Dubbed the ‘Tourism Oscars’, the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence are the most prestigious in the industry. That’s why we were delighted when they awarded one of our properties, Higher Wiscombe in Devon, the Gold Award for Best Dog Friendly Business of 2016. After an extensive judging process, which first saw the cottages given the Gold Award for their region, Higher Wiscombe was officially recognised as the very best of canine-friendly English tourism.
For those who’ve visited Higher Wiscombe, the award will come as no surprise. Owned by a family that have two dogs of their own, every provision has been made to ensure that visitors – and their canine friends – have everything they need to enjoy their stay. Recognising that the family dog can be an integral part of a holiday, they have ensured that it’s a 5* break for everyone who stays – not just the humans.
Alistair Handyside, who owns the property with his wife Lorna, said: “It’s so important to us that all our visitors are comfortable and relaxed – and because we have our own dogs, we know that their enjoyment can play a huge part in that. They’re extensions of the family really, so hopefully everybody who comes to Higher Wiscombe – person or canine – feels at home on their holiday.”
Alistair and Lorna have certainly gone the extra mile to achieve that. On arrival, visitors are greeted with a dog hamper, which includes blankets for the sofas, bowls, a guide to dog walks in the local area, towels for the aftermath of muddy walks, treats, and even a Higher Wiscombe ‘Dicky Bag’. And with 52 acres for pooches and their owners to explore, it’s the perfect place to spend time with a man’s best friend. They even offer emergency dog food supplies, and an outside tap to wash dogs who’ve really enjoyed their time in the Devon countryside.
Peaceful, secluded and set in a beautiful valley, Higher Wiscombe sits at the heart of the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, just inland from the Jurassic Coast and South West Coast Path. Accommodating 6 to 32 guests, all bedrooms are en-suite, and can be transformed into double rooms if required. What’s more, every cottage on the property is equipped to Five Star Gold standards. Surrounded by stunning rural views, it’s difficult to imagine a more enjoyable setting for a holiday with the whole family – including the dog.
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When it comes to four-legged friends, the owners of Higher Wiscombe know how to create the perfect holiday – which is why VisitEngland named them the Best Dog Friendly Business of 2016. Read on to find out more.