Dogs like routine and the global pandemic of 2020 has brought us closer to our four-legged friends, but even our pooches can get bored so after a long summer of mainly staying at home, we decided to treat our pet whippet Snoopy to a luxurious break in the Yorkshire countryside.
That's right, I did say luxurious! Because there is a hotel nestled on the southern edge of the Dales that provides just that.
The Devonshire Arms Hotel & Spa is a four-star 17th Century country house hotel in Bolton Bridge near Skipton and it's one that's proud to be dog-friendly.
Oozing charm and special character, it has been in the Devonshire family since 1753, and with the September sun in full beam, it seemed like the perfect place to eek out the last few days of warm weather before autumn kicked in.
Dogs are made to feel welcome on arrival as we checked in to find in our room a special 'doggy' welcome pack complete with biscuits, bowl and poop bags.
All of which came in handy as we set off to enjoy a beautiful walk along the River Wharfe towards Bolton Abbey, with the rolling hills of the Dales providing the most stunning of backdrops. It was all picture postcard stuff and a stroll exploring the Priory ruins brought a historical feel to the day.
Back at the hotel our spacious double deluxe room had all the trimmings, including a king size bed, large flat screen television, Nespresso coffee machine with the nice touch of a packet of handmade chocolate brownies for us to enjoy.
All rooms are individually furnished with opulent country-chic style, with the more upgraded quarters boasting four-poster beds, walk-in showers and stunning river views.
Looking out of our window, we were entertained by the unexpected arrival of a helicopter which swooped in to land on one of the helipads. Some guests clearly know how to make an entrance!
The hotel is very much Covid-secure with a special one-way system in place, hand sanitisers dotted around the buildings and a hygiene pack given to all guests.
There are two restaurants - including the fine dining Burlington - but it was the dog-friendly Brasserie where we enjoyed a delicious three-course meal which, for the quality of the food on offer, was a snip at £24.50 per head.
Conveniently, Snoopy snoozed at the side of our table as we enjoyed starters of salt and pepper squid and French onion soup, along with main courses of battered haddock and rump of venison. Our dessert picks were salted caramel tart and a chocolate mousse, which had a lovely hit of ginger.
Washing it all down with a bottle of Pinot Grigio rose, gin and tonics and an espresso, the 10pm Covid curfew time seemed too early to retire for the night, so a cup of Yorkshire tea in front of the television seemed a suitable way to end the day's proceedings.
With more walking planned the next morning, a big breakfast was in order to build up some energy. For us this was provided through a great room service option which allowed us to enjoy the hot food delights of a Yorkshire breakfast and smoked salmon with scrambled eggs.
After another two-hour riverside walk, this time venturing along the paths of Strid Wood, it was time to hit the road and leave the hills behind, but if you're looking for a high end countryside retreat to stay with your pooch, there won't be many much nicer than The Devonshire Arms.
Telephone – 01756 718100
Dinner, bed and breakfast, based on dinner in The Brasserie, from £269 per room or £134.50 per person
Dogs are £10 per night per dog, with a maximum of two dogs per room