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Top Tail-Wagging Walks in the Lakes District

We love our dogs so much and what better way to show them our appreciation than taking them on a walkies holiday in the Lake District. Swap your local park for the open felltops, glorious rivers and lakes and the endless trails, here in the Lake District National Park. You’ll be rewarded with a smile firmly on your beloved pet’s sloppy chops. 

Here we give you a range of the best dog walks in the Lake District, as chosen by our very own pooches. There’s something for the gentle scamp that just can’t do stiles any more to the tearaway terrier who likes to feel the wind in his ears whilst running off the lead. 

Off the Beaten Track

Thirlmere is a little-known part of the northern Lakes and a superb place to treat well-behaved pooches to the freedom of being off the lead. The little-known reservoir is surrounded by coniferous woodland, a natural playground for dogs, and the walk up for a refreshing slurp from Harrop Tarn is sure to get tails wagging. Park at Dob Gill car park, only a 15-minute drive outside of Keswick. 

Wainwright Waggers 

If a dash up a fell meets the exercise needs of your pooch, then maybe start pooches first Wainwright bagging. Helm Crag is a short, steep but very exhilarating walk that’s close to guests staying in Ambleside, and a superb ‘first’ for beginners to fell walking. The linear walk starts from the centre of the village of Grasmere, taking only a couple of hours to summit. Just don't forget the doggie selfie at the top to mark a Wainwright ‘first’, then back down and off to a lovely dog-friendly pub to plan the next Wainwright walk. Tweedies is a great, dog-friendly pub in Grasmere and there’s some perfect pebbly beaches on

the south shore of Grasmere lake that are ideal for cooling well-walked paws. There’s no better way of showing your pooch how much they mean to you than taking them on a ‘proper walk’ and by this we mean one full of new adventures and new experiences. The Lake District offers such a variety of terrain, from bracken-filled mountain trails to the crackling and crunch under paw of ancient woodlands - doggy heaven. 

Scent Sniffers 

For hounds that always have their noses to the ground, there’s no better place to treat them to lots of tantalising sights, sounds and smells than the acres of beautifully managed forest trails at Grizedale Forest. This is one of the finest natural agility courses to be found in the UK and the thick ever-green canopy makes it superb all-year-round.  Located between the southern lakes of Windermere and Coniston, Grizedale Forest is on your doorstep if you’re staying in Ambleside or Hawkshead. If you’re visiting the north Lakes, another dog-friendly forest trail is Whinlatter Forest.

By Your Side Sojourn 

Tarn Hows is a lovely little easy walk for dogs that love nothing more than staying close to your side. What’s more, the Drunken Duck Inn is a gorgeous dog-friendly pub just down the road, with open fires, dog treats and easy chairs - perfect after a lovely walk around Tarn Hows. Tarn Hows is little more than 1.5 miles as a circular walk. The path is wide and very well-maintained, so this also makes an ideal walk for puppy training. It is a popular spot in the Lakes, so arrive early if you want some uninterrupted pup training time. 

Swimmers Scruffs

For pets that have strong water-legs, you must treat them to the Lake District’s top attractions - the lakes themselves. The cruises on Ullswater, Windermere and Coniston allow for pets, but we’d recommend a trip on Ullswater Steamers for a particularly dog-friendly experience. These are smaller and less busy vessels that cruise on what is often called the prettiest lake in the Lake District. The lake shore at the Glenridding jetty has a lovely pebbly cove, ideal for water-loving pooches. Perhaps a stomp up Glenridding Dodd and a pint in the dog-friendly pub, the Travellers Rest in Glenridding afterwards.  Woof please!

Sociable Chops 

Keswick in the North Lakes has twice bagged a national award for its attentiveness and dog-friendly attitude. So, if you have a sociable scruff, the pedestrianised town centre of Keswick will certainly get tails wagging.

There’s lots of water bowls dotted along the high street and there will be plenty of pats and cuddles inside the dog-friendly shops, cafes and pubs too. Many eateries in Keswick offer dog snacks and some even have dog menus.

If you’ve had your fill of retail therapy, of which Keswick is excellent for all the very best in outdoor gear and independent gift shops, then a walkies is never far away when on holiday in the Lake District.

For a walk from Keswick centre, then Walla Crag is a must.

It’s approximately 6.5 miles, so a good one to get canines stuck into.

From Keswick head up Castleheqad and Calfclose, on to the most photographed packhorse bridge in the Lake District, Ashness Bridge, and then on to the spectacular views from Walla Crag. Another popular, and easier alternative, walk from Keswick is Catbells. Don’t let pooch be put off by the name as this is an incredible walk, that is relatively easy for a fell hike and offers plenty of mountain ear-flapping exhilaration, as well as spectacular views. 


With over 130 dog-friendly cottages across the Lake District we have something for all your pet-friendly break needs. Whether you have your heart set on a favourite location, or  perhaps you are simply looking for a cottage with an open fire or large garden, contact our friendly staff today on 01539 432 321 for help booking your dog-friendly holiday.