Season’s Woof-tings Phileas Phans. Time has flown by since I last wrote about my summer adventures by the sea; now it’s cold and dark and I seem to be forever having my paws wiped or – DOG forbid – dunked in a bowl of water after a muddy walk. I’ve even had my first birthday – I’m now a whole year old. My birthday was great. We had a party with my very own doggy birthday cake, and I unwrapped my presents. And now I’m unwrapping more presents as it’s my very first Christmas (that I can remember) with Hannah and her family. It’s all very exciting.
This festive period makes the dark nights and miserable weather a lot more bearable and so, even though we haven’t been on any exciting trips, I thought this would be a great opportunity to tell you about the lovely place where I live – Tickhill!
Tickhill is a big village (or is it a little town, we’re never sure!) in South Yorkshire, famous for being the home of Willow the Coton de Tulear – and where Jeremy Clarkson hails from.
In the heart of the village, there are lots of lovely shops, pubs and places to eat or have a coffee, all surrounding the Buttercross in the centre. The Buttercross dates back to the markets in the 1700’s and is the iconic symbol for Tickhill. Every year on Christmas Eve hundreds of Tickhill residents gather round it to sing carols. This year was my first experience of ‘Carols at the Buttercross’ and loads of my friends – both four- and two-legged – were there. It wasn’t a very Silent Night at all!
Even when it’s not Christmas, Tickhill is a gift to we dogs.
We have our very own medieval castle, dating back to the 11th century, and the family that live there open the doors to the public once a year when we all get to have a nosey around.
Tickhill also boasts a cricket ground, the lovely St Mary’s Church, and WALKS – around the village and through the surrounding fields. My favourite walk is round the Mill Dam. (That’s the posh name – we just call it the duck pond!) It’s lovely whatever the time of year and there are lots and lots of DUCKS, as is appropriate, given the name. I’d love to run around chasing them all but sadly I’m never allowed. Instead, they just stand and quack at me as I walk past on the lead – I’d show them if I got the chance! Sometimes children throw bread to the ducks. Why? I try and tell the children that the bread is wasted on those ducks and that I’d happily help them finish it.
Aside from the WALKS, Tickhill is very dog-friendly in its shops and businesses too.
Castlegates DIY is a hardware store selling everything from kitchen items to light bulbs – and there’s a pet section. Dogs are welcome and I’m always given lots of fuss from the owners. This place definitely gets my paw print of approval!
Dogs are also welcome in GT News and I sometimes get a biscuit from one of the nice ladies who works there – because of this, me and Hannah often call in on our walks. The ladies in KSM – the card shop and dry cleaners – are really friendly too, and let Hannah carry me around inside when we’re buying someone a last minute birthday card!
Our favourite coffee shop is Lottie’s (it’s a wine bar in the evening). The lovely Charlotte who owns it is our neighbour and sells the best cakes in town – Hannah and her mum are regulars. There’s a nice little courtyard outside where people can sit with their dogs, which is especially lovely in summer.
There are lots of pubs in Tickhill and most allow dogs – result! I had my first pint in the Carpenters Arms. (Only pretend of course – everyone knows dogs shouldn’t have alcohol.) And the beer garden in the Scarborough Arms is lovely to sit outside in when it’s sunny.
I know I might be biased but I definitely think Tickhill is the most wonderful place to live. But, wherever you are this year, I hope you’re all having a Pawfect Christmas and are Woofing in 2014 in style!
Phileas Phacts: Tickhill, South Yorkshire
- Castlegates DIY, 14 Castlegate, Tickhill, Doncaster, DN11 9QU Tel: 01302 742982
- GT News, 11 Market Place, Tickhill , Doncaster, DN11 9HT Tel: 01302 742429
- KSM Card Shop and Dry Cleaners, 2 Market Place, Tickhill, Doncaster DN11 9QU Tel: 01302 742572
- Lotties Coffee Shop and Wine Bar, 1 Sunderland St, Tickhill, Doncaster DN11 9PT Tel: 01302 742385; Twitter:@LottiesTickhill
- The Carpenters Arms, Westgate, Tickhill, Doncaster, DN11 9NE Tel: 01302 742839
- Scarborough Arms, Sunderland St, Tickhill, Doncaster, DN11 9QJ Tel: 01302 742977