Recently the Pet Inspectors, Rufus and Kiki, took a trip to wonderfully undiscovered but so dog-friendly Northumberland to stay at the St Valery Boutique b&b by the beach in Alnmouth.
Although it had been lovely having the humans with us all the time over lockdown Kiki and I were keen to get away on a dog-friendly break and so we were delighted when the humans decided that they would like to combine a trip to Sunderland to visit Rory’s mother with a beach break to Northumberland.
They had heard very good reports from PetsPyjamas’ customers about the St Valery
in Alnmouth and we were all keen to try it out. Although this was going to be a longish journey in the car along the A1 the combination of sea and sand and gorgeous countryside made our tails wag at the thought of it!
We were all packed with our bags bursting with blankets, towels, balls and a frizbee for Kiki to chase along the beach. I have slight Issue with my legs that don’t work as well as they did and have to travel mainly in a pet buggy, but I do like to get out for some sniffing and gentle strolling. Kiki, on the other hand, is only one and a half so she is super energetic and needs plenty of exercise!…so the long stretch of beach at Alnmouth would be perfect for her.
We arrived in Alnmouth which is a charming seaside village in Northumberland
and quickly found the St Valery which is a Victorian villa with stripped wood floors and pale grey walls. Its on the main high street close to lots of dog-friendly shops and cafesand just five minutes from the beach. We were joined by Rory’s sister and her husband John and their
fox terrier dog, Alistair.
We were greeted by the charming owner Harvey and his lovely dog, Roxie. There were waggy tails all round as Harvey and Roxie showed us around. The hotel itself is small buy super stylish and even nicer than we had imagined! The humans hit it off with Harvey immediately and it was hard to drag them away from all their chatter.
We were shown to our room, the St Benedict, which was at the top of the house, very light, bright and best of all had a lovely bed, bowl and treats ready for us. Julie and John were shown to their room downstairs, the St Cuthbert, which was just as lovely.
We were all keen to get out for a walk and to explore the beach! We decided to have some tea and quickly stumbled upon the Old School Gallery, which is a dog-friendly gallery and coffee shop, just a few minutes from the beach. It was a lovely sunny day so we sat outside with tea and homemade carrot cake.
Then off to the beach which is absolutely stunning! You could truly believe that this was a Caribbean beach, it was so beautiful. The beach is wide and sandy with stunning views. We dogs had a wonderful time exploring and Kiki and Alistair took a dip in the sea.
After our walk we returned to the hotel to get ready for drinks and dinner. The hotel operates an honesty bar and so Julie and Denise poured themselves large G&Ts and Harvey brought some olives and nibbles.
Rory and John were having a pre-dinner drink at the dog-friendly Sun pub next door so we all decided to join them there before dinner.
We dogs were given a lovely welcome in the pub. On our return we decided to return to our rooms for an early night whilst Harvey served up a delicious meal for the humans of lamb tagine followed by sticky pudding.
The next day we came down for breakfast with the humans who tucked into muesli and fruit followed by a delicious full English and we were treated to a sneaky sausage.
After a quick coffee at Scotts of Alnmouth, a charming cafe just down the road, we headed off for another beach walk and then decided to meet up with Rory’s mother and sister at Craster – a delightful small fishing village a short drive away on the coast.
It’s famous for its kippers, with a smokehouse in Craster itself, so we
all decided to try out a Craster kipper N Bun at Pipers Pitch – Kiki and I were treated to some kippers too!
Then off for a walk along the coast to Dunstanburgh Castle before lunch at the dog-friendly Jolly Fisherman back at Craster. This is just one of the gorgeous walks around Alnmouth. Harvey can help with ideas for other walks – many straight from the hotel.
Back at St Valery for another night but this time we decided to eat out so had a drink at the dog-friendly Sun again followed by a pizza at the equally dog-friendly Hope & Anchor. After another delicious breakfast and trip to beach it was time to return to London.
It had been such a lovely break and Kiki and I decided it was one of the nicest beaches and hotels we had ever visited! In fact, we can’t wait to go back and stay with Harvey and Roxy again – if they will have us!