10 great dog walks in the Lake District and Cumbria
- Credit: © Forestry Commission/ISOBEL CAMERON
Our canine correspondent shares ten of his favourite places to go for walkies
My humans make things called New Year’s Resolutions every January and they’ve normally forgotten them by now but this year I’ve decided to help them. They resolved to lose some weight (and to be honest, I should do that a bit as well) so I’m taking every opportunity to encourage them to get out and have a walk.
There are some lovely houses, gardens, museums and heritage attractions in the Lake District with great facilities for dogs and humans – and we’re all getting a bit fitter by exploring them.
The Cumbria’s Living Heritage group deserve a treat, or at least a tummy rub, for being so dog friendly and the chair of the group, Peter Frost-Pennington, said: ‘We have many dog-friendly members offering extraordinary experiences that weave culture into walks, and sights into strolls.
‘We are also in a dog-friendly county which boasts many dog-friendly accommodation providers, as highlighted in a new guide, so there is no excuse not to hit our trails with your faithful doggy friend.’
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I loved my day at Hutton-in-the-Forest. Apart from the house, I was allowed everywhere on the estate and even in the tea room – and they gave me a tasty gravy bone!
I know some older dogs who would prefer a genteel walk round the gardens, lake and wildflower meadow, where there’s lots of seats to rest on, but I liked the one mile long route and I saw some red squirrels but I was very good and didn’t chase any of them. Entrance to the Hutton-in-the-Forest gardens costs £6.50 for adults and children enter for free.
Hutton-in the-Forest, near Penrith, CA11 9TH, hutton-in-the-forest.co.uk
There’s so much to explore at Muncaster – 77 acres, my human said – and lots of great walks. Some of the six miles of paths are quite rough but others are nice and gentle and go through the more formal gardens. My favourite was the walk to Ravenglass along the banks of the River Esk. The Roman bathhouse ruins there are great – I’m sure I could sniff some Roman dogs.
Entrance to the gardens in early season 2019 costs £7 for adults; £3.50 for children. And there are water bowls for dogs who have worked up a thirst.
Muncaster, near Ravenglass, CA18 1RQ, muncaster.co.uk
Lowther Castle has a long association with dogs. The Yellow Earl was the last person to live in Lowther Castle and he kept tribes of dogs, most of them yellow, golden or chestnut. Now there’s a one hour trail around the garden, with facts about 16 famous dogs, from Laika to Snowie and from Bullseye to my hero Shep. The 1.5 mile trail took us to parts of the garden we might not have found and there was a doggy treat for me at the end of the trail!
The trail is free with admission, which costs £9 for adults, £8 for concessions and £7 for children.
Lowther Castle & Gardens, Penrith, CA10 2HH, lowthercastle.org
I love walkies at Sizergh! The Sizergh Fell Walk is an easy circular walk through flower-studded grassland but there’s also the slightly longer Church Fell walk which goes through woodland, pastures, countryside and farmland (I was on my best behaviour). If you’re feeling energetic, try the 2.8 mile Park End Moss walk through Brigsteer Park and visit the wetland hide.
Entrance to Sizergh is free for National Trust members. For non-members, entrance to Sizergh's wider estate is free, the house and gardens are £12 for adults, £6 for children and £30 for a family ticket. Entry to café and shop is free.
National Trust Sizergh, near Kendal, LA8 8DZ, nationaltrust.org.uk/sizergh
I had a short walk on my lead in the garden courtyard and on the woodland walk at Acorn Bank before we set off to Temple Sowerby. We followed the river (I didn’t jump in, honest) and I could see some big hills that looked like they’d fun to climb one day. My human told me they were Dufton and Knock Pikes.
Entrance to Acorn Bank is free for National Trust members. For non-members it costs £8.80 for an adult and £4.40 for a child, with family tickets costing £22.
National Trust Acorn Bank, near Penrith, CA10 1SP, nationaltrust.org.uk/acorn-bank
There’s lots about William Wordsworth in Grasmere but no-one told me if he had a dog. I was sure I could smell one in the grounds of Allan Bank. I had to stay on my lead around the house and the grounds and after we’d walked in the woods and decided it was too cold to go on to Kelbarrow or Silverhowe, I was allowed to lie down and doze in front of the fire.
Entrance to Allan Bank costs £6.50 for adults and £3.25 for children. Family tickets cost £16.25.
National Trust Allan Bank, near Grasmere, LA22 9QB, nationaltrust.org.uk/allan-bank-and-grasmere
I had to be well behaved when we went on the steam yacht on Coniston. And once we got off we could either go to Brantwood, or Monk Coniston, depending on which ticket my human bought. Either way we had great walks with lovely views and lots of fresh.
Head of the Lake tickets cost £11 for adults, £6 for children and £25 for families, while Full Lake Cruise tickets are priced at £21, £10 and £48 respectively. Dogs travel for free.
National Trust Steam Yacht Gondola, Coniston, LA21 8AN, nationaltrust.org.uk/steam-yacht-gondola
I was allowed almost everywhere at Brantwood, apart from inside the house. But who wants to be inside when there’s so much to do outside? It’s John Ruskin’s house but I think he was out when we visited.
My human told me this Ruskin is a philosopher, author, artist and social reformer. I had to stay on my lead in his gardens but then I enjoyed a water bowl outside at The Terrace coffee house and restaurant. Someone told me I could have sat by the fire inside if it had been a cold, wet day.
Brantwood, Coniston, LA21 8AD, brantwood.org.uk
We had some good walks at Dalemain followed by a good rest on outdoor seating in the courtyard. We started with a one mile walk to Dacre village, then went on the Dalemain Loop which went through historic pasture land, along quiet lanes and footpaths and past the pre-Roman hillfort of Dunmallard
Entrance to gardens only costs £8.75 and to house and gardens £11.75.
Dalemain, near Penrith, CA11 0HB, dalemain.com
My favourites! There are so many things to sniff, sticks to find and red squirrels to watch, and my humans like it too because it’s free to enter.
There are brilliant sculptures all round Grizedale and lots of trails to explore. And we saw red kite, roe and red deer. At Whinlatter we took some of the trails through the trees and we saw some big hills – one of them was called Skiddaw – and a lake called Bassenthwaite.