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The Canine guide to Keswick holiday cottages

Towns and cities

The Canine guide to Keswick

Kate Atkin 24 August 2020

Nestled between sparkling Derwentwater lake and towering snow-capped mountains, the historic market town of Keswick is a pup’s paradise, bursting with pet-friendly things to do. If you and your plus one with paws are thinking of a holiday in the Lake District, then the whole pack is sure to go barking mad for the abundance of scenic walks, places to eat, and exciting attractions that welcome both two legs and four in dog-friendly Keswick.

Splashing through Derwentwater

From relaxing lake cruises to action-packed scampers up Catbells, we’ve found some of the best dog-friendly things to do in Keswick, as well as a selection of the best pet-friendly cottages where happy hounds can have a ball in the garden with a game of fetch or a well-deserved snooze by the fire. Discover the best dog-friendly places in Keswick.

What have we got to get tails wagging?

Click to fetch Keswick’s…

🐶 Top days out
🐾 Top walkies
🍴 Top dining spots
🏡 Top places to stay

Great dog-friendly days out in Keswick

Keswick Launch

Keswick Launch

Best day out on the lakes: One of the best ways for pups and their owners to experience the breathtaking beauty of the Lake District is from the water. Jump aboard one of the Keswick Launches and enjoy a scenic cruise around Derwentwater together, marvelling at the impressive views of Catbells, Skiddaw (England’s fourth highest mountain), and the ‘Jaws of Borrowdale’. One of the best dog-friendly activities in Keswick, faithful four-legged friends are welcome free of charge, and you can hop on and off at the seven jetties en-route to explore pebble beaches and scent-filled forests, and trot along lakeside footpaths as the mood takes you. Alternatively, your pack can just sit back, relax and soak up the sights on the 50-minute round trip.

Why your dog will love it: This dog-friendly attraction in Keswick can be tailored to suit your dog, whether they’re full of beans and want to include some walkies, or they just want to snuggle up next to their humans and take in the sights.

Mirehouse and Gardens

Mirehouse grounds

Best cultural day out: One of the top things to do in Keswick with a dog who appreciates a little history is to enjoy a scamper in the grounds of Mirehouse. This impressive 17th-century manor house has been in the Spedding family for over 300 years and has boasted strong literary connections over the years to Tennyson, Edward Fitzgerald, Thomas Carlyle and William Wordsworth. Canine companions are welcome to enjoy an on-the-lead wander among the surrounding gardens, woodland and parks, and can rest their paws at one of the tables outside the tearoom afterwards while their humans tuck into a sticky slice of cake.

Why your dog will love it: The beautiful grounds are extensive, stretching from Dodd Wood (home to red squirrels and osprey) to Bassenthwaite Lake, with a variety of waymarked trails for the whole pack to enjoy.

The Puzzling Place

The Puzzling Place

Best family day out: Located in the heart of dog-friendly Keswick, this mind-boggling indoor attraction warmly welcomes those with both two legs and four to try and solve its assortment of puzzles, brainteasers and optical illusions. Pups on leads are sure to be amazed in the Anti-gravity Room where balls curiously roll uphill, while the humans will be in awe watching themselves visibly growing and shrinking in the Ames Room! Canines can also shake their own paw, marvel at the interactive pond, and wag their tails with excitement as hologram reptiles come to life.

Why your dog will love it: It’s not every day that your dog can watch themselves growing taller than their humans!

Wonderful dog-friendly walks in Keswick

Hope Park

Hope Park

Best park walk: Offering some of the best Keswick walks with dogs, Hope Park is a waggy-tailed wonderland. Situated between the town centre and Derwentwater, there are landscaped gardens, woodlands and a stream to sniff out, as well as a variety of fun activities for families to enjoy such as pitch and putt, crazy golf, boules and remote-controlled boats. Best of all, after a morning of exploring, you can treat your tufty-pawed pal to a special doggy frozen yoghurt at the pet-friendly Café Hope.

Why your dog will love it: There are endless dog-walking opportunities here, from short strolls around the flower-filled gardens to longer hikes in the wildlife-rich woodland.

Derwentwater

Derwentwater Lake

Best lake walk: The Derwentwater Walk is a waymarked path which leads you around Keswick’s sparkling lake. One of the jewels of the Lake District, known locally as Queen of the Lakes, Derwentwater is home to a rich variety of flora and wildlife, much of which is cared for by the National Trust. This 10-mile circular stroll meanders through ancient woodlands and along the tranquil shores of the lake, with picnic benches dotted throughout where you can sit and take in the dramatic views with your four-legged best friend by your side. Take a whole day to enjoy this dog-friendly walk in Keswick at a leisurely pace or catch a launch from one of the landing stages to make it slightly shorter.

