The best dog-friendly hotels in the Lake District

Advice

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From a dog’s point of view, the Lake District is one great big playground; all that water to splash around in, all those fells to race up and down, all those wooded paths and river banks to sniff and explore. Provided owners are sensible – keep on a lead near sheep, for example – it can offer an ideal canine holiday choice, particularly as so many places now offer dog-friendly accommodation.

It’s no longer only walkers’ pubs and village B&Bs that welcome four-legged guests, though there are plenty of those. Today, smart townhouse and country house hotels as well as price-friendly accommodation in the popular towns are likely to offer dog-friendly rooms. As well as beds and bowls, bedroom canine accessories can include treats and biscuits, plus taps and towels for cleaning muddy paws and tails. It’s worth checking whether dogs can join owners at mealtimes, usually in designated areas of the bar or dining-room. Here are the best dog-friendly hotels in the Lake District.


At a glance, the best dog-friendly hotels in the Lake District

 
  • Best dog-friendly hotel in the Lake District overall – Rothay Manor
  • Best luxury dog-friendly hotel in the Lake District – Another Place 
  • Best value dog-friendly hotel in the Lake District – The Cuckoo Brow Inn

The Queens Head Hotel

Troutbeck, Cumbria, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

This listed 17th-century coaching inn is a classic Lakeland building of slate, whitewashed walls and black window-mouldings. It’s classy, yet still retains its pubby credentials: light-oak flooring and furnishings, exposed beams and stone walls, a jolly mix of plaids and fun touches such as wallpaper depicting flying ducks, stuffed fish and OS-maps. Dogs are treated just like their owners, with emergency supplies for everything a typical doggy guest might forget: leads, baskets, blankets, even doggy shampoo. Over half of the rooms allow dogs plus they can join you for supper, as long as you eat in the bar area. And when they come back from a muddy walk, there’s a hosepipe shower to spruce them up again. Charge: £10 per night.


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£
143

per night

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The Masons Arms

Cartmel Fell, Lake District, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

The traditional whitewashed building has been a pub most of its life, with bedrooms in converted outbuildings and cottages at the rear. Inside, it’s all a pub should be, with low-beamed ceilings, flagged or wooden floors, open fires and a series of small snugs furnished with mis-matched chairs, wooden settles and scrubbed tables. The treat here for dogs is that each of the dog-friendly rooms has its own small terrace or patio so they can drag you out for a walk without traipsing through the pub. Rooms are big, too (two are cottages, two split-level) so plenty of space for all to sleep. As the bar area is small, however, dogs aren’t allowed during food service but there’s a large, heated terrace with stunning views. Charge: £15 per night.


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£
124

per night

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The Sun Inn

Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

Poised between Cumbria, North Yorkshire and Lancashire, The Sun Inn’s location, Kirkby Lonsdale, is a good bet if you want to enjoy the attractions of all three, plus stay somewhere easy to reach. It may have been smartened up but this is very much a ‘pub’, with friendly advice on what to see, where to walk (maps, guides and wellies to borrow) and where to take the dog. Dogs receive a welcome pack and can sit with owners in part of the restaurant as well as the bar. Guests are offered free tea and coffee throughout their stay (decent coffees, too) and are given a free pass for the town’s car parks. Charge: £20 per night.


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£
118

per night

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Inn on the Square Hotel

Lake District, Cumbria, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

The sturdy slate frontage with tall gables and handsome arched windows suggest a 19th-century coaching inn, which it was. It’s since had a Scandi-cool makeover that wouldn’t look out of place in Malmo or Manchester. It may be right in the centre of Keswick, a busy market town, but this hotel welcomes dogs in the majority of the bedrooms, as well as in the two bars and lounge. As food is served in both bars, there’s no need to be parted from your pet. Beds and bowls can be provided plus there’s a hosepipe and towels for après-muddy-walks attention. Charge: £10 per night.


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£
180

per night

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The Queen’s Head

Askham, Cumbria, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

The snug 17th-century village pub has all the requisite features – low beamed ceilings, copper-topped bar, red-velvet stools, real fires, exposed-stone walls – but has been subtly smartened so it feels a welcome haven for strangers. It’s a pub so there’s no sitting-room but guests are the sort that will be out during the day – there are heaps of activity suggestions, from walks from the doorstep to wild swimming in nearby River Lowther, in each room – and then return to a refreshing drink and homemade cake. There are outside tables for warmer days. Dogs are welcome and permitted throughout the property. Charge: £15 per night.


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£
130

per night

Another Place, The Lake

Ullswater, Lake District, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

The hotel is gloriously set on the shores of Ullswater, one of the Lake District’s less visited and most beautiful lakes, surrounded by towering fells. The Georgian house, formerly Rampsbeck Hotel, has an immediately easy-going, seaside feel, where people in wetsuits feel equally at home as those more normally dressed, and the day’s activities are chalked up on a huge blackboard in reception. There are 40 rooms in total; 20 rooms in the main house and a further 20 in two sympathetic wings which have a more contemporary feel. Most of them – 16, plus the two family cottages – are dog-friendly, as is The Living Space and terrace. Charge: £15 per night for the first dog and £5 per night for one additional dog.


