10 days out for you and your dog in Lancashire and Cumbria

Put your dog at the heart of a great day out in Lancashire and Lakeland

Put your dog at the heart of a great day out in Lancashire and Lakeland - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

From steam trains and cruises to stately homes and forests, get your dog ready for a pawsome summer of fun

Allan Bank 

Allan Bank, Wordsworth's other home....

There's lots for four-legged friends to explore at Allan Bank, Wordsworth's other home - Credit: Kirsty Thompson

This Georgian National Trust property – once home to Wordsworth – is a short walk from Grasmere car park. The grounds, with their picnic benches and stunning views down to the lake, are a delight but keep your dog on a lead, as there are red squirrels in the surrounding woodland. Well behaved dogs are welcome inside the house: don’t worry about muddy paws and thankfully, there are no priceless antiques to damage. You and your dog can relax here, maybe use the provided binoculars to spot those squirrels from a safe distance. Free coffee, tea and doggy treats are available and, if you feel creative, there is a craft room for adults and children. nationaltrust.org.uk/allan-bank-and-grasmere

Bowland Wild Boar Park 

In the heart of the Forest of Bowland, on the banks of the river Hodder, this privately owned attraction is an enjoyable way to spend the day with the family, including the dog. As long as they’re on a lead, dogs are welcome to have fun and unwind along with everyone else. There are many walks on offer – something for all energy levels. The park has lots of animals to see, from wild boar and meercats to sheep and rabbits, with chances for animal petting and feeding. There are also indoor games, a café and a children’s playground. wildboarpark.co.uk

East Lancashire Railway 

The Tornado Photo: East Lancs Railway

East Lancs Railway is one of Lancashire's dog friendly attractions - Credit: East Lancs Railway

The joy of steam trains and great scenery meet here and leashed dogs are welcome to enjoy it too. The line has seven stations and they all offer something special for human and dog. They include Ramsbottom – a foodie paradise – that also has an energetic circular hike from the platform up to the iconic Peel Monument. Summerseat Station opens to a pretty village with dog friendly country pubs and Burrs Country Park Station, the newest station, is a great starting point for walks or for dogs to cool off in the river. eastlancsrailway.org.uk 

Grizedale Forest 

Located east of Coniston and south of Hawkshead, this is a fabulous location for walking with pooches. There are marked forest trials where dogs can enjoy the great outdoors, while their humans discover stunning sculptures along the way. There are also open views, picnic areas and tarns. For less energetic dogs, a path from the car park will take you past trees with huge brass keys, producing magical music box chimes when turned. Download free map walks or pick them up at the visitor centre, which also includes a shop, café, children’s adventure playground and an exhibition space. forestryengland.uk/grizedale

The Lingholm Estate 

Once a holiday retreat of Beatrix Potter, this estate is situated on the western shore of Derwent Water, near Portinscale, Keswick and dogs always have fun here. There are many options for dog walks – maybe a walk through the woods to Hawes End, followed by a lake cruise with Keswick Launch. Stay on the cruise or jump off at one of the eight jetties to follow well marked paths or, alternatively, walk from Lingholm – picking up the path that leads to Catbells, with its far-reaching views. Finally, visit the Lingholm Kitchen Café, where treats and towels are available for any muddy paws. thelingholmestate.co.uk 

Lowther Castle 

Visitors are encouraged to bring dogs to Lowther Castle, near Penrith because dogs are celebrated here. It dates back to the eccentric Yellow Earl, the last person to live here. He adored his many dogs and his legacy lives on. It’s such an interesting place for dogs to explore with 130 acres, castle ruins and charming gardens complete with summerhouses, rockpools and a museum. The adventure playground is out of bounds to dogs but there are allocated hooks where they can be safely left. Exploring is thirsty work but the café has water and doggy treats. lowthercastle.org 

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Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway 

Dogs are welcome to ride on these miniature steam trains – affectionately known as, L’aal Ratty – but as some carriages don’t have doors, leads are a must. Dogs love the breeze ruffling their ears and there are plenty of opportunities for exploring. Disembark at points along the seven-mile, 40-minute, journey: St Catherine’s Church and the lovely riverside paths are good options. Exploring is thirsty work so, ‘paws for drink’ water bowls are available at each station. A short walk from the Eskdale terminus is the Boot Inn, a dog friendly pub. ravenglass-railway.co.uk

Sawley Abbey 

Part of the ruins at Sawley Abbey

The ruins at Sawley Abbey are ideal for doggy adventures - Credit: Kirsty Thompson

These picturesque ruins, packed with history, lie in the centre of Sawley, a village four miles north of Clitheroe. Dating from 1149 and in the care of English Heritage, the site is free to enter. It was dissolved under Henry VIII – its abbot was later hanged at Lancaster – but there is still much to see, including a well-preserved night-stair. Dogs love exploring all the nooks and crannies but it is important to keep them on a lead. Maybe later, take a stroll with your dog along the banks of the river Ribble which runs through the village. 

Steam Yacht Gondola 

Operated by The National Trust, cruises on the iconic Steam Yacht Gondola depart from Coniston Pier; an ideal way to discover Coniston Water and its shores. Well behaved dogs are allowed on the outer decks and travel free of charge. Hop on and off at other jetties around the lake to access a variety of interesting walks or visit Brantwood, an historic house and gardens, once home to John Ruskin. Here, dogs are welcome in the gardens and at The Terrace Café, which has impressive views over the lake and towards the Coniston Fells. nationaltrust.org.uk/steam-yacht-gondola  

World Horse Welfare Penny Farm  

Penny Farm, close to Blackpool, is one of the four World Horse Welfare’s rescue and re-homing centres. It is open Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Dogs are very welcome on the stable yard and to take walks around the paddock tracks but, for the safety of the horses, they must be on a lead. There are usually about 60 horses here and you can meet them, take a guided tour and enjoy a farm walk. After all that, have a rest in the café tucking into homemade cakes with bowls of water for happy but tired dogs. worldhorsewelfare.org