Why your dog will love it: The paths are flat and easy and the shingled beach along the shore of the lake is the perfect spot for a doggy paddle. 

Catbells

Catbells

Best fell walk: One of the most iconic dog walks around Keswick is the climb up Catbells. This famous peak which stands at a modest height of 451 meters is small compared to its neighbours, yet rewards those who reach its summit with some of the finest views across this picturesque part of the Lakes, out to Derwent Water and Skiddaw in the distance. “It is one of the great favourites, a family fell where grandmothers and infants can climb the heights together, a place beloved,” wrote the renowned guidebook writer Alfred Wainwright. This is the perfect way for intrepid canine explorers to admire the national park’s crystal-clear lakes, wild mountains and verdant valleys.

Why your dog will love it: One of the shorter fell walks in the area, this is a great introduction to hill walking – plus, with its perfectly shaped summit cone and a short rocky scramble near the top, your pup will feel like they’ve conquered a mountain!

Top dog-friendly places to eat and drink in Keswick

Dog & Gun

Dog & Gun

Best for hearty pub grub: Tails will be wagging with delight when they enter this cosy pub with ancient wooden beams, roaring fires and friendly atmosphere. On a typical night, humans can certainly expect to be outnumbered on the dog to people ratio! One of the best dog-friendly pubs in Keswick, the Dog & Gun not only offers a menu full of delicious pub classics for humans (the Hungarian goulash comes highly recommended), but it also has a special menu just for doggy diners. While Fido tucks into his tasty treats, you can enjoy a refreshing pint of ale with the locals and swap tales of your exciting adventures in the fells.

Why your dog will love it: What canine counterpart doesn’t go mutts for their own doggy menu?

The Square Orange

The Square Orange

Best for stone-baked pizzas: One of our favourite dog-friendly cafes in Keswick, The Square Orange offers a taste of the continental café bar culture with speciality coffees, a full bar, and mouth-watering stone-baked pizzas. While paws and feet tap along to the live music, humans can peruse a colourful menu of tapas and cocktails or warm up after a long walk with one of the café’s carefully chosen coffee blends accompanied by a generous slab of homemade cake.  

Why your dog will love it: The laid-back atmosphere is second to none and dogs are welcome any time of day.

The George

The George

Best for special occasions: Home to one of the top dog-friendly restaurants in Keswick, The George is the perfect place for you and your pack to re-energise after an action-packed day in the Lakes. Brimming with character, this 350-year-old coaching inn is the oldest in town and offers homecooked Cumbrian dishes with a modern twist. Take a seat with your pooch beneath the wooden beams of the bar, warmed by the glow of the fire, and peruse the extensive á la carte menu or choose one of the daily specials – a local favourite is the very generous ‘cow pie’ which is the perfect tonic after a full day out on the fells.

Why your dog will love it: That cow pie is so huge that there will most certainly be some leftover scraps!

Exciting dog-friendly Keswick cottages to stay in

The best dog-friendly cottage for family getaways

Gallery Cloisters: Sleeps 2 dogs and 6 humans

Gallery Cloisters

Perfect for the whole pack of all ages and sizes, this cosy cottage makes the ideal base for dog-friendly holidays in Keswick. After stick-chasing adventures in the surrounding countryside, pups can doze by the gas fire or enjoy a good game of fetch in the garden while humans drink in the breathtaking scenery.

The best dog-friendly cottage for walking holidays

Wrens: Sleeps 2 dogs and 6 humans

Wrens

Nestling in the shadow of Blencathra’s peak and enveloped by rolling Cumbrian countryside, this dog-friendly cottage in Keswick offers an abundance of walks right from the front door. Ancient wooden beams and exposed stone walls, a toasty wood burner, and far-reaching views of woodland and patchwork fields make this beautifully converted barn a retreat you won’t forget in a hurry.

Stay in Keswick

For the ultimate backdrop to your staycation, choose one of our self-catering dog-friendly holiday cottages in Keswick. Whether you are travelling as a couple, a family or a group of friends, you’ll find a wide range of pet-friendly accommodation within our collection which will place you perfectly for memorable holidays in this glorious part of the Lake District. You can also discover more of the dog-friendly Lake District with our comprehensive Canine guide to the National Park.

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.

Winter walks with your dog
Walks
Ed Roberts 09 September 2021
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