The Running Horse stands in Littleton, just on the outskirts of the beautiful cathedral city of Winchester. We visit regularly as our daughter lives nearby. The inn was completely refurbished early last year and re-opened in the summer beautifully designed to enjoy outdoor hospitalily. There are 15 rooms in attractive ‘shed style’ huts placed alongside the inn.
The inn belongs to the Upham Group and has a lovely, relaxed homely feel. The floors are all wooden so very dog friendly throughout the restaurant area where they are welcome.
The Paw Award
Everyone knows we dogs normally have four paws, so to get a five paw award is super special. Four is an extremely positive Frankie recommendation, any less and it’s just a question of personal choice.
Friendly & welcoming atmosphere
I wish we could say we received a lovely welcome, but sadly this was not the case. When we arrived the only member of staff we could find was serving behind the bar and couldn’t help us. A waitress appeared and went to find someone who we assumed was the manager. This person didn’t acknowledge us at all and just showed the staff member how to use a laptop to discover which room we were in. She then turned and walked away!
Breakfast was not included, but we thought we would eat before leaving to visit our daughter. The service was friendly, but the quality of the food was very poor so didn’t repeat the experience. We booked dinner that evening as this is usually excellent. However, they were short staffed, struggling to manage and the meal was very disappointing. The waiting staff however, kept smiling throughout and you couldn’t fault them. The manager was obviously under a great deal of stress as the restaurant was full.
Accommodation suitability & cost per dog
There was plenty of space in the room for Freya and Frankie’s beds and the shower had a detachable head for washing paws. However, there was absolutely no provision for dogs and we were charged £20 per dog per night, which we felt was extremely unreasonable.
The information on the website is misleading to say the least:
“Complete with their own doggy bed or blanket, bowl and tasty treats, up to a maximum of two dogs per room can stay with you, where available, for £15 per pet, per night.”
So we haven’t completed the ‘Little Extras’ section as there was nothing to say.
Location and dog walks
There is a walk directly from the inn which leads to playing fields and perfect for morning leg stretching. The Running Horse promotes itself as being 25 minutes from The New Forest National Park, although if you’re wanting spend time dog walking in the Park, we’d recommend Spot in the Woods, located at the gateway to The New Forest National Park and charges £20 per day, rather than per dog. The inn, however, is very well located for visiting Winchester itself and the town is reasonably dog friendly.