Hey there Phileas Phans, Willow here – long time no sniff. I’ve been very busy this last year – we bought a house so now I have my very own place. (Hannah wouldn’t let me be on the mortgage but everyone knows it’s my house really.) And so many people have been coming to visit that it’s been exhausting. Plus I’ve been a BIG help with all the decorating, especially the gardening – I definitely have green paws!
Anyway, I just had to make time out of my busy schedule to tell you all about our latest holiday – it was totes amaze-bones! We were having a big family get-together with 14 people so we booked Hartcliffe View near Penistone, in the Peak District. But, when we arrived, we realised ‘house’ did not do our holiday home justice – it was more like a CELEBRITY MANSION. With granite floors throughout, a huge staircase complete with chandelier and floor-to-ceiling mirror, a massive Jacuzzi bath and a games room, it was a palace fit for an A-list pooch – that’s me, by the way – and my whole entourage.
Dogs are only allowed on the ground floor but that wasn’t a problem as the stairs were too steep and slippery for my little paws and besides, it gave me easy access to the garden which was doggy heaven! It was HUGE – like having a park transported to our back door – and perfect for playing fetch and running round and round (and round).
What’s more, the owners of Hartcliffe View obviously realise that us canine visitors are just as important as human ones and there was a whole dedicated doggy cupboard, with bowls, toys and treats just for me. And the information booklet contained a lovely letter from the owner’s dog addressed to holidaying hounds, as well as suggestions for some local walks. As for the basket that was provided, it was big enough for a Great Dane!
So I was in my element – and so were my family. They were SO excited at the sight of the pool table, table tennis and football tables, as well as the massive TV and PlayStation. And they were in awe of the double fridge with ice dispenser – and the four ovens. (Sometimes I just don’t get humans. I mean, we had a PARK for a GARDEN and they were excited about ovens – priorities all wrong!) They were also very pleased about the welcome bottle of wine that had been left for them, though they’d certainly got the worse end of the deal compared to all my treats I had in my doggy cupboard.
There were great views too, especially, they told me, from the games room and bedroom at the top of the spiral staircase that led to the top floor. Apparently guests could even look out over the hills whilst relaxing in the tub in a bathroom with floor-to-ceiling windows – not for the shy human!
The owners of Hartcliffe View were really nice, keeping in touch all week by email and even calling us from their home in Germany to check we had everything we needed. Well, I had thought they must be nice even before we arrived as they allowed my cousin to bring his CAT to the family gathering! Now, who takes a cat on holiday I ask you?! I was less than impressed: a dog having to spend her holiday with a CAT? The indignity of it all!
(Still, after a few words from Hannah, I was ordered to be polite to the CAT so was on my best behaviour and even tried to be friends with her. But she had the cheek to not want anything to do with me. That’s the last time I extend the paw of friendship to a stupid feline!)
Although we would have been happy to stay in our mansion all week, we did get out and about, exploring some of the Peak District. We visited Holmfirth, home of Last of The Summer Wine; had a drink in the dog-friendly Bridge pub and walked around Langsett Barn reservoir.
Our favourite pub of the week, though, was The Strines Inn. We first went there after doing a HUUUGE 11 mile walk (we were promised it was only six miles so this was a very sore point) and the Strines Inn was the most welcome sight imaginable. It’s one of the oldest pubs in Britain, there are loads of peacocks in the grounds, and I’m told by my humans, it does good real ales and food. Most importantly it’s carpeted so I could lie down and sleep comfortably after my 11-mile ordeal. (I only have little paws!)
And, back in the luxury of Hartcliffe View, I soon recovered – the utility room was turned into my pampering parlour and all the mud washed out of my beautiful fur.
Another place that deserves a mention is the Blacksmith’s Arms, just a two-minute walk from Hartcliffe and very dog friendly if your humans tire of using their four ovens. The staff there really looked after us the night we went – we’d booked a table for 14 and they even set it up in the bar area so that I could go too.
At the end of a week in our mansion we all felt like celebrities – even the CAT – and none of us wanted to leave and return to a four-ovenless, park-gardenless existence. So we’re already thinking about organising another trip, and if you are taking all of your human pack on holiday, you should definitely visit Hartcliffe View too.
Phileas Phacts: Hartcliffe View, the Peak District
- Hartcliffe View, Millhouse Green near Holmfirth, Peak District – book through Sykes Cottages. Telephone: 01244 356666; www.sykescottages.co.uk
- The Bridge, Woodhead Rd, Holmbridge, Holmfirth, West Yorkshire HD9 2NQ Tel: 01484 687652; www.thebridgeholmbridge.co.uk
- The Strines Inn, Bradfield Dale, Bradfield, Sheffield, S6 6JE Tel: 0114 2851247; www.the strinesinn.webs.com
- The Blacksmith’s Arms, Manchester Road, Millhouse Green, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S36 9NQ Tel: 01226 762211; www.theblacksmiths-arms.com