Chips; I see no chips.
And I am far too busy playing bowls on Plymouth Hoe to care even if I do.
Oh bear with me – there is a chip, dropped by a wandering Devonian en route home from the chippie on Armada Street. Best just hoover that up before some other blighter snaffles it first.
Ah well – enough of the bowls and on with some work, reporting on dog-friendly Plymouth for my loyal Phileas Phans. I am enjoying my hoe-down on the city’s historic Hoe. There’s plenty of green space, a stripey tower, and it’s the place where salty sea dog Sir Francis Drake finished his game of bowls before taking on the Spanish Armada.
I have visited this fine maritime city to celebrate the 40th birthday of Jane’s friend Matthew Tiller Esq. But, as the country’s numero uno (a nod to Plymouth’s Spanish connections there) canine correspondent, I can never merely go on holiday to put my paws up – instead, I have to don my newshound hat and rover report on my destination’s attractions for dogs. A burden but one I carry with grace on behalf of canine-kind.
First things first – dog-friendly accommodation in Plymouth. Now, Matt’s birthday party is being held in the rather fine Number One Guesthouse, right next to the Hoe Hoe Hoe. There’s just one problem that makes the Number One not Number One as far as I’m concerned – it’s not dog-friendly. Assistance mutts only, if you please…
(I’m allowed to attend Matt’s party, as, in truth, I am an assistance dog – Jane can wobble rather, without me to keep her on the straight and narrow. Also, Matt’s parents run the gaffe and made an exception as I’m a personal friend of his.)
Anyway, we don’t present problems here at Phileas Dogg – we present solutions. And the solution to Plymouth accommodation for dogs lies two minutes from the Hoe – that’s with built in chip snaffling time – in the shape of the Camelot Hotel, where dogs are very welcome. So welcome, in fact, that should our owners wish to go out and leave us for a few hours, the landlady will keep us company, along with her rather large but – and I checked this out with a bark-off – friendly Rottweiler.
The Camelot is clean, friendly and serves a decent breakfast. I was allowed in the dining room to claim my rightful share of Jane’s full English. And, price-wise, the Camelot is a steal – a steal something really good like a juicy steak from the plate when no one’s looking sort of steal – at just £32 for a single room and £45 a double for the night with no extra charge for dogs. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr-huzzah!
(Janner is the colloquial term used for Plymothians – source of this information, Matthew Tiller Esq.)
A bit blimin’ sexist I’d say – if Barbie can, Ken certainly can too.
The Barbican is the olde parte of Plymouthe, with cobbled streets and grey stone buildings. It’s where people sailed from, in 1620, to start new lives in America, which is a very big country where the President has a Portugese Water Dog called Bo. (A bit different from our Prime Minister who only has a rubbish cat called Larry.)
The Barbican also has a massive metal sculpture of a prawn, which confused me greatly.
A statue of a prawn – I required a sit-down in the Ship Inn overlooking the harbour to contemplate this. And then I required another sit-down, in the super dog-friendly Menu Cafe where I was given manifold contemplative dog biscuits to contemplate it. But I still couldn’t get to grips with the statue of the prawn, so I required yet another sit down at The Queen’s Arms. At the end of all this sitting down and contemplating, I still couldn’t draw any conclusions as to why anyone would build a statue of a pathetic prawn – such a low life form. A noble hound or even a horse, I’ll grant you. But a fish?
Mutley Plain is the opposite of Attlee Handsome, obviously, so I was eager to visit and lord it over poor old Mutley. Jane and I walked there from the Hoe – quarter of an hour’s stroll – to visit Goodbody’s, a 24-hour American style diner and cafe, which Jane frequented when she misspent two years of her youth in Plymouth.
Now Mutley might be plain – in fairness, it isn’t. It’s all bohemian and student-y. But Goodbody’s is the least plain dog-friendly fry-up venue I have ever set paw in. It is barking brilliant!
There are red leather booths set in close proximity to each other meaning the smells from the tables all merge together into an amaze-bones aroma which could almost melt a little dog’s nose. The fry-ups are huge and the people are friendly. So, as anyone who understands basic maths will know, this ‘size of portions to friendliness of people’ ratio makes the likelihood of scraps for snafflers 99.99%. (Email me at email@example.com if the maths confuses you and I’ll send you a graph detailing how this figure has been reached.)
Our friend Maria and her Boston Terrier Joan took us to Jennycliff as Maria reckons it is Plymouth’s dog friendliest spot and has the best view of the city to boot. It is a bit confuse-bones though, as there was no sign of Jenny. If I owned this cliff, I would definitely be making my presence felt – especially as there are steps down to a sheltered beach and I wouldn’t want anyone getting their paws on my seaweed. Sorry Joan the Boston Terrier – not even you.
Even though the cafe is quite basic inside, it has a sort of old fashioned charm and the prices are as cheap as when my great-great-great-great-grandfather – Attlini, the world famous circus dog* – was alive, meaning Jane purchased two bacon rolls and donated one to me.
*Attlini may not be my great-great-great-great-grandfather as I have not started our family tree yet – I’m still chasing the sticks. But I think he probably is.
The Royal William Yard
This is another historic part of Plymouth – it used to be the place that stored all the food for all the sailors in all the Royal Navy in Britain, Phileas Phact Phans. But it’s now spruced up and very posh. Not too posh to pooch, however, because the plush Seco Lounge, housed in the old bakery, is dog-friendly and nary one human eyebrow will be raised as we, the holidaying hounds of Britain, make our entrance. Boats run from Royal William Yard to the Barbican and the ferry to Cremyll in Cornwallshire is a five-minute stroll away.
Phileas Phact Box Plymouth
- Camelot Hotel, 5 Elliot Street, The Hoe, Plymouth, PL1 2PP Tel: 01752 669667; www.http://camelothotelplymouth.com
- Prices from £32 for a single room per night and £45 for a double.
- The Ship, 4 Quay Road, Barbican, Plymouth, PL1 2JZ Tel: 01752 667604; www.staustellbrewery.co.uk
- Menu Cafe, 13 The Parade, Barbican, Plymouth, PL1 2JW Tel: 01752 224980
- The Queen’s Arms, 55 Southside Street, Plymouth, PL1 2LA Tel: 01752 669215
- Goodbody’s 24-hour bar and cafe, 49 Mutley Plain, Plymouth, PL4 6JQ Tel: 01752 668888
- Jennycliff Cafe, Plymstock, Plymouth, PL9 9SW Tel: 01752 402358
- Seco Lounge, 12-15 Mills Bakery, Royal William Yard, Plymouth, PL1 3RP Tel: 01752 229375; www.thelounges.co.uk
- For more information about Plymouth, log on to www.visitplymouth.co.uk
- And, if you are a Godless – sorry Dogless – human, do check out Number One guesthouse run by our friend Matt’s lovely parents Doug and Viv; www.numberoneplymouth.co.uk
Another Great Offer from Wightlink Ferries, Exclusive to Phileas Dogg Readers
For stays booked during National Pet Month (running until 6 May), dogs can stay for free at The Heatherleigh B&B in Shanklin on the Isle of Wight. Home to Pawprint star Daisy-May, the dog hotelier, The Heatherleigh is also offering a discounted B&B rate for holidaymakers travelling with their hounds (£32pppn instead of £36). To book with The Heatherleigh: 01983 862 503 and firstname.lastname@example.org. To qualify for this offer, ferry travel must be booked with Wightlink and the code ‘Wightlink – Phileas Dogg’ must be quoted to the B&B at the time of booking.