Yes.  I admit it.  I’ve become a Covid-cliche.  Since the first dreaded lockdown in 2020 I’ve done couch to 5K (3 times!), attempted baking my own sourdough bread (unsuccessfully!) and become one of three million people who succumbed to puppy ownership.  

18 month old Archie - a Jack Russell/Norfolk Terrier cross arrived like a fire-cracker in our tiny Cotswold cottage and proceeded to steal both our lives and our hearts.

To be honest I’m not sure at any point we’d fully thought through the implications of being responsible for a tiny bundle of needy fur and we definitely hadn’t considered the huge impact it would have on our lives once ‘normal - post-Covid life’ returned.

Spontaneity is a thing of the past.  Now when I pack an overnight bag, most of it is full of squeaky toys and chews.  The car resembles the garden - only  there’s more soil and dirt in the car - and remember holidays?   Carefree moments in beautiful cottages enjoying long lazy lie-ins, hunkering down by the fire in bad weather, leisurely walks mooching around local shops and no worries about whether  Archie would be welcome?  Well farewell to all that!  Now choosing our destination relies on serious research not just into where we’re going to stay but how dog-friendly everywhere is

birds eye view Tetbury

So it’s fair to say Tetbury, nestling in the southern tip of the Cotswolds and famous for its royal connections - was a breath of fresh air.

Even the journey through winding Cotswolds lanes, stopping for coffee at the gorgeous Swan Hotel in Bibury was a revelation.  Archie couldn’t believe his luck when offered a whole sausage to keep him going during the short drive to Tetbury for 48 hours devoted to giving our pup - and ourselves a break to remember.

Dog in front of fire

Our home was the stunning New Church Cottage - a Georgian townhouse just off the main high street - three floors of beautifully designed rooms with a real home from home feel to it.  From wood burning stove to fantastically well equipped kitchen, complimentary milk in the fridge to welcome flowers and a home baked lemon drizzle cake, the only downside was we wouldn’t actually spend much time there as there was so much to do.

Lola and Co cafe Tetbury

Once settled we spared no time heading out with a walk around Tetbury taking in all the sights before a cheeky cream tea at the wonderful Goods Shed cafe.  It may have been January but a dog-friendly ice cream went down very well as did the wander around some of the many shops, cafes and delis looking for bargains and enjoying one of the best hot chocolates I’ve ever tasted at Lola and Co.  

In the evening it was just a short drive to the Cat and Custard Pot pub in the tiny village of Shipton Moyne - a couple of miles outside Tetbury.  It’s a gorgeous, atmospheric pub full, it seemed of locals which is always a good sign, and - though not the weather for it - a recently added pizza terrace offers a great selection from Wednesday’s to Sundays.  

Westonbirt Arboretum

Day 2 brought with it the most perfect weather for a trip to  Westonbirt - the National Arboretum.  Home to more than 2,500 tree species and with a whole wood where dogs can run free, you could easily spend half a day here enjoying the stunning scenery - and experience all the more special because of the obvious doggie fun being had!  The lovely cafe wrapped around by a wooden terrace welcomes dogs and after a much needed warm up we headed back into Tetbury for more mooching around including the must-visit Highgrove Shop - featuring a range of beautiful gifts and homewares before a drink at the Snooty Fox in the historic market place where dog biscuits were on hand for Archie and then a quiet evening cuddled up in front of the woodburning stove to relax and recharge our batteries.

The Close Hotel Tetbury

Before we knew it our dog-friendly break was almost at an end but not before a final wander around the town where the local butchers were offering barbecued bacon baps and all sorts of breakfast goodies on the pavement.  Imagine Archie’s delight when offered another sausage for the journey home - and we indulged in a fabulous vegan breakfast at the gorgeous Cafe 53.

True to say we were blown away by the way both we, and Archie were welcomed everywhere we visited in Tetbury.  




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