The Lake District has always been a popular destination for holidaymakers and now more and more people are looking for dog-friendly places to stay and attractions that will allow in dogs too. To help you plan your next visit, here’s our pick of the top 10 dog-friendly attractions in the Lake District.
1.Mirehouse & Gardens, Keswick
Mirehouse and Gardens by Bassenthwaite Lake has dog-friendly grounds so although your furry friend won’t be able to join you in The Old Sawmill Tearoom, you’ll be able to enjoy the grounds as long as your dog is on a short lead. Because the lake walk on the grounds passes through a working farm, you’re not allowed to let your dog off its leash in order to keep it well away from the livestock.
Even though you can’t explore the 17th-century manor house itself, the grounds around Mirehouse still has plenty of things on offer for you to enjoy, including a maze and activity areas in the woods if you are visiting with kids.
2.The Lakes Distillery, Setmurthy
Situated on the banks of the picturesque Bassenthwaite Lake, The Lakes Distillery is worth a visit for the location alone. Four-legged visitors are welcome in the courtyard and garden areas, as well as the gift shop so although you’ll have to skip the tour itself, you can still pick up a souvenir to commemorate your visit.
Offering the ideal respite from a long walk through the scenic grounds, the courtyard serves fresh dishes with regionally sourced ingredients for you to enjoy, whilst your dog can cool down in the shade and enjoy a bowl of fresh Lakeland water.
The longest-running attraction in the Lakes, the Ullswater ‘steamers’ have been ferrying passengers up and down one of the country’s most stunning lakes for over 150 years. You can take a ride as a connection between popular walking routes or enjoy a day cruise for some leisurely sightseeing.
Dogs are welcome onboard for a small charge of £1 (at the time of writing) and can be taken into the main pier houses too.
4.Allan Bank, Grasmere
Once the former home of poet William Wordsworth, he described the area surrounding Allan Bank as “the loveliest spot that man hath ever found”. The Grade II listed villa is now open to the public and welcomes both two and four-legged visitors. Enjoy a good book by the roaring fire in the colder months of the year or make the most of the summer weather with a picnic on the lawn. As long as your dog is well behaved, it will be allowed to enjoy Allan Bank with you, even if you’re returning from a muddy excursion.
5.Lowther Castle and Gardens
After lying abandoned for over 70 years, Lowther Castle and its 130 acres of once magnificent gardens are now open for the public to enjoy. The current 19th-century structure sits on the site of two older structures dating back even further. All areas of the caste and the gardens are open to dogs aside from the last castle play area, provided that they are on a leash. Dogs are even welcome in the cafe as long as they are kept away from the service area itself.
6.Honister Slate Mine
The last working slate mine in England, Westmorland green slate has been quarried at Honister since the 1700s. Nowadays the mine operates a number of attractions for visitors to enjoy, including England’s first via ferrata, an underground mine tour, and an infinity bridge. Although dogs aren’t allowed on any of the paid activities, you can take them into the cafe, the shop, and the viewing area. If you’re travelling with your pet but want to try out one of the paid adventures, the mine does provide a limited amount of kennels on site.
Owned by the same family as Lowther Castle, Askham Hall’s breathtaking Grade II listed gardens are an unmissable attraction. Although dogs aren’t permitted in the gardens themselves, you can enjoy their beauty while you stop for a bite to eat at the Kitchen Garden Cafe. Set in a Grade II listed barn, the cafe has a rustic charm to it and serves a menu that is dominated by locally sourced and locally reared choices.
8.Puzzling Place, Keswick
Step into a world of mind-boggling puzzles and visual illusions at the Puzzling Place in Keswick. Whether you’re visiting with kids, or just looking for a fun way to spend a few hours, you’ll be sure to enjoy the different activities on offer here. Well-behaved dogs are welcome throughout the venue for free, provided that they are on a lead at all times.
9.Keswick Launch, Derwentwater
The Keswick Launch Company offers lake cruises on Derwentwater with stunning views of classic Lake District sights like Skiddaw, Catbells and the Jaws of Borrowdale. You can book on for a cruise around the lake, or use the launches for a scenic journey between two areas. Dogs are permitted onboard free of charge but must be on a lead.
10.The Lingholm Kitchen and Walled Garden, Portinscale
A hop, skip and a jump away from Keswick, the Lingholm Kitchen and Walled Garden have become a popular Lakeland destination. Situated within the Lingholm estate along the banks of Derwentwater, the kitchen and walled garden offer visitors some truly spectacular views.
Sitting on the site of the original kitchen garden – which Beatrix Potter used as inspiration for Mr. McGregor’s garden in The Tale of Peter Rabbit – the walled garden now features an outdoor gallery dedicated to the works of Beatrix Potter. Once you’ve worked up an appetite from exploring the grounds, enjoy a meal in the Lingholm Kitchen where you and your dog will both be welcomed to take a break.