Oscar, my dog, is very happy. Finding luxury accommodation that welcomes dogs is not an easy task, let alone a place that surprises him with a dog hamper on arrival. However, to find such a cottage complex, with indoor and outdoor pools, a table tennis room and tennis court for my 11-year-old son Charlie, and a gym, heated whirlpool and one-to-one yoga teachers for me (make sure you book in advance), was like discovering some kind of Shangri-la, set in 13 acres of award-winning countryside in Cornwall, complete with signposted dog walks.
The Valley was just a 20-minute car ride to a choice of coasts, so we made the most of it. In three days, we learned to stand upright on a wave at the surfing mecca of Watergate Bay, taught Oscar to swim at Crantock – a stunning, dog-friendly beach on the Atlantic coast – and cycled the traffic-free bike ride along the Bissoe Way, down to the ancient quays at Devoran on the south coast.
Sea air, huge beds and yoga in a self-catering, five-star cottage that was bigger, posher and with a much better equipped kitchen than we had at home, and I could have stayed for a month. Actually, I was tempted to move in, but stay any longer and Oscar would definitely have got ideas above his station…
Prices from £310 for a weekend stay at The Valley, Carnon Downs, Truro, Cornwall. Call 01872 862194, or book at the-valley.co.uk