If you share your life with a dog, there’s nothing quite like being able to escape for a few days and having the luxury of bringing your tail-wagging friend along for the ride, but it also requires some extra planning. Where to go, where to stay, what are the rules, will it be stressful? These are just a few questions you need to consider before travelling the open road with your dog.
We are proud to say that Old Thorns has recently become a dog-friendly hotel and now welcome pooches to the Alliss building, which has been fully converted into a dog-friendly environment in order to ensure you and your pet have a comfortable and relaxing stay.
Our 4-star resort in Liphook is well known for its warm and welcoming atmosphere, so when you arrive at the hotel during check-in, you will receive a welcome pack detailing all the dog-friendly areas we provide. Of course, there are certain spots in the hotel where your pet won’t be allowed but don’t worry, that will be included in there too.
So, why come visit us with your furry friends? Well, for those of you who don’t know, Old Thorns is located on the doorstep to the South Downs National Park, which covers around 3,300km of paths to explore for dog walkers and hikers. (https://www.southdowns.gov.uk/enjoy/plan-a-visit/).
Just south of Old Thorns is a town called Petersfield, which is home to Queen Elizabeth Country Park and Butser Hill (https://walkiees.co.uk/walks/hampshire/queen-elizabeth-country-park). The country park sits on fourteen hundred acres of downland and woodland, with trails for walking, cycling and horse riding. You will be able to book out a barbecue area, tackle the trails or chill out at the visitor centre, which is open 9am to 4pm. If you look up you will see a hill with an aerial mast on the top of it, we challenge you to climb it. When you reach the top, you will be at the highest point of the South Downs, with views down to Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight (on a clear day).
If you were to venture north of Old Thorns you will come across the ‘Devil’s Punch Bowl’ (https://walkiees.co.uk/walks/surrey/devils-punch-bowl), which is a large natural amphitheater and beauty spot near Hindhead, Surrey. The London to Portsmouth road (A3) skirted the centre of the site before the Hindhead Tunnel was built in 2011. The land is now maintained by the National Trust and is perfect for dog walks through the shady woods or across the open heathland, with grazing cattle and wild ponies.
If you fancy something a little further away, then ‘The Seven Sisters’ walk in the South Downs some 10 miles between Alfirston and Eastbourne (1 hour 50 minute drive from Old Thorns) has been ranked as one of the top 10 dog walks in the UK by Saga (https://www.saga.co.uk/magazine/home-garden/pets/dogs/10-best-dog-walks-in-the-uk). Word has it that the views are spectacular, but we will let you find this out for yourself.
Around Hampshire and Surrey there are multiple countryside pubs which allow dogs and would be a perfect place to stop off and refuel after a long walk. Some of the pubs are recommended (https://www.southdowns.gov.uk/communicating-south-downs/food-drink/introduction-3/pubs-and-inns-to-visit/), but others are hidden gems and we would love to hear what you find on your adventures by tweeting us @OldThornsHotel or tagging us in Facebook.
So if you don’t like leaving your pampered pooch behind when you go on holiday, rest assured a trip to Old Thorns is the place for you. Say goodbye to budget B&B’s and dog kennels, our hotel resort means you don’t have to compromise on a top quality getaway just because you have your four-legged friend in tow.