The Lake District is one of the most popular destinations in the UK for taking holidays with pets owing to its spectacular natural wonders and scenery which provide a stunning backdrop to the many walking routes.
This has led to an increasing number of holiday operators offering pet friendly accommodation in the region. A recent example of which is Darwin Escapes who have recently opened the brand new stunning Keswick Reach Lodge Retreat which even features outdoor dog washing facilities so you can give your pet a good wash before returning to your holiday lodge after exploring the area. Darwin Escapes even provide guests staying with their pets at the resort with a range of doggy treats upon arrival as part of their Yappy Days offering!
With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of the top 5 dog friendly walking routes in the Lake District ahead of your next trip to the region:
Derwentwater in Keswick is without question one of the most visually impressive natural wonders to behold in the region being surrounded by breath taking mountains which accentuate the plethora of colours which Mother Nature has been kind enough to bestow on the area.
In fact, the area is so beautiful that it was recently used as the backdrop to a number of scenes in the smash hit Hollywood film Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
We recommend taking the full 9 mile route around the Lake starting at The Moot Hall where you will find helpful maps and information to help guide you on your walk.
The horrific floods that hit Cumbria in December 2015 caused significant damage to one of the areas most popular walking routes – the Keswick to Threkeld Railway Path.
Due to public outcry a significant effort was made to reopen this path and thankfully a new route has now been formed where walkers and their dogs can take a short diversion off the old railway line and onto a 45 metre causeway which leads to Brundholme road. From here you continue straight into the quaint village of Threlkeld.
Once you’ve completed this four mile trek, we recommend heading to the Threlkeld Village Hall where you can take advantage of a range of tasty refreshments, sandwiches, cakes and scones whilst basking in the glory of the surrounding countryside.
The village of Grasmere was once described by the poet William Wordsworth as ‘The lovelist spot than man that found’ and the subsequent years have certainly been kind to this area which has retained its ability to blow away those that appreciate the natural landscape.
If you and your pet are capable of navigating varied terrain, then we’d recommend trying out the circuit around Grasmere and Rydal where you’re best to start off at Grasmere village and head down the quiet road loading to a terraced bridleway which provides fantastic views of Grasmere Lake itself.
You will head through various woodland before heading out to Rydal Mount before walking along the side of a mountain above the lake. You will eventually end up at the old slate cottages in Rydal where you will find Dove Cottage – the home of Wordsworth - so you can fully appreciate the inspiration for his previously mentioned quote.
Ullswater is the second largest lake in the Lake District and arguably its most beautiful. At nine miles in length, the walking route around this lake is a fantastic and relatively simple terrain to navigate with a beautiful backdrop.
The lake is also home to the Ullswater Steamers; an award winning attraction which has been operating cruises on the lake for over 150 years. Dogs and their human companions are more than welcome on-board one of these cruises where you can sit out on the decking area and admire the scenery taking in Howton Pier and Aira Force waterfall. The perfect destination for a fun day out with your pet which offers far more than a mere walking route.
Another highly recommended walking route near Keswick to make up our top 5 is Walla Crag – a fell which provides a great viewpoint from which to bask in the glory of Derwent Water as well as the Vale of Keswick itself.
We’d recommend starting off at Ambleside Road and walking past St John’s Church before heading into Springs Road. From here you can taking the footpath towards Castlehead before eventually ending up in Cockshot Wood.
Once you reach the Friars Crag Ruskin’s Monument Millenenium Stone you can then head into the Great Wood beneath Walla Crag walking towards the footbridge at the bottom of Cat Gill. Go over Ashness Bridge before taking the North footpath towards the summit of the fell. This is a route which will enable you to take full advantage of the many varied natural backdrops that this wonderful area offers.