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West Pool Cabin

Self catering cabins welcoming dogs.

Dogfriendly Magazine Review

Read our comprehensive review of this listing printed in our bi-monthly magazine.

West Pool Cabin, Lincolnshire
Review by Angie Aspinall

Things have changed a great deal for us since we last contributed to DogFriendly.  Sadly, our much-loved Westie, Tilly, has passed away, and we are no longer writing about Tilly’s Travels. For many years she was an occasional cover-girl for DogFriendly and, as I’m sure you’ll all understand, at the very centre of our lives and our escapades.

Stepping up the mark, Henry – our energetic rascal of a Westie – has relished the attention that his newly acquired status as ‘head-dog-of-the-house’ warrants. Being an enthusiastic pup, he throws himself into everything with an immense sense of excitement. He really is an excellent dog to explore with and we feel we are now accompanying him on ‘Henry’s Holidays’.

Living in Scotland and then travelling south to tour the charming and leafy villages around Lincoln you notice several things the locals might take for granted. The landscape is gentle and the hills, such as they are, are low, yet afford amazing views across the flatlands of the county. What locals no doubt get used to is that just about any small rise, and a decent eye, will reveal Lincoln Cathedral in the distance. Once the world’s tallest structure (taking over from the pyramids at Giza) this grand building would serve to orient travellers and locals alike; it’s also one of the few stone buildings you’ll see. So many local buildings are made of the rich red bricks of the region, many of which were no doubt made from clay, dug from the Old Brick Pits.

Just 15 minutes from Lincoln, yet surrounded by countryside, The Old Brick Pits is a newish venture. The owner, Julian Gordon, has reworked the landscape of this former quarry to create a wonderful small lake and added three beautiful wooden cabins. Each cabin, all three are identical, faces onto the water and you can enjoy the built-in veranda or, perhaps sit with a drink or enjoy a barbecue at the cabin’s outdoor area. We stayed in the west cabin, which has a barbecue and seating area just a little way from the cabin, allowing you to make the most of the sunshine at any time of day. A barbecue and seating is provided for each cabin.

The cabins are wonderfully finished and, given the lack of tourism in the last year or so, are in effect brand new. Each has an excellently equipped kitchen, comfortable seating, a decent television, and comfortable beds. I would really quite like one. For me, being interested in wildlife, the cabins were superb, lots of hedges and trees, which give each of the cabins a great deal of privacy were stuffed full of birds.

We visited in early May, so the dawn and evening choruses were at their best, with newly arrived warblers calling along with the blackbirds, thrushes and wrens that had stayed all year round. The nearby farm tracks and well-marked footpaths were rich and verdant. The late spring was finally seeming to ‘get going’ and butterflies, such as Orange tips and Brimstones, were on the wing. Henry had a fine time exploring. He’s a dog that loves to stick his snout into the vegetation and have a good sniff. He can wander off, though, and as the land around each cabin isn’t entirely dog proof, we kept an eye on him throughout.

What I haven’t mentioned is the fish! Neither of us is interested in catching fish, but by all accounts, the Old Brick Pits is a great spot to while away the hours in pursuit of carp, tench, perch and the like, or so Julian told us. We did see some pretty large carp rising to the surface on occasion, and I imagine these would get fishing folk very excited. If coarse fishing is your thing, then these cabins are probably even more interesting.

Visiting in May of 2021 was quite interesting. It was the first time we’d left Scotland in over a year and we, like many people, were still cautious about travelling and wary about being around too many other people. We decided to avoid the city centre and look for open locations where we could wander with ease and not worry about too much about social distancing.

Our first journey out allowed our somewhat wayward and increasingly batty sat nav to lead us down some winding narrow roads between villages. This part of northern Lincolnshire really is beautiful, especially with the trees so newly in leaf. Those rich, amber bricked houses are so deeply charming, with characterful village pubs next to well kept greens reminding us of the best of rural English life.

One erratic sat nav journey took us to the village of Stow and the charming Stow Minster, more accurately the Minster Church of St Mary, Stow in Lindsey. Stow is now a quiet place but when the Minster was founded in AD 975 or thereabouts it was at the centre of a larger diocese. Being of a more secular persuasion I marvelled at the Whipping Irons, on the green near the Minster. The irons have several shackles to take differently sized wrists! Ouch! Driving further with our sat nav confidently leading us up winding roads was a great way to meet the local hare population. 

Henry, when walking has discovered these larger versions of his favourite animal, but happily, has never come close to one. We kept him on lead throughout most of our walks. Coming across the delightful Inn on the Green in Ingham was a real bonus. The pub serves great beers and food on a weekend. The pub does indeed sit on the green which has an old telephone box full of books – always a good sign of a nice community.

While we chose to keep out of Lincoln, we did hear of Lincoln Arboretum and headed there. This is quite a charming Victorian park, laid out in the 1970s. Being a little more urban than our other destinations there were many more dogs to meet, and Henry really enjoyed exploring – the bandstand seemed to be his favourite and he did enjoy checking out the smells in the maze.

Our favourite stop off was the impressive and rather grand Doddington Hall. The hall offers a great deal, with several shops selling country clothing, bikes, locally sourced produce and seasonal items. You can’t take dogs into the hall, which is okay as Henry has little interest in Elizabethan architecture. He was much happier to roam around the grounds, first walking down to a charming lake and then walking through the fields. The hall maintains a herd of Lincoln Red cattle, so do keep your dog on lead and beware of the occasional pat on some fields. No one wants to deal with a poo roll!

The hall and shops were only just reopening when we visited, as was the café and coffee shop. We realised we were actually excited as we took our seat, in the outdoor portion of the restaurant. It had been quite some time since we’d enjoyed a meal out in a lovely setting with Henry sat under the table hoping for a fallen chip or two. The food was excellent and came quickly. Many of the ingredients served are from the hall’s kitchen garden, with the beef coming from the herd mentioned earlier – the burger did look delicious, though we had fish and chips, which proved to be an excellent choice. The estate is keen to celebrate its seasonal food, with few if any food miles.

It has been quite some time since we’ve enjoyed the simple treat that is a nice meal out at a visitor attraction and while it’s great to be doing some dog friendly travelling and lovely to be able to remind ourselves once again how much we love touring around, I’m really looking forward to it becoming a bit more normal once again.

 

West Pool Cabin, review by Angie Aspinall and appears in DogFriendly magazine issue 66. For more information on the DogFriendly magazine visit  https://www.dogfriendly.co.uk/magazine

 


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Listing Updated: 01/10/2021


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Listing Address

The Old Brick Pits,
Mill Lane
Sturton by Stow
Lincolnshire
LN1 2AS
07985 229439
Website

Listing Details

Sleeps

4


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