Top 20 dog-friendly pubs in the Lake District


The Lake District has to be one of the best places in the country to bring your pet pooch on holiday - the market town of Keswick has been awarded the 'Most Dog Friendly Town' in Britain three years in a row by the Kennel Club, and the Lake District also recently took top prize in its Great Outdoors category!

Dogs really do become members of the family, so a long walk together is made even better when you can finish off with a hearty pub meal and a drink somewhere you know your four-legged companion will be made just as welcome! Here's our guide to just some of the Lake District's dog-friendly pubs and inns...

If you're headed to the north west Lakes, try out:

• The Pheasant, Bassenthwaite, perfect for a light lunch, afternoon tea or a refreshing drink in the bar - well-behaved dogs are welcome in both the bar and lounges during the day.

• The Coledale Inn, a genuine country inn which started out life as a woollen mill in around 1824, and which is peacefully situated above the village of Braithwaite. Filled with Victorian furnishings, it serves good honest food, and dogs can join you in the bar.

• The Bridge Inn, Buttermere, which serves traditional bar meals, including vegetarian options, and four Cumbrian cask beers. Dogs are made welcome on the outside patio and in the Walkers Bar (named after its founder, Reverend Robert Walker, not after the surrounding fells!).

The Dog and Gun, Keswick

• The new look Dog and Gun in the centre of Keswick, which is very welcoming towards dogs, has a great selection of beers and is renowned for its Hungarian Goulash! It's also home to the Woof and Bang, brewed exclusively for the Dog and Gun by Keswick Brewery!

• The award-winning Swinside Inn, Swinside, in the heart of the beautiful Newlands Valley - one of the Lake District's best kept secrets when it comes to walks with great scenery!

• The King's Head Inn, Thirlspot, a former 17th century coaching inn at the foot of Helvellyn, looking towards St Johns in the Vale, Blencathra and Skiddaw. Pooches on leads can join you whilst you eat in the bar.

The Horse and Farrier Inn, Threlkeld

• The Horse and Farrier, Threlkeld, a traditional Lakeland inn built in 1688 and situated beneath Blencathra, with views towards Helvellyn. It has a large selection of local Jennings ales along with excellent food, and well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome in the bar. Also in the village, check out The Horse and Farrier's sister pub The Sally (Salutation Inn)!

The Wasdale Head Inn

• The Wasdale Head Inn, known as the birthplace of rock climbing, at the foot of Scafell Pike and Great Gable. Its Ritson's Bar is named after its first landlord, Will Ritson, a teller of tall tales and the first 'World's Biggest Liar' - there's still a competition held every November in the county to find the 'Biggest Liar in the World'!

If you're staying in the south west Lakes, visit: 

The King George IV Inn, Eskdale

• The King George IV Inn, Eskdale, a traditional Lakeland inn dating back to the 15th century, which serves real ales and great pub grub, including locally sourced food wherever possible. Dogs are very welcome in the bar.

• The Woolpack Inn, Eskdale, a historic inn with good food and great ales. Your dog can join you in the pub and the Hardknott Bar & Café, which has a more contemporary feel with wooden floors, a slate bar, and a giant sports screen! There's also a lovely beer garden with a children's play area to keep little ones happy too!

• The Inn at Ravenglass, which specialises in locally sourced fish (although there's much more on the menu!) and has a selection of real ales. You can dine alongside your companion in the bar area.

Out and about in the north east Lakes? Try: 

• The Punchbowl Inn, Askham, an 18th century inn with a traditional bar and original timber ceiling - coins were once forced into the splits of the beams for luck! There's a good range of choices on the menu.

• The White Lion, a white-washed inn in the small village of Patterdale, which dates back to the early 1800s, and has a wide-ranging menu of pub favourites.

• The Pooley Bridge Inn, Pooley Bridge, which describes itself as having 'echoes of a friendly alpine tavern'! On warm days you can sit out in the front beer garden or in the Stable Courtyard away from the road. Dogs are welcome on leads.

Whilst visiting the south east Lakes, drop by: 

• The Golden Rule, Ambleside, which is a Grade II listed traditional multi-room pub tucked away on the steep Kirkstone Road near to Bridge House. This pub doesn't serve meals, but is a great place for a drink and snack, and has a secluded beer garden where you and your pooch can relax in the sun!

• Tweedies Bar, Grasmere, a CAMRA award-winning pub with fantastic pub food, where your companion is very welcome to join you in the bar after a hard day's walking in the hills - why not try the nearby walk to Easedale Tarn? Also at Tweedies, try out the 'Beer Bat', where you can experience three different guest beers in 'third of a pint' glasses and pay the price of a single pint!

• The Britannia Inn, Elterwater, a 500-year-old building which was converted to an inn in the 19th century. Dogs are made most welcome in the bar areas, and there's lots of space to sit outside on a beautiful summer's day.

• The Sun Inn in the pretty, historic market town of Kirkby Lonsdale, which welcomes doggy friends to its bar. It also has a dog-friendly formal dining area where you can choose from the delicious two AA rosette menu with your faithful companion by your side. It gets busy, so booking is advised!

• The Eagle and Child Inn in Staveley, where there are plenty of bowls of water around, and dogs can lie by a cosy fire in the bar, or in the beer garden by the river on a warm day. The inn is also famous for its 'lunch for a fiver'.

• The Watermill Inn, Ings, which is well-known for its warm welcome towards four-legged visitors, with fresh water and biscuits always ready - it's said that some of the local dogs are served before their owners! The Watermill serves excellent pub food and there's even a microbrewery on site!

We hope you've found our post about dog-friendly pubs in the Lake District useful - if so, you may also be interested in our recent article on why Keswick is top dog when it comes to our four-legged friends! We have over 200 pet-friendly holiday cottages in the Lakes and Cumbria, so take a look at our selection of dog-friendly properties from which to start your paw-fect Lake District adventure! You may also find it helpful to use our online search facility.

Information correct at time of writing in June 2016.