A foodie hideaway, complete with picture perfect Beach Hut treatment room, a mere leap and a bound away from the sandy beach and rolling dunes. Dog-friendly rooms include king size Hypnos beds, WiFi, access to the hotel’s tuck shop ‘The Larder of Guilty Pleasures’, Freeview TV, DVD library, DAB radio, fluffy bathrobes and a beach bag at the ready.
You and your pooch can pick from three of The Gallivant’s beachside chic room types, all of which will be sure to relax even the weariest of souls.
Garden rooms are perfectly proportioned spaces, and flooded with natural light from the double doors opening on to a petite deck area with teak furniture. Bathrooms have baths with high pressure showers above.
If fido likes to mooch, we’d suggest a Deck room, which all feature private, enclosed deck spaces. Serene, New England inspired surrounds with costal accents will make you want to rest awhile, while the monsoon showers are ideal to wash away the day’s sand. Two Deck rooms can be combined for families.
Alternatively, opt for the hotel’s largest, and arguably loveliest, room; Luxury Garden Room 17 is available for our four-legged friends. Made for indulgence, with space enough for a longer stay for all, a super-king bed, splendid roll-top bath and monsoon shower, velvet seating and double doors on to a semi-private terrace will all welcome you in.
Your dog will be right at home with beds, bowls and treats available on request.
Grab your beach bag and head to the dunes. Your pup will not miss having to skip past the coastal garden behind the hotel, as plenty of sniffable spaces lie in wait. There is a grassy area opposite the hotel where dogs can walk, and let’s not forget the beach, part of which is dog-friendly all year round, where they can go wild and enjoy a paddle (or full on dip!). If all that is not enough, the coastal footpath is also on your doorstep.
Warm and cosy in the winter, and light and breezy for the summer, be sure to book a treatment in The Beach Hut. Open from 11am to 7pm on weekdays and 10am to 7pm at weekends, this peaceful oasis using ethical health, WiDEYE products, is a delight. Choose from a selection of massages, facials, manicures and pedicures.
Describing itself as a restaurant with rooms, this modern British eatery is very much the heart of the hotel. With its Nordic inspired decor and a relaxed, welcoming vibe, you will be re-booking in no time. The Gallivant is proud to have a 10 Mile Menu, sourcing almost all their fresh ingredients from local producers within this radius.
Menus change with the seasons but expect dishes such as smoked mackerel salad, Romney Salt Marsh lamb and buttermilk panna cotta with rhubarb sorbet and granola.
On Sundays, a special a la carte menu is served, including a traditional roast, with Bucks Fizz and Bloody Marys on hand to start the proceedings off with a swing.
While dogs are not allowed in the restaurant (except for tea and cake), the hotel’s bar area is perfect for dinner with your pup, and the full restaurant menu is on offer should you wish to dine here. It’s advisable to book ahead for a table with fido as seating is limited (the two dog-friendly tables are first-come first-served at breakfast time). Dogs are also welcome to join you on the terrace tables, which are sheltered and heated, so can be enjoyed in both warm, and more wintery, weather.
Room service is not available; you’re encouraged to come and enjoy the hotel’s bar and restaurant, the hub of the hotel.
At 4pm daily, a fresh, homemade cake is served along with a big pot of tea, complimentary for all residents and perfect for a post-walk pick me up.
At breakfast, head for the ‘Recovery Station’ – enjoy as many complimentary Bloody Marys as you like while you indulge in some homemade banana bread, or The Full Gallivant, complete with bacon that’s cured in-house.
Located just across the road from the beach, your pup will love the expanse of sandy shores to enjoy. A handy tip to remember when you’re coming off the beach, the hotel is opposite exit D, which lies a minute or two from the dunes. While the central expanse of beach is not dog-friendly in the summer, the areas to the left and right (which is very close to The Gallivant) are dog-friendly all year round and have plenty of space for paws to explore.
The picturesque, medieval town of Rye is worth a jaunt and lies just a 5 minute drive away, or 30 minutes on foot across the marshes.
If you’re looking to explore this historic county, the 1066 Walk is a must-do with pup in tow. The route commemorates the 1066 Battle of Hastings and runs through East Sussex from Rye, finishing at Pevensey Castle. At 31 miles, it’s quite a hike, so pick a part or explore the walk from Rye. There’s plenty to see on the way, including oast houses, windmills and stretches of the gloriously windswept South Downs.
For other dog-friendly venues in the area, check out our ‘Also in the Neighbourhood’ recommendations below. You will also find more handy tips and fantastic places to explore in Sussex with our dog-friendly guide to the region, available on Dog Digest.
Address: The Gallivant, New Lydd Rd, Camber, Rye, East Sussex TN31 7RB
Put the postcode in your SatNav and you’ll find The Gallivant around a 30 minute drive through the country from the M20. As you enter Camber from Rye, you’ll see the hotel on the left hand side.
