Dec 21, 2010

Helsbury Dog Photo Competition 2011 Entry 27

Wow, we're up to 27! Sharon Wigfull sent these superb images of her lovely Setters who were here in November, the weather was lovely and Sharon said: "Just like to say thank you on behalf of our setters for a fantastic holiday. Despite it being November the pictures show what great weather we had. The beaches are fantastic for surfers or dogs what ever time of year. We will certainly be back for our 3rd visit next year!"

Dec 9, 2010

Helsbury Dog Walk Map

We've been meaning to do this one for a while, it's a map of the key tracks which you can use for walking your dog here at Helsbury. In truth you can take your dog anywhere on site but these are the areas we tend to maintain as tracks throughout the year. It shows which areas are gated and roughly the best areas to walk. The map represents about 3 miles of tracks which are available here on site, as a guide to get down to river and back would take 20-30 minutes, if you take a full loop of the park then you'd be looking at 45-60 minutes of walking. Or you can do what I do which is to try and go a different way each day, there's at least 6 variants so ideal for a week's stay!

You can download it from here, it's a pdf, Helsbury Dog Walk Map

Dec 8, 2010

Changes for 2011...

As you will have noticed, we're going to be letting the Farmhouse from March of next year which means we've made some changes to the way Helsbury works for 2011. The key changes are around the pool, once you arrive on site we'll give you a briefing on using the facilities in the pool including the cover, the coin-operated sauna and the new button access system. This means the pool will be available at any time of the day and night, which we hope will please our guests.

The second major change is that we're making our office building available to all guests so they can access the internet to catch up on work or email in peace. Internet access in remote areas like Helsbury is not great but we have a 3mb broadband connection and a wireless hub which should be enough to allow guests to keep up to date.

Dec 7, 2010

FREE iPhone App for Helsbury...

We've just launched an iphone app to support our communication strategy for Helsbury Park. It's aimed at anyone who's looking to come, is already booked or is here on site. The Helsbury app has a live availability feed as well as overviews of all the cottages and facilities on site. It also has mapping, emergency info and links to our blog, web site and facebook page.

You can find it here on iTunes as a free download. We'd love to get your feedback on how it works and ideas for other things you'd like to see on it.

Nov 29, 2010

US Dog Friendliness...

Some interesting developments in the States for dog owners:
  1. California-based Dining with Dogs is a free site that lets dog owners find restaurants in their area that allow dogs in their outdoor seating areas. Currently focusing on New York, Chicago, California, Arizona and Florida, the ad-supported site lets users submit and review restaurants as well as interact with other dog lovers online. Reviews can also be posted directly to Facebook and other popular social networks.
  2. Luxury hotels for dogs aren't a new concept, but we recently came across one in Portland with a twist that we couldn't resist sharing. Not only does the Sniff Dog Hotel offer high-end accommodations, grooming, training and daycare, but it also includes a café where dog-loving humans can hang out and watch their canine companions play for free.
  3. For committed pet owners, the joy of holidays is often diminished by the guilt associated with leaving a faithful friend behind in strangers' hands. Aiming to spare pets and their owners the anguish that can result, SwapaDog is a new network that helps dog owners in the same area connect and exchange pet care when they go out of town.
  4. Prebiotic drinks such as Yakult and Actimel have become highly successful in recent years by combining some fairly sober medical rationale about immune systems with upbeat and positive lifestyle marketing. Inevitably, there's now a Belgian prebotic for pets. Viyo comes in a cat formula and a dog formula, with varieties for different ages. Like its equivalents for humans, the drink contains friendly bacteria plus nutrients, vitamins and other supplements.

Some lovely shots...

Mike Hawkes also sent these stunning shots he took on site here at Helsbury a few weeks ago, it's a spectacular time of year...

Helsbury Dog Photo Competition 2011 Entry 26

Thanks for all the entries so far, this is becoming our most popular competition yet! Here's our latest entry from Mike Hawkes, his dog Buster is enjoying the river, Mike said "We really did enjoy our time in the cottage. Very restful!!"

