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The best dog friendly towns to visit in the Lake District

If there’s one thing we love here in the Lake District, it’s dogs. It’s no surprise that the Lake District continuously gets voted one of the most dog friendly places in the UK, and as a county of dog lovers, Cumbria is rich with pooch positive places to visit, explore, dine and stay.

If you’re planning your visit to the Lakes but aren’t quite sure where to go, worry not! Our handy guide below includes some handpicked hotspots for the most dog friendly towns in the UK, plus our top recommendations for where to eat, walk and sleep.

Dog friendly places in Ambleside

Ambleside is a charming Cumbrian town situated at the head of Windemere Lake, and its idyllic location makes it a popular destination for pooch paw-rents. From lake swims to delightful dog friendly walks, pubs and shops, Ambleside offers an abundance of activities to enjoy with your furbaby in tow.

Just a few of our top recommendations for dog friendly pubs in Ambleside include the Waterhead Inn, the Unicorn Inn and The Golden Rule. Or, if you’re looking for more of a daytime dining experience, FORCE Cafe, the Copper Pot and Stiles of Ambleside are all equally great choices.

Fancy escaping to Ambleside? Take a look at Fox Corner, our dog friendly cosy cottage for two set just outside this idyllic Cumbrian town, complete with a secure patio area with a bubbling hot tub, and a doggy welcome pack!

Dog friendly places in Keswick

Keswick has, year-on-year, been held in high regard as not just one of the most dog friendly towns in the Lake District, but in the UK as a whole. Take a stroll around the main square, and you’ll discover plenty of four legged friends flocking to this quaint Cumbrian town.

Packed with outdoorsy shops and dog friendly eateries, it’s no surprise that dogs are just as welcomed as their human counterparts (sometimes even more so!), and those staying at one of Rest & Rewild’s luxurious Lake District cottages can reach Keswick in just a 20-30 minute drive.

For the perfect dog friendly day out in Keswick, we recommend taking a stroll through the plethora of independent shops, making sure to pick up a treat or two from the Podgy Paws pet shop, before picking up a coffee and a light bite to eat from Merienda or Yonder, followed by a 10-mile walk around stunning, scenic Derwentwater or exploring the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway route.

Afterwards, be sure to head to Conquer Trading Post, where you’ll find a vast variety of endearing merchandise celebrating the Lake District, including a campfire dog toy and ‘Good Boy’ badge!

Beaches such as Benllech Beach, Penrhos Beach and Trearddur Bay lend themselves perfectly to family-friendly visits as they are sheltered from the wind with shallow waters and safe swimming. For more curious minds who want to discover small coastal critters, Porth Dafarch and Rhoscolyn have plenty of curiosities waiting to be found.To find out more about our top recommendations for Anglesey beaches, head on over to our Beach Guide.

Conquer Trading Post - Keswick
Dog friendly pub - Lake District

Dog friendly places in Grasmere

The birthplace of the iconic Grasmere Gingerbread, Grasmere looks like something plucked straight out of a fairytale. With its quaint shops, bars and cafes perfect for slow strolling, you won’t be hard pressed to find some of popular dog friendly hotspots.

If you’re looking for dog friendly pubs in Grasmere, Tweedie’s Bar & Lodge, The Good Sport and  The Traveller’s Rest make for great pit stops post-hike, while Heidi’s Cafe (check out their doggy wall of fame!), Baldry’s traditional tearoom and Green’s Cafe are all independently owned cafes that are will make your dog feel right at home.

There are plenty of scenic dog walks around Grasmere, too, from strolls around Rydal Water the caves just beyond, to making your way up Loughrigg Fell.

Ready to plan your getaway to Grasmere? Take a look at Mary’s Cottage, our dog friendly cosy cottage for two in the heart of this sleepy town. Featuring a private, secure garden and private lake access to Grasmere, your furry friends are guaranteed to adore this Lakes escape. Plus, we even add an extra pooch welcome pack full of goodies!

Dog friendly places in Coniston

A small but perfectly formed village in the central Lake District, Coniston attracts thousands of visitors with their four-legged friends every single year. With plenty of choices for dog friendly days out, from taking to the water with boat or paddleboard hire at Coniston Boating Centre to exploring the Coppermines and the iconic Old Man, your pooch will be able to come along to every thing you have planned.

Close by, you’ll find the picturesque Tarn Hows, a National Trust attraction that offers fairly flat, circular route, and Hodge Close Quarry, an inactive slate quarry with coves and caves galore waiting to be explored.

Back in the centre of Coniston, you’ll find plenty of dog friendly pubs and cafes, including the Yewdale Inn, the Bluebird Cafe and the Coniston Inn – just a few of our favourites! If the Cumbrian sun is shining, be sure to grab a seat outside of Green Housekeeper, a wonderful cafe that is dog friendly for al fresco diners.

For dog friendly stays in the Lake District, take a look at our two cosy cottages, Fox Corner and Mary’s Cottage, located just a 20-30 minute drive from Coniston.

Dog friendly - Paddleboarding in Coniston
Crafty Baa - Dog friendly pub in the Lake District

Dog friendly places in Windermere

Windermere – one of the Lake District’s most visited towns and, often times, the first destination that springs to mind when we think of the Lakes. Easily accessible via trains from major cities such as Manchester, Windermere offers a convenient central location that shares its dog friendly values with the rest of the National Park.

Paths including that from Bowness-on-Windermere to Ambleside and Orrest Head make for perfect walks with your dog in tow, giving plenty of opportunities for a swim or paddle as they go!

Our favourite foodie spots include Homeground and The Little Ice Cream Shop (did someone say pooch-friendly options?!), or for a tipple or two, the Crafty Baa and The Flying Pig Inn are worth a visit with your canine companion.

So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your dog friendly break to the Lakes today with Rest & Rewild! All of our properties are proudly dog-friendly with dog washing facilities, beds, towels and bowls provided in each property to make your pooch feel right at home.


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Escape to Fox Corner or Mary’s Cottage, our boutique boltholes for two, and save 10% off any stay from 1st October until the end of March 2025.

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Choose from Fox Corner or Mary’s Cottage, our boutique boltholes for two and save 10% off any stay from 1st October until the end of March 2025.