We were thrilled to try out Dog Friendly Suffolk with a trip to Letheringham Water Mill.
Owners Jacqui and Richard Gooding describe their homes as a haven for dog owners made by dog owners
Since buying the dilapidated Mill House and Water Mill four years ago, the buildings have been transformed into a paradise for pooches.
They have cats and even birds stay at their cottages in Woodbridge, on the edge of the River Deven.
As we arrived, resident woofers Amber and Teddy, the couple’s adorable Labradoodles, bounded up over to greet us.
The cottages are set in beautiful grounds in the Suffolk countryside with their own lake and it’s completely safe so dogs can roam free.
We were blown away when we went inside the Hay Loft, our home for the three day staycation.
The bathroom even came with a dog shaped sponge!
It’s this kind of attention to detail that sets the property apart from other places we’ve stayed.
On the wall was the Will Rogers quote: “If there are no dogs in Heaven then when I die, I want to go where they went.”
Such a lovely touch!
Daisy was given her own bed, towels, a blanket, treats and poo bags (they really do think of everything!)
The cottage is immaculately decorated with dog pictures and scatter cushions.
Plus they left treats for the humans too – a bottle of fizz and a selection box of biscuits!
Each cottage comes with its own modern kitchen so if you want to cook at home you can, and there’s a dishwasher too.
Ours had two double bedrooms that were beautifully decorated.
Daisy sneaked up there and hopped on the bed to lie in a sunbeam – thankfully Richard and Jacqui are super relaxed.
She did stay downstairs in her own dog bed overnight though!
Daisy decided to do her own ‘dog friendly’ test too
Within about ten minutes of arriving, she belly flopped into the lake.
As you can see, the cottages are so lovely and look like they have come straight from an interiors magazine.
So the thought of her shaking gunk all over the place filled me with horror.
Richard was very understanding. “The dogs can wash in the water and it’s very shallow too,” he said.
“It’s a holiday for them and we like them to be able to do whatever they like at Letheringham Water Mill. We prefer them to be off the lead so they can roam as they please.”
The Mill has electronic gates and the cottages have a pool and a lake in the grounds.
They are totally secure, so you can let your pooch have the run of the place!
You can see why they have won so many Dog Friendly Suffolk awards!
We stayed in July and the weather was glorious
Our cottage had a sun deck, and what a surprise, Daisy was first to hog the lounger!
If you have a sociable dog, it’s the perfect location.
Amber and Teddy mooch round keeping an eye on what the other pups are up to.
And there’s usually a few other visiting dogs for your pooch to play with.
Dog friendly Suffolk really is fab – there’s plenty to see and do!
I wish we’d been there for longer, but here’s a few places we visited that we’d highly recommend.
* The White Horse – the nearest pub to Letheringham Water Mill with great pub grub.
There’s a dog menu with a choice of pigs ears, fish skins or ham hock – Daisy picked the fish skins.
* Southwold – it has a pier with family attractions and a lovely beach for the dogs to run on.
For the adults, there’s the Adnam brewery and shop where you can buy their award winning Ghost Ship beers and Copper House – voted world’s best Gin
Just a short walk from the High Street is a cracking seafood restaurant, The Sail Loft, which is very dog friendly.
If you like history, you will love it!
We visited two tourist attractions that were dog friendly and utterly fascinating.
* Framlingham Castle – an English Heritage site that dates back to 1086.
It’s a stunning castle and they have loads of medieval themed events for the kids.
You’ll find all the shops you need in the Market Town too.
* Sutton Hoo – history geeks will love this.
It’s a Anglo-Saxon settlement dating back to the sixth century when the aptly named Wuffing Dynasty ruled Norfolk and Suffolk.
It’s now a National Trust property and you can stay in Tranmer House, as the upper floors are holiday lets.
Local archeologist Basil Brown was appointed to dig up the mounds on the site in 1938 by Edith Pretty, owner of the estate who was concerned about ‘ghostly figures’ being seen on them.
He uncovered a 27-metre long ship, the largest ship burial ever and many other fascinating relics.
Oh, and if you’ve ever wondered what your dog might look like as a Saxon warrior….
We would love to return one day
It is so lovely and because we had such a fabulous trip, we didn’t want to leave and nor did Daisy. Dog Friendly Suffolk is something we really enjoyed.
She sat on the doorstep and refused to move.
To say the owners have thought of everything is an understatement.
It really is heaven for dogs and owners and we can’t wait to go back.
- With thanks to Jacqui and Richard for inviting us to review Letheringham Water Mill.
Prices start from £99 per night Sunday-Thursday and £115 per night at the weekend.
Find out more at letheringhammill.co.uk