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Dog Friendly Days Out in the Lake District: 9 Enjoyable Attractions and Things to Do in the Lakes

Spending time in this part of the world allows you to experience some of the best dog friendly days out in the Lake District, this includes rambling in the countryside, which has to be top of the list of things to do in the Lake District. Pack a picnic, grab a bottle and head for the hills. There are lots of different routes to follow taking in woodland, craggy peaks, waterfalls and the magnificent lakes themselves.

The Best Places To Take Dogs in Lake District

Beatrix Potter was a farmer and a writer and dearly loved the Lake District. She had a home in Hawkshead but she also stayed in Lingholm and Wray Castle. Walk the car-free pet-friendly paths to Hawkshead village, it’s a popular place to stroll.

For more dog friendly walks in the Lake District it’s here.

Coniston Water inspired Arthur Ransome to write Swallows and Amazons. The lake and village are overlooked by The Old Man of Coniston – a great mountain for climbers.

Ambleside boasts a quirky attraction. The Bridge House spanned the narrow water of Stock Beck and was built like this to avoid taxes. Visitors can step inside today, but a tour won’t take long – it’s only 2 rooms wide!. One of the more photographed places of the Lake District, you have stop by for a selfie with your pet.

With an endless choice of things to do in the Lakes here are our top 9 dog friendly attractions in the Lake District:

Activities & Places To Visit

Find below 9 of the best days out in Lake District for dogs

1. Windermere Lake Cruises

The longest lake in England is a must-visit location when you’re in the Lake District. Measuring 11.2 miles long, there’s plenty of space for cruising. Boat trips of all kinds can be booked, from a short 30-minute jaunt to an evening spent on the water.

Dogs are welcome on most of the scheduled tours but only dogs on leads – they sail for free too. Disembark and stretch your legs with a stroll along the lakeshore path on the west shore where you will find claife viewing station, breathtaking views and picnic area

2. Experience Aira Force

Aira Force, a 65-foot waterfall is a popular destination for tourists. When it’s been raining heavily, as it often does in this part of the UK, the fall thunders in a powerful display of nature at its best.

The area around this waterfall provides a beautiful place to walk with your four-legged friend. Follow the dog friendly woodland trails and spot different trees, red squirrels, birds, insects and maybe even some deer whilst in the Lake District.

3. Ride the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway

The railway is dog friendly and it is known affectionately as La’ al Ratty. They travel for just £1.50 and drinking bowls are provided at the stations for your canines.

The railway is 110 years old and the track is 7 miles long. The journey takes about 40 minutes from the coast at Ravenglass to the heights of Dalegarth. Energetic types can enjoy a scenic walk one way and ride the other.

4. Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway

Another dog-friendly railway, this 3.5-mile track following the former Furness Railway branch line, can be found on the southern tip of Lake Windermere and is often combined with Windermere lake cruises. Dogs are welcome and even get their own ticket.

Why not combine the journey with a visit to some of the lake district’s other dog-friendly places such as the Lakeland motor museum, home to over 30,000 vehicles including an amazing collection of classic cars and the Donald Campbell collection.

Fancy a bite to eat, the Museums fantastic Café Ambio also welcomes dogs.

5. Climb Scafell Pike

One of the most popular Lakeland fells and the highest peak in England is Scafell Pike and it’s located in the Lake District. Unless you’re a serious hiker, going to the top with your dog might be a bit ambitious, but you can walk the foothills and enjoy the rugged landscape.

There’s a car park in the village of Wasdale Head where the footpaths begin and a route will take you across fields of cattle and a couple of kissing gates – so Fido might need his lead and a bit of assistance in places.

Coming down from the peaks you find some of the best dog-friendly Lake District pubs and bars to enjoy a well-earned beverage or two.

6. Explore Derwentwater

Walking distance from the busy market town of Keswick, Derwentwater is 3 miles long in a landscape of moody crags, which change hourly, from waves on a windy day to a glass-like smooth when the weather is fine.

