Dog Friendly Keswick and The Lake District

The Kennel Club has for several years run a national programme to give recognition to places and organisations that welcome dogs, under the name, “Open for Dogs” and as part of their “Be Dog Friendly” campaign.

2014 National Awards

In 2014 the Lake District came out well. The Lake District as whole came out top in the Great Outdoors category, while Keswick once again won the Town/City award after winning in 2012 and 2013.

There are eight million dogs, and it can’t be far off the same number of owners, in the UK. It is understandable that there should be places, including holiday accommodation of various types, that provide dog-free space. After all, not everyone is a dog-lover.

Unless consciously catering for the dog-averse market, however, a hotelier who closes out well-behaved dogs and their owners must surely be losing custom – especially in areas for which enjoyment of the great outdoors is their big visitor selling point.

Congratulations to all concerned in confirming the Lake District as a dog-friendly zone. The awards process starts at the beginning of July. Winners are chosen on the basis of public votes through the summer months and the awards are presented at a major public event.

Dog Friendly Accommodation

If you’re an accommodation provider in the Lake District, why not brush up your dog friendly policies and provisions in advance of the summer rush? There’s good advice on how to go about it on the Kennel Club website.

Dog Friendly Catering

It has been good over recent years to see an increasing number of dog-friendly catering establishments. Some cafe and restaurant owners seem to believe that this is against the law. However, the Kennel Club clarifies this on their website:

“There is a misconception in the UK that dogs are not allowed in premises where food is served, such as restaurants and cafes. This is not the case: it is only food preparation areas that are out of bounds, not areas where food is served and sold. … Read more

And Dog Owners …

And if you’re a dog owner, take a look at these “Petiquette” principles, manage your dog responsibly, … and don’t forget to vote for establishments and places where the level of dog friendliness is commendable.

In Closing …

Once again, congratulations to Keswick and the Lake District for showing the dog friendly way to the rest of the country.

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Dog Friendly Lake District Walks

Finding a dog friendly hotel and settling into it is just the first stage of holidays in the Lake District with dogs. The next step is to find where to go, and the great thing is that there are so many choices.

Having said that, not every dog can cope with every Lake District walk. Different breeds, and dogs of different ages, need to be taken on walks that they can handle (or pad!). And then there’s the question of barriers. Some energetic large dogs may be able to jump a style or a gate but that certainly is not the case with all. Some owners may have little problem helping Rex or Rosie over a wall or fence where the style is an impossibility, but that also doesn’t apply to all.

Now there are two excellent books of dog friendly walks, one for the south and the other for the north of the Lake District National Park. You can find details here: Dog Friendly Walks – Lake District

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Dog friendly tea room on the West Cumbria coast

Even when you have dog friendly accommodation it is not always easy during the day to find somewhere for a snack and a cuppa where the presence of your four-legged friend is appreciated.

It was good, therefore, to read today in the Times & Star of another Cumbrian dog friendly tea room, this time at Allonby on the Solway Coast.

The paper wrote:

“Allonby Tea Room is becoming a doggie haven since Brenda Holyoake took over there last year. …”

Brenda said … “We have a lot of dog walkers along the beach and I know how hard it is to find somewhere for a cuppa if you have a dog with you.”

Read the rest of the article in the Times & Star

An excellent initiative! Both locals and holidaymakers enjoy walking with their dogs in the Lake District and other parts of Cumbria. It is always a pleasure to see signs saying, “Dogs welcome”.

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More on Lake District Walking with Your Dog

A few days ago in another place I wrote about the importance of not over-stretching a dog when on a walking holiday. While it is true that some large and energetic dogs may have considerable stamina we also need to be aware that dogs don’t wear boots, and many Lake District walks are over terrain that’s far from friendly to unshod paws.

Today, though I came across another aspect of fell walking with a dog, the danger of being knocked over oneself … by one’s dog! I suppose it’s quite rare, but this incident does show that it can happen.

MOUNTAIN rescue crews were called out tonight to help a woman who suffered leg injuries when she was knocked over by her dog.

Read more …

Anyway, with or without dog, make sure that if you’re going onto the fells alone you leave word as to where you’re planning to go. Even if you divert to some degree, should there be an accident people will have a rough idea where to start looking.

Oh, and that reminds me. Dog friendly hotels will often be able to point you to places locally where your pet can be looked after for a day if you want to do a walk that would be unsuitable for Rosie or Rover.

Enjoy your walking.

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Dog Friendly Lake District Walks

A very short post today just to say that I’ve put an updated version of the dog friendly holidays page on my bookselling site, The Lake District in Books.

It includes a new book of Lakeland walks especially suitable for dogs (this volume focusing on the south of the area) and also two general books on dog and pet friendly holiday places in the UK.

Take a look by clicking here.

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Luxury Dog Friendly Hotels in the Lake District

Lake District is Dog FriendlyWhen it comes to providing dog friendly hotels Lake District towns and villages surely must among the best in the country. There is a considerable amount of generally pet friendly accommodation not only in the National Park itself but also in the beautiful areas surrounding the Lake District. Dog friendly proprietors are not thin on the ground.

This applies not only to smaller bed and breakfast hotels and self-catering cottages but also to major hotels, and the area is not without its luxury dog friendly hotels.

Lake District hotels span the entire range from clean and tidy basic provision to the very best in discreet luxury. At the top end of the spectrum there are now hotels which allocate ground floor rooms to dog owners and make it easy to get Rover quickly to the outside world without having to walk along corridors and through the main entrance. This not only is much more convenient for pet owners but is considerate to other patrons, of whom some may be dog-averse – even among people who enjoy country holidays in the Lake District.

“Pet Friendly” labels against hotel names on a list do, of course, only give a general indication that dogs will not be turned away. You do need to check the details to find exactly what facilities are made available. I recently included a list of things found in at least some of the best pet-friendly hotels on ‘Holidays in the Lake District’.
See: Dog Friendly Hotels Lake District.

“Luxury hotel” is also a term that needs defining, or at least elaborating, and I’ve done this elswhere in an article, Luxury Hotels in the Lake District.

Putting all this together means that you will find in Cumbria hotels that offer the best of service, fine dining, elegant accommodation with superb room/suite facilities, and combine this with practical proof that you can find a welcome for pets at luxury Lake District hotels.

Dog friendly accommodation of other types, such as self-catering cottages, is also available around the county. See here for more information.

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Dog Friendly Keswick again

dog friendly keswick

Dogs Welcome in Keswick

Last week, while walking down towards the Theatre by the Lake I came across this sign outside the much-enlarged refreshment kiosk by Hope Park.

It’s not exactly “accommodation” and therefore might be said not to fit with this website, but at that particular moment what I wanted was not a room with a bed but a table with a coffee. I really don’t understand the regulations that seem to keep dogs (other than guide dogs) outside many catering establishments.

It was good to be able to drink my coffee in a place that reinforced the reputation of dog friendly Keswick.

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