Whether you’re a casual trekker or a seasoned hiker, walking holidays provide fabulous fun and exercise for you and Fido. From relaxing strolls to more challenging mountain climbs – we’ve selected 10 of the top walks in the Lake District along with some wonderful dog-friendly places to stay.
1. The Old Man of Coniston
Length of walk: 6.5 miles.
Perfect for canines that enjoy a challenge – the Old Man is one of the most recognisable Lake District fells, towering at 2,634 feet. To go straight to the summit, take the popular trail on the east side of the mountain with Fido. An alternative route is via Walna Scar Road where you’ll enjoy stunning views of the cliffs of Dow Crag and its tarn, Goats Water.
Stay at:Yew Tree Cottage – A hound’s haven, this pretty converted barn is nestled in the heart of the Lake District National Park. Both Coniston Old Station car park and Walna Scar Road car park are only a short distance from the cottage and make great starting points for your ascent.
2. Scafell Pike
Length of walk: 7 miles.
At 3,209 feet, Scafell Pike is England’s highest mountain and not an ascent for faint-hearted dogs – ensure you and your four-legged friend are properly equipped before you set off! There are a variety of routes and paths to take, ranging from the main tourist track up the mountain to quieter side paths – all with incredible views over Wasdale.
Stay at:The Cottage– a cosy, old-world cottage on the edge of the Lake District National Park and the perfect base for a walking holiday. Your pooch can enjoy some time at peaceful Coniston – accessed by a spectacular drive over Hardnott and Wrynose.
Length of walk: 3.5 miles.
PetsPyjamas mascot Kiki loved her walk up Catbells when she visited the Lake District. A straightforward ascent, the walk starts from the car park near Hawse End. Although one of the more miniature mountains – once you reach the summit, Catbells will still treat you and your canine companion to stupendous views across Derwentwater.
Stay at:Embleton Spa Hotel – nestled in Cockermouth, you and Fido can enjoy the stunning location of this hotel before relaxing in the garden and fabulous spa.
Length of walk: 9 miles.
The second highest mountain in England at 3,120 feet and famous for its twin peaks – Helvellyn offers a slightly easier walk than Scafell but is not one for vertigo-suffering pooches. Start from the car park at Swirls where you’ll enjoy views of the Thirlmere Reservoir. The climb is steep but once you reach the summit, the views of Lake Ullswater and the local area are breathtaking.
Stay at:Bram Cragg Barn – a beautifully converted barn with a lovely enclosed garden for your dog to run around on days when you’re not scaling mountains.
5. Scout Scar
Length of walk: 2.5 miles.
For furry friends who fancy a shorter amble – Scout Scar is a fabulous choice. A steep hill in the Lake District, you’ll enjoy one of the best views across the entire Southern Lakes. If Fido is feeling adventurous – continue all the way to the summit where you’ll find ‘The Mushroom’, a shelter which has a viewfinder for all the fells and the perfect resting point on clear days.
Stay at:Ellerbeck Bridge– surrounded by the magnificent countryside of the Lyth Valley, this cottage is perfect for family holidays and offers walks over Whitbarrow Scar direct from the doorstep.
6. Troutbeck Tongue
Length of walk: 7.5 miles.
One of the smaller fells in the Lake District – Troutbeck Tongue makes for a wonderful half day trip with your four-legged friend. The ascent is steep but short, and once you reach the summit you can enjoy a beautiful view down the Troutbeck Valley of England’s largest lake, Windermere.
Stay at:Rothay Manor– set in the heart of Ambleside, your pooch will love exploring the hotel’s two acres of gardens and grounds. With a plethora of walks from the door, you’ll also be provided with the best spots for walks and lunches with your pet!
7. Cumbria Way – Ulverston to Coniston
Length of walk: 14.5 miles.
If you want to enjoy a relaxing amble with your pet – Cumbria Way is the way to walk! Stretching in total for 70 miles across the Lake District valley floors, many split the entire walk over five or six days. The first section between Ulverston and Coniston is approximately 14½ miles long and runs through many pretty farms and fields – perfect for lots of canine frolics.
Stay at: The Dunes – Walking distance from the sandy dunes of Roanhead, this dog-friendly beach-side hotel is a 14-minute drive to Gill Car Park in Ulverston where you’ll begin the walk. Should your four-legged friend want to enjoy some time by the sea, The Dunes is not far from the sandy beaches of the west coast.
Towering at 3,054 feet – a hike over this magnificent fell makes for a great day out with your pooch. The walk up Skiddaw will be long and steep – pack refreshments – however the stunning views over Keswick, Derwentwater and even Borrowdale, on a clear day, will be worth it.
Stay at:Bassenthaite Lakeside Lodges– Nestled in one of the most picturesque spots in Keswick at the foot of dramatic Skiddaw Mountain, the lodges are a heavenly haven for wildlife and stunning walks. Hope Park and Fitz Park are just a short walk from the lodges – perfect for early morning walks.
9. The Fairfield Horseshoe
Length of walk: 10 miles.
At the top of every canine’s walk wish list is The Fairfield Horseshoe. This classic Lake District walk will reward you and your four-legged friend with breath-taking views of all the peaks that surround Rydal. The paths are well defined so you and Fido won’t have any problem navigating your way to the summit.
Stay at:Holbeck Ghyll – the ultimate luxurious home from home, Holbeck Ghyll is only a 10-minute drive to Rydal Road car park where you’ll start your ascent. Pet beds, bowls, blankets and toys will be provided for your pooch.
10. Buttermere Lakeshore
Length of walk: 5 miles.
For pets that wish to enjoy the beauty of the Lake District but don’t want to exert themselves too much, a peaceful stroll next to Lake Buttermere is ideal. Only four and a half miles long – your four-legged friend can bound along the shores whilst you admire the stunning landscape.
Stay at:The Pheasant Inn – this charming escape is located in Cockermouth and only a short drive to Buttermere’s car park. Beds and bowls will be provided for your pooch, plus there are lovely fell walks from the doorstep.