Hillcrest Cottage, Kelsale

Exterior of Hillcrest Cottage (gable end)

What’s Hillcrest Cottage like?

This luxurious dog-friendly holiday cottage is located in the heart of Suffolk, a short drive from the coast. Built in 2014, it is one of two properties offered by Kelsale Holiday Cottages and sleeps up to six people in two bedrooms.

How dog-friendly is Hillcrest Cottage?

It’s great. The cottage has an enclosed garden so dogs can let off steam whenever they want. The floor-to-ceiling windows also mean they can keep an eye on the owner’s garden, which has cats and chickens roaming around. Excellent entertainment! There is no extra charge for dogs to stay, either.

Open plan lounge and kitchen area, plus glass-fronted bedroom at Hillcrest Cottage

Tell me more about Hillcrest Cottage

This modern two-bedroom cottage really has the wow factor. From the moment you walk in the front door, your eyes will be drawn to the double-height living area and gable end, which is fully-glazed and looks out over the surrounding fields. It can also be opened up during the summer months, helping to bring the outside in.

Downstairs is very much open plan, which adds to the light and airy feel of the cottage. As well as the spacious sitting area, which has a 50in TV and on-trend grey sofas, you’ll also find a well-equipped monochrome kitchen, plus a separate dining area. There is a utility room and downstairs loo as well, not to mention underfloor heating throughout.

One of the stylish en-suite bedrooms is also on the ground floor, with double doors that open straight into the garden. Both this, and the master bedroom upstairs (via a feature spiral staircase) have a boutique hotel vibe with comfy beds, crisp white linen and feature wallpaper. The en-suite downstairs has a double width walk-in shower while the master has a freestanding tub.

Chips on Aldeburgh Beach

What’s the food like at Hillcrest Cottage?

Hillcrest is a self-catering property so you’ll need to bring your own food and drink, but guests do get a fabulous welcome pack on arrival. Ours was full of homemade goodies, such as bread, biscuits, cake and jam. It also contained fresh flowers, milk, tea, coffee, orange juice, a bottle of wine and eggs from the chickens. Julia could even tell us which ones had laid them!

There are plenty of great places to eat nearby, too – although you will have to drive to them. We enjoyed some enormous pub classics at The King’s Head in Yoxford. Here, dogs are allowed in the bar area and two tables in the restaurant. The Griffin Inn just up the road is also very dog-friendly and renowned for its pies.

It’s worth travelling a bit further to The Westleton Crown and The Ship at Dunwich, too. Both are packed full of history and serve upmarket pub grub. I can particularly recommend the homemade Scotch eggs! Alternatively, the seaside resorts of Southwold and Aldeburgh are famed for their fish and chips – best enjoyed on the beach.

Luxurious downstairs bedroom at Hillcrest Cottage, with doors leading out into the garden

Are there resident dogs at Hillcrest Cottage?

No, but the cats and chickens are sure to grab any dog’s attention!

Where are the best dog walks near Hillcrest Cottage?

There are some great countryside walks starting right from the front door that take you through the neighbouring fields. I must confess, we didn’t actually try any of them during our stay because it was rather muddy when we visited, but there are plenty of maps in the cottage that will help you plan your route.

The delights of the Suffolk Heritage Coast and towns such as Southwold, Aldeburgh and Woodbridge are just a short drive away. There are also lots of dog-friendly attractions in the area, such as Framlingham Castle, Sutton Hoo and Easton Farm Park. For more ideas and inspiration, check out my Ruff Guide to Southwold, Aldeburgh and Dunwich.

Ernie looks out of the window at Hillcrest Cottage

What Ernie loved about Hillcrest Cottage

The peaceful location, the private secure garden, being able to keep an eye on the chickens

What I loved about Hillcrest Cottage

The rural views, the location for getting around Suffolk, the lovely welcome pack

How to book Hillcrest Cottage

A week’s stay at Hillcrest Cottage starts from £695, while it’s £450 at Harveys Mill. Short breaks are also available. On top of this, you will need to pay for any electricity used, which is charged at supplier cost. It will be around £15-20 per week in summer and £35-45 per week in winter. For further details or to book, call 07952 782101 or visit the Kelsale Holiday Cottages website.

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