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on 19 November 2011
I bought this as I'm a regular browser online of the Sawday website, which is an invaluable catalogue of hotels, inns etc of guaranteed great quality. I've previously been really disappointed with other books written to recommend dog-friendly destinations, as they tend to be way off the mark in practice and just don't give enough information as to how dog friendly an establishment is - do they let the dog in the restaurant, can the dog sleep in the room or on the bed, where's the nearest park or open space for safe off-lead walking? - and when the advert for this dropped into my inbox I bought it immediately.
I travel all over the UK with my trusty canine pal, rarely leaving him indoors (he's never kennelled, and he's currently getting the vaccinations for travelling on the continent with us next year), and it's sometimes a real struggle to try and find an inn or self catering cottage that welcomes dogs with open arms (eg. Some places market themselves as being dog friendly but when you read the small print they perhaps don't let the dog indoors at all and provide an outdoor kennel instead or the dog has to be sequestered in the kitchen at all times. Some inns and guest houses won't let dogs into the breakfast room but won't allow the animal to be left alone in the room which means putting him in the car to howl for half an hour while we rush our meal to get back to him. Hardly dog friendly).
The Sawdays book is extremely well researched and brilliantly presented, with easy to use keys and maps and all the information you'd ever need to know in relation to taking the dog away for a short trip or an extended break. Coupled with the high quality of the chosen destinations and places to suit all pockets, I love this guide and am really looking forward to putting it through its paces. It also states at the beginning of the book that none of the hotels, inns etc pay to put themselves in the guide, they'll only get in if they pass some stringent tests, the principal ones being atmosphere and welcome. Top notch.
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on 1 December 2011
I heard about the book via an article in The Times. I travel regularly in the UK with my two dogs and have already visited a couple of the dog friendly pubs from the book. The Millbrook Inn near Salcombe was the first(with chef from Britains Best Dish) and our dogs had the choice of warming themselves on the sofa (not allowed to do this at home!) or to paddle in the stream behind the Inn. The second place to visit was a pub/hotel I had always driven past but which looked too good to be true. The Brigands Inn in Powys gave us all a warm welcome. As the book has recently been published you can visit the pubs with confidence that they will not be closed when you arrive from a good long dog walk. The places to stay are varied and inform you of additional extras your dogs will receive as part of their stay. I plan to book somewhere from the book for our next weekend break. A "4 Paws Up" from us for a beautifully crafted dog friendly guide. I plan to buy a few for gifts this Christmas.
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on 4 December 2012
I bought this book as I wanted to find nice places to go for weekends with my dog. First of all the index and the book itself is badly thought out. There is no index for the names of the actual properties, and they are not broken down into a useful order that you can quickly access.

but the main problem is that many of the "dog friendly" places are only dog friendly provided your dog is half inanimate. So, one place I talked to wouldn't take dogs who didn't get on really well with cats. Another place said that dogs had to stay in kennels outside. Another one said that at mealtimes dogs had to sit in the car (provided you have one). All this could have been more closely scrutinised and pointed out in the book. Some places have a real problem with certain breeds of dogs too and I think, rather than having to ring or email every single place to check out their individual policy, the editors of this book could have done much more - including cross-reff'd it with the Dogs Trust etc.
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on 8 February 2012
I was delighted to see this addition to the Sawday range. The quality and welcome at establishments recommended in their books or on their website rarely disappoint.

This guide is thinner than some of Sawday's others, probably a reflection of a paucity of special places that allow your dog(s) to sleep in the room with you as opposed to leaving them in the car. That's not a privilege allowed at home, I hasten to add, but in strange surroundings dogs can be unsettled if separated from their owners for long. As long as they know they mustn't jump on the bed we're happier to have them with us.

The 6 pages of maps, as always in Sawday guides, are useful in locating establishments in the area you're visiting. Their only shortcoming, in my view, is that while they distinguish between catered and self-catering, they don't indicate whether the entries in the catered category are b&bs, inns, and hotels. It's clear enough on the details page, but I'd prefer to be able to select from a map. And therein lies my second disappointment - so few b&bs are included, again probably a reflection of a dearth of suitable contenders. There are, though, for England and Wales, separate sections for dog-welcoming pubs (in the bar, garden, or a separate room, although not normally in the dining area), and quick indexes of which properties are licensed, wheelchair-accessible, occupied by the owners' pet(s), or take bikes etc.

It's beautifully presented, as always, with some tempting places to stay. All in all, despite my disappointed at the small number of b&bs, it's a lovely guide to have.
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on 18 April 2014
This guide is good for those who prefer to take their dogs on holiday with them rather than leave them in kennels. The book provides area maps and gives various places to stay, including photos, in county by county listings. The foreword is written by Ben Fogle who seems to be turning up everywhere nowadays. Nevertheless this book, written by Alastair Sawday is a good armchair read useful in planning your breaks and also a "take with you" guide. Highly recommended.
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on 4 June 2014
We are big fans if the saw days pubs and inns book and love going places with our dogs but this book is really light on all content. Stick to the pubs and inns books as there are more dog friendly places to stay in that one that this one.
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on 22 September 2012
All such publications are helpful but I do not understand their criteria for inclusions. In areas I know well some very well known dog friendly hotels are omitted while relatively obscure places are in. One wonders what gets an establishment into their guide. I Not really very useful and if you can use the internet you can readily find this information for free.
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on 15 November 2013
I have bought Alastair Sawday's books for years when I was travelling with my job. Using his books I found lots of interesting and beautiful homes to stay in - much better than staying in even the nicest hotels - and met some really interesting people. Now that I am retired and have my little dog I am sure I will make just as much use out of this book because it gives you all the information you need to make a decision on where you would like to stay. Also Sawday continues to inspect the properties to ensure the high standards do not drop.
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on 29 December 2011
I bought this book for my son-law for one of his christmas presents, as he has recently bought an Irish Terrier. i was some what amazed at the pleasure this seemed to give him. He was for ever picking up the book to read whenever he could.
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on 19 December 2011
A great book, particularly as our dog, Archie, is featured inside! Always lovely places to stay are recommended. Have never stayed in a bad place recommended by these books.
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