretty unique place, where cows & horses graze year round and when its flooded during winter, if it’s cold enough, you can skate on it. It’s a great place for dog walking, especially if you can get there when it’s dry enough that there isn’t any water in it.

Port MeadowWe parked in the car park on Walton Well Road. As far as parking in Oxford goes, it’s pretty reasonable. Just £2.10 for 5 hours. There is parking in Wolvercote on Godstow Road, which is free (according to the Oxford City Council website) but we wanted to head into Jericho after our walk.

Cows on Port MeadowCows & horses graze all over Port Meadow so we kept Poppy on her lead while we were walking by them. When we were far away from them and anyone else, we did let her off a little bit. It’s something that we’re working on with her. But whenever we were near the cows, we made sure that we had Poppy on the shortest lead possible. She’s still not sure about cows and at one point we had cows on both sides. Not sure who was most terrified – Poppy, the cows or us! Apart from a few nervous barks from Poppy, we escaped unscathed!

Dreaming SpiresOne of the things I love about Port Meadow is that you can completely forget that you’re in a city (apart from the sound of the cars driving along the A34!) Plus it’s big enough that you can have a real trek around it, maybe even walk from the car in Jericho to Wolvercote & back again (though that’s pretty adventurous!) Plus there are lots of walks you can access from Port Meadow so you’re spoilt for choice. Most of the walks also bring you close to very lovely pubs & restaurants so you’re sure somewhere lovely to put your feet up & enjoy some sustenance.

Port Meadow, Oxford

While there is a path at the start of the walk from Port Meadow South, it doesn’t last for long. Good walking shoes are advised as the ground is a little uneven and, unsurprisingly, there are a lot of cow pats all over the place (much to Poppy’s delight, though she quickly discovered that she prefers a fresh cow pat!)

Having lived in Jericho for a few years, going for a walk around Port Meadow is almost like going home for me. I loved living in Oxford so jump at any chance to pop back. Plus walking around Port Meadow gave Poppy a chance to get more used to livestock! It’s a great walk, not too difficult, and there are lots of options to extend your walk, should you choose to do so. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon!

The Walk: Weather permitting, you can walk around the whole of Port Meadow. However, it is a flood plain so sometimes it’s not possible to walk all the way around it. There are lots of other walks accessible via Port Meadow, including walking along the Thames into Oxford.
Cost: Free
Car Park: Free parking in Wolvercote on Godstow Road and very reasonable parking charges (for Oxford!) at Walton Well Road in Jericho. 
Refreshments: There are lots of great cafes, pubs and restaurants nearby, whether you’ve parked in Wolvercote or Jericho. How many are dog friendly, I’m not sure yet. However I do know that The Gardeners Arms in Jericho serves great veggie food & is dog friendly.
Toilets: As far as I know, there aren’t any public toilets near by, though if you know of any please let me know!