PetsPyjamas’ Guide to the Dog-Friendly Lake District
One of the most beautiful places on the planet, the Lake District located in the heart of Cumbria is a dog-friendly paradise! With its spectacular walks, magical lakes and mountainous fells, it also has some of the most dog-friendly market towns in the country. There is so much to do – and everything is designed to provide you and your pet with a fabulous holiday come rain or shine whether you prefer a gentle stroll around a lake or hike up a mountain with your best friend in tow.
A Unesco World Heritage site, the Lake District includes three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and occupies portions of the historic counties of Cumberland, Lancashire and Westmorland. It covers an area of 866 square miles and includes sixteen lakes the largest of which is Windermere and the highest English mountains Scafell Pike. Immortalised by poets and painters for its scenic walks, the Lake District was also the home of author Beatrix Potter as well as Alfred Wainwright the famous fell walker whose favourite fell walks include Catbells and Scafell Pike.
One of our favourite dog-friendly destinations – we have rounded up all the very best dog-friendly lakeside country house spa hotels, cottages and ancient halls in wonderful rural locations where your dog will feel as welcome as you are. We’ve also sniffed out the best places for fell walks, lakeside strolls, dog-friendly attractions in the area and fabulous Lake District pubs to refuel after a day of fell walking with your faithful hound by your side.
Must be the myriad of lakeside and fell walks, the spectacular scenery and the wonderful dog-friendly towns like Keswick – frequently voted the most dog-friendly town in the country.
Whether you are looking for a luxury spa, country manor or wonderful water-side dog-friendly Lake District hotel, you are sure to find the perfect stay for you and your hound.
Stay in a wonderful dog-friendly spa hotel on a private estate in Keswick with acres of grounds for your furry plus one to discover or choose an enchanting lakeside setting with dog-friendly hotels on the waterside in Ambleside or Newby Bridge, just a stick’s throw away from Great Knott Wood and Gummers How Fell, perfect for walkies.
Or embark on a new adventure and explore the Lake District’s fabulous scenery, rugged fell mountain treks from Cat Bells to Scafell Pike and stay in a cosy dog-friendly Lake District cottage.
Our PetsPyjamas hotels are all incredibly dog-welcoming; with each one given our paw of approval. Suitable for all breeds and budgets, here are a few of our favourite dog-friendly hotels in the Lake District.
The Swan, Newby Bridge
Super dog-friendly and close to Lake Windermere in a lovely rural setting, this riverside inn makes the perfect hotel for a doggy getaway. A wonderful friendly atmosphere, oodles of charm with a pool, playground, and spa – gorgeous walks on the doorstep as well as the dog-friendly steam train.
Set on the shores of the Bassenthwaite Lake, dog-friendly Armathwaite Hall Hotel is a privately-owned, former stately home which sits in 400 acres of deer park and woodland with stunning views of the Skiddaw mountains and Lake District Fells. The hotel also has a fabulous spa.
Four-legged friends get an extra warm welcome at the Dunes Hotel situated in the South of the Lake District just walking distance from the sandy dunes of Roanhead – a fabulous National Trust beach perfect for doggy frolics across a three-mile expanse of sand. Nestled in 18 acres of grounds there are numerous trails from the door.
Our PetsPyjamas cottages are super dog-friendly; with each one given our paw of approval. Suitable for all breeds and budgets, here are a few of our favourite pet-friendly cottages in the Lake District.
Glassonby Old Hall, Rowley Estates
A restored baronial style 15th-century Cumbrian longhouse which sleeps eight – overlooking rolling Cumbrian hills and farmland. Beautifully styled rooms and charming kitchen where your dog will enjoy curling up in front of the Aga after a day of fell walking.
A wonderful four bedroomed, traditional Cumbrian farmhouse set in 17 acres with spectacular views from the hot tub towards the Irish sea and Duddon Estuary – ideal for exploring Whicham Valley and within half an hour’s drive of Coniston Water.
A former grand hall built as a grand gentleman’s residence, this dog-friendly property combines traditional Lakeland style with a boutique country cottage feel. It has panoramic views over Windermere and Langdale Pikes and a large garden leading to Stickle and Harrison Pike beyond.
