Our First Holiday

When it’s winter, most people think about taking a holiday away to somewhere sunny. There’s nothing nicer than sitting on a beach somewhere, sun beaming and feeling warm! Most of the time, this is us, but Jay’s birthday happens to fall within January and this year, we wanted to celebrate it as a family!

We couldn’t go abroad anywhere as we had the dogs, so we thought about somewhere in the UK. We had always liked the idea of finding a secluded cottage in the middle of nowhere where we could relax, unwind and keep warm by an open fire, quite the opposite to a warm beach holiday.
We started our search on Google and quickly stumbled upon lots of different cottages in different locations. We ideally wanted somewhere in or near Scotland as that part of the country is rather beautiful and perfect for scenic walks to take the pooches. After a couple of no goers, we came across a beautiful gate house cottage which was in Northumberland. We had a few must haves for the cottage: Dogs allowed  (we were surprised how many places accepted dogs), beautiful location , great walks , lovely interior  and most importantly, an open fire . We knew this cottage would be perfect for us, so we booked it. We used the app ‘HomeAway’ to book and it couldn’t have been easier!

Travelling There

The day came and it was an early start for us and the boys. Up at 5am and a 6 ½ hour drive ahead of us didn’t hinder our spirits.

The boys had their bed and blankets waiting for them in the car and no longer than 10 minutes into the journey Jacob was fast asleep, typical! Bruno stayed awake a lot of the time looking out of the window, making sure he didn’t miss out on any of the action, typical! The boys have always been very good in the car always making the journey stress free. We stopped off once at some services after about 4 hours to refuel our bellies and let the dogs stretch their legs. We were very fortunate with the traffic as we didn’t hit any at all!

We took the last turning off of the motorway and instantly found ourselves in beautiful countryside and could tell we were getting closer! Main roads turned into rural roads and before we knew it we had arrived.

The Arrival

A beautiful, full of character cottage stood before us. We couldn’t wait to get inside and neither could the boys, they were up by now and ears pricked, ready for an adventure! It was pretty cold up in that part of the country, but whilst it was cold,
the sun was shining so made it an even better view across the never ending fields. We got the key and opened the door. The boys ran straight in and were on high alert, sniffing every room, rug, chair, table, door... you name it, they sniffed it. We settled in nicely.

Even though there was so much to do, you could easily just sit indoors, relax, read a book, listen to music etc... The day we arrived, after we had settled in, we decided to go for a walk down the road. What we didn’t know was that just a 10 minute walk would take us to the most wonderful suspension bridge, connecting England to Scotland. The bridge was super old and you could only have one vehicle cross at a time, no heavier than 2 tonnes. Down below the cold river water rushed under the bridge. Even the boys were a little sceptical about crossing, but soon plucked up the courage and zoomed off ahead.

It was pretty chilly down on the bridge, so after a few photos, we made it back up the hill and back to the cottage. We wanted to warm up, so what better excuse than to get the fire going to warm our hands, toes and paws.

Snow Day!

The second day we decided to do absolutely nothing. After all, that is what we came away to do (which is pretty hard for us as we always like to keep busy). That day, it started to snow! It was only a short flurry of the white stuff, which did settle slightly in places, but was gone by the afternoon. That evening we played billiards in the main house. We perched the dogs on one of the settees in there and they especially enjoyed watching the balls go from one end of the table to the other.

The third day was Jay’s birthday and we woke up to a white blanket of snow which had fallen overnight. We had planned to head out to Edinburgh that day, but delayed going there for an hour so we could all play out in the snow. The boys weren’t overly keen at first as they hadn’t seen snow before, after a bit of encouragement they were soon burrowing in it and chasing the snow balls, well Bruno did anyway...

We headed off to Edinburgh, which was about an hour away. We had already looked online for a dog friendly restaurant to eat in. We had a birthday lunch, which the dogs enjoyed as they got to sit on a comfy chair next to a roaring fire whilst everyone in the restaurant fussed over them. Afterwards, we headed out on the streets of Edinburgh and took some photos. It is a beautiful city with stunning architecture and lots of things to do!

Home Time...

Before we knew it, it was time to go home. We needed to be out of the cottage by 10am so we planned a morning in Berwick-upon-Tweed and visited the Royal Border Bridge. On the way back, we had already planned to go and visit the wonderful guys at Guru Pet Food! This meant we went a longer route home via their HQ but wow was it worth it! It meant we went on some of the back roads taking us through massive hills where the snow had fallen a lot thicker. It was truly amazing, zigzagging over the English/Scottish border it felt as though we were in a ski resort in Switzerland! We will write about our visit to Guru HQ in our next blog, so keep your eyes peeled!
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our mini break away and it was great that we could take the dogs! Totally worth the drive and although we went mainly to relax, there were still plenty of things to do!

Thanks for reading

Oli, Jay, Jacob & Bruno


  1. It looks perfect! What a lovely trip, the snow must of made it even better xx
    Love From, Steph & The Spaniels

    1. It was a really nice time away! The snow was so lovely, thanks for reading x

  2. What a fun holiday! Sounds like you took to the snow rather quickly. Love the pics!

    1. We all had a brilliant time! The snow was a surprise for the pups but they really enjoyed it 😁 thanks for reading ❤️

  3. It looks - and sounds - just lovely! I've been to Scotland, but only up to Glasgow and then to Mull and Iona. Not Edinburgh yet, but I'd love to get there! Not to mention stay in a lovely cottage. Glad you and your boys had a great time. <3

    -coffeenol from IG