Can We Take a Dog?

July 3rd, 2021

Dog-Friendly Destinations in The Lake District

Your four-pawed best friend loves a holiday as much as you do, and across the UK, there are plenty of places to take your dog, so no pup need get left behind.

There are numerous country parks, nature reserves, woodlands, moorlands and beaches offering wide open spaces for your dog, and one of them is the breath taking Lake District, one of the most popular walking destinations in the UK. 

Lake District is full of dog-friendly places, attractions and eateries, so your dog can enjoy the complete holiday experience. Sit, relax and read on to discover places in the Lake District to go to inspire your next dog-friendly holiday.

The Buttermere Valley

The Buttermere Valley is a tranquil area of dramatic fells, farms and woodland, encompassing three lakes, voted by the public as having one of the best views in Britain.

A stroll around the shores with your dog is one of the best and easiest ways to enjoy the gorgeous views from every angle.

Don’t forget the beautiful waterfalls that crash dramatically onto the wet rocks below – make sure you go after a rainy day when they are truly magical. 

You can even stop and rest tired paws with lunch at The Bridge Hotel with the terrace views out of this world.


Keswick’s local lake is only a ten-minute walk from the centre of town. To its west rise the fells of Cat Bells. To the east is the fantastic viewpoint of Friar’s Crag, jutting into the lake. And its southern foot is the entrance to the beautiful Borrowdale valley.

You can walk the eight miles around the lake or take a 50 minute round the lake cruise on Keswick Launch. There are seven landing stages, and you can hop on and off to combine a walk and a boat ride.

Derwentwater is a good place for dogs. From the illustrious Lodore Falls hotel on the banks of Derwentwater to friendly Café West on the edge of Fitz Park, many establishments around its shores don’t just allow dogs; they love dogs. Whilst most shops, cafes and hotels in Keswick warmly welcome dogs onto their premises, it is a great centre from which to explore Derwentwater, as much for dogs as any human.

Ullswater Way

The Ullswater Way is a 20-mile walking route around Ullswater. The route can be walked in either direction and from any starting point. Why not walk the route in shorter sections, using an open-top bus or steamer to start your journey! Dogs on leads are welcome on board for a small charge, as well as in the pier houses where you can grab a quick bite to eat.

There are villages and eating places on this relatively low-level, easy to walk route, making it ideal for all ages and your four-paw friend.

The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway

What family day out is complete without your four-legged friend?! At Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, they love to see dogs on trains! Dogs are welcome on board all of their trains ( except first-class) for a small charge and are also allowed in some buildings. You should keep your dog on its lead at all times, though. 

‘Paws for a Drink’ water bowls at both main stations, and your dog will even receive its very own welcome pack upon arrival, including mess bags.

The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway is one of the oldest and longest narrow gauge railways in England, known affectionately as La’al Ratty, meaning “little railway“ in the old Cumbrian dialect. 

The line is seven miles long with a journey time of 40 minutes each way, offering spectacular views over the estuaries and countryside with England’s highest mountains in the distance. There are great walks between and from the seven intermediate request stops.

Windermere Lake Cruises

Dogs travel for free on all Windermere Lake Cruises’ scheduled cruises.

You can even bring your dog on Summer Evening Buffet Cruise, and when hungry, dogs are also welcome in the Boatmans Cafe, Bowness and The Pier Cafe Bar, Ambleside.

Dogs are welcome on self-drive motorboats and rowing boats hired from Bowness and Ambleside, but they must be kept on a lead at all times. 

At Windermere Lake Cruises, they are happy for you to share pictures of your 4-legged friends on their boats on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #windermerelakecruises, and they’ll pick the best to appear on their website.

Windermere Lake Cruises is the perfect way to explore the 10.5 miles of Windermere by boat. Windermere is England’s largest lake in the heart of the Lake District. Whether you start your journey at Bowness, Ambleside or Lakeside, the spectacular voyage gives the traveller magnificent views of mountain scenery, secluded bays and the many wooded islands.

Grizedale Forest

Grizedale forest in the heart of the Lake District World Heritage Site offers an unrivalled day out for everyone with breathtaking views, stunning artwork and endless forest trails.

The forest has ten different walking trails of varying difficulties and lengths; the longest walking trail is 10 miles, way more than enough for your furry friend to stretch its paws. Dogs are allowed in the Visitor Centre but need to sit outside if you wish to visit the cafe. If you have a reactive dog, the Visitor Centre can be pretty busy, but peace and quiet can be found out on the trails, and it’s easy to park in one of the other car parks, bring a picnic and spend a day walking with your dog without seeing too many people and other dogs. It’s also possible to avoid the waymarked trails and navigate your routes using an OS Map if that’s what you enjoy.

There are plenty of dog walks to explore throughout the entire Lake District, and if any of the above kick off the adventure for you and your dog, plan a getaway that both you and your four-pawed friend will love.