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£
210

per night

Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa

Windermere, Lake District, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

A Lakeland landmark hotel, overlooking Lake Windermere, that has now expanded into a modern resort with watersports and a brilliant spa. As a ‘resort hotel’, it caters for guests whether they want to be indolent, active or have some family-fun. The spa, with a thermal experience, overlooks the lake (though there is a steep £50 entry fee unless you’ve booked a treatment) while the leisure centre (free) includes a gym, indoor and outdoor (infinity) pools, and outdoor sauna. Walking and driving routes are available and dogs are welcomed (£20 per night).


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£
157

per night

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Tweedies Bar & Lodge

Grasmere, Cumbria, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

This well-established family-run hotel, with a renowned real-ale bar, has a prime position in pretty Grasmere. It’s geared-up for both active guests – drying facilities, cycle storage – and those who prefer to relax, with a comfortable sitting-room with wood-burning stove, books and games. There are several lawned areas as well as a vast beer garden for sunnier days on which four-legged friends can be seen stretching out on while guests re/fuel. Ground-floor bedrooms and Mews Suites are dog-friendly, the latter of which also share a hot tub and private courtyard. Charge: £25 for the duration of stay.


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£
121

per night

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Rothay Manor

Ambleside, Lake District, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

This is a smart, country house-style hotel with a seriously good restaurant and relaxing, elegantly understated bedrooms. Two sitting rooms, with fires, overlook the gardens and south-facing broad terrace, the latter invitingly set with tables and chairs. There are plenty of walking routes nearby, and dogs are welcome (£25 per stay, to include bed and treats). They have their own, extremely smart, dog-wash in the dedicated boot-and-clothing-drying room and can be brought into one area of the Brathay dining room. For decent walking, Langdale and Coniston are 20 to 30 minutes’ drive.


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£
224

per night

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The Cuckoo Brow Inn

Lake District, Cumbria, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

This family-friendly inn sits one mile from the western shore of Lake Windermere, on the road to Hawkshead and right in the middle of Beatrix Potter country. The late-18th-century/early-19th-century building has been extended over the years, through conversion of stables and courtyard, into a sprawling mish-mash of styles. But colourful hanging baskets and a few creepers help soften its looks. Dogs are free to roam where they like, here – but will probably fight over the spaces nearest the fire – so they can join you for breakfast and supper. There’s a large downstairs bar (former stables), too, if they’re a bit damp or boisterous. Staff will suggest local walks, many of which start from the front door. Charge: £10 per night.


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£
105

per night

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The Borrowdale Hotel

Borrowdale, Lake District, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

This Edwardian mansion looks suitably imposing: creeper-covered stone façades, huge leaded windows, sandstone mouldings and a fancy two-storey bay. Even later extensions have been skilfully blended.

Inside, it’s classic country-house – busy carpets, floral-patterned curtains, deep sofas, worn-leather armchairs – but done with a conservative touch.
If your pooch is a water-baby, they’ll be in doggy heaven, here. The hotel has a private stretch of Lake Windermere, plus 20 acres of gardens and woodland in which to romp around. Dogs are welcomed with a blanket, bowl and treats, have access to the entire hotel (dining-room aside). Choose a ground-floor room for quick access to the garden through French windows. Charge: £20 per stay.


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£
134

per night

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The Coniston Inn

Lake District, Cumbria, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

This large Victorian, family- and dog-friendly hotel is close to Coniston’s lakeshore and has a jolly open-plan ground floor in contemporary rustic style. You’ll also find big fuss-free bedrooms, crowd-pleasing menus and easy access to lake cruises. Dogs are allowed in most areas and made very welcome (£10 per night) with treats, water bowls and a dog-wash. Of the 42 rooms, around three-quarters have lake or fell views, so worth checking when booking.


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£
172

per night

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Contributions by Fiona Duncan

  • Brimstone

    HOTEL
    Lake District, Cumbria, England

    9
    Telegraph expert rating

    This modern chalet-style retreat is tucked amongst trees, in one of the area’s finest fell-walkin…


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    From


    £
    175

    per night

    Rates provided by
    Booking.com

  • Randy Pike

    HOTEL
    Ambleside, Lake District, England

    9
    Telegraph expert rating

    These four enormous suites, part of an Italianate Victorian villa close to Lake Windermere, are b…


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    From


    £
    200

    per night

  • The Drunken Duck Inn & Restaurant

    HOTEL
    Lake District, Cumbria, England

    9
    Telegraph expert rating

    This much-loved Lake District inn, at an isolated crossroads, has a quirky, contemporary-country …


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    From


    £
    99

    per night

    Rates provided by
    Booking.com

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