Dog Friendly Lake District & Cumbria
I can’t believe that it’s been 9 months since I moved from Sussex to Cumbria, it’s seems to have flown by, but also I feel like I’ve been here for a lot longer. It’s not been easy acclimatising to a new place where I don’t know anyone, somewhere with sheep round every corner (not great for a sighthound owner), and the weather…the wind, the rain, the wind – it’s mid June and I’m still wearing jumpers and a gilet most days 😂BUT, aside from that, the views, the scenery, the empty beaches, the fact that I can walk for 5 hours and only see a couple of people has been really good for the soul. Renovating the house and work has kept me busy, but it’s a perfect place to really find out who I am as a person after being part of a couple for 22 years.
Anyhow, enough of that, now the interesting stuff! There’s a lot of ‘dog friendly’ places in the Lake District but I’m searching out those places who go the extra mile. This post will be updated as I find new places, so be sure to keep checking back, and I’ll post on social if I find somewhere new too.
First up is a place which I discovered 3 years ago when I came to the Lake District on a solo trip in January. I was really taken with Pooley Bridge, lots of walks from the car park, and my first, but not last, visit to Granny Dowbekins. Not only is this lovely cafe dog friendly, they have goody bags for the dogs on the menu which includes dog biscuits, but also things like left over sausages and black pudding! They now have a gorgeous garden room, and a lovely outside section right on the river. What made me love this place even more though was the fact that they offered to hold the boys while I nipped to the ladies! Now that’s dog friendly customer service. Be warned, the food is delicious, but they don’t scrimp on size! The last time I went I had smashed avacado on toast with a poached egg, it was huge! Great coffee too.
There are some fantastic walks from here, but the one I’d recommend is heading up to see the Roman High Street and the oldest Bronze Age Circle in the Lake District, a bit hilly, but fairly easy and you can walk from the town, or you can get the ferry to further up and walk back (see further down for Ullswater Steamer details).
The last time I was in Pooley Bridge Granny’s had a fairly big queue outside at about 11.30, but I’d met a couple on a walk who recommended The Secret Garden which was right next door so I decided to try it out. Why is it secret? Well you actually have to go through the convenience store to find the door to this quirkily little bar/restaurant! It looked lovely inside, but I had a rare day of warm sun with no wind, so headed outside to the lovely decked area on the river. There were quite a few dogs scattered around, and a few up on the seats where the owners had put down rugs which was lovely to see. It was a bit early for lunch so treated myself to coffee and cake but the rest of the menu looked good. It’s obviously popular because as I was leaving just after midday, the queue was pretty big so I’d recommend getting there early! Despite being busy, one of the staff offered to hold the boys while I nipped to the loo (yes, again!).
This was actually the first time the boys and their friend Luna had been on a boat and they weren’t fazed by it at all! We went from Pooley Bridge to Howtown which took maybe 10 minutes, but if you fancy a longer trip, you can go to Aria Force Waterfall or Glenridding. This walk can take you right onto the Roman High Street and the Bronze Age Circle, with some lovely views over Ullswater. It’s such a lovely, novel thing to do with dogs, I think there are a few ferries which are dog friendly so I’m going to be giving them a try now I’ve done this short trip and know the boys are okay with it. It’s worth noting that you can book in advance, but if the wind is high, the ferry does get cancelled.
Dogs are £1 extra each to travel on the ferry.
AKA as Chestnut House, this was another find when I first visited the Lakes. If you need to stock up on essentials, it’s mini supermarket and the whole shop is dog friendly, but the reason I have included it on here is the gin. So. Much. Gin. A whole huge wall of gin. What’s fantastic is the knowledge of said gin, and any other spirits they have on there! Don’t go in unless you are prepared to come out with at least one bottle of something alcoholic – I only went in for milk and nearly forgot that!
When I did a request for dog friendly places in Cumbria, Keswick was one of the most mentioned. Inn on the Square is perfectly located right on the main stretch, as well as the front bar and a small section behind the bar before you go to the restaurant which are both dog friendly, they also have dog friendly hotel rooms and a whole dog friendly section on the website too! When we (and when I say me, I mean me and the boys of course) popped in for the first time, I decided to sit in the carpeted area just before the restaurant (bony sighthound legs prefer softer floors!), and within minutes they were brought a bowl of water. The boys were made to feel very welcome!
I go into Keswick a couple of times a month and never miss a chance to visit Podgy Paws! The boys are in heaven trying to steal whatever they can and they are always given treats. I’ve quite often watched the staff there give great advice to people on everything from harnesses to food and toys, they always seem very knowledgeable and friendly. They have a raw food freezer, with complete raw food and raw meaty bones which I always stock up on, and some great natural treats (like Anco chews which are always a firm favourite of the boys). If you are in Keswick, I’d highly recommend a visit, your hounds will thank you!
Still to come:
Do you know of somewhere super dog friendly in Cumbria? Drop me a message so I can check them out!