After a busy day of walks in the Lake District – hiking up Catbells, taking a circular walk around Cartwell Fell or Rydal Water or exploring the woodlands at Grizedale Forest Park – you’ll want to find somewhere to eat where your four-legged friend will be as welcome as you are. Luckily the Lake District is super dog-friendly and great for a gourmet getaway that welcome furry friends whether it’s a historic country pub, a destination gastro pub or a delightful cafe in a dog-friendly village or market town – the possibilities are endless.
There are some fabulous dog-friendly pubs in picture perfect villages with food to match. We love the Ambleside Inn close to Lake Windermere which serves a variety of Cumbrian specialities, the Pheasant Inn in Cockermouth, a traditional inn close to Bassenthwaite Lake, or for a really special lunch the Punch Bowl, a gastropub with fabulous food nestled in a lovely rural spot in the unspoilt Lyth Valley. Our favourite cafes include the Kitchen and Walled Garden at the glorious Lingholm Estate, close to Keswick.
We’ve put together some of our best loved dog-friendly pubs and cafes in the Lake District where you can enjoy fabulous food sourced from local ingredients while your dog will have a chance to put their paws up somewhere welcoming and and will almost certainly be rewarded with a treat or two or even their own gourmet meal.
The Lake District is one of the very best places in the country for dog walking with fabulous fell walking, strolls around the Lakes, as well as a myriad of dog-friendly forest trails and woodland strolls away from the hustle and bustle of life. In fact the best part of a holiday in the Lakes is planning which fell you will climb each day whether it’s a hike up Catbells, Scafell Pike or Helvellyn. One thing is for sure – your dog will enjoy the adventure just as much as you.
So pack up your walking boots and head to the hills with your best furry friend in tow and begin your adventure. There are walks for all levels of fitness whether you fancy a gentle stroll around a lake or a more challenging fell walk, there are a myriad of dog-friendly walking trails in the Lake District to suit all abilities. Climb up Helvellyn or Skiddaw, walk from the dog-friendly market town of Keswick to the gardens of the Lingholm Estate, stroll along the shores of Lake Windermere, or take a walk through Grizedale Forest or around Lowther Castle.
We’ve put together a collection of walks we think you and your dog will love – including our favourite fell walks, forest, lakeside and coastal walks, as well as some easy walks which include stops at dog-friendly pubs and cafes along the way. Waggy tails all round!
Although your dog may love the prospect of climbing up Catbells with you or visiting famous market towns like Keswick – frequently voted the most dog-friendly town in the country, the one thing they really enjoy is the excitement of getting in the car for an adventure! The Lake District not only has wonderful walks from fell climbing, forest or woodland walks to lakeside strolls – it also has some wonderful places to visit where your dog will be as welcome as you are. There are an amazing array of dog-friendly museums, historic houses, castles, gardens and dog-friendly lakeside cruises that guarantee a fun day out for the whole family including the dog.
So take your best furry friend for a magical adventure in the dog-friendly Lake District. We have put together some of our favourite dog-friendly attractions – including the dog-friendly Pencil Museum, a visit to the glorious Lingholm Estate, a trip on a Windermere lakeside Cruise stopping off at various locations along the way as well as a ride on a dog-friendly steam train – all guaranteed to delight your dog!
PetsPyjamas Top Picks
Lakeside and Haverthwaite Steam Railway
The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Steam Railway makes a wonderful dog-friendly outing. Pick up the train from Haverthwaite station and enjoy fabulous views from your carriage to Lakeside, the southern tip of Lake Windermere.
Windermere Lake Cruise
Step on board the Windermere Lake Cruise with your four-legged friend in tow. Explore the 10.5 miles of Windermere with your dog stopping off at various points along the way. You’ll have wonderful views of mountain scenery, secluded bays and wooded islands along the way.
Beatrix Potter was a frequent visitor to Lingholm Estate which inspired several of her books. The Estate is situated on the shores of Derwent Water a few minutes walk from Catbells. Lingholm Estate includes a fabulous octagonal walled garden and kitchen open for breakfast, lunch and tea. A 40 minute stroll from Keswick.