Parking is available, but the car park can get busy during summer months. Fear not – if this happens, there is parking on the road nearby and a beach car park opposite.
Rye is the closest station, which connects via Southern services to Ashford International, on the main, high-speed line from St Pancras.
Arrange a taxi in advance for the last part of your and fido’s journey to the hotel, which should take less than 10 minutes.
We arrived at The Gallivant on a stormy day, unfortunately not unfamiliar on these ‘fair’ isles! Turning off the main road into this luxe restaurant with rooms has the feel of pulling up outside an upscale Californian motel, just off the 101. With wellies and a dog bowl at the entrance enticing Rigby in, we were whisked through the door in no time, with Rigby’s whiskers a twitching until his gaze feel on the giant jar of dog treats at reception. After a biscuit (or two!) to welcome him, Rigby was delighted to soon find himself in his abode, a Luxury Garden Room. With direct outside access, its French doors open on to The Gallivant’s small stretch of picturesquely planted seaside garden (deck chairs at the ready!) that runs behind many of the rooms.
After homing in on his biscuits, bowls and sleep spot, Rigby was soon ensconced in his big cushiony bed, gazing at the French doors and seaside garden beyond. While Rigby dreamt of sea and sand, I took the opportunity to unpack into the ample cupboards in this seaside delight of a room. With more than a touch of 70’s retro vibe, its green and blue undertones are tastefully accented with plush, retro yellow velvet chairs and memorabilia from seaside swimming of yesteryear.
With Rigby now ready to explore, I threw a few bits and bobs into the thoughtfully left, branded beach bag, and grabbed his lead from the handy hook next to the door. We were soon crossing the road and making a beeline for Camber Sands. Walking through the beach car park opposite the hotel, we headed right towards the area of the beach that’s dog-friendly all year round. While Rigby made lighter work of crossing the sandy dunes than my heavier feet, we both soon found ourselves on a long stretch of beach, with atmospheric storm clouds rolling on the horizon, and views over the plains beyond. With the possibility of rain a delight to Rigby, overjoyed at the thought of water coming from the sea and sky (showing his Spaniel roots!), we paddled awhile, and the occasional boat launched itself into the sea ahead.
In need of an afternoon snooze, Rigby and I made our way back to the hotel, grateful for our room’s wooden floor, which made it easy to wipe away the remaining paw-sand. Unable to resist the deep fill bath any longer, I filled the tub, making ample use of the Bramley toiletries that soon filled the air with scents of English gardens. Refreshed and revived, and with a drink now in hand, we both took a pew on our patio area. While Rigby enjoyed sniffing his flowery surrounds, with one ear pricked ready to wag a hello to the neighbouring dogs, I enjoyed the sound of seagulls, much masking the sound of the passing cars on their way to explore East Sussex.
Excited to try the much talked about food at The Gallivant, we donned our deck shoes and took the short stroll to the combined bar and restaurant. With a dog-friendly table (arranged in advance) in the bar, which blends seamlessly into the restaurant, we took our seats, while Rigby was brought a bowl to lap from. A gentle hubbub filled the air as the friendly staff answered my questions on the day’s well-balanced menu. With the seaside front of mind, I opted for the Potted South Coast crab, with heritage tomato salad and gazpacho. Light and refreshing, with a glass of picpoul alongside, it warmed up my tastebuds for my Sussex rump steak salad, with rocket, foie gras and truffles to come. Having thoroughly enjoyed the summery offerings, and with Rigby now snoozing under the table, I plumped for a dark chocolate mousse with raspberries, perfect to round off my meal. Having had more than my fill, and with Rigby still sleepy, we took a brief turn around the grass bank by the hotel, before heading in to enjoy a night’s slumber.
Waking to brighter skies overhead, we decided to head out pre-breakfast. With Rigby now familiar with the route to the beach, we made the short walk before finding ourselves on the shores, now invitingly wide, with the tide out and seashells lining the sand, fresh from the water’s retreat. With barely another human or hound in sight, Rigby was overjoyed and gambolled his way down the sandy banks, hopping from one watery pool to the next, delighted to discover all the sea had left behind. Tired from simply watching his crazy antics, and after a stroll to the harbour wall, we made our way back to de-sand before going to satisfy our growling tummies.
With Rigby fed and us both just about presentable again, we made our way to breakfast and I tucked in to the delicious continental spread. With a giant bowl of fresh berry compote, fresh fruit, cakes and pastries on offer, my gaze did not need to fall further to have my fill. However, having completed our early morning walk, I couldn’t resist a little extra, so opted for avocado and poached eggs (available to order from an a la carte menu).
With our bags packed after a final explore of Rigby’s favourite grassy spot, we made our way to check out. Rigby insisted on joining, knowing full well he was likely to find a biscuit or two.
With its foodie delights and contemporary seaside vibe, The Gallivant is more than worth a pawstop, and Fido will be sure to enjoy the wonderful dog-friendly beach just a stone’s throw away.
If you've subscribed before click here to resubscribe.