East Ruston Cottages was a rather happy accident. There was no business plan, no burning desire to start a dog friendly holiday business, no desire to start a business at all really - to be honest I was more interested in GOING on holiday with my dogs. I was also rather fed up with working in a 9 - 5 job and in 2006 I was lucky enough to be able to buy the farm buildings next to my little cottage, one of which an old pig unit.
As I regularly holidayed with friends and numerous dogs I knew how tricky it was to find somewhere that would allow us to bring all the doggies without making us feel like second class citizens, pay a lot of money to clean a little bit of dog hair or only offer us decidedly 'doggy' accommodation with silly rules and unsuitable outside areas.
The planning department decreed that the only thing I was allowed to do with the pig unit was to turn it into holiday accommodation, and so I set out to make something that I was always looking for when I wanted to go on holiday - a really nice, comfortable, easy place, genuinely welcoming to dogs. A home from home with no charges for dogs and no limits on numbers, a properly secure outside space but nice inside, and so the Old Piggery was converted and I started taking bookings in April 2008.
I got bookings through agencies at first but they seemed to want an arm and a leg in commission along with most of my soul, so I decided to set up a website and do it myself! www.eastrustoncottages.co.uk came into being with a simple website made for me by my friend (Leonie, the owner of Orchard Cottage) and run from an old PC in the corner of my living room (the website has undergone a couple of reincarnations and I work on a laptop now, but it's all still done in a corner of my living room!)
And it went quite well. The word spread and I got some great bookings. I hoped for 50% occupancy within 3 years but my first year was nearly 100% full and it's carried on like that to this day! The business has grown organically, with people asking me to add their properties - nearly all friends or people I know, which definitely helps keep things friendly. Some regular guests have even bought properties here over the years, and these have been added to my portfolio - White Cottage, Farthing Cottage, The Crib are just 3 of them
I love what I do and am passionate about offering properly dog friendly accommodation (rather than dog tolerant) that pleases owners as well as their dogs.
I still get excited about new bookings and work very hard at the marketing and promotion, as I want people to come here and love Norfolk as we do. I've learnt loads, worked harder than I have ever done before in my life and have met so many lovely guests, some of whom are now friends, and help us by spreading the word about East Ruston Cottages.
So that's the story so far. I am having a LOT of fun running East Ruston Cottages despite many of them not being in East Ruston, but it's where it all started and I think it's the very best area in Norfolk. (I may be biased of course...)
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We are members of this organisation, The Holiday Home Association (formerly EASCO - English Association of Self Catering Operators). Book with the confidence that you are using a bona fide and reputable business that has committed to the HHA Code of Practice. In the unlikely event of a complaint that cannot be resolved with us, you can use the HHA Dispute Resolution Service that provides for low-cost arbitration.
East Ruston Cottages Limited
Reg.No. 10048164 at Companies House, Cardiff
Sea Lows, Crowden Road, Eccles, Norfolk NR12 0SJ
Dog Friendly | Holiday Cottage | Norfolk