Visit the UKs Only Dog Friendly Motorway Services
If you are planning on bringing your dog on holiday with you to the South West of England this year, make sure you plan your rest stop to include the UK’s most dog-friendly motorway services.
A Truly Dog Friendly Rest Stop
I stumbled across the Hog and Hedge by accident last summer when I was travelling alone with my dog in the height of the 2018 summer heat wave.
Leaving him in the car was obviously not an option so I was faced with the reoccurring dilemma of what to do with him whilst I went in to use the loo and buy a coffee. Should I tie him up and the entrance and race through the services at top speed to get my chores done as quickly as possible? Or do I wait around at the entrance to find the most trustworthy looking person I could find to wait with him?
I had to read and re-read the sign posted on the doors of The Hog and Hedge Motorway Services in Devon that said ‘Dogs welcome inside’. My face was screwed up in disbelief as I looked a little closer to see if it was some sort of mistake.
Upon entering, we were greeted by a little doggie filling station with bowls of water and empty bowls for food. A staff member walked by and knelt down to make a fuss of Raff, my little scruffy terrier cross-breed. I remember it clearly as it made me realise my favourite dog people are the kind that bend down and says the word ‘yes’ repeatedly to them!
The Hog and Hedge strapline is ‘Feel at home. Stay a while’ and that’s exactly what I decided to do, uncharacteristically choosing to have my coffee in rather than take away.
Where to Find It
Found just off the A30 in Widdon Down near Okehampton, Devon and with a second premises near Newbury, The Hog and Hedge services offer great coffee, a range of fresh, homemade, healthy snacks and even pride themselves on the cleanliness of their loos!
They claim: “The primary reason vehicle passengers stop on a journey, besides refuelling, is to use the loo. So why are the standards of roadside loos so poor? We don’t know the answer, but at Hog & Hedge we see it as the most important facility we offer to our guests and our loos will always be pristinely clean”.
Adding: “Dogs are very welcome at Hog & Hedge. We understand that dogs need a break from a long car journey as much as their owners. Four-legged friends are welcome to join their owners inside, where there will always be fresh drinking water, and there is a good sized grassed area to stretch the dog’s legs”.
Other Dog Friendly Motorway Services
Although most motor services have started to include a pet friendly rest area, usually a green space outside or small area at the entrance to their main building, while other courtyard/truck stop style services such as Sarn Park in Wales and Lymm in Cheshire are, by default, pet friendly there was something so reassuring and pleasant about stopping properly with the dog at a motorway services to safely rest and refuel.
Whilst the dilemma of when I’m traveling alone with my dog and get caught short still remains, I know now where to make sure I do always plan in a stop.
Do you know of any dog friend motorway services we haven’t mentioned? Share your suggestions and comments below.