Frequently Asked Questions
DO YOU TAKE BOOKINGS ALL YEAR ROUND? Yes we do.
WHAT IS THE DEPOSIT FOR A BOOKING? We take 25% of the total as a deposit, payable within 7 days of making the booking. The balance is due 6 weeks before your holiday starts.
CAN I BOOK A SHORT BREAK IN ANY OF THE PROPERTIES? Short breaks are often available in many of the properties, mostly out of season but please do email if you are interested in a particular break. There is a minimum stay length of 3 nights, although Wind In The Willows will take 2 night bookings.
ARE ALL THE PROPERTIES DOG FRIENDLY? Absolutely. All of them welcome dogs (or they wouldn't be with East Ruston Cottages!) and all have something extra (from a dog bowl and a few biscuits to bowls, throws, toys, spare leads, crates etc) There are very flexible number limits assessed by us and the owner, based on the size of the accommodation, the type, size and sometimes age of the dogs. We have had groups of 10 and 11, with the most at any one time (16 little ones) in the Old Piggery but many of our bookings are 3 - 5 dogs.
ARE ALL BREEDS WELCOME? Yes.
DO ALL THE PROPERTIES HAVE AN ENCLOSED OUTSIDE SPACE? Yes, they all do, varying from a small courtyards to huge grass back garden. Details of the fencing/boundaries are included on the individual property description and we are happy to provide more information and photos if you email your query. None of them will claim to be fully secure for ALL types of dog but all the owners have done their best to provide a safe area for the majority of dogs. We understand that different dogs have different requirements and will be happy to work with you to identify which property would be best for you and your dogs.
ARE ANY OF THE PROPERTIES WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE OF THE BEACH? Yes, Thatchers, Orchard Cottage, Ollands Farm Barn, White Cottage and Heather Cottage (all in Happisburgh) and St Benets, Mid Thatch in Sea Palling are a short walk to the beach. Corner Cottage is about a mile away from Cart Gap. Hidden Gem in Winterton is at the back of the dunes so nearly on the beach!
ARE ANY OF THE PROPERTIES ON THE NORFOLK BROADS? Yes, Red Roofs is just opposite Hickling Broad and Milldene and Patikipa are right on the river edge at Potter Heigham. Walnut Farmhouse has its own 1.5 mile dog walk, part of which goes alongside the water and Horsey Mere is just down the road.
DO ANY OF THE PROPERTIES HAVE A DOG FRIENDLY PUB WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE?
Rooster Barn and Farthing Cottage are a very short walk to The Crown at Trunch.
Hidden Gem is a very short walk to the Fisherman's Return in the village.
Orchard Cottage, Heather Cottage and Thatchers are very close to the Hill House at Happisburgh and White Cottage and Ollands Farm Barn are a little further but still an easy walk.
You can walk to The Butchers Arms and the pubs in Stalham from Wind In The Willows, The Lodge, Oak Cottage and Holmes House and from St Benets and Mid Thatch you can easily get to The Reef Bar.
Red Roofs has the choice of The Greyhound and The Pleasure Boat within easy walking distance and if you don't mind a 2 mile walk (along quiet country lanes and tracks) you can walk to the Vernon Arms (a great pub) in South Repps from Milestone Barn.
Both the riverside cabins, Patikipa and Milldene, are an easy walk to The Falgate Inn.
The Star at Lessingham, one off our favourite dog friendly pubs, is a very easy, short walk from Corner Cottage and can be walked to from White Cottage, Ollands Farm Barn and Church View Cottage. A bit of a stroll along quiet lanes but well worth it!
DO THE LOCAL BEACHES ALLOW DOGS? All of them do. From 1 May - 1 October a few of them have restrictions but many of them don't and where there are restricted areas they are small and there is plenty of beach left without restrictions. Full details here.
WHAT TIME CAN I ARRIVE? The normal arrival time is 4pm and departure is 10am but it is often possible to arrive earlier and leave later, particularly when there is nobody in or out on the same day. But this is very much down to the individual owners and cleaners so please do ask.
CAN WE GET A GROCERY ORDER DELIVERED? At many of the houses you can arrange for a supermarket delivery to arrive before you do and have it put away but it does vary so please do check first.