Helsbury Dog Photo Competition 2011 Entry 25

Ian & Catherine Hill sent these shots of their dog Tau on holiday here in Cornwall, they said: "We liked Padstow and Tau liked Daymer Bay across the ferry, he loved the wind in his ears on the trip across, we also love Pinky Murhpys in Fowey, where Tau is allowed inside :) We loved the seclusion on the beach at Trebarwith and Tau loved the hill top at Tintagel, it was a very windy day force 9 on the ear flappin scale!"

Helsbury Dog Photo Competition 2011 Entry 24

Lorraine Finch sent these shots of her pack in full Halloween regalia, she said "We would like to thank you for a marvellous holiday at Broadview, both us and the 4 Boccies had a great time.We definately will visit you again." The dogs are called Heidi, Tess, Louis and Norman.

Nov 18, 2010

Helsbury Dog Photo Competition 2011 Entry 23

Richard & Sarah Topps came to Helsbury this Autumn, and said: "Please find attached a photo of Gertie following our holiday in October. Gertie really enjoyed her 4th visit, especially as her visit last year was unfortunately severely restricted by her leg injury. This year she was recovered and able to enjoy your 'back garden' to the full and the local beaches - Daymer still gets the Gertie 5 star seal of approval. The 'humans' also thoroughly enjoyed their holiday & are looking forward to the Farmhouse next year. Only Broadview to go & then we will have completed the full set!"

Nov 11, 2010

Cornwall Named Top UK Holiday Destination

Cornwall has once again fought off competition from across the country to be crowned ‘Best UK Holiday County or Region’ in the British Travel Awards (on Thursday 4th November) for the second year running. The county attracted the lion’s share of the public vote outshining neighbour, Devon, which along with Cumbria in the Lake District, was announced as a runner-up. This marked an impressive double award win for Cornwall as St Ives was also named ‘Best UK Seaside Town’. On top of this the Eden Project also scooped silver for ‘Best UK Day Out Experience’.

Over 220,000 people voted in this years British Travel Awards which boast over seventy categories and span every type of holiday experience, making them the largest awards programme in the UK. They are widely referred to as the “Oscars” of the travel industry and are the most recognisable and sought-after accolades in the sector.

Malcom Bell, Head of Tourism at VisitCornwall, the Cornwall Development Company tourism service for the county, collected the Awards on behalf of Cornwall and St Ives at the glittering ceremony which was held at Battersea Evolution in Battersea Park, South West London: “I am immensely proud to accept these Awards for Cornwall and St Ives. To win at both county and town level is a huge achievement and the fact that the Awards are based on public opinion make them even more significant.

“This is the third time in five years that Cornwall has come out on top in the British Travel Awards which proves that the county is leading the way and offering the quality holiday experience that visitors demand. The Awards give real creditability to the promotion of Cornwall and St Ives as visitor destinations and there is significant leverage to be enjoyed from the publicity that a national award such as this brings.”

Carolyn Rule, Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration and Tourism Portfolio Holder, adds: “These Awards are testament to the commitment and hard work of the tourism sector in Cornwall and St Ives and are wholly deserved. The industry is becoming increasing competitive, especially under the current economic pressures, and these awards will play a significant role in reassuring both previous and potential visitors of the quality status of Cornwall.“

The announcement of these Awards completes an award-winning year for Cornwall and St Ives; as well as these awards, Cornwall has been named the country’s most scenic county and St Ives was declared Best Family Holiday Destination in the prestigious Coast Awards 2010 as well a favourite seaside town in a Which? Holiday Survey.

For further information about the British Travel Awards and a full list of winners visit

Nov 10, 2010

Helsbury Dog Photo Competition 2011 Entry 22

Chris Bostock sent us these shots of Honey and said "We had the most fantastic holiday at Helsbury Park and cannot wait to come back! Honey loved it. Thank you so much."

Nov 9, 2010

Hoover your dog...

