Saturday, October 23, 2021

Bike & Boot Scarborough - Dog Friendly Stay


Bike & Boot really does break the mould when it comes to being 'dog friendly'. Not only are their 4 legged visitors greeted with a warm welcome, there are NO restrictions within the hotel on where they can go. In the past I've often found that 'dog friendly' hotels will only offer certain rooms to guests with a dog and they aren't welcome in the restaurant and dining areas for example. I love that with Bike & Boot this isn't the case and doggy guests are made to feel equally as welcome and at home as their human guests!

That's not the only thing that sets Bike & Boot apart from other hotels. During our stay I noticed so many little touches for guests that made our time with them all the more memorable. 

Our Room 

We stayed in a gorgeous sea view suite with fabulous views over Scarboroughs Spa Bridge. The room itself was clean, spacious and modernly decorated and included all the usual amenities you'd expect to find; tea, coffee, kettle, mini bar, iron and ironing board, hairdryer, safe etc. I also loved that the TV had the option to cast movies from Disney + and Netflix apps straight from your phone using the hotels free Wi-Fi. Being so close to the beach (a 2 min walk) it was blissful to lie in bed at night with the windows open and listen to the sound of the waves crashing. Given the hotels location is atop a hill and the road outside leads only to the hotel it was really quiet at night allowing for a peaceful nights sleep. If you're lucky you'll be treated to a stunning sunrise over the sea in the morning! 

The Wadobi 

I am sometimes put off staying in hotels with Murphy as I worry about taking him back muddy, walking him through the hotel covered in sand from the beach etc. One of my absolute favourite parts of the Bike & Boot is their doggy wash and blow dry facilities. You can enter this room straight from the street outside using your room card, meaning you can get cleaned off straight away! There's plenty of complimentary doggy shampoo and conditioner and a quality dryer for afterwards. There are also towels to dry off if your pup is noise sensitive and scared of the dryer, so you don't need to remember to pack your own! The dog wash and dryer are both height adjustable. I found this a total godsend after an afternoon on the beach with Murphy, it meant he could fully enjoy himself and I didn't have to worry about taking half the beach back into the room with us afterwards! 

Within The Wadobi there are also bike cleaning facilities where the humans can hose their boots down also. This would also be great for hosing bigger dogs down or if your pup is nervous of the doggy bath! The large wash and drying room is also perfect for those brave enough to take their paddleboard for a spin on the sea! 

The Retreat

I loved this space and found it great that the hotel offered places for guests to sit and relax should they choose to other than being confined to their room or bar area. Within The Retreat guests are treated to an array of comfy chairs and sofas, soft lighting and 24/7 free hot drinks with takeaway cups, perfect for grabbing before heading out! Within The Retreat area guests are also treated to free homemade cake served at 4pm everyday (be quick, it goes fast!) There are also a small selection of family games such as Jenga and Monopoly. I found this to be a lovely touch and a very social room. It gave guests the chance to mingle and felt really homely. 

The Film Club

Grab some snacks and experience a trip to the cinema without having to leave the hotel! Bike and Boots very own Cinema is free to hotel guests and yep you guessed it, dog friendly too! There are three films shown per day at 3pm, 6pm and 9pm. You don't need to book tickets or reserve seats and it's a fab addition for rainy days. The films shown each day change regularly but during our stay they were Ghostbusters, Beetlejuice and IT. 

The Bareca

The hotels very own bar, restaurant and cafe. It was lovely to enjoy breakfast in the restaurant with the dogs. In hotels we've stayed in in the past we have been forced to either find somewhere else to eat or eat breakfast within our room as the dining areas haven't been dog friendly. Breakfast was a continental buffet style complete with a waffle station where you can make your own waffles which we loved! You don't need to be a guest of the hotel to visit the restaurant, so would highly recommend popping in if you're there for the day and sampling the pizzas or cocktails. Sea views guaranteed. 

Thank you to all at Bike & Boot for a wonderful stay and for making us all feel so welcome. It's a breath of fresh air to find somewhere that fully embraces what it means to be dog friendly and is revolutionary in the concept of facilities it offers for pets and their owners (I mean, a dog friendly cinema come on!) 

If you'd like to find out more about Bike & Boot Scarborough or book a stay of your own you can do so by clicking the link HERE

Love Kelly & Murphy x x

*Whilst this stay was gifted, I wasn't asked to post this blog and all opinions are my own.



Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Top 5 SUP Spots UK


1. The Blue Lagoon - (Abereiddi) Pembrokeshire. 

This flooded slate quarry known for its stunning bright blue-green water is bordered by beautiful beaches and craggy rocks. The contrast of these grey rocks and vibrant waters is really quite breathtaking. This natural beauty spot does get busy, even on a chilly day in early April the lagoon was full of swimmers, paddlers and cliff divers, so my advice would be to get there early to avoid the crowds (this was taken at 6 am and even then we weren't the only ones there!)

Parking / Launching 

Although the site is now looked after by The National Trust, members may be disappointed to learn that there is no National Trust car park at the Blue Lagoon. The car park (SA62 6DT) is a fixed fee of £4, it's a fairly small car park for the volume of visitors this site attracts, especially in summer months, so I would again advise to get there early. It is a short 5-10 min walk along the coastline from the car park to reach the lagoon. The pathway for the most part is flat, so a fairly easy walk with the boards. 