WHERE CAN I GET LOCAL PRODUCE? All over the place! We have so many great places to choose from! Truly Local in Stalham High Street stocks food from within a 35 mile radius and can put together a box for you to collect (maybe can deliver to some properties) for when you arrive, Meales Farm Shop outside Stalham and Cooks of Ingham Farm Shop outside Sea Palling sell great fresh veg and a lot more besides. Tavern Tasty meats can do a delivery too of a locally produced meaty hamper to your specifications! Picnic hamper or BBQ selection and much more besides! Plenty of little gate sales too in and around this area.
IS THERE SOMEONE WHO CAN DELIVER MEALS? Celebrations Catering in Happisburgh can deliver some great, well priced dinner party dishes to your holiday cottage door! And do Afternoon Teas too. Also Cafe Charlotte in Stalham do very good outside catering for small groups
RAW FOOD DIET AVAILABILITY AND STORAGE? If you feed your dog raw there are several places in the area where you can get fresh and frozen supplies and many of the properties have enough freezer and fridge space to help you plan. See the It's A Dog's Life page to find out more.
DO YOU HAVE OFFICE OPENING HOURS? Not really as ERC is run from home by me, Sue Allen, with excellent admin and accounts support from trusted long time friend and Queen of the Spreadsheet, Caroline Walker, who works from her own home. However, I do appreciate phone calls being kept to sort of office hours, 9am to 5pm and preferably not on a Sunday. Saturdays are changeover day so I am often not able to deal with calls during the day. Both the mobile and land line have answering systems so you can leave a message and emails are welcome at any time (and are the best way for enquiries and bookings).
DO YOU TAKE CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS? We do, and debit cards (not Amex). If you want to make a payment by card then do just let us know and we will email a link to an online payment site. Sorry but we don't have the facility to accept card payments over the 'phone.
DO YOU HAVE A FACEBOOK PAGE? Do we ever! Follow us here. Lots of photos and comments from past, present and future guests. Over 5000 people like the page. We do Instagram too and a little bit of Tweeting.
DO YOU DO GIFT VOUCHERS? We do! Any value, 24 month limit and for any property. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org to order one.
CAN I READ ANY INDEPENDENT REVIEWS OF THE PROPERTIES? We are very lucky to have lovely guests who regularly give us great reviews - over 100 5 star reviews our Facebook page and we have even won an award for our great reviews on eDogAdvisor! A great selection of reviews on the The Good Dog Guide website too and now on the Good Vet and Pet Guide.
DO YOU HAVE ANY RATINGS OR STARS FOR ANY OF THE PROPERTIES? We don't belong to any ratings or awards schemes as most of them cost a lot of money to buy into and we would rather spend the money on advertising and the properties themselves. We hope the bookings speak for themselves as do the comments on the guestbook pages.
WHO ELSE CAN YOU RECOMMEND FOR PROPERLY DOG FRIENDLY HOLIDAYS? We have stayed at The Old Piggery, Tideswell in Derbyshire and loved it - great cottage, beautiful area. They were very helpful when we first started with our Old Piggery and let us snitch the It's a Dogs Life page idea too! We highly recommend Pawprints in Devon as we know the owners and know just how dog friendly they are as they have stayed here as guests. We have stayed in Wagtails in Pembrokeshire and would highly recommend there too - lovely house, great area, properly dog friendly.
AND ANY OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS? One of our owners (Penel Malby of White Cottage) is not only a great photographer, Penel Malby Photography, specialising in informal and award winning dog portraits in her Surrey home studio, but runs a very popular dog behavioural consultancy and workshops with the emphasis on positive reinforcement and using teaching dogs helping to train dogs and support those with problems and issues -see the website here Dog Communication.
And we highly rate our other photographer friend, Stephen Mole, who not only takes most of our property photos for the website but stunning photos of our beloved Norfolk landscapes. Many of his images are on the walls of the holiday cottages too.
We're also very chuffed to support Nero's Kitchen in Happisburgh where handmade dog biscuits of all sorts of flavours are sold to raise funds for dog charities and TuffDogs Stuff where all sorts of dog equipment is sold and 10% discount given to East Ruston Cottages guests!
If you would like to enjoy our lovely countryside from the back of a horse while you are here we would recommend Lakeside Riding Centre at Worsted.