Thursday, 23 April 2009

Book Review: Good Guide to Dog Friendly Pubs, Hotels and B&Bs

Having spent some time going through the Good Guide I can tell you that it really does do what it says on the cover: it's a guide, and it's a good one!

The fourth edition of this handy guide is edited by the team behind the popular Good Pub Guide, with information correct as of the end of 2008. As the editors rightly point out, a single unfortunate dog-related experience can mean an entire dog-friendly policy is rescinded, but there are plenty of ways to get in touch and give your experiences listed in the book to help future editions stay as up to date as possible.

The guide opens with a list of particularly lovely walks around Great Britain (Northern Ireland is not included, just mainland GB and the Channel Islands) followed by a calendar of dog events across England, Scotland and Wales. Thereafter it's divided into counties. Each county lists first the pubs with a dog-friendly policy, followed by hotels, inns and B&Bs with a similarly welcoming attitude.

Descriptions are short and to the point, with addresses / some directions, a summary in bold of the character of the venue, a concise but more detailed description and opening hours, extra information and prices where relevant underneath.

A typical example, taken from the Devon section:

Warren House

B3212 0.75 miles NE of Postbridge; PL20 6TA

Straightforward old pub, relaxing for a drink or snack after a Dartmoor hike

Friendly and with plenty of atmosphere, this straightforward place is most welcome after a hike on Dartmoor. One of the fireplaces in the cosy bar is said to have been kepy alight almost continuously since 1845, and there are simple furnishings like easy charis and settles under the beamed ochre ceiling, old pictures of the innon the partly panelled stone walls, and dim lighting (fuelled by the pub's own generator); a family room also. Decent hearty food meets most walkers' needs. otter Alex, Ringwood Old Thumper, St Austell Tribute and a guest beer on handpump, local farm cide and malt whiskies; piped music, darts and poo. The picnic-sets on both sides of the road have moorland views.

Free house ~ Licensee Peter Parsons ~ Real ale ~ Bar food (all day but more restricted winter Mon and Tues) ~ (01822) 880208 ~ Children in family room ~ Dogs allowed in bar ~ Open 11-11; 12-10.30 Sun; 11-5 Mon and Tues during Nov-Feb.

With a few handy maps and a clutch of report forms for you to inform them of your experiences, the guide is complete. I can imagine it being a very helpful reference guide, especially now that people are holidaying much more at home, and definitely worth the £9.99 it costs (currently reduced at Amazon).

The publishers, Ebury Press, might sound familiar if you're a regular reader of the blog, as they run the Ebury Book Club on our community site, DoggySnaps, which means the chance to get your hands on free books for lucky members and an open discussion that everyone can take part in.

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