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The Canine guide to Cumbria holiday cottages

Destinations

The Canine guide to Cumbria

Kate W 01 April 2022

We already have our fabulous Canine guide to the Lake District National Park, but what about the rest of beautiful Cumbria?

There are so many places to visit in Cumbria with dogs – beauty spots within the national park, attractions on the coastline, and sights throughout the scenic countryside that make up so much of this wild and wonderful destination.

Dog-friendly Cumbria cottages

We’ve hunted down our top choices in the outer reaches of this county to complement our Lakes guide and really showcase all this region has to offer. Find out about dog-friendly Cumbria in the guide below.


What have we got to get tails wagging?

Click to fetch Cumbria’s…


Dog-friendly walks in Cumbia

Talkin Tarn Country Park

Talkin Tarn Country Park

Best for a lakeside stroll with the family: You can’t go to this corner of the world and miss out on a waterside dog walk! In the case of Talkin Tarn Country Park near the ancient market town of Brampton, you can enjoy a wander alongside the banks of a tarn, through ancient woodland, and soak in views across the reflective water. There’s an abundance of things to do for family and adult groups alike, with water sports, exhibitions, and a tea room too. There is a leads-on zone for dogs, so check the website before you go and look out for signposts while you're there.

Why your dog will love it: There’s so much to see and do at this scenic park, we bet your dog will love exploring, or will be quite happy chewing on tidbits if you stop for a picnic.

Brampton cottages

For more waterside walks, check out our guide to Windermere or our guide to Ambleside and plan a visit to the most iconic lakes in Cumbria.


Blengdale Forest

Blengdale Forest

Best for exploring an ancient woodland: Out of our favourite dog walks in Cumbria, Blengdale Forest has to be the most peaceful option with miles and miles of dog-friendly walking and cycle paths – and it’s home to some of the tallest trees in Cumbria! Park up in delightful Gosforth village, where you can also pick up refreshments after your journey into this enchanting forest.

Why your dog will love it: There are sure to be sticks to fetch in abundance in this Cumbrian woodland.


Men's Shed to Whelpo Bridge

Men's Shed to Whelpo Bridge

Best for waterfalls and riverside rambles: For a short, easy route, you and your waggy-tailed pal could tackle this 1.5-mile trail through the limestone gorge, alongside Whelpo Beck with waterfalls, and past the ruins of an old bobbin mill. This Men's Shed to Whelpo Bridge walk is near the pretty village of Wigton, North Cumbria, and if you want to make it last a little longer, this trail could be combined with the nearby Caldbeck Circular Walk.

Why your dog will love it: What dog doesn’t love a long leg stretch? And you’re sure to spot birds and maybe the odd squirrel to chase along this pathway too.

For more wonderful trails to investigate nearby, check out our guide to dog walks in the Lake District.


Dog-friendly beaches in Cumbia

Haverigg Beach

Haverigg Beach

Best for family days by the sea: This vast sweeping beach of shingle quickly gives way to an expansive stretch of sand, all backed by dunes. Dip your toes in the Irish Sea and build a sandcastle before heading over to the children’s play area where kids can blow off steam. Pick up a cuppa or a cold drink at the tea room or walk along the sea wall to visit the idyllic nature reserve.

Why your dog will love it: There are no restrictions on dogs so your pup has miles of sand to race across and enjoy, although please use a lead if you decide to head into the RSPB Hodbarrow Nature Reserve.


St Bees Beach

St Bees Beach - view from St Bees

Best for blustery coastal vistas: St Bees Beach is a 1-mile-long, dog-friendly beach made up of pebbles and sand stretching beneath St Bees Head itself. Venture up to the heights of this red sandstone bluff and take in the sweeping views during your beach day, before heading back down to relax on the sand and splash in the shallows.

Why your dog will love it: The chance to survey the landscape from this marvellous high point will put your dog in a tail-waggingly good mood for the rest of the day.

St Bees cottages


Arnside Beach

Arnside Beach

Best for a romantic stroll: Head to Arnside Beach on the border of Cumbria and Lancashire for something special. This unique beach isn’t one you should step foot on due to the dangerous quick sands – it’s best admired from the Victorian pier and the promenade that runs just behind it, home to shops, cafes and a popular fish and chip shop. This beach made our list due to the delightful seaside atmosphere and its natural wonder ‘The Bore’, a small tidal wave that flows along the estuary every few weeks. Otherwise, for views from the other side of the estuary, stay in Cartmel and experience the tidal bore on a trip to Grange-over-Sands.

