There are many reasons to stay at Budock Vean with your dog, but the real draw is the hotel’s position on the Helford river, surrounded by 65-acres of stunning sub-tropical gardens, ponds, woodland and parkland.
This brilliantly positioned Cornish bolthole is located on a quiet bend of the river and is every dog-owner’s paradise; a woodland path provides direct access to the South West Coast Path, found at the bottom of extensive gardens that gently slope down to your own private foreshore – here you can access the Helford River with its myriad activities including paddleboarding and kayaking, a trip to Frenchman’s Creek or a private charter, taking in the many coves and inlets along the way.
The seafaring husband and wife, duo Tom and Hetty run Koru – guided kayaking adventures and boat tours as well as gentle SUP sessions along the river. Tom knows the area inside-out, so you can expect to lean about the history of the surrounding area too.
On site you will also find a nine-hole golf course, two tennis courts, a croquet lawn and an Elemis spa, boasting an indoor pool and an outdoor hot tub. A modern country house hotel, dogs are welcome in all of the standard accommodation, as well as a handful of signature rooms and the holiday cottages. During your stay, your pals are able to join you to dine in the conservatory as well as the terrace with superb views across the gardens. Bedding,bowls and a feeding mat are provided to make your four-legged friends experience as comfortable as possible.
There’s a great woodland exercise area within the grounds where dogs are able to be let off the leash, along with a host of gorgeous walks along the South West Coast Path and ample sandy coves along the way.
A 20-minute walk along the coast path will take you to the brilliantly positioned, dog-friendly Ferryboat Inn where you can sit outside and soak up the
river views. There are also beautiful Cornish gardens located right on the doorstep – just five-minutes’ drive will take you to firm favourite, Trebah – see our stand-alone page for futher details.
A 20-minute drive will take you into Falmouth with it’s wonderful sandy beaches, castle and hip centre full of independent coffee shops, cafes, bars, boutiques and galleries. It’s worth noting that there are seasonal bans in place for all of the town’s main beaches – Gyllngvase, Swanpool and Maenporth – but venture along after 6pm when the sands clear and your friend will enjoy the freedom to run, play and take a dip.
During your stay, your pals are able to join you to dine in the conservatory as well as the terrace with superb views across the gardens. The hotel’s dinner menu changes daily, to ensure they’re using the best local and seasonal produce; expect flavoursome plates of freshest locally-landed hake and turbot with saffron potatoes and samphire butter, wild Cornish venison with garlic roasted new potatoes, port and thyme jus and seared tenderloin and slow cooked belly of locally reared pork, served with a grain-mustard mash.
There’s also an evening terrace menu for anyone after more relaxed dining – this can be served in the conservatory or out on the terrace – and a delicious afternoon tea menu, including a selection of savoury bites, sandwiches, sweet treats and a Cornish cream tea – just don’t forget the jam comes first!
If you’d prefer to dine out, we’re huge fans of the Ferryboat Inn at Mawan Smith, a rustic pub set on the riverside, serving fresh fish and seafood. There’s also the Shipwrights Arms at Helford with spectacular views of the Helford Passage – enjoyed by locals and visitors – expect freshest seafood, straight from the day boats, as well as pub classics – juicy steaks, Cornish pasties and Roskilly’s ice cream. During the summer months authentic stone-baked pizza can be enjoyed, cooked in the outside pizza kitchen and from autumn-through-winter, there’s a traditional Sunday roast.
There’s an additional charge of £10.00 per night for stays between one and five nights, with a charge of £8.00 per dog, per night for stays of six nights or more. Dogs are also welcomed in the holiday cottages for £30 per dog, per week for the first two weeks, and £20 per dog, per week thereafter. A minimum of £30 per dog will apply for stays of less than one week.
I loved my stay at Budock Vean – every dog’s paradise, it was fun to wander through the gardens, down to the river for some seafaring activity, explore local Cornish gardens and visit sandy inlets and coves. I was allowed to join my humans for breakfast and dinner where I received lots of fuss from the friendly staff. Paws crossed we can head back soon!
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