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Paw-some dog-friendly activities in the Lake District

The Lake District is one giant outdoor adventure playground for humans and pups who like to get the endorphins flowing. Against a backdrop of breathtakingly dramatic scenery, there’s a huge range of dog-friendly activities to enjoy together, whether you prefer to wag your tails on land or in the water. Stay in the heart of the wild at one of our glamping spaces in the Lakes and you’ll have easy access to some of the most beautiful spots for adventuring. Take a look at some of the great activities you can get up to with your faithful friend.

Boat Cruises

It will come as no surprise that the Lake District does a good boat trip, or that many operators welcome well-behaved hounds aboard. Cruising is one of the finest ways to take in the majesty of the mountain scenery. Windermere Lake Cruises offers forty-five minute to three-hour trips on England’s largest lake, stopping off at Ambleside, Brockhole, Bowness and Lakeside. Ullswater Steamers is one of the largest heritage boat fleets in the world and connects to famous walking routes in the national park with views of Wordsworth’s daffodils on the shore in spring. Keswick Launch Co offers cruises and boat hire on Derwentwater while Coniston Launch transports you straight into the world of Swallows and Amazons. Your dog will have earned its sea legs after all that cruising.

Steam Train Rides

If your pup is used to travelling in cramped quarters in the back of the car, they’ll relish the novelty of rail travel, while you’ll appreciate the romance and excitement of a heritage steam train ride. The Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway pulls passengers in 1950s carriages on a unique journey through the beautiful Leven Valley to the southern tip of Lake Windermere. The station is a trip back in time with a quaint tea room, gift shop and woodland walks. The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway is a narrow gauge steam railway on a line dating back to 1873. It takes passengers on a spectacular seven-mile trip from Ravenglass, across the estuary and through the hills to Dalegarth. Train buffs should check out the Ravenglass Railway Museum before hopping aboard.


The best way to explore the gorgeous lakes is to get up close and personal on a canoeing trip. Many companies, like Path to Adventure, welcome dogs on certain excursions but it’s best to double check first so you don’t inadvertently try to navigate white water rapids with your faithful friend. Path to Adventure explores several lakes by boat, including Windermere, as well as offering more unusual excursions like sunset trips, dark sky stargazing experiences, and canoe and bushcraft jaunts to ‘Wild Cat Island’. If you want to impress (or bore) your other half with some local knowledge, tell them there’s actually only one official lake in the Lake District - Bassenthwaite Lake - the rest are classed as meres, waters or tarns. Either way, there’s a lot of them to explore.


You and your dog have come to the right place for utterly inspiring walks. The usual route might feel a bit dull when you return home. There are too many to choose from but some of our favourite dog-friendly walks in the Lakes include The Derwentwater Walk, a flat ten-miler along the shores of the lake and through ancient woodland. The scenery is epic and your pup will love the regular picnic stops just as much as you. If your dog prefers a shorter distance, Scout Scar circular walk near Kendal takes in vast views of the fells but is only a 1.5 mile meander. For a bit more of a climb try Castle Crag from Seatoller Trail (the scenic route) a five-mile route that takes in the idyllic River Derwent, Derwentwater and Rosthwaite village in the beautiful Borrowdale Valley.


For a real bonding experience – and a chance to strengthen those core muscles – take your dog paddle boarding with you. Your pup will love the calm and peace of the water and you’ll make some brilliant memories together. Alfresco Adventures offer SUP experiences with your dog on Ullswater or Semerwater where they’ll teach you how to launch the board safely, and how to paddle while sitting down and standing up, with your dog along for the ride! You can also hire boards at Coniston Boating Centre to hone your skills against the imposing backdrop of The Old Man of Coniston. Don’t forget to get a few action shots of you and your dog paddling across the water.

Days Out

As well as outdoor activities, there are a wealth of attractions in the Lake District that welcome dogs. From historic castles like Brougham, Wray, Mancaster and Lowther, to Furness Abbey, Lakeland Motor Museum and Brockhole on Windermere, there’s never a dull moment for you and your pup. Pick up some Kendal Mint Cake right from the source and a few dog treats, and get out there.

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