It’s somewhere I’d always wanted to go, so armed with my two furry side kicks we went in search of the most dog friendly cottage in Robin Hood’s Bay….and I think we found it!
Before we’d even put a toe bean over the threshold we knew we were going to love Sunnyside Cottage.
Having been sent lots of information about the area prior to our stay, we already had our doggy days out planned and were itching to explore!
Sunnyside Cottage is owned by Rachel Spencer, and it is situated in the quaint fisherman’s village of Robin Hood’s Bay on the North Yorkshire coast. Imagine winding cobbled streets, narrow alleyways, and a bustling picture-perfect harbour less than a minute from our cottage.
We had arrived in doggy heaven!
I’ve known Rachel for a few years now. Over time we have become firm friends, bonding over our mutual adoration of dogs. And despite our geographical distance, we have managed to meet up a few times with our trio of terriers! Like me, Rachel’s life revolves around her trusty canine companion Patch. And, as such, I knew she’d have considered every minute detail when accessorising her new holiday pad.
A Pooch Perfect Cottage in Robin Hood’s Bay
Now as seasoned travellers, the girls and I know exactly what makes a good dog-friendly holiday cottage, and I can unreservedly say that Sunnyside did not disappoint. It is pooch perfect!
You won’t find any annoying dog rules; or any never-ending lists of dos and don’ts! At Sunnyside Cottage your dog is the guest of honour! You are merely there as their chaperone to make sure they have the pawfect holiday!
With their very own raised food bowl, swanky toy box, luxury Barka Parka bean bag bed, and a ‘borrow basket’ brimming with doggy essentials, it’s no wonder my terrible twosome looked so regal throughout our stay!
Waiting for us on arrival were two of the most adorable nautical doggy bandanas, courtesy of the lovely Kim at Leo, Charley and Me. [The girls were much admired when parading around the village in their matching outfits.]
There were also some of their favourite natural dog treats, along with some pawfume samples and the all-important poo bags! [The super posh ones from Adios Plastics that I only invest in for high days and holidays!]
I was suitably spoilt too with an indulgent gin hamper from a local artisan store called Higgledy Pig which is located on the high street. (A must-visit whilst in The Bay.)
There was also a bottle of pink fizz chilling in the fridge, along with a bag of my favourite Cadbury’s buttons! [Rachel knows me so well!]
With such a generous welcome, it’s no wonder we instantly felt so at home at Sunnyside Cottage. And within just a few hours I was already thinking we may have to be served an eviction notice in order to leave!
Sunnyside Cottage in Robin Hood’s Bay
Sunnyside just oozes charm and character. Steeped in history, the interior of this traditional fisherman’s cottage has been sympathetically modernised and has all you need for a cosy stay. Rachel has gone out of her way to create a true home from home, and with a subtle nod to the nautical, there’s a fabulously seasidey vibe to the place.
The accommodation is set over three floors, connected by two sets of steep, winding stairs.
On the ground floor is a well-equipped modern kitchen, a cosy seating area, and a log-burning stove for snuggling up on chilly evenings.
With a wall-mounted flat screen tele that has access to every TV channel and Netflix series known to man, it’s the perfect space to relax and hunker down. There is also great Wi-Fi, so fear not, you won’t lose contact with the outside world!
Whilst compact and bijoux, the kitchen is probably one of the most well-equipped of any accommodation I have stayed in. Boasting high-quality crockery and utensils, Rachel has thought of everything for her guests – even birthday cake candles!
[It’s always a tell-tale sign I love somewhere when I return home with an Amazon wish list as long as my arm!]
On the middle floor is the bathroom, with a shower over the bath, and a light and airy twin bedroom.
However, for me, it is the master bedroom that is the pièce de résistance. Tucked away in the attic, this spacious bedroom looks out across an artistic jumble of higgledy-piggledy rooftops and quirky chimney pots to frame glimpses of the glistening waters in the bay below.
As it is situated amid an intricate maze of cobbled streets, there is no garden or parking at Sunnyside Cottage. However, with a grassed area in the neighbouring ginnel and the beach less than one minute’s walk away, it posed no problem with late night and early morning comfort breaks!
Exploring Robin Hood’s Bay
Having endured a long six-hour journey from Wiltshire to get to Robin Hood’s Bay, I had no intention of travelling far during our stay.
After a refreshing powerful shower on the first morning, followed by a leisurely breakfast, we were ready to start exploring! And what better place to start than the beach?
With the sea at high tide, we set off on the Cleveland Way coastal path. Ambling our way over the cliffs, we found a secluded stretch of beach at Stoupe Beck Sands, which was untouched by the tide.
The footpath includes several flights of steep steps, so it’s rather a lung buster! But nevertheless, the perfect way to work off my indulgent fish and chip supper from the night before!
The dogs had a whale of a time chasing about on the sand, sampling the local beach delicacies, and rolling in a dead seagull. [Along with other unmentionable, yet apparently delectable, treasures!]
Much as I was planning to head straight back into Robin Hood’s Bay to explore, we retreated back to our cosy cottage so the girls could be dunked in the bath before venturing into the village for a spot of lunch.
The village of Robin Hood’s Bay is very much a tourist hotspot (for the classy traveller, I may add)! And as we meandered through the hodgepodge of cobbled ginnels, it was apparent that most of the cottages here are holiday dwellings. (In fact, I later discovered that only 50 of the 280 properties are lived in by residents.)