This new tool from Dyson is perfect for Christmas for our hairier friends, it's definitely going to be Solly's gift and I'm sure he'll love it ;o)

Nov 5, 2010

Would you like your dog to be on Television…

BBC3 are looking for people between the ages of 18-30 to apply for a new Television Series. The series aims to teach you how to train your dog properly. Maybe you own a dog that is a bit of a handful? Or your pooch ignores your every command? Is your dog affecting your love life? Embarrass you in front of your mates? We are looking for dog owners from all backgrounds that have problem pooches that give them grief. Whether you have just one naughty dog or a whole unruly pack - then we want you to get in touch. This new series aims to help you sort out your trouble maker once and for all and also give you the chance to experience a trip of a lifetime!

Please get in touch ASAP with or 07514 291 478

Oct 25, 2010

Tortoise Friendly Holidays...

We're branching out into a brand new market sector, OK that's not quite true, we helped out in an emergency last week and had our first visit from Flash the Tortoise. Kate said he wasn't quite ready for hibernation but I think he'd seen our web site and didn't want to miss out! Apparently he loved it and is planning to come back next year.

Helsbury Dog Photo Competition 2011 Entry 21

Jo and Kate sent these shots from their holiday last week, the weather was lovely and Dudley had a thoroughly good time - check out this action shot...

Helsbury Dog Photo Competition 2011 Entry 20

20? Phew, this one's from Keith Berwick, he said: "We thoroughly enjoyed our stay last week, you have a fantastic place and the facilities and standard of accommodation was very good. We used the pool everyday which is unusual for me when I am on holiday but with that view and a very clever designed building who can resist. The massage chair was a nice finish to the day’s activities. Cannot wait to April now and the Farmhouse views look even better."

Helsbury Dog Photo Competition 2011 Entry 19

Are we really up to 19 already, well here goes, this entry is from Lisa Castle, she said: "Benson and Oz (Golden Retriever) had a fantastic stay at Helsbury in September for the 7th year! As soon as Benson realised where he was he wanted to go straight down to the fields and river, although he is nearly 12 he was running around the fields and swimming in the river like a young dog, it was really lovely to see. Oz loved exploring for animals in the long grass and hedges at Helsbury. As usual they loved the trips to Daymer Bay and chased the ball in and out of the water for ages, even though tired they just wouldn't stop. At the end of the day they either fell asleep under the dinner table or on the chair and would sleep for hours. They even lay outside the pool while some of us went swimming. Thanks again for yet another fantastic stay at Helsbury. We are really looking forward to being able to stay in the Farmhouse again."

Oct 21, 2010

Helsbury Dog Photo Competition 2011 Entry 18

Catherine Volders bought her family over from The Netherlands for a summer holiday here at Helsbury, they had a great time even in our "English" summer, here some shots of their dog Finn.

Helsbury Dog Photo Competition 2011 Entry 17

Nigel Payne and his family came to stay at Helsbury in the Spring and he sent these great shots of Tilly and Tiggi rock climbing at Trebarwith Strand, and this comment: "We had a great stay in Helsbury Park and the weather was sunny and hot all week long which for April was an added benefit to our week. The photo, one of many, was taken when the tide fell at Trebawith Strand, a great place to take the dogs and then you can sit on the cliffs edge and watch the sun go down, superb!"

Oct 18, 2010

Helsbury Dog Photo Competition 2011 Entry 16

Rachel and Chris came to Helsbury for their honeymoon and sent this lovely shot and also said: "I just wanted to let you know that we all had a really lovely week last week staying in the Westhayes cottage. Honey, Rowan and Spud had lots of fun running round like mad things in the field by the river and then splashing about at the various beaches we visited."

Helsbury Dog Photo Competition 2011 Entry 15

Andy Oldfield sent these shots of his two lovely dogs, Biscuit and Toffee, he said: "I'm also attaching a couple of pics for the photo competition. After 3 years of staying at Helsbury these are about the only ones we've got where they stayed still long enough to photograph - if you ever do a competition for pictures of half a leg or an ear or just some grass we have hundreds!"

DEFRA's Guide to Dog Welfare

I'm not sure how widespread the distribution is on this document but it's worth a read, obviously most of it is common sense but it makes for a good checklist for you and your dog.

