BY CHRIS ELMES

Our favourite dog friendly cottages in the Lake District

 

With miles of long walks and some very big puddles to jump into, where could be better than The Lakes for a holiday with your dog? Our collection of beautiful, characterful dog-friendly holiday cottages in The Lake District mean that you won’t just have a base from which to explore, but a home to settle into as you get to know one of the UK’s most stunning areas. Here are our favourites that you and any four-legged friends you bring along will love.  

The Mount, Keswick

Keswick is rightly one of the most popular spots in the Lake District and this homely space is perfectly placed for enjoying its many outdoor adventures and cultural highlights. The Mount is a B&B during the off season, but in school holidays it turns into a self catering cottage and you can have the whole place to yourself and fill it with a bustling crowd of your family, friends and pets. Derwentwater has a beautiful circular walk around it, with many stunning viewpoints along the way, there’s kayaking and canyoning for the hardy folk in the group, and dog-friendly boat trips on burnished wooden launches for relaxing and scenic tours of the lake. The town is 20 minutes away on foot, so you can wander out with your dog to explore the many shops and eateries, and see if the lakeside theatre is putting on a show. The giant range and huge breakfast table make for big sociable meals while you plan your day or round it off with a hearty meal and a snooze by the open fire. 

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High Houses 

A big-beamed, lime plastered house, built in 1669, where Jill, the current owner, has resisted smoothing out the rough edges so you can live in a comfortable piece of history. Views stretch all the way across the Solway Firth to Scotland on a clear day and the house is completely surrounded by roadless farmland that’s brilliant for dog walking, as long as they won’t chase sheep or hens. There are red squirrels in the area as well, who are definitely too fast to catch. Straight from the door, you can hike up onto Binsey, a hill that Wainwright described as standing on the edge of the fells, “like a dunce set apart from the class.” After stomping through the fields and forests, come home to stretch out in front of the open fires in either of the two sitting rooms or soak in the huge roll-top bath, while your dog hangs out with Jill’s black labs who live next door with her. 

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The Gatehouse, Kelleth, Cumbria

The Gatehouse is clinching proof that you don’t have to compromise on style and charm if you’re looking for dog-friendly cottages in The Lake District. The old stone barn has undergone a dramatic conversion into a romantic escape bursting with cool and curious objects. There are retro posters on the wall, a huge bath in the funky green bathroom and a Bechstein grand piano downstairs in case you’re feeling musical. Across the drive you’ll see the owner’s manor house, where your canine companion will meet his own new best friend Bear, the resident hound. Dog walks in the Howgills are stunningly scenic and far less peopled than the more famous routes in the National Park. You and your dog can stride the hills all day, maybe to Cautley Spout, down some of Wainwright’s trails or up The Calf, then come home to curl up on the massive corner sofa.  

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Steele’s Mill

There’s been a mill on this site since the 14th century and this incarnation, built in the 1800s, has been renovated with a perfect balance of style and sensitivity. The old applewood mill cogs are on display in the kitchen and the place is a beautiful home of beams and stone. Three stories give you plenty of space, with a terrace outdoors for al fresco meals where you can soak up the peace of the countryside. Cook up a storm on the enormous range, stepping over the dog if it’s decided that the nook under the brick arch makes a cosy napping spot. Nature is preserved as well as the history, through a special loft built into the roof to let the pipistrelle bats roost. Great hikes lead out past fields of cattle to King’s Meaburn village, lovely delis in Appleby, or to Lowther Castle for those seeking gothic revival grandeur.   

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Birkdale House 

Acres of space, massive sitting rooms, beautiful bathtubs and an in-house cinema put Birkdale top of our list when it comes to luxury dog friendly cottages in The Lake District. You’re asked to keep the pets downstairs, but beds are provided so they’ll still feel warm and welcomed. There are lovely walks through parkland from the door and a wander down the hill brings you to Bowness for really good shops and the famous Beatrix Potter experience. Even a short stroll out of the house can take you to Biskey Howe viewpoint, perfect for taking in sunset over the water with a stunning vista of the lake, the Langdale Pikes and the Western Fells.  

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Written by
Chris Elmes

Chris is our copywriter, who spins enticing articles out of rough notes and travel tales. Having grown up in rural Wiltshire with only cats, he defected to Team Dog and now roams the countryside with Porth, a gorgeous spaniel named after a Welsh town in what he considers to be a joke. They love disappearing into the hills and coming back hungry for a good pub meal, although Porth has not been convinced to follow Chris into vegetarianism.

     

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