Lake Windermere couple with dog landscape Lake District

Dog Friendly Guide to the Lake District

26 August 2021Local area

Dog friendly accommodation, attractions, restaurants and public transport in The Lakes

The Lake District is a fantastic destination to enjoy a holiday with your dog. The natural environment affords visitors access to some of the most scenic walks in the country and there are plenty of dog friendly cafes and restaurants to sample when out and about.

Dogs are welcome on the majority of public transport options, which means it easy explore without a car. There are also lots of attractions that are geared up for dogs, so you can enjoy fun-filled family days out, without worrying about to do with your four-legged friend.

Here we list some of our favourite things to do in the Lake District with your dog. We share our pick of dog friendly restaurants, attractions and natural beauty spots.

Dog friendly attractions

You won’t be short of things to do in the Lake District when there are so many dog friendly attractions to enjoy. The area is set up for four-legged visitors and some businesses have even made special provisions. In fact, the Lake District is well-known for its hospitality towards dogs. The Kennel Club recently voted the Lakeland Town of Keswick the dog friendly town of the year in their annual awards!

lakeland_motor_museum_01_things to do

Lakeland Motor Museum

Dogs are welcome in the exhibition halls of the Lakeland Motor Museum. Walk around the various collections and learn more about the history of motor travel in the UK.

There are over 30,000 exhibits to look at including cars, motorbikes, cycles and various automobilia. There’s also a gift shop and dog friendly café.

Brockhole Park Cliffe Things to Do


Brockhole is one of the top outdoor attractions in the Lake District, with plenty to keep the whole family entertained. Across the spacious grounds there’s a range of activities, including an outdoor play ground, watersports, boat hire, archery, mini golf and more.

Dogs are permitted in the gardens, shop, exhibition area, main café and café terrace as long as they’re on a lead. The team respectfully ask that dogs are kept out of the playgrounds, restaurant, treetops nets area and woodland faerie trail.

Grizedale Forest

Grizedale Forest is one our favourite Lakeland days out. The forest is home to a network of forest trails and unique sculptures hidden among the trees. For the more adventurous there is a Go Ape course, segways and various mountain bike trails. There are plenty of quiet spaces to soak up the scenery and take in the far-reaching views.

We think Grizedale Forest offers some of the best dog walks in The Lakes. You can walk for miles and miles as long as you keep your dogs under close control.

Lowther Castle & Gardens

Explore the ruins of Lowther Castle during your stay at Park Cliffe. The castle is surrounded by acres of woodland and carefully manicured gardens. For younger members of the family there is an outdoor adventure playground and some lovely walks arounds. There also a well-stocked shop selling a range of dog themed goodies and a popular café.

Lowther is considered one of the Lake District’s top dog friendly attractions. Dogs are permitted everywhere, except for the play park. In the summer there’s often a dog jamboree, where you can enter your four-legged friends into fun events and shows.

Photo credit: alh1, Flickr

Sizergh Estate

Sizergh is a beautiful medieval house set in a 1,600 acre estate. Dogs aren’t permitted in the house itself, but they’re free to run and play in the wider estate. There are a number of circular walks to explore, including a 2.5 mile route to Park End Moss wetland. This cuts through ancient woodlands and is a haven for birds, butterflies and wildflowers in the spring.

The team kindly ask that you keep your four-legged friend on a lead when walking near livestock.

Dog friendly pubs & restaurants

There are some lovely places to dine out in the Lake District with your four-legged friend. The majority of pubs and restaurants have a dog friendly area, so you can enjoy a hearty meal out, before returning to our award-winning park to relax and unwind. Below we list just some our favourite pubs and restaurants within easy reach of Park Cliffe.

Don’t forget we also have the Fellside Bar and Restaurant onsite. Dogs aren’t permitted inside but are more than welcome to join you on the outside terrace.


Grill & Smokehouse

The Grill & Smokehouse Restaurant is located within the Wild Boar Inn. The welcoming team serve a delicious seasonal menu, using local produce prepared by highly skilled chefs. Over the years it has earned an enviable reputation and is now considered one of the best places to eat in Windermere. The menu includes classic dishes as well as aromatic dishes inspired by Italy and the middle east.

The restaurants interior is tastefully decorated with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. In the autumn and winter, it’s incredibly cosy sat next to the roaring log fire.

The Dog & Gun

The Dog & Gun boasts a wide selection of local cask ales and a varied menu. It is best known for its goulash, and for good reason – it’s absolutely delicious. The pub is relatively small and gets busy during peak season, so we highly recommend booking a table in advance.

The friendly team are dog lovers and welcome dogs of all shapes and sizes. They have charity boxed collecting for a local dog charity and treats behind the bar.

The Wateredge Inn

The Wateredge Inn occupies one of the best locations in Ambleside. It is situated on the shores of Windermere and boasts spectacular views across the lake. There are plenty of scenic dog walks nearby to explore with your four-legged friend. There’s also an acre of private grounds to enjoy should you need to stretch your legs.

We think it’s the perfect rest stops to refuel after a busy day exploring the local area. The bar, restaurant and terrace are dog friendly, so you can dine wherever you please. Dogs will enjoy the tasty biscuits on offer.

The Flying Pig

The Flying Pig is a traditional pub serving a range of classic dishes. The talented chefs endeavour to use local and seasonal produce wherever possible when crafting their tasty meals. There are plenty of local ales to choose from as well wines, spirits and soft drinks. The interior is comfortable and modern without losing any of the classic charm.

Dogs are welcome in the bar area and there are taps and bowls outside. The staff are very welcoming and will more than likely offer your dog some treats.

The Boathouse Bar & Restaurant

The Boat House is set within Windermere Marina Village on the shores of the lake. It’s a lovely place to spend an hour or two enjoying a tasty meal overlooking the boats. Produce is fresh and tasty and dining takes place in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. They open for breakfast at 9am and the bar closes at 11pm.

Dogs are permitted inside and out.



Dog friendly transport

Exploring Lakeland towns and villages with your four-legged friend is a breeze, thanks to a wealth of dog friendly public transport options that service the national park. Leave the car on site and experience the beauty of The Lakes at a leisurely pace, without the responsibility or hassle of driving.



Stagecoach buses allow well-behaved dogs to travel on their network across Cumbria. They must be kept under close control and onward travel is at the driver’s discretion. A small fee may be applicable.

Photo credit: Ed Webster, Flickr

Windermere lake cruises


Windermere Cruises and a host of other boat tour and ferry operators’ welcome dogs on board. The gentle steam will provide plenty of opportunities for taking photos and easy access to some of The Lake best dog friendly attractions. Dogs are permitted free of charge and must be kept off of the seats. They even get their own ticket!


Lakeside & Haverthwaite steam railway


Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway is also dog friendly should you want to journey back in time and travel by steam locomotive. Sit in one of the 1950s carriages and enjoy a leisurely journey along 3.5 miles of the former Furness Railway line. Dogs travel free.

Image credit: Andrew, Flickr