25 x doggy havens

Published: Wednesday 1st Mar 2017

Written by: Tilly the Collie dog

Norfolk is so perfect for dogs, that if you don’t have a four-legged friend you might just need to borrow one for your holiday! Here’s the low-down on the top 25 rufftastic places in Norfolk, according to our canine friend – Tilly the Collie…

1.    The stretch between Holkham and Wells-next-the-Sea beaches

This is my favourite place with wide, white stretches of sand and pine forest walks to explore.

2.    Wells Beach Café

Another reason to head to the coast – this is an award-winning canine establishment I have you know.  Log fire in winter, dog bar come summer and a K9 club to boot – I’d live here if I could.

3.    Walsingham Abbey

I love meeting my doggie friends here, especially during early spring when the snow drops are out.  They smell fantastic, although not quite as ripe as my smelly old blanket.

4.    Blickling Estate

You’ll often find me with my human family circling the lake or wishing I could run free and chase the sheep (which I’m never allowed to do!).

5.    Crabbing at Blakeney Quay

My main reason for liking this is not because of the crabs (which are nippy little blighters) but for the promise of a scrap of smoked bacon or remnants of an ice cream that the end of the day might bring.

6.    Thetford Forest

Now, I can’t quite ride a bike yet, and I’m certainly too big for a basket, but I do enjoy a romp around the many footpaths here.  It’s great to watch the little humans climbing the adventure stops en-route too.

7.    Felbrigg Hall

The woodland and riverside walks here are great, and the café courtyard is dog-friendly too (as are the wooftastic scones!).

8.    Norfolk Coast Path

There are so any different smells here amongst the reeds, banks and muddy creeks.  However, I’m unsure my humans are up to walking the whole 93-miles.  I certainly am… BRING IT ON!

9.    The Barking Bugle

Yes, we even have our own doggy newspaper here in Norfolk (we’re a cultured lot).  The editor – Frodo Cavalier – is quite a star around these parts, and their repawters write first class content – my latest favourite article featuring Nigella Pawson and Mary Barky.  Ah, for the limelight…

10.    Bure Valley Railway

Now, on a lazy day, I quite like riding from Aylsham to Wroxham and back on this cute little steam train.

11.    Poppy Line

If you really like trains, they don’t get more splendid or impressive than these big ones.  The diesel trains are ok, but I’d opt for the steam trains any day.  I keep trying to spot the railway children just in case they need my help.

12.    Ships ahoy

I’m not much of a seadog, but I don’t mind a trip out on the water now and again.  I prefer the calm waters of the Broads, but many of my mates can’t get enough of the salty water a Brancaster Staithe and Morston.

13.    Sandingham Estate

Not every dog in the country gets to have royal walks.  I rather like the idea of bumping into the corgis during my day… I wonder what tea they prefer = earl grey or breakfast?

14.    The Orange Tree at Thornham

This pub is great retreat to lay down at after a sandy walk.  The staff are always super friendly towards me and they even have a canine menu – their Scooby snacks are to bark for.  Wagging tails and five golden paws from me!

15.    Cromer Pier

I feel honoured to walk the boards of this award-winning pier of the year.  Not one of the theatre (I can never sit still for long enough), I am more than happy to have some posh fish and chips from No.1 whilst staring at the sea through the cracks.

16.    Pooch’s Treats

These are my favourite film-viewing snacks.  Handmade in Norfolk and all from 100% natural ingredients, they are good for my tummy, fur and teeth.  I just don’t know why I can’t wolf them down all at once?

17.    Fun dog shows

If I can win a rosette, so can you! There are lots of fun shows at villages throughout the year, including Framlingham, Hunstanton, Themelthorpe, Dersingham and more.

18.    Wiveton Hall Café and Farm

The location of the recent hit TV show – Normal for Norfolk – I like to think that if I hand around long enough I might just see the cameras again.  Failing that, their sausage rolls are scrumptious.

19.    Paint Me Ceramics

Being the artistic type (I'm a dab-paw at painting mud on walls with my tail), I loved my visit to this cool little place in Hunstanton, and have a paw-print bowl as proof.  Although my owner insists on using it for her breakfast – how rude!

20.    Ruff and Tumble

I like to look the part, and these Norfolk-made dog drying coats are super stylish and practical.  As seen in Tatler, Country Life and The Sunday Times, I’m dogwalk ready, anytime.

21.    The Albatros restaurant

This 18th century Dutch cargo ship is docked in Wells-next-the-Sea serves pancakes noon to dusk and is dog-friendly too.  The mushroom, garlic and stilton is heavenly.

22.    Rock pooling

Nothing beats jumping from rock to rock, inspecting what my little humans have discovered.  Why, or why, they have to shout at me when I occasionally (ok, always) knock over their buckets, I don’t know.  I’m still on a mission to dig-up the next mammoth skeleton at West Runton.  Watch the headlines…

23.    Seal trips

I personally can’t see what all the fuss is about, but I thought I ought to include this as my family can’t stop oohing and ahhing when out on a boat from Morston to see these creatures.  The walk at Horsey to see them is good fun though, and I suppose their pups are quite cute.

24.    Sheringham Park

A brilliant walk at any time of year.  My little humans love their Easter egg hunt and my human mother loves the rhododendrons in May.  My human father?  Well, he’s rather fond of their café, or a stroll through to The Dales for an afternoon tea!

25.    Coming home

Nothing beats coming home to a warm cottage after a wild day out in Norfolk.  Now, living in Norfolk, I’m lucky enough to explore it all the time.  But sometimes, I wish I didn’t so I could rock-up to one of Norfolk Country Cottages 200+ dog-friendly abodes for a plush change of scene!

Tilly the Collie dog
Tilly the Collie dog


I love nothing more than a rufftastic walk along the beautiful North Norfolk Coast. My favourite food is anything made by Pooch’s Treats, I love smelling other dogs, making lots of muddy mess and reading The Barking Bugle on Sunday morning.


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