Oct 13, 2010

Helsbury Dog Photo Competition 2011 Entry 14

Keith and Tine Kerley send these great shots of their dogs, Harvey and Branston (Goldies), Dexter (Lab), and Iggle (terrier), and she said: "Had to write a quick note just to say thanks for our fabulous September week in the Westhayes cottage which was so dog-friendly, spacious, comfy, relaxing and luxurious. All four dogs have signed a petition to return ASAP and we will oblige! The daily early morning run in the grounds before breakfast, down through the paddock to the river and woods was a joy. (The canines enjoyed it too!!) Such a perfect location in our favourite county of Cornwall. The four dogs joyfully chasing through the surf on gorgeous wide golden beaches in gloriously sunny weather was everything we had hoped for. Without doubt we’ll be back to enjoy it all over again."

Is the toilet bowl half empty?

Can dogs be pessimistic? Not when they're at Helsbury Park! Joking aside this is an interesting article about dogs emotions and moods. Dogs are great at appearing to sulk but I can't help thinking it's received behaviour which they know gets a certain reaction or attention - it definitely works on me when Solly does his 'flat dog' routine.

Oct 12, 2010

The Farmhouse is back...

The Farmhouse at Helsbury Park is available again for holiday lets from March 1st 2011. We've spent some time living on site overseeing the improvements to this stunning building as well as managing the build of our stunning pool facility. So if you've checked our calendar for 2011 and your week has already been booked, or you've stayed in the Farmhouse before then this is your chance to experience 5 star dog friendly luxury at its best.

The Farmhouse is equipped to a very high standard and effectively has 3 gardens, one for you and your dog, one for the whole family and one to gaze at through the beautiful glass-walled breakfast room. The Helsbury experience has never been better than this!
Book now to avoid disappointment.

Oct 5, 2010

Helsbury Dog Photo Competition 2011 Entry 13

Rick and Jane Gurney stayed with us a few weeks ago and sent these lovely photos and said: "Thanks for last week, Rufus & Red have just about recovered! We managed to see different parts of Cornwall and in particular, enjoyed Daymer Bay and The Camel Trail, which is thanks to the website & Dexter’s recommendations! As you can see, the doggies loved the Frisbee and Rufus loved the soft grass outside the cottage. We also wanted to say how wonderful the pool complex is and the massage chair! With regards to the cottage itself, we can see how you have been awarded 5 stars, very much deserved, with great attention to detail."

Sep 20, 2010

Helsbury Dog Photo Competition 2011 Entry 12

Gary and Jackie Bagnall stayed with us in May and sent us this lovely photo of one of their Newfoundlands, Jackie said: "Further to our lovely stay with you in May, please find enclosed a photo of one of our girls in the woods after a paddle in your river. You are so lucky to have such a wonderful place to call home and thank you for allowing us to share in your piece of doggy heaven."

Sep 18, 2010

Up close and personal...

There are many great experiences to be had at Helsbury not least of which is getting close to nature and the jewel in Helsbury's crown is definitely the family of Buzzards who live on site, they seem to be getting more and more comfortable in their surroundings and even seem to be happy to pose for photos!

Sep 10, 2010

Helsbury Dog Photo Competition 2011 Entry 11

Lee Probert and his family stayed with us during one of the best weeks of weather we had all summer, he remarked: "I just wanted to write and say what a fantastic week we had staying at Helsbury Park last week. I was worried it wouldn't live up to the pictures on the website...but it was SO much better! Marhayes was a real 'home from home' for us all week and everything you provided in there was top class. Waking up to that view everyday was simply a joy, although we do admit we were incredibly fortunate with the weather! The dogs had a wonderful time and enjoyed the walk at the bottom of the path by the river. To have that on our doorstep was simply amazing. We're already planning when we can come to stay again because we enjoyed it so much. Thanks again for such a fantastic holiday."

Sep 8, 2010

Sep 7, 2010

Helsbury Dog Photo Competition 2011 Entry 10

Terry and Maria Pover sent us these great shots of Muttley and Marmite enjoying their holiday. Terry said "Helsbury Park exceeded our wildest expectations. Not only is it doggy heaven,but people do pretty well too! Excellent accommodation, warm, helpful hosts, perfectly located for access to some of the most beautiful parts of the British Isles (and brilliant weather to boot!)
We will be back."