The Coach House, Carlton Colville

The Coach House Suffolk exterior

What’s The Coach House like?

This grand country house hotel, just outside Lowestoft, is set in almost three acres of grounds. The building has recently been given a stylish makeover and is perfectly placed for exploring the Suffolk coastline. Expect tasty food, a relaxed vibe and friendly service.

How dog-friendly is The Coach House?

Very good. Beds and bowls are provided and the staff make a real fuss of visiting dogs. They’re guaranteed a hearty breakfast, too. Ernie and Stan love staying at places where they are treated to a doggy sausage in the mornings but here, they were asked if they wanted a sausage AND scrambled egg – and the servings were very generous! Needless to say, they heartily approved and positively bounded down to breakfast on our second morning.

Dogs are allowed everywhere inside the hotel aside from the main restaurant, where breakfast is served. You can dine with your dog in either the garden, lounge or bar though, which is decorated in on-trend shades of navy and mustard. It also has lots of tables and comfy sofas to cosy up on. There’s a one-off dog charge of £20 per stay.

Room at The Coach House Suffolk

Tell me more about The Coach House

There are 18 spacious rooms at the hotel, ranging from standard to superior, and the accommodation is spread across both the main building and an annex. We stayed in Room 1, on the ground floor of the hotel which, handily, had easy access to the outside. The room was decorated in neutral tones with a stylish feature wall behind the bed, and there was lots of storage space as well as a desk, phone, flatscreen TV and tea and coffee-making facilities.

A patterned carpet really emphasised the comfy double bed and the en-suite bathroom came complete with Duck Island toiletries and fluffy towels. Although our room was close to both the lounge and kitchen, it was separated by two sets of doors so we didn’t hear any noise in the evenings. The holiday park adjacent to the hotel was also quiet and everything was set back from the road so traffic was not an issue. There was plenty of free parking outside, too.

Butternut squash and beetroot wellington at Room at The Coach House Suffolk

What’s the food like at The Coach House?

Excellent. Guests can enjoy a range of reasonably-priced meals from ribs to burgers and roasts. Much of the food is locally sourced and at the time of our visit, the hotel had a special Fish and Chip Friday deal. My Butternut Squash and Beetroot Wellington, pictured above, was delicious and there was also an extensive choice of desserts. Don’t miss the cheeseboard!

Breakfast is well worth getting out of bed for, too. As well as a continental buffet, guests can tuck in to a Full English or a great choice of veggie and vegan options. We were particularly impressed with the Eggless Benedict, which consisted of bubble and squeak, plant-based bacon and aioli on toast. The hotel team also deserve a special shoutout for letting us eat in the lounge on a Monday. Normally, the kitchen is closed then but because the staff were already catering for a private function, they were happy to offer us a table too. So kind!

Are there resident dogs at The Coach House?

No, but you are sure to meet plenty of local and visiting pooches out and about.

Ernie and Stan on Pakefield Beach, Suffolk

Where are the best dog walks near The Coach House?

The hotel is just a couple of miles from the sandy beaches of both Pakefield and Lowestoft. The former, which is dotted with fishing boats and grasses, is dog-friendly all year round. It’s also home to a colourful little coffee hut called Dean’s Beans, which serves takeaway drinks and has free dog treats. You’ll find it on the footpath overlooking the beach. You can walk from Pakefield to Lowestoft in approximately 40 minutes.

Nicholas Everitt Park, a short drive from the hotel, is well worth visiting too. This lovely park in Oulton Broad runs alongside the water and has a couple of large green spaces where dogs can run off-lead. Keep your eyes peeled for the Banksy street art on the bridge over the stream. The park is close to Carlton Marshes Nature Reserve, which is a haven for birdspotters. There are several walking trails around the 405-hectare site, ranging from 30 to 90 minutes. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a lead at all times.

The Coach House is also right next to the East Anglia Transport Museum – just one of the dog-friendly places mentioned in my Ruff Guide to Southwold, Aldeburgh and Dunwich. To read the guide, which has a whole host of other suggestions for pet-friendly things to see and do in the area, click here.

Ernie and Stan wait for breakfast at The Coach House Suffolk

What Ernie and Stan loved about The Coach House

The enormous doggy breakfasts, being close to the beach, the fuss from staff

What I loved about The Coach House

The stylish decor, the friendly service, the tasty yet affordable food and drink

How to book The Coach House

Rooms start from £75, including breakfast. For more information or to book, call 01502 560567 or visit The Coach House website.

Ernie with his giant bowl of sausage and egg at The Coach House Suffolk

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