We recently spoke to travel journalist Lottie Gross – a dog-adoring writer who is currently working on her second dog-friendly travel book. Her first, Dog-Friendly Weekends: 50 breaks in Britain for you and your dog, is one of our favourite canine-approved guides so we were keen to get her top travel tips and recommendations. Here, she shares all that and more – including a hilarious tale or two about Arty, her spirited Manchester Terrier.
Plus, keep reading until the end to find out how you can win your own copy of Lottie Gross’ Fido-friendly travel guide…
We love your book, Dog-Friendly Weekends – are you working on anything else at the moment?
I’m in the process of finalising my second dog-friendly travel book for Bloomsbury. It’ll be a compendium of 365 things to do with your dog, so there’ll never be a dull day!
When did you get Arty and what breed is he?
Arty is a Manchester Terrier, and he’s got the spirit of a Mancunian, too! He came to me from a breeder in 2020 after my first Manchester Terrier Milo died that summer. I couldn’t live without a dog for long and I just couldn’t resist another Manchester.
Does he have a best friend?
He has many! We walk regularly with a pair of doodles called Baxter and Izzy. He also has a bit of a love affair with a New Zealand Huntaway called Louise-Jones (yes, the dog really does have a double-barrelled first name).
Arty is an excellent traveller, thankfully, and loves all the walks and new smells he gets to enjoy on our trips. He’s particularly fond of the doggie welcome packs he receives at some of the hotels we stay in.
Any favourite places?
We love the Northumberland coast, the Scottish Highlands and we recently had a wonderful time as far north as Shetland. It was dog heaven, with so many excellent walks and beautiful beaches.
Any funny incidents involving Arty?
Too many to count! Though there was one particularly amusing breakfast at a hotel in Sussex where he was so adamant he was going to get my sausage, he started “speaking” to me in front of the whole restaurant. He has an astonishing range in his voice and for a moment I thought he was actually going to say some real words! Needless to say, he got a piece in the end.
What life lessons has Arty taught you?
Archie is a slightly anxious pup at times, so going slowly and building in rest time is essential. He’s taught me to slow down, and to advocate for him when he needs me to, as well. He’s also taught me to laugh every day, which is perhaps the greatest gift a dog can give you.
What do you feel strongly about with regard to animal welfare?
I’m passionate about dog owner etiquette and wildlife protection. While I love travelling with my dog, I sometimes struggle with other dog owners who don’t respect our space (Arty doesn’t like to be approached by other dogs when he’s on the lead, but few people understand this unwritten rule). I also feel that while we should be able to travel freely with our pets, we must be responsible in public places and natural spaces. This means no chasing birds on moors or on the shoreline of a beach, no bothering livestock, deer or other wildlife, and always picking up that poo and taking it with you to the next available bin – dog poo is hugely damaging and altering to the ecology of a place. “Stick and flick” is not an acceptable method!
Which PetsPyjamas hotel/cottage would you and Arty like to visit?
For my first book, I visited the Inn on the Lake on the shores of Ullswater in the Lake District and it was truly spectacular, but a dream destination would be the Cary Arms & Spa – I’ve heard it’s divine!
Do you have any favourite parks or coffee shops?
I love London’s huge parks – especially Regent’s Park as you can sneak a peek at the camels and monkeys in the zoo while you’re walking the dog. I also love the parkland around Calke Abbey in Derbyshire, which conveniently has a footpath leading to a brewery that serves pizza! Finally, the best coffee shop has to be Love My Human Townhouse in London – a ludicrous place where dogs are welcome to sit up at the table with you!
For your chance to win a copy of Dog-Friendly Weekends: 50 breaks in Britain for you and your dog, follow us on Instagram, like the post, and tag a friend in the comments. T&Cs apply. You can also purchase a copy of Lottie Gross’ book here.