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Portrush is paradise for four-legged friends

By Frances Burscough

Published 02/04/2016

Frances Burscough
Frances Burscough

In my capacity as a “crazy dog lady” I may have failed miserably at training my dogs to do the usual things such as “sit” (they stand there, looking at me blankly) and “stay” (they stand there, looking at me blankly, then run away) but I have managed to teach them to type, use a laptop and negotiate their way around the World Wide Web.

The result is DogBlog.Biz, our new entertainment website that covers life, the universe and everything from the point of view of man’s best friend/s. It’s pretty much unique, too, as it is written for dogs, by dogs! And not just any dogs, MY dogs!

Like any good publication there is of course a travel column, in which our intrepid four-legged reporters explore the best dog-friendly places to stay in Northern Ireland and farther afield. We call it the Ruff Guide. However, after our first trip to The Huston Farmhouse in Portrush, we might just have to call it a day. After all, it’s highly unlikely that anywhere else would be able to offer such a perfect welcome not just for me and my partner Mark, but for the three doggies, too. So I’ll leave it to Bailey (our chief correspondent) to describe our wonderful weekend on the North Coast. Take it away, Bailey:

“I’m a Bichon Frisee and we like the finer things in life. But OMG you’d want to see this place! It is dog heaven! Ok, in the past we have been taken on holiday to places that tolerate dogs, but the Huston Farmhouse didn’t just do that — it welcomed us with open arms, gave us a belly rub AND a big slobbery wet kiss in the process. Figuratively speaking, of course. It’s a proper traditional farmhouse that has been tastefully modernised with all the mod-cons. The very best feature though (for dogs that is) is the underfloor heating, which means that it’s toasty warm and cosy all day and night. Perfect for snoozing on after a brisk walk on the beach and frolick in the Atlantic. The lovely owners provided everything we needed — posh leather dog beds, cushions, dog blankets, water and food bowls, doggy poop bags, toys, even spare dog food for emergencies. The sofas in the living room are all leather, too, so they were really comfortable for when we wanted to cuddle up next to Our Woman.

Outside there are farm outbuildings for you to sniff around, as well as a huge garden with a stone patio and a grassy lawn surrounded by fields and open countryside. We loved chasing each other around at night and making the security lights go on and off. We even got the scent of a fox one night and that was really exciting so we barked our heads off as loud as we could until Our Woman dragged us back inside.

She loved the Huston Farmhouse, too. Now although we weren’t allowed upstairs, one day we sneaked up for a look and there’s a huge bathroom with a free-standing bathtub right in the middle, as well as a fancy power-shower. She disappeared one evening with a bottle of prosecco and some candles and we think she went upstairs for a glass or two in a candle-lit bubble bath!  Ooooh lah-di-dah! She also said that the bed upstairs was super-comfortable but we didn’t mind staying downstairs one bit because of all the comfy furniture and the warm floors.

When we weren’t lounging around in the lap of luxury at the house, we were down at the nearby beaches. I have to say that both Portrush and Portstewart Strands are absolutely perfect, with miles of sand to play on as well as those wonderful grassy sand dunes. Walter fell in love with a golden Labarador, of course, but that always happens. He loves blondes!

The only objection that Our Man had was that the National Trust were trying to charge him £5 to park at the beach. He gave them dog’s abuse! Anyway, all’s well that ends well, as we parked up on the road instead and walked down the steps to get there. As I walked past the kiosk I wee’d on it, just to show solidarity.

All in all, after such a superb stay, we give the Huston Farmhouse FIVE PAWS in our holiday rating scheme. If you’d like to find out more about staying there go to their webpage, hustonfarm.com”

Belfast Telegraph

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