2. Derwentwater - Lake District 

Whats not to love about this stunning location, with its dramatic backdrop and views of the surrounding hills; Skiddaw, Catbells and Borrowdale in the distance. This is, in my opinion one of the 'prettiest' lakes to paddle. As with many of the lakes in the Lake District however, you will have to be prepared for sharing the lake with rowing boats, motor boats and the occasional steamer. That being said, we did find this to be one of the 'quieter' lakes to paddle in the summer and with a number of sheltered coves and islands to explore it's the perfect SUP spot!

Parking / Launching 

On our visit we stayed at the Camping and Caravanning Keswick Club site which offers guests the option to launch straight from the campsite from their own private beach for just £2 per day. For those not camping there is parking available at The National Trust Kettlewell Car Park (CA12 5UN) and launching is easy as the car park is right next to the lake! 

3. Wastwater - Lake District 

A firm favourite for me and one that I am already itching to visit again! It's surrounded by mountains including: Red Pike, Kirk Fell, Great Gable and England's highest mountain, Scafell Pike. One of the things I loved most about this lake other than the dramatic backdrop is that there are no motorised/sailing/row boats on the water. This meant I wasn't having to constantly watch over my shoulder for oncoming hazards and was able to enjoy a relatively peaceful paddle. I say that because its quite exposed it was pretty damn windy! Definitely one to visit if you want to escape the crowds. 

Parking / Launching

Look out for parking spots dotted along the banks of the lake, alternatively you can park in The National Trust Lake Head car park (CA20 1EX) where you can launch straight onto the lake after crossing the road. 

4. Lake Vyrnwy - Wales 

Designated as a Site of Special Scenic Interest and set amidst the remote Berwyn Mountains this idyllic paddle spot has a certain fairytale vibe thanks to the picturesque straining tower. Nestled amongst thick, dense forest it's often described as one of Wales' hidden gems! 

Parking / Launching

Launching is from the boat house only (Bethania Watersports). There is free parking available at the boathouse with a £5 launch fee. It is worth noting that when we visited the owners had a very energetic and rather large off lead dog that was left to roam free. He was jumping all over our boards as we were trying to inflate them and chasing Murphy around as we walked down the hill to launch. My advise would be to check this before you start setting up and ask the owners if they could put it on a lead first! 

5. Ullswater - Lake District 

Ullswater, the second largest lake in England after Windermere, is around 9 miles long. Surrounded by gentle rolling hills it's another picturesque paddle spot. Easily the busiest of the spots featured in this top 5 however, if you want a peaceful paddle I'd recommend heading out after 5 pm once the crowds have departed and the hire of boats / steamer trips have closed for the day! I love Ullswater for its numerous coves which are perfect for pulling up in for a chilled beverage before paddling back! 

Parking / Launching 

With the sheer size of the lake there are numerous different spots to park and launch. We've always launched from Glenridding (CA11 0PD). Parking starts from £3 for upto 2 hours and costs upto £8 for the full day. 

We can't wait to visit more paddle spots across Britain, hopefully adding some from Scotland soon! 

Love Kelly & Murphy x


Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Jackery: Power for every adventure.


We were recently sent a Jackery Explorer 500 Portable Power Station and an accompanying Jackery SolarSaga 100w Portable Solar Panel to try out. 

Firstly, 'What is a Jackery I hear you ask?' 

It's a rechargeable battery powered generator. It comes equipped with an AC outlet, DC carport and 3 USB charging points. Basically think of it as a portable source of electricity. It can charge all of your gear whilst out and about from smartphones and laptops to cameras and drones. It can also power your electrical appliances like hairdryers and straighteners! 

Whilst I initially charged the Jackery at home, I love that you can keep it charged whilst out on the road with renewable energy using the lightweight, fold-able solar panel. This literally means you need never go without power and struggle to charge your gadgets whilst on your off grid travels again. "That's all well and good but we get very little sun here in the UK!" I hear you say but it doesn't need to be a clear day with blazing sunshine for this piece of kit to work. I managed to get an average input of around 25W on a relatively cloudy day. 

In the past, whilst camping I have always relied on charging my phone by plugging it into the car whilst driving. Not always the best option, especially when your phone is completely dead and you're doing little/no driving that day! With the Jackery we no longer have that problem. Over the course of a weekend camping we used the Jackery to keep 2 phones charged, play movies on a chromebook each evening, power hair straighteners for around 15 mins each morning and power USB lights for around 3 hours each evening. Upon returning home the Jackery was on a battery life of 85% still, meaning all of this had used only 15% of its battery life! I think you could quite easily manage a full week off grid before you had to even think about recharging the Jackery and obviously much longer if you constantly keep this topped up with the Solar Panel!

Another thing I love about the Jackery and have found really useful is the inbuilt torch. This is perfect for when camping or if ever there is a power cut! 

This is an absolutely fantastic, robust and well made piece of quality kit that we have found numerous uses for in the short time that we have had it. It's certainly made our camping trips easier that's for sure!

Jackery are celebrating their 9th Anniversary. From 18th-20th October there will be 15% off all products. Check Jackery UK Amazon Store: 

*The products mentioned in this post were gifted but all opinions are my own

Love Kelly & Murphy x 

Blogger Template Created by pipdig