12 dog-friendly visitor attractions in Cumbria

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<p><img src="https://azure.wgp-cdn.co.uk/app-yourdog/posts/AllanBank58.jpg" /></p><p>Cumbrian heritage champion, Cumbria’s Living Heritage, is telling the UK’s dog owners there’s no need find a dog sitter if they find themselves enjoying a staycation in this stunning county...</p>

Cumbrian heritage champion, Cumbria’s Living Heritage, is telling the UK’s dog owners there’s no need to ‘Sitter Twitter’ if they find themselves enjoying a staycation in the stunning county.

The group of 36 different heritage attractions has taken the lead in providing British canines with opportunities to accompany their owners on visits to great houses, gardens and museums, where the present interprets the past.

Owners and their ‘wags’ can enjoy an idyllic ‘pooch mooch’ at a ‘Doggy’s Dozen’ of Cumbria’s Living Heritage venues, meaning owners have no need to hit social media, hashtagging furiously for a dog sitter.

1. Grizedale


Grizedale Forest is helping to demonstrate the group’s dog-friendly nature through a new exhibition that opened on June 7 and which explores the bonds between dogs and their companions.Photographer, Karen Shepherdson, took portraits of dogs and owners over three days in April and has now selected shots for her Welcome Rest exhibition at the Grizedale Visitors’ Centre, which runs to October 31. Grizedale Forest also has an abundance of living heritage, with must-see woodland sculptures providing marvellous moments for both pooches and people.

2. Brantwood


At Brantwood, John Ruskin’s former home on Coniston, dogs and their owners can explore a 250-acre estate and even venture into the on-site café, which has an outdoor terrace overlooking the lake.From cultivated areas, to shaded glades in woodland, it’s an ideal dog and owner venue, where water bowls are provided for those visitors cannot use a cup or glass.

3. Brockhole – The Lake District Visitor Centre

Freedom to roam is also very much order of the day at Brockhole – The Lake District Visitor Centre – where a lakeshore path is sure to go down well with Fido.If he’s seen it all before, try a short route through Birkett Wood, opposite a new jetty. Dogs can even go on board Windermere Lake Cruises boats, if they can keep their owners under control!

4. Allan Bank

At the National Trust property, Allan Bank, the whole of the grounds and house are dog-friendly, but furry friends usually like to let off steam on the woodland walk, where both dogs and owners can ‘paws for thought’ and enjoy wonderful views of Grasmere Lake. Doggy bowls and even biscuits can be found and there’s a wonderful fire in Wordsworth’s study, to take the chill off the paws.

5. Hutton-in-the-Forest


The walled garden at Hutton-in-the-Forest near Penrith, is somewhere that Lottie the Staffy is willing to share with visiting friends.Rumour has it that she will even divulge her tip of diving under the seat for a bit of cooling down on hot summer days and perhaps also reveal the Arthurian legend associated with Hutton-in-the-Forest.

6. Mirehouse


The same sort of tranquillity is on offer at Mirehouse, north of Keswick, where dogs can watch bees and butterflies hard at work in the sheltered walled Bee Garden, making the most of the special planting that encourages the nectar seekers to visit.

7. Holker Hall

At Holker Hall near Cartmel, there are 125 acres to welcome well-behaved dogs on leads, but the top tip is to look across the parkland, to the Lakeland hills, from just inside the gated entrance to the Estate.Keen-eyed pooches will even be able to spot the Hoad Monument in Ulverston.Once the thirst has been worked up, it can be quenched by heading to the water bowls in the Café Courtyard.

8. Dove Cottage


Other places at which dogs can lap up their water are the dog-friendly Dove Cottage Tearooms in Grasmere, where they might hear talk of Wordsworth’s dog ‘Pepper’, if they prick up their ears. Pepper was actually a gift from Sir Walter Scott and resulted in Wordsworth having a portrait of his pet, but not of his wife, Mary.

9. Askham Hall/The George & Dragon

If it’s a good old walk your dog relishes, Askham Hall near Penrith is a great place to head to, with suggested walks available at www.askhamhall.co.uk/surrounding-area/ You can also enjoy some great walks round Clifton village and the George and Dragon pub and eatery, particularly if you relish Jacobite history and wish to see the famous Rebel Oak Tree, close to where the rebel army of Bonnie Prince Charlie was defeated and driven out of England. The oak is right behind the pub, so easy to find.

10. Brougham Castle


English Heritage’s top tip for where to head for a pooch mooch is the riverside walk close to Brougham Castle, where you can enjoy views of the Eden Valley and perhaps start to get on the trail of one of the castle’s former owners, Lady Anne Clifford.

11. Stott Park Bobbin Mill

Stott Park Bobbin Mill near Ulverston is a dog-friendly site that even welcomes dogs on its guided tours of a 19th century bobbin mill. There are also plenty of walks around, for both you and your dog to bob along. 

12. Lakeland Motor Museum


Last but not least, is the Lakeland Motor Museum near Haverthwaite, where well-behaved dogs are very welcome and treated to plenty of water bowls and a good-sized exercise area immediately adjacent to the main car parking area.Dogs are allowed in both the museum and exhibition, if they wish to dream about which classic car they would have most liked to own, feel the wind in their fur, or ponder what the scent of Dolly Blue brightening agent might have been like.


Head to the Cumbria Living Heritage website to start your pooch mooch and remember that you don’t have to ‘bitter Twitter’ about having to leave your best friend stuck indoors on your staycation, or ‘sitter Twitter’ in the slim hope of finding someone who can look after them. A Cumbria’s Living Heritage dog-friendly venue is never far away from you and if you want some titbits to accompany your day out, there’s a Heritage Past-Port to download that will give you lots to feed on.