Holiday inspiration & travel tips

Dog friendly days out in the UK

5 dog friendly days out in the Lake District

The Lake District of one of the UK’s most popular outdoor destinations and this mountainous region of North West England is the perfect spot for a day out with your dogs. Head to any of these five destinations and you are guaranteed beautiful scenery, dog-friendly entertainment and somewhere to add to your list of go-to ways to spend your day, or even just a couple of hours. 

  1. Windermere Lake Cruises
  2. Lowther Castle and Gardens
  3. The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway
  4. Muncaster Castle and Gardens
  5. Lakeland Motor Museum

Windermere Lake Cruises

Windermere Lake Cruises

Everyone wants to enjoy the Windermere Lake to its full potential, which often includes a boat and experiencing it from on the water itself. However, having a four-legged friend with you can sometimes get in the way of this sort of activity. Thankfully, the Windermere Lake Cruises allow dogs on all scheduled cruises, making it a fun and enriching experience for the whole family. The major thing is that you know your own dog and act accordingly – for instance, on the Summer Evening Buffet Cruise, there is loud music so if your dogs are prone to fear or excessive barking at loud music, then this might not be best suited to them. The only areas dogs aren’t allowed in are the lakes Aquarium (… think of the fish…) or the Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats. But they are allowed in the cafés, such as Boatmans Cafe on the Bowness side and The Pier Cafe Bar on Ambleside, and will be happily provided with fresh water and scratches from fellow dog-lovers who are out for the day. 

Windermere Lake Cruises

Information when visiting with dogs

Well behaved dogs travel for free on all of our cruises.

Website: Windermere Lake Cruises

Lowther Castle and Gardens

Lowther Castle and Gardens

There is so much to see in the Lake District, but when you’ve got your family pet there with you, it can sometimes feel like your only options are to take long walks along Haverigg Beach in Millom, or traverse the majestic greenery and babbling brooks in Cumbrian forests. While these are hardly consolation prizes, it’s important to know that you can also get your cultural fix from the area even with dogs in tow. Head to Lowther Castle and Gardens and get a taste for the area’s renowned natural beauty as well as gawking at this 19th century castle and beacon of countryside history. There are limitations on where dogs are allowed, like in the café or inside the castle – but the gardens and surrounding areas make up for that. Dogs must stay on their leads. A word of caution: in the wet-weather, there is not much for dogs to enjoy, so plan your visit accordingly. 

Lowther Castle and Gardens

Information when visiting with dogs

Dogs on leads welcome all year round.

Website: Lowther Castle and Gardens

The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway

The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway

A ride through the Lake District via the Haverthwaite Railway is an excellent way to enjoy not only the views and scenes of 3.2 miles of countryside far quicker than you could on foot, but it is also a fun heritage-focused, locomotive experience in itself. You ride from Haverthwaite Station to Lakeside, which is on the southern tip of Lake Windermere – meaning that partaking in a Windermere Lake Cruise can happen on the same day. It’s also possible to get a combined ticket, if that sounds like the perfect day for you, your kids and your fur-kids. Dogs are not only welcome on trains and boats, but they also ride for free. 

The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway

Information when visiting with dogs

Well behaved dogs are welcome, who can travel for free, but not on seats!

Website: The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway

Muncaster Castle and Gardens

Muncaster Castle and Gardens

Muncaster Castle, located in the town of Ravenglass along Cumbria’s west coast, is a National Heritage property for England, a designated Grade I listed building and, in short, a cracking day out for families with dogs. Though dogs are not allowed in Hawk & Owl Centre or the castle, the property is surrounded by historically significant gardens that date centuries back and are worth perusing as well as a spectacular view of the River Esk. All in all, it gets a bit of everything – the culture, the history, the view, the scenery and a family-friendly disposition. If the numerous paths around the gardens of exotic plants don’t get your pup well and truly walked, then the 70-acres of woodland ought to hit the spot. 

Muncaster Castle and Gardens

Information when visiting with dogs

Dogs welcome but some restrictions apply, please see the website for full details.

Website: Muncaster Castle and Gardens

Lakeland Motor Museum

Lakeland Motor Museum

The Lakeland Motor Museum is a special place to visit, what with its impressive collections and over 30,000 exhibits showcasing the timeline of motorised vehicles throughout the twentieth century. But the thing that dog-lovers write home about is the fact that dogs are not just welcome, but they are welcome everywhere – café included! The motorcycles on display will leave you pining for an alternate universe in which you’re Steve McQueen with a nobly pawed sidekick. The café sits waterside, with views of the rolling hills and a great cake selection. As if you needed another reason to make a day of this, it is also included in packages for Windermere Cruises and the Haverthwaite Railway. 

Lakeland Motor Museum

Information when visiting with dogs

Well behaved dogs are welcome in all areas of the museum and Café Ambio.

Website: Lakeland Motor Museum

The Lake District is indeed an excellent spot for a family and dog day-out – but don’t be fooled into thinking that’d just because of all the open walking space (though of course that’s right up there on the list of reasons). Instead, keep in mind all these activity-based days out and you’ll find yourself regularly craving a stint by the Lakes.