14 of the Best Dog Walks in the Lake District

When it comes to walking trails and beauty spots in general, is there really anywhere quite like the Lake District? Probably not! In fact, if you’ve never been out to the Lakes before, you could be missing out on some brilliant stretches for you and your pup to enjoy.

Find Good Places to Walk Dogs in the Lake District

But what are the best dog-friendly walks in the Lake District?

In this guide, we will take you through all of our personal favourite places to take the dog for a walk, as well as those which continue to be hugely popular with local walkers and tourists. Why not look at some dog friendly Lake District attractions, too?

Lake District Dog Walks That Everyone Enjoys

1. Rydal Water

When many people think of iconic walks around the Lake District, quite a few will likely think of Rydal Water first. It’s not hard to see why!

This exceptionally picturesque walk which starts and finishes at White Moss car park connects you to the heart of Ambleside via the Loughrigg Fell,

Also known as the Wordsworth Walk it’s a nice, manageable loop perfect for a leisurely stroll with your four legged friend.

2. Stickle Tarn

Up in Langdale, the Stickle Tarn tends to be a good pick for experienced dog walkers, particularly as it really can take your breath away! That’s thanks to the steepness as well as the views of the glistening lakes!

A short but challenging hike, ideal for active dogs, the starting point is Stickle Gyll car park, the trail is just under two miles long and has some refreshment points along the way

3. Ullswater Trail

Ullswater is certainly one of the best-known lakeland spots in the district, taking you around some of the most picturesque strolls in the region you can experience Mother Nature at it’s finest.

The main walking routes here will take you across the flat, simple terrain where you can enjoy the beautiful beautiful surrounding fells, the lake offers the opportunity for your family and dog to enjoy lunch or even a barbeque at one of the scenic picnic areas – one walk that’s near Penrith to earmark!

4. Cat Bells

You and your furry friend will love this trail. Cat Bells is closely linked to Derwentwater, and it is just as pleasing a walk.

Offering great views across the region of Keswick, this is a relatively simple circular walk that many local dog walkers will likely recommend to you. Make it a priority to walk this trail if you’re planning staying close to Derwentwater.

5. Loweswater

The Loweswater circuit is one of the hidden gems the Lakes has to offer – though it is certainly starting to grow in popularity!

This peaceful little trail is an easier walk than some, hidden away down towards one end of the lake and as long as you follow the lake shore and keep it to the right of you its impossible to get lost. In May you will be blown away by the swathes of bluebells and you may even glimpse a rare red squirrel.

Woodland Trails in the Lake District With Dogs

1. Grizedale Forest

Grizedale Forest is absolutely the first woodland spot that many dog lovers think of when they first head to the Lakes.

Close to Lake Windermere, this peaceful valley offers up to ten different trails to suit all dogs whatever their level of activity and a variety of picnic spots. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a family day out.

2. Walla Crag

This 6-mile hike gives your and your canine companion ample opportunity to stretch your legs, with the added bonus of scenery that will take your breath away. Starting from Moot Hall, situated in Keswick’s pretty market square.

Walla Crag is truly beautiful although it can get a bit boggy in parts so take a towel for muddy paws if you’re having a well-deserved drink afterwards.

3. Dog Walking in Whinlatter Forest

Are you looking for a walk on a wide path for all the family, a children’s trail or challenging forest trek? Whinlatter Forest ticks many of the boxes making it one of the most popular walking destinations in the Lake District. There are even guided Alpaca walks (probably one of the walks in the lakes Fido woldn’t be impressed with)

Offering fantastic views, particularly of Bassenthwaite. You’ll find refreshment spots on the route, too – worth keeping in mind.

Gentle Stroll Dog Walks in the Lake District

1. Derwentwater Circuit

The Derwent water Circuit is a lovely, simple stroll around the lake, offering you a ten-mile stretch around one of the best lakeland spots for all kinds of dog friendly adventures. Along this lakeside walk you will find woodland areas, picnic spots, and more besides – you can even get right up to the water’s edge, watch out for ground nesting birds as you take in the lovely views

2. Tarn Hows

This super-gentle two-mile stroll is likely to be a prime candidate for many Lake District wanderers’ favourite walking points. Starting at the car park you can take the circular route around the lake where you are certainly treated to some unbelievable vistas! You can also divert if you want to see the pretty Glen Mary waterfalls but beware the rocky outcrops can be slippery as you climb the steep path.

There’s no need to take on the bigger or lengthier walks for the views unless you want to! Please note your four legged friends need to be kept on a lead.

3. Blea Tarn

Blea Tarn is one of the favourite places for photographers and their dogs, Just shy of two miles, this gentle stroll will take you across some of the most picturesque scenery in the national park while never demanding too much from you or your pet in the bargain. You can hop aboard the Ravenglass steam train, alight at Beckfoot and start your stroll or begin from the National Trust car park.

Top Dog Walks in the Lake District for Experienced Walkers

1. Dodd Fell

Dodd Fell is an exhilarating dog walk. This is a high point across the fells and will take you through Dodd Wood, offering five miles of wonderful walks that scale-up summits and take a few slopes down, too. Offering dramatic scenery don’t forget to take some doggy treats and water bowls as this walk takes around 2 hours.

2. Ennerdale Water

Walking opportunities don’t come any better! Ennerdale Water offers a peaceful walk that’s a fair distance 7.5 miles, but it’s worth every step It’s a bit of a rugged journey in places, offering some truly magnificent views of the waters beyond.

Its the perfect destination who want a long walk away from the flocks of tourists. Make sure to keep your pups on leads around any livestock!

3. Dalegarth Trail

The brilliant Dalegarth Trail takes you around the best of the Eskdale Valley and across a variety of different bridges and paths. On the whole, this particular route can be a fairly easy walk, but given the sheer variety available across the trail, it’s safe to say it’s a favourite for pros.

Looking for somewhere to stay?

If you are looking for somewhere to pitch up for the weekend or longer, then check out the choice of pet friendly cottages in the Lake District we picked out for you. We also cover Lake District dog friendly hot tub cottage holidays here.

Last Word

We’ve visited the Lake District many, many times, and it’s pretty safe to say that it remains one of our favourite dog walking holiday spots bar none. Whether you want to follow the packhorse trails, climb the fells or enjoy a leisurely stroll around a lake, There is something for everyone, all of them completely natural and completely unspoilt. It’s also fantastic that dog lovers and their pets are still welcomed here – and it’s careful walkers who respect the area that make it all the more appealing for everyone else!

If you love walking, love dogs and are thinking of visiting the area any time soon, you should certainly take a look at pet friendly pubs in the Lake District, too.

We have a full guide available that you can read into should you want to stop off anywhere for a quick refresher. It’s great that there are so many pubs and cafes close by that willingly welcome dogs and their owners!

The best dog walks in the Lake District are, of course, those that you enjoy heading back to again and again. What’s really great about dog walking in the Lake District is the fact that there is just so much choice available! Then you can retreat back to one of the pet friendly log cabins in the Lake District.

Take a look at our top picks and find a few new favourite strolls and walks of your own.



Donna Mullan

With a heart for travel and a soft spot for dogs, Donna enjoys uncovering the UK’s best dog-friendly, off-the-beaten-track destinations. From the UK’s coasts to rural England, she shares her love for history and nature on DogFriendlyGetaways, guiding others to perfect pet-friendly adventures.