Since moving to the North East in March 2018, Alnmouth has become a place we visit regularly as it’s only a 40 minute drive from where we live in Newcastle.
Alnmouth is a pretty little place steeped in history and heritage. It was established as a Roman village and flints and pots have been found there dating back to the Bronze Age.
It had a port and a market from the 13th Century, was renowned for exporting coal, wool and corn, and was famous for harbouring pirates.
John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, visited in 1748 and described it as: “A small seaport town famous for all kinds of wickedness.”
Nowadays, you won’t see pirates but there’s a lot of fun to be had and the thing we love the most is how dog friendly it is.
When we adopted Patch, it was the first place we took him for a mini break and we have fond memories of days on the beach there with Daisy too.
The St Valery
We were invited to review the St Valery B&B by Pets Pyjamas, a concierge services for dogs and their owners that ensures our furry friends have all they need while away from home.
Their travel predictions for 2019 were that pet parents would enjoy Dogs of Instagram Adventures, Rest and Rover, Festival Petaways and Sniffer Trips.
We opted for the Rest and Rover – which is a doggy digital detox – so no phones for our stay and it was bliss!
At the St Valery, every pooch gets a waggy tailed welcome by resident dog Roxy.
An adorable mix of terrier and Daschund, she belongs to Harvey who owns the hotel and who has created a dream getaway for dogs and their owners.
The St Valery is a gorgeous Victorian Villa with four bedrooms with en-suites including one dog friendly room, the St Benedict.
After being welcomed by Harvey and Roxy, we went into our room which was bright and spacious, with a king sized bed with Egyptian cotton sheets.
There was plenty of room for Patch’s dog bed – pups are asked to stay off the beds – and he trotted around sniffing excitedly!
Patch had his own welcome pack filled with toys, treats, paw wipes, a disposable bowl and those essential poo bags so he felt very spoilt.
Decor is contemporary and minimalist with stripped wood floors, original fireplaces, and Neom diffusers make the room smell gorgeous, not a hint of wet dog!
In the bathroom were Elemis toiletries and we had a spacious, walk in shower.
Once we’d settled in we had drinks on the terrace, a lovely sun trap with scatter cushions and tables.
Harvey runs an honesty bar so you can pour your own drinks. He joined us for a G&T as did little Roxy who kept hopping on my lap for a cuddle. Patch was as taken with her as I was!
At breakfast, there’s a selection of fresh fruit and cereals, and Harvey rustles up a range of cooked breakfasts, from locally sourced fish to a Full English.
While Patch was the only dog staying, Roxy provided great company, and Harvey and all the other guests we met made a fuss of him.
What makes the St Valery so special is the welcome you receive. Harvey is an absolute scream and we had such a laugh. We left feeling like we’d made new friends and can’t wait to return.
There’s something for everyone in Alnmouth, food, shopping, golf – there’s a course right in the middle of the village overlooking the North Sea.
For us, the best thing was the beach! Alnmouth boasts stretching golden sands for miles and miles and sand dunes for dogs to sniff around and explore.
The area around the entrance to the beach can get busy, especially if the weather is nice, but once you walk for half a mile or so, it’s usually pretty quiet.
Patch absolutely loves the beach – don’t all dogs?
And because it’s not crowded, even though we’re still training him, he could go off lead without us worrying about him stealing sandwiches.
His highlight was finding a blue Chuck It ball, and a crab which thankfully managed to get away. I think he had a bit of a shock.
You can walk for miles on the beach – one way takes you to Boulmer, which is around eight miles, and another to Warkworth, which is around 12 miles.
How dog friendly is it?
Pretty much every pub lets dogs in, as does the local post office and sweet shop and among the jars of traditional sweets is a big tub of gravy bones – a lovely touch!
For shoppers, try Aln Gifts, a lovely gift shop and gallery if you’re looking for souvenirs to take home.
Alnmouth might only be small but you’ll find everything you need.
Places to eat
The Red Lion
A pub serving fresh, seasonal produce with traditional meals like local Steak and Ale pie, Sunday Roasts and a good range of sandwiches and snacks.
Our favourite thing about the Red Lion is the beer garden. We visited on a Bank Holiday weekend and the weather was gorgeous, so we ate outside.
The garden has a decked area at the top that overlooks the estuary, so you can look right across the bay, a lovely spot to watch the sunset.
We’ve eaten at the Red Lion on a number of trips to Alnmouth and never had a disappointing meal. The locals are really welcoming of tourists, staff are friendly and there’s a great atmosphere.
Find out more at www.redlionalnmouth.com/
The Hope and Anchor
Another large pub in the village, at the Hope and Anchor there’s a bar area serving a good selection of beers, wines and cocktail and an Italian Restaurant.
They also serve takeaway fish and chips which we sampled after a huge 12 mile walk to Warkworth. The fish is locally sourced and was fresh and tasty, and the portions just the right size.
Their website is www.hopeandanchorholidays.co.uk/
We’ve only shared reviews of places we’ve tried, but other highly recommended places to eat include:
Beaches – a seafood shack for fish lovers.
Check the website for availability and opening times here www.beachesrestaurant.co.uk
Bistro 23 – locally sourced food and seafood and a tearoom by day.
Scotts of Alnmouth – lovely coffee shop and deli selling locally sourced food and drinks.
Find out more on the Scotts of Alnmouth Facebook page
Getting to Alnmouth
One of the reasons Alnmouth is so popular is because it’s on the London to Edinburgh train line meaning you can be there in just three and a half hours from London.
There’s plenty of trains from Newcastle and across the country too.
If you’re driving, it’s just east of Alnwick on the A1 and the postcode for your sat nav is NE66 2RJ.
You’ll find free parking around the village but it can be busy during peak times.
Fancy trying Alnmouth?
A night in the Dog Friendly St Benedict room starts from £170, with a £20 charge for dogs.
The St Valery is adults only.
Find out more at https://www.petspyjamas.com/
- With thanks to Pets Pyjamas for inviting us to review the St Valery
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