Why your dog will love it: Arnside’s Old Bakehouse is just the place to rest up weary feet and paws as you explore the seafront. 

Kirkby Lonsdale cottages

Hunt down a few more of our favourite dog-friendly places by the sea in our Lake District beaches guide.


Dog-friendly days out in Cumbia

Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway

Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway - dog-friendly attraction that lends you to Lake Windermere

Best for a Lake District tour: Chug past water and woodland views with your pup by your side on the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway – a 3.2-mile-long heritage railway that stops at the southern end of iconic Lake Windermere. Haverthwaite Station itself has a lot to offer and is a lovely place for families with a woodland playground, tea room, picnic area, and engine shed that's home to their collection of locomotives.

Why your dog will love it: This one is perfect for older dogs as they can lie at your feet in the train carriage and have a snooze while you take in this scenic region. 

Ulverston cottages


Long Meg and Her Daughters

Long Meg and Her Daughters

Best for peace and quiet: If you’re searching for a dog-friendly attraction in Cumbria that will allow you to slow down a little, head to this idyllic heritage site. These ancient structures have been in place for centuries and are enough to make anyone stop and ponder our immense history during a visit. These magnificent stones, with Long Meg in the centre carved with strange symbols, make a striking silhouette against the Lake District landscape. 

Why your dog will love it: Let your dog sniff about and explore this unique place while you share a family picnic on the grass. 

Penrith cottages


Birdoswald Roman Fort

Birdoswald Roman Fort - a dog-friendly attraction in North Cumbria

Best for Roman heritage: There is plenty of Roman heritage throughout Cumbria, but nothing beats the iconic Hadrian’s Wall. Hear the stories of the Romans on a visit to Birdoswald Roman Fort, home to the longest remaining stretch of Hadrian’s Wall, complete with a fort, a turret and Milecastle. There are even fun events throughout the year for children to join in with.

Why your dog will love it: Dogs aren’t allowed inside the museum but there’s plenty to discover outside with your wet-nosed pal – enjoy a stroll about the ruins while your pup takes it all in.

Discover more days out to enjoy with your canine by your side with our list of top dog-friendly Lake District attractions.


Dog-friendly towns and villages in Cumbria  

Kendal

Kendal

Best for foodies: While you discover more and more dog-friendly places in Cumbria, ensure you pop by charming Kendal. Alive with history and charm, this chocolate-box market town is home to the famous mint cake and is a great place to explore, with independent shops to browse and cafes waiting to welcome you and your four-pawed pal.

Why your dog will love it: Ruined Kendal Castle is a beautiful place to discover with your pup – there’s plenty of soft, green lawn all around for a game of fetch too.

Kendal cottages


Carlisle

Carlisle dog-friendly town in Cumbria

Best for days in the city: The only city in Cumbria and an ideal destination for days full of bars and sightseeing, Carlisle has a host of spaces that both you and your dog can enjoy alongside many pubs and restaurants to stop at as you move around this hub. Soak in the wonderful Carlisle city walls, castle and nature reserves with your dog following you every step of the way and uncover the long history of this ancient city, originally the Roman town of Luguvalium.

Why your dog will love it: A dog walk following the route of Carlisle’s old city wall is sure to get tails wagging, and you could even book a walking tour. 

Carlisle cottages


Sedbergh

Sedbergh - charming dog-friendly Cumbrian town

Best for keen ramblers: Many people forget that Cumbria encompasses not just one national park, but two! The towering summits and green glens of the Yorkshire Dales overlap East Cumbria and this is where you’ll find the enchanting market town of Sedbergh. From this dog-friendly destination, you could visit England’s highest waterfall known as Cautley Spout, or make your way up to the summit of Aye Gill Pike – not for the faint-hearted!

Why our dog will love it: The many mountaintops all around the region offering energetic dogs and their owners a real hiking challenge.

Sedbergh cottages

For fell hikes in the heart of the Lake District, head to the enchanting town of Keswick and make a beeline to Catbells, Skiddaw, Blencathra or Dodd Fell.


