Letheringham Water Mill, Easton

Woodshed at Letheringham Water Mill

What’s Letheringham Water Mill like?

Want to holiday somewhere stylish with your dog? Let them off-lead safe in the knowledge they won’t escape? Have a whole host of four-legged friends lined up as playmates? Then you’ve come to the right place. The award-winning cottages at Letheringham Water Mill are truly dog-friendly, rather than just dog-tolerant. Set in the peaceful Suffolk countryside, the four cottages – which sleep from two to six – are perfect for pet owners.

Ernie in the complimentary "dog box" at Letheringham Water Mill

How dog-friendly is Letheringham Water Mill?

It would be a struggle to find somewhere that welcomes pets as much as Letheringham Water Mill. According to the guestbook in our cottage, one holidaymaker has returned with their pooch 14 times in two years. That should tell you everything you need to know!

Dogs stay for free in all of the cottages onsite and each one has a personalised wooden crate, packed with blankets, treats, toys, bowls and poo bags. It also doubles as a handy dog bed, if you’ve forgotten to pack your own.

Pets are welcome to roam free in the grounds as the river and mill pond act as a natural boundary – but if you prefer to keep a close eye on your dog while still enjoying the fresh country air, make the most of the baby gates provided, which double up as dog protectors. Honestly, owners Richard and Jacqui have truly thought of everything.

Light and airy interior of the Woodshed at Letheringham Water Mill

Tell me more about Letheringham Water Mill

Relax in one of the four super-stylish cottages, all of which have been individually designed. We stayed in the Woodshed – a romantic hideaway for two with wood-panelled walls and tasteful dog-themed decor. The accommodation is all one on level so there are no stairs to worry about, and the quirky decorative touches are great. I particularly loved the dog crockery and puppy prints, not to mention the kitchen clock with a wagging tail.

The first thing you see when you enter the cottage is the hi-spec handmade kitchen. It’s incredibly well-equipped and even comes with a washing machine – handy for those longer stays. The cosy lounge invites you to sit down and relax with one of the local magazines provided. Alternatively, you could spend hours poring over the information pack put together by the owners, which is one of the most comprehensive I’ve come across. There’s even a special dog-friendly section at the back.

In the mornings, it’s great to admire the river views from the comfort of your bed then clean up in the stylish en-suite shower room, which has a sweet-smelling range of citrus toiletries created especially for Letheringham Water Mill. If the weather is good, you can also make the most of the patio area outside. Access the deck via double doors from the bedroom or the kitchen area.

Menu at The Dog pub and bowl of dog biscuits

What’s the food like at Letheringham Water Mill?

The cottages are provided on a self-catering basis so you’ll need to provide your own food and drink. Guests are, however, treated to a lovely welcome pack – ours included all the essentials such as tea, coffee and milk, as well as a packet of shortbread biscuits shaped like Scottie dogs, sparkling water and a bottle of champagne.

Pets are warmly welcomed in most pubs and cafes though, so if you don’t feel like cooking, you certainly won’t starve! The nearest pub is the Easton White Horse, a ten-minute walk away. This lovely country inn serves high-quality pub food and has regular specials. At the time of our visit, it served authentic Malaysian food every Tuesday.

In Framlingham, the friendly team at The Lemon Tree bistro were happy to cook a sausage for Ernie, and The Castle Inn had a big jar of dog treats on the bar. I can also highly recommend a trip to The Dog at Grundisburgh, a traditional Suffolk pub which was voted the UK’s best in the 2018 DogBuddy Dog-Friendly Pub Awards. As well as a selection of toys, visiting pets are also treated to a big bowl of biscuits. Impressive!

Resident labradoodles Teddy and Amber at Letheringham Water Mill

Are there resident dogs at Letheringham Water Mill?

Oh yes. Resident Labradoodles Teddy, Amber and Lola will be on-hand to check you in. When we arrived, they came bounding up to the car to say hello, which was great. Burmese cat Eel also lives at the mill. I saw him, but luckily Ernie didn’t!

We did, however, meet several other dogs staying on the site and because letting them off-lead is actively encouraged, they can pick and choose their playmates. Ernie loved it – and when he went bounding into someone else’s cottage after their puppy, all we heard were shrieks of laughter instead of just shrieks, despite his wet and muddy paws.

Ernie explores Framlingham Castle

Where are the best dog walks near Letheringham Water Mill?

The mill itself is set in seven acres of land that is perfect for sniffing around. There are formal gardens and enclosed fields to explore, not to mention wild woodland copses, overlooked by the animals at neighbouring dog-friendly attraction, Easton Farm Park.

The roads around nearby Easton are all very quiet but there’s a nice circular walk you can do along the banks of the River Deben that takes in quiet lanes, grassy tracks and Letheringham Priory. It’s roughly 5.5-miles long – check out the route recommended by the East Anglian Daily Times.

Historic Framlingham is also close by and home to “The Castle on the Hill” that Ed Sheeran sang about. Owned by English Heritage, Framlingham Castle (above) is incredibly dog-friendly and you can walk the walls for great views over the mere. Adult tickets start from £9.50. If it’s beaches you’re after, though, head to the Suffolk Heritage Coast. Check out my Ruff Guide to the area for more ideas for things to see and do.

"Free range dogs" sign at Letheringham Water Mill

What Ernie loved about Letheringham Water Mill

Meeting the other canine residents, being off-lead all the time, the lovely doggy welcome pack

What I loved about Letheringham Water Mill

The peaceful location, knowing that Ernie could safely roam free, the stylish dog trinkets in the cottage

How to book Letheringham Water Mill

The Woodshed sleeps two and prices start from £99 a night. For more information about the Woodshed or the other cottages available, call 01728 747186, see the Letheringham Mill website or book via Airbnb by clicking here.

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