We’re in the middle of a heat wave at the end of June and we have a gap in the diary, which is perfect for a little get-a-way with Ted, our 6-year-old Shih-tzu.
James had booked us into The Greyhound Inn in Letcombe Regis located in the Valley of the White Horse in Oxfordshire.
Martyn Reed and Catriona Gallbraith bought the pub in 2015 and renovated the 18th century building into the fabulous family and dog friendly gastro pub it is today. The couple have managed to retain the character and period features while adding a modern and luxurious feel to the property.
Upon our arrival we were made to feel very welcome by all the Staff and Ted was very much made a fuss of. In our room, he was left a little gift box, which included a packet of posh dog food and some tasty treats. The pampering didn’t stop there, in the bathroom I discovered bottles of Aromatherapy bath products – making my soak in the bath later that night, all the more relaxing.
Letcombe Regis is a small village full of thatched cottages and period properties. It’s a great base to explore the many walks the county has to offer. Our first adventure took us to the Valley of the White Horse. Located near Uffington, the figure of a horse is cut out of the turf revealing the white chalky soil beneath. This 114m (374ft) drawing can be seen for miles.
Just before you reach the giant carving, on the North side of White Horse Hill is the Manger – a steep gully – to the West of it stands Dragon Hill, which is said to be the site where St George slay the Dragon.
By now the sun was high in the sky and the temperature was hitting 25 degrees C, so James scooped up Ted as the ground was getting hot and we didn’t want him burning his paws. Back in the air-conditioned car, we took a drive around the surrounding villages taking in the sights – until we came across a lovely little pub where we stopped for a drink.
Later that afternoon we visited the Ashdown House Estate, situated in a forest, providing much needed shade on such a hot day. The 17th century house is close to Lambourn – famous for it’s racehorse training and the Lambourn Downs. These form part of the North Wessex Downs and are an Area of Outstanding Beauty. They cover 231 square miles – that’s a lot of dog walks!
Later that evening, back at the Greyhound Inn, James and I had the most delicious meal. The food served here not only looks amazing but tastes as good as it looks. That goes for breakfast, lunch and dinner!