Dog-friendly places to eat in Cumbia

The Bay Horse Winton

The Bay Horse Winton dog-friendly pub in Cumbria

Best for a cosy dinner out: Cosy up at this quality dog-friendly pub near Kirkby Stephen in East Cumbria. The Bay Horse Winton is a stylish country pub that prides itself on creating craft dishes using locally sourced ingredients and boasts a selection of mouth-watering choices – from classic fish and hand-cut chips to their award-winning steak and ale pie. Dogs are welcome in the beautiful bar area; book ahead to reserve your seat.

Why your dog will love it: Dogs are made to feel very welcome here and your pup is sure to appreciate a couple of leftovers when you’ve finished your meal.

Kirkby Stephen cottages


The Three Hares Café

The Three Hares Café - dog-friendly place to eat in Cumbria

Best dog-friendly café for sweet treats: The Three Hares Café is found in the east of Cumbria in Sedbergh on the cusp of the Yorkshire Dales and will give you the chance to wander the streets of the enchanting market town before settling in for a cuppa and a cake at this dog-friendly café. They have a shop area too so you can pick up goodies to share back at your cottage.

Why your dog will love it: It’s the perfect place for your pup to cosy up and have a snooze at your feet after exploring the hilly local landscape. 


Gosforth Hall

Gosforth Hall - lovely dog-friendly pub!

Best for a pre-dinner coastal leg stretch: Another exquisite dog-friendly pub in Cumbria, this time over on the west coast, Gosforth Hall is just the place for a meal out with your dog. Our canine friends are welcome inside the bar and out in the Mediterranean-inspired beer garden, and the menu is decked out with dishes that include their vegetable bhaji burger, steak and stilton pie, and slow-cooked gammon shank options.

Why your dog will love it: As it’s near the coast, you could take a trip 2 miles over to Seascale Beach for an unrestricted beach stroll with your energetic pup before dinner.

For more dog-friendly places to eat in Cumbria, read our guide to our top Lake District foodie picks.


Dog-friendly cottages in Cumbia

Bridge House, Allonby, Cumbria

Sleeps 4 dogs and 10 humans

Bridge House – Allonby, Allonby, Cumbria

Best for the whole pack to get together on holiday: Welcoming up to four dogs, not to mention a big party of ten humans, this is a fantastic holiday home for a special occasion or a two-family break. Light, bright and welcoming with classic farmhouse touches, this is a beautiful and restful space to unwind with your whole pack on a break to the seaside resort of Allonby.

Why your dog will love it: This dog-friendly holiday let is right by the Cumbrian coastline with Allonby Beach down the road where pups are welcome to roam free.

Bridge House


38 Ironworks, Backbarrow, Cumbria

Sleeps 2 dogs and 6 humans

38 Ironworks, Backbarrow, Cumbria

Best for a woodland retreat: Escape to this riverside apartment in south Cumbria and sit out on your own private balcony with views of the river and forest beyond. You could also pop down into the forest for a riverbank stroll and there’s bike storage if you fancy a longer trip out and about. Dark furnishings and clever lightning create a stylish space for your next rural pet-friendly break.

Why your dog will love it: There’s a river walk and forest right on the doorstep!

38 Ironworks


Hadrians Wall Hideaway, Brampton, Cumbria

Sleeps 1 dog and 2 humans

Hadrians Wall Hideaway, Brampton, Cumbria

Best for a romantic trip back in time: Head to the north of Cumbria for a retreat with your partner and your four-pawed best pal at this beautiful rustic dog-friendly lodge. As the name suggests, it’s not far from the ancient and iconic Hadrian's Wall. Inside this rustic retreat, there’s a lovely sofa and TV, while a private hot tub and scenic rural views await outdoors.

Why your dog will love it: Hadrian's Wall is an iconic destination with a wonderful long walk that both you and your pup pal can enjoy.

Hadrians Wall Hideaway


Dog-friendly Cumbria

Make your escape with your waggy-tailed best mate by your side to this remarkable region. Whether you decide to venture into the Lake District for fell walking and lake cruises, escape to the blustery beaches of the coast or decide to visit the western reaches of the Yorkshire Dales, it’s sure to be an unforgettable holiday.

There’s no shortage of fantastic things to do in Cumbria with dogs. Browse our cottages to find your perfect pet-friendly retreat and begin exploring.

Dog-friendly cottages in Cumbria

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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