At Keswick Launch, dog-friendly boat trips are available most days. Aboard the handsome wooden vessels, you can tour the lake – a round trip takes 90 minutes. But if you fancy some exercise, there are 7 places to alight and walk the shores for a while.

7. Brougham Castle

This 13th-century ruin is a great place to explore as it is also dog friendly. A moat, tower, passageway, arrow slits and tombstones can all be seen and there is plenty of history to learn as you wander the site.

Owned by English Heritage, the entrance is free if you’re a member. Take a picnic and tuck into lunch as you enjoy the spectacular views across the River Eamont and the rest of the stunning Lake District.

8. Be Drawn to the Pencil Museum

For an hour of light-hearted fun, the pencil museum is a great place to head, especially when the weather is wet. Keswick is the home of the first pencil and this museum is packed with interesting little facts about this humble writing tool.

Events are laid on and workshops, too, so check the ‘What’s On’ page to make sure you don’t miss anything. Dogs are welcome inside on a lead, but they can’t go into the café or artist shops on-site.

9. Muncaster Castle

The number 1 attraction in the dog friendly lake district has to be Muncaster Castle gardens it really is heaven for our four legged friends. With over 70 acres of woodland gardens to explore.

Although not allowed in the castle itself or the owl centre, dogs are welcome in the Owl Garden tea room, where they can have a drink and there is a special viewing area where you can sit and watch the prey display.

FAQ’s about dog friendly attractions in the Lake District

Is The World of Beatrix Potter Dog friendly?

Unfortunately, Mr McGregor’s garden and the home of Peter Rabbit are one of a few non dog friendly places in the Lakes.

Is Muncaster Castle dog friendly?

Yes, although not allowed in the historic house or the owl centre, dogs on leads are welcome to explore the acres of open spaces and spectacular gardens

Can dogs swim in the Lake District?

Yes, besides enjoying a huge amount of dog walks there is also the opportunity for pooches to paddle.

One of the best places for dogs to swim is Buttermere. Owned by the National Trust, there are no motorboats or cruisers, just rowing boats making it one of the quieter lakes.

Can you take dogs on Lake Windermere boats?

Yes, absolutely. You can also take dogs on other lake cruises in the national park including Derwentwater, where you can hire boats or book cruises at Keswick Launch or why not hop aboard the steam yacht gondola on the eastern shore of Coniston water .

Other places well behaved dogs will enjoy include:-

Honister Pass – Quieter area surrounding Buttermere, with good road transport links, perfect for long walks with your four legged friend and plenty dog friendly pubs en-route.

Hutton in the forest – Dog lovers can delve into history with a visit to this beautiful listed manor house and gardens in Penrith. Former home to the Fletcher Vane family

Whinlatter (the country’s only true mountain forest) Managed by the forestry commission dog owners and their canine companions are sure to love these woodland trails dotted with pretty picnic areas

Lingholm kitchen and walled garden – With stunning views of the original kitchen garden that inspired Beatrix Potter’s tales, located on the north western shore of Derwentwater you and your dog can enjoy good food in glorious surroundings in the main café or on the terrace

Lowther Castle – A fantastic way to spend an afternoon. Dog owners and their four legged friends will love this wonderful lost castle with its maze of waymarked trails and beautiful gardens

Brockhole Garden and Visitor Centre – Dogs are allowed in the gardens and grounds, exhibition area and café but not in the activity areas or restaurant

Allan BankPerfect for a rainy day, dogs are welcome both inside and outside the historic home of poet William Wordsworth in Grasmere

Looking for Dog Friendly Holidays?

If you are planning a trip or mini-break in the Lake District with dogs, then we have put together some of our best accommodation for furry friends.

Holidays Cottages

It’s here for the full selection of Lake District cottages for four-legged friends, these cosy properties really are home from home.

Log Cabins

For something different away from the hustle and bustle then check out these luxury Lake District log cabins perfect for dogs and pets.

Hot Tubs

For added luxury then try this selection of dog friendly hot tub getaways in the Lakes.

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