The 12 Best Dog Walks in the Lake District


The 12 Best Dog Walks in the Lake District

When you’re going on a family holiday, it’s only natural that you’d want to include the whole family, and for some families, that means taking the dog too! Thankfully, if you’re planning on visiting the Lake District, you’ll find an incredibly dog-friendly area with plenty of facilities to make your four-legged friend feel right at home. 

At Craig Manor, we pride ourselves on providing beautiful dog friendly hotel rooms for you and your furry friend to enjoy during your stay – whether that’s for a short winter weekend break or something a little longer throughout the year.

While you’re enjoying the Lake District with your dog, make sure to get out and about and enjoy some of the spectacular views that you can only find in this part of the world. Since there are so many views to choose from, we’re put together a list of some of the best dog walks in the Lake District. 

Best waterside dog walks in the Lake District 

Blea Tarn Trail, Consiton

Distance: 1.8 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Great for:  Almost everyone, especially families with dogs looking for a gentle stroll

If you’re looking for a leisurely waterside dog walk to get you started, Blea Tarn Trail is perfect for you. This walk provides the opportunity for everyone to get out and stretch their legs in the stunning Lake District countryside while also enjoying brilliant views of Lingmoor and Pike of Blisco. You could also go for a paddle in the tarn during the summer months to cool off your feet!

Ullswater Way, Ullswater

Distance: 20 miles

Difficulty: Easy to Hard (depending on the circuit) 

Great for: Dedicated walkers and dogs prefer longer, more challenging routes, while families and casual dog walkers prefer shorter walking routes.

As the second-largest lake in the area, Ullswater makes a great location for a walk with your dog. The lake itself offers a 9-mile round route, but for those of you feeling brave, there is a 20-mile route you can complete too! The 20-mile walk is a lot harder than the shorter route, so make sure you are prepared for a long hard day of walking before heading out to the Ullswater Way.

For those of you who would prefer a more relaxed weekend walk, you can even get out onto the water on Ullswater Steamers, which welcomes humans and dogs alike and operates from Pooley Bridge. There’s plenty to see around the lake, so you can be sure that you’ll enjoy the walk just as much as your dog will.

Derwentwater walk, Keswick 

Distance: 10 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Great for: Families who love dog walking

Head to Derwentwater at Keswick for a longer walk. You can take a 10-mile walk around the lake using the route you can find here. This is a particularly pretty part of the Lakes and will give you plenty to see as you walk around the water. 

Similar to Ullswater, you can even take a ferry around the lake as a shortcut if you’d prefer to rest your legs a while. If you fancy a look around the town, Keswick is a great place to take a stroll and is well-known for being particularly dog-friendly.

Loweswater Circuit

Distance: 3.5 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Great for:  A gentle dog walk in a peaceful valley for all ages

A hidden gem for Lake District dog walks, Loweswater Circuit provides a wonderful circular route around one of the smallest lakes in the area. Despite the small size, the breathtaking views of the surrounding fells really give you a reason to make this lakeshore walk one of your favourites. You might even see red squirrels on your adventure!

Rydal Water Walk, Grasmere

Distance: 5.6 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Great for: More experienced walkers and four-legged friends who like rugged terrain.

This walk is best suited for those who prefer a more challenging hike, but if you’re willing to give it a go, it’s worth it. In fact, Grasmere was once described by William Wordsworth as ‘the loveliest spot that man hath ever found’. There’s a little bit of road walking involved, and you’ll need to be able to handle different terrains, but you’ll be rewarded with some fantastic views. 

This route is 5.6 miles, taking a circular path around both Grasmere and Rydal Water, passing sites such as Wordsworth’s former home, Dove Cottage, along the way.

Tarn Hows Circular

Distance: 2 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Great for: Older dogs and walkers who enjoy evening strolls

The Tarn Hows Circular is another of the more accessible walking routes on our list. Great for all the family, this dog walk could be a great reason to get out and have a picnic with plenty of doggie treats on the banks of the tarn. Keep a lookout for red squirrels and other native animals of the area while you are here.

Best hill walks for dogs in the Lake District 

Catbells, Keswick

Distance: 3.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate 

Great for: Families with older children or more active dogs

Catbells truly has some of the most sublime scenery in the North West. From the moment you step onto the fell, you will have panoramic views of the dramatic scenery over Keswick, Derwent Water and Borrowdale. There is a particularly difficult section on the ascent over rocky surfaces that would entail some minor scrambling to continue your climb.

Latrigg, Keswick

Distance: 3 miles

Difficulty: Easy 

Great for: Lovers of the great outdoors and their canine companion.

Starting at Moot Hall, Keswick, the Latrigg dog walk is excellent all year round. The views from the summit over Keswick town provide an easy backdrop for this up and down route. If you can’t make it all the way up from Keswick, there is a small car park at Gale Road above Applethwaite, and this route takes you to a Limited Mobility Path to the viewpoint.

Stickle Tarn Trail, Langdale

Distance: 1.9 miles

Difficulty: Challenging

Great for: Very experienced walkers and dogs who are used to climbing, swimming and rocky outcrops.

Despite its challenge, the Stickle Tarn Trail provides lovely views of Langdale, and a reward at the end of your dog walk in the form of a beer and doggy treats at the Sticklebarn pub. Experience dramatic waterfalls and rock pools wedged into the mountainside on this full circuit of 1.9 miles. 

Best woodland dog walks in the Lake District

Dodd Wood, Keswick 

Distance: 1 to 1.5 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Great for: People who like variety in their dog friendly walks.

If you’re looking for ancient woodland trails for your next adventure, Dodd Wood in Keswick is the perfect destination for you. There are a variety of trails for you to choose from, depending on if you want a long walk up the summit trail or a more leisurely walk through the woods. Make sure you check carefully which route you are on to ensure that you don’t end up on the wrong one by mistake!

Millwood Trail – Long Loop, Grizedale Forest 

Distance: 1.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Great for: Families with children and dogs who love walking through forests.

Just east of Coniston Water, you’ll find Grizedale Forest, a perfect spot for a stroll with the pooch. You’ll be able to get excellent views of the Lake District on this route, as well as the stunning forest itself. There’s enough varied terrain for it to be interesting for the dogs, but nothing too challenging. You can find several different routes around the forest here. Still, we’d recommend the Milwood Trail – Long Loop, which allows you to see some of the sculpture collection dotted around Grizedale Forrest and beyond. 

Two Gills Trail, Whinlatter Forest 

Distance: 1.75 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Great for:

The final dog friendly walking route on our list is the Two Gills Trail in Whinlatter Forest. With plenty of walking opportunities and routes to choose from, if you’re looking for a scenic walk with a lake view like no other, this is the walk for you. Make use of the picnic areas as you and your dog enjoy the surrounding fells that can only be found in the Lake District.

Plan a trip to the Lake District with your four-legged friend

The Lake District really is full of great walks and trails that are perfect to take on with your four-legged friend. At the end of a long day on your feet, you can come back to Craig Manor to enjoy a well-deserved drink. 

There are so many things to do in Bowness on Windermere that you can easily fill up a whole weekend exploring all the dog friendly places the Lake District has to offer. Once you’ve finished your walk, relax and unwind in one of the best dog friendly pubs in the Lake District before enjoying your evening of rest! Give us a call on 015394 88877 to book your next Lake District getaway for you and the whole family to have ample opportunity to experience all the things you can do here!

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