A pet-friendly seaside jewel

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WEEKENDS away with the wife have become infinitely more difficult since our new arrival.

What were once the stuff of absolute spontaneity, settled using pin-in-map planning, have had to become carefully considered events, complete with far-sighted logistics.

And that’s because our ‘new arrival’ is a furry five-month-old four-legged friend of freakish proportions.

So when we happened upon Kett Country Cottages, who are more than happy to welcome mucky pups to some of their properties, we began to get excited.

Based in Fakenham, Kett has most of North Norfolk covered with its portfolio of accommodation, and we espied The Leveret – a cosy little base in the village of Ringstead, near Hunstanton.

Cutting to the chase, it will cost you from £290 for a weekend, with a supplement of £15 for a pooch.

A relatively compact new-build in the barn style, the one-bed pad offers a neat combination of high-tech gadgetry with farmhouse character.

From eco-friendly heating through a tactile stone floor, to digital appliances – The Leveret is a farm hand in a posh suit.

Complete with a neatly presented multi-level enclosed garden – which proved an irresistible puppy playground – the property has everything we needed, in a cosily compact little package.

Away from the property itself, Ringstead is the perfect base for exploring the best bits of Hunstanton.

Despite the biting wind, squally snow showers and icy temperatures, we came determined to enjoy some of Peddars Way, a coastal walk that takes in some of the county’s most majestic scenery.

A combination of woodland and sea front, the three of us set off to see the sea, and give ‘little’ Wilf his first taste of sea water, and a thirsty Editor his umpteenth taste of ale, hopefully.

We took in around eight miles in total, punctuated by cute beach huts nestled behind undulating grassy dunes, and stumbled into a very welcome dog-friendly cafe adjacent the RNLI lifeboat station.

Inside I spotted a board boasting that day’s catch of mussels, served in a creamy white wine sauce, with a freshly baked baguette, for just five of my English pounds. I couldn’t have been happier.

Brimming with fresh seafood, but bereft of any booze, we strolled back to base without a care in the world.

First job was to run the roll-top bath. Well, I tell a lie, first job was actually to scrub the mutt before he ventured inside for what turned out to be a marathon kip!

So if you’re looking for a break, with or without the dog, check out www.kettcountrycottages.co.uk.

And if you find something you like, give them a call on 01328 887590 – there really is something for everyone, especially those who struggle to get pet-friendly holidays.