As such, the village enjoys a welcoming and relaxed vibe. After just one day, we felt like locals and we had already made lots of new acquaintances. Everyone is so chatty and friendly, and of course, when you’re travelling solo and you have two cute dogs in tow, it doesn’t take long to strike up a conversation!
Robin Hood’s Bay – A Dog Lover’s Paradise
In days gone by, Robin Hood’s Bay was a smuggler’s paradise. These days it’s a dog-lovers paradise! Nearly everyone we encountered had their trusty pup by their side. And almost all the independent boutiques, cafes, and pubs welcome dogs.
The sheltered beach at Robin Hood’s Bay has a beauty all of its own and is framed by a dramatic backdrop of craggy cliffs. Dog-friendly all year round, low tide reveals a tapestry of seaweed-draped rocks, and large expanses of sand, just perfect for zoomies.
Dog Friendly Dining Out in Robin Hood’s Bay
When it comes to eating out, you are quite literally spoilt for choice in Robin Hood’s Bay. And with a long list of recommendations from Rachel, there was a lot of dining to do during our four day stay!
When it’s just the dogs and me, I usually self-cater. However with an irresistible choice of delicious delights right on our doorstep, who was I to refuse the odd meal out?
The Cove was a firm favourite. Perched high on the cliff with awe-inspiring views of the bay below, its sunny balcony is the perfect spot to enjoy a bacon butty, washed down with probably the best frappe I’ve ever had!
Robin Hood’s Bay is incredibly sleepy first thing in the morning! In fact, you could be forgiven for thinking it has its very own time zone! [It made the dogs and I feel like early risers – which is saying something!]
As such nothing opens very early! However, if you’re after an early morning coffee fix, the place to go is The Galley in Quarterdeck. This place does a mean flat white and it’s the most magnificent spot to sit and watch the world go by.
Of course, when in God’s Own Country, there could be nothing more fitting than indulging in the food of the Gods! For the best in the business, Fish Cottage Fish and Chips (located less than 30 seconds from Sunnyside Cottage) is the place to go!
There’s something wonderfully British about sitting in the dock of the bay, tucking into our traditional fare.
Another little haunt we rather liked was Brambles Bistro. Set in the heart of the village, with rave reviews, a pretty facade, and an enticing menu, we reserved a table for our last evening in The Bay.
Specialising in steaks, burgers, and fish dishes, there were plenty of mouth-watering morsels to choose from. I opted for the handmade scampi (always a firm favourite of mine) and the dogs and I walked away suitably satisfied.
Dog Friendly Walks at Robin Hood’s Bay
North Yorkshire is a dog walker’s delight. And with a plethora of well-signposted local walks right on your doorstep, there’s plenty to explore without having to take to the road.
With The Cleveland Way coastal path and the Cinder Track connecting the nearby towns and villages, you can easily clock up the miles on foot.
To the South of Robin Hood’s Bay lies the popular tourist town of Whitby, and to the North is Ravenscar. Both are within relatively easy walking distance. Although with a reluctant walker in our pack [mentioning no names Gertie!] we decided to stick to the beaches and the shorter routes on this visit!
Life Beyond Robin Hood’s Bay
On our final day, we decided to leave Robin Hood’s Bay, somewhat reluctantly, and head for the nearby village of Staithes.
I had totally fallen in love with The Bay (as it’s affectionately known by the locals) and I could’ve quite happily whiled away our days here.
However, my sense of adventure told me I needed to explore, and Staithes didn’t disappoint. Parking at the top of the village, we made the steep descent downhill, taking in the hustle and bustle of this thriving community.
Not dissimilar to Robin Hood’s Bay, with its honeycomb of narrow cobbled ginnels, Staithes has a more rustic vibe, with fewer amenities in terms of eateries and shops.
Very much like Robin Hood’s Bay, this quirky coastal village is set into the hillside, and we enjoyed nosing at the array of colourful cottages as we made our way toward the boats bobbing about in the harbour below.
A magnet for artists, Staithes’ picturesque setting makes for a charming day out. The dogs and I had spent a couple of hours here. Gazing at the waves crashing against the breakwater and listening to the Kittiwakes chattering away on rocks. I could easily see how this pretty, tranquil location could inspire artists to work their magic on canvas.
On our way back to base, we took a slight detour to explore Runswick Bay. Off the beaten track, this sandy beach is said to be one of the finest in Northern England.
Despite coinciding with high tide, we managed to squeeze through a narrow strip of dry sand and onto the beach in order to satisfy our desire for sandy paws and salty snoots!
The only slight downside with Runswick Bay is the beachside cafe isn’t dog friendly, which for a lone traveller poses rather a problem!
Therefore we were forced to retreat back to the haven of Robin Hood’s Bay and sample another flavour of delicious local ice cream from The Old Coastguard Cafe in the harbour.
A Very Fond Farewell
As our departure loomed ever closer, I was genuinely struck by an air of sadness. From the minute we’d arrived, Robin Hood’s Bay had totally stolen my heart. I’ve never felt such a strong emotional attachment to a place before, it really is an incredibly special little village.
The dogs and I were made to feel so welcome, not just by our incredible host Rachel, but by the locals and fellow tourists.
Robin Hood’s Bay, this is not goodbye, but see you later. We will be back!
If you fancy booking a stay at Sunnyside Cottage, you can book here through Baytown Holiday Cottages.
For lots more photos and videos of our holiday in Robin Hood’s Bay check out the story highlights on our Instagram page.
Woofs and Wags
Kate, Gertie and Winnie