Squirrelled away in the quiet village of Hambledon, you can find the Merry Harriers. A quirky country inn, complete with cosy accommodation, resident llamas and a deep love for our furry canines.
Last weekend, we were invited to stay in this wonderful place and boy did our dogs have the best time. Meeting llamas, exploring the Surrey Hills, tucking into their very own doggy dinners. The whole experience was incredibly enriching for our dogs and our tails are wagging to share it with you.
This review is sponsored (gifted), but our opinions and tail-wagging excitement for this place is completely independent.
After a long road trip from our cosy nook in South Wales, we arrived at the Merry Harriers, tails wagging for our Surrey adventure.
Outside of the pub, COVID safety measures were clearly sign-posted which quickly made us feel at ease. Inside we were welcomed by the most friendly staff, each giving the dogs their own welcome of fusses.
Upon arrival, we were led to cosy Shepherds Hut number 5 located right next to a sparkling pond, overlooking the South Downs National Park. Everything was explained to us on arrival, and we were left to settle into our cosy hut.
We were told we could park the car directly outside of the hut which made it so much easier to lug all our stuff. As we popped out to get the car, we noticed we had a little neighbour. A beautiful beagle peering at us through another Shepherd Hut window – we were home.
Each Shepherd’s Hut is designed to offer guests a luxury take on the glamping experience, complete with an en-suite bathroom.
The colourful nest is bursting with little llama details, plenty of storage and quirky touches. The glowing LED heart, floral blackout blinds and underfloor heating created a cosy and inviting space. The room came complete with a kettle, teas and coffees, a flatscreen TV complete with streaming services and hot water bottle.
The dogs were also in for a treat, with their very own bed, bandanas, toys and water bowl. Minnie was thrilled with the ball, she played with it all afternoon. Charlie on the other hand was happier to see the bed, ready for a luminous snooze next to the glowing LED heart.
To complete the experience, we received a welcoming bottle of wine, mini toiletries, bathrobes, a cosy wood-burning stove and outdoor fire-pit. Throughout the weekend we also found the mini torch and outdoor motion sensor lights helpful for the impromptu midnight wees.
We cracked open the bottle of wine and slumped into the fluffy grey chairs with our feet up – we were ready to enjoy our slice of countryside paradise.
Food & Drink
The pub has a convivial and inviting atmosphere, illuminated by twinkling candle-light during the evenings and the streaming countryside sun during the day.
On our first evening, we noticed plenty of sleeping pooches under the table, some belonging to locals, others belonging to guests. This spoke volumes to us, verifying just how dog friendly this place truly is. Once again dogs were given a warm welcome of fuss, complete with a couple of biscuits to settle them into the evening.
Head Chef David Totterdall takes pride in creating a range of dishes to have you drooling like a British Bulldog. Dishes include a range of homemade burgers complete with a sourdough bap, to your traditional favourites such as a hearty sausage and mash.
Now usually your dog would be looking onto your meal with puppy eyes and jealousy, but here they can enjoy their very own dish too. Classic chicken and rice, complete with a leafy garnish. It looked good enough for a human to eat.
Minnie didn’t care about the presentation and wolfed down her chicken and rice within seconds. Charlie appreciated the presentation and nibbled around the garnish centrepiece. After his little belly was full, Minnie gobbled down the rest of his dish. Afterwards, Minnie left quite the mess of peas which we embarrassingly went to pick up. Our waiter laughed and said: “oh don’t worry about that, we’ve had much worse – and not from the dogs”.
On the tipple list, is a number of local Real Ales, wines from Surrey and an award-winning Bloody Mary. With your hut just paw-prints away, you can enjoy a right ole knee’s up just like the many ancestors who enjoyed the pub back in the 16th century.
Breakfast has all your simple dishes ranging from your full English to tasty pastries. Even the scrambled egg was top notch!
What to Do
You don’t need to venture too far to find a unique dog friendly adventure! This wonderful place has their very own herd of Llamas who all reside in a large paddock just behind the inn.
The Llamas are well-accustomed to doggy guests and so the Llama trekking that takes place from the inn is completely dog friendly. The Llamas are very sociable and friendly towards most dogs provided they don’t run to the back of the Llama’s legs and bark! Together with an experienced guide, you can hike through the surrounding landscapes of the Surrey Hills, with your very own Llama (an average route being 3 miles).
Some walks even include a picnic with a spread of classic British treats, or a two-course pup grub meal to head back to.
Even though we didn’t managed to book into a trek (due to popularity), we still managed to meet the Llamas. Minnie took a shine to lovely ‘snot bags’ Louis.
When we weren’t in ‘awe’ of the Llama’s we did find plenty of walks to enjoy in the local area. We headed to the Devil’s Punchbowl, a National Trust location bursting with tails of literature and mythology.
According to mythology, this place formed when the devil scooped some dirt up in his hand to throw at Thor. The place he dug, is now known as the Devil’s Punchbowl. In reality, it is a designated area of outstanding beauty encompassed by a huge natural amphitheatre.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, (the author of Sherlock Holmes), used to walk on Hindhead Commons and used it as inspiration for the book ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’. Your own hound can follow the pawprints of the most famous dog in literature. Ours thoroughly enjoyed the wide-open spaces while we enjoyed the spectacular views over the common.
There’s plenty of picnic areas to take a rest, there’s an outdoor cafe on-site, and a dog friendly pub, Devil’s Punchbowl Hotel and Pub opposite to wash it all down.
Llama tell you something… there are not many places we’ve visited who adore dogs as much as the Merry Harriers. In fact, we’re almost jealous that resident pub dog Jake gets to enjoy this wonderful place every day.
This place offers a staycation experience like no other. The luxury Shepherd’s Hut gave us the most comfortable snooze, the dogs instantly felt at home and the Llama’s provided that quirky touch taking us away from the every-day drivel.
This place offered a taste of scrumptious Surrey life and we want more!