Dog friendly holiday cottages – Norfolk

About Us

About Us


East Ruston Cottages really was rather a 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 and regularly holidayed with friends around the country.   Between us we had 5 dogs so we knew how tricky it was to find somewhere that would allow us to bring all 5 without making us feel like second class citizens, pay a lot of money just to clean a little bit of extra dog hair or make us stay in decidedly ‘doggy’ accommodation.

At the time I owned The Old Piggery and cleaned a friend’s holiday home on changeover days.  The big agents we were with seemed to want not just an arm and a leg in commission but a few bits of soul as well!  And they didn’t really ‘get’ the whole properly dog friendly idea and didn’t get us many bookings either! So, I decided to set up a website and do it myself so came into being with a simple website made for me by a 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 tablet now but it’s all still done in a corner of my living room …or a local café or the dining table!!).

And it went quite well and the word spread and we got some great bookings and some more bookings! We hoped for 50% occupancy within 3 years but our first year was nearly 100% full and it’s carried on like that to this day – the Piggery remains one of the most popular properties on the website. We’ve grown organically over the years, adding properties belonging to  friends or people I know which definitely helps keep things friendly.

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.

The Old Piggery

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.

Stephen Mole of Stephen Mole Photography who takes many of the photos of the properties and Penel of Penel Malby Photography who did them in the early days and still takes fabulous images when she is up here, staying at her own house (White Cottage) too that she lets me use. Then there is Truly Local co-operative shop in Stalham who supply many of the welcome pack items and Jan at Nero’s Kitchen – all local and supplying their goodies to the welcome packs too.

Last but very much not least, all the owners who work so hard to keep their properties in good shape and their guests happy and a whole team of hardworking cleaners.  Couldn’t do this without them.

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“Our first time at Hidden Gem but not East Ruston Cottages.   The cottage is absolutely wonderful and has a very homely feel.  We have had a really relaxing holiday in a stunning location and Hidden Gem is like a home from home.  The beach and dunes are beautiful and the garden has been perfect for our two hounds!  All the extra little touches and the welcome gifts have been much appreciated!  We will definitely be back!! ”

Phil and Clare with Pepo and Molly

Testimonial for Hidden Gem

“Our first stay at Red Roofs and we will definately be returning. Beautiful house and location. Garden is perfect for the dogs, house is well equipped and the welcome pack is a great gesture. We will be back next year ….. just hope you aren’t fully booked!”

Vicky and Colin

Testimonial for Red Roofs

“Thank you so much for allowing us to be your first guests in Corner Cottage. My first impression was “WOW!”. The cottage is amazing, you have thought of everything (even supplied fantastic weather!). The decoration is lovely, beds so comfortable. It was so nice to be able to bring the dogs so they could have a holiday with us and experience the beach for the first time.”

Sandra and Steve

Testimonial for Corner Cottage

The Good Dog Guide

We are members of this organisation, 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 EASCO Code of Practice. In the unlikely event of a complaint that cannot be resolved with us, you can use the EASCO Dispute Resolution Service that provides for low-cost arbitration.

East Ruston Cottages Limited
Reg.No. 10048164 At Companies House, Cardiff

Registered address:

Sea Lows
Crowden Road
Norfolk NR12 0SJ