The UK is renowned for its rolling hills and emerald pastures, the leafy forests and quiet waters. But of all the beautiful and magical landscapes, the Lake District holds a special place in the nation’s heart, being amongst the most popular destinations for tourists. Fell-walkers and their four-legged friends are often spotted meandering down the paths which wind through verdant valleys. Today we’re exploring the best dog walks in the Lake district.
With spectacular scenery, natural wonders and beautiful lakes – perfect for a doggy dip after a long walk – the Lake District is a dog walkers dream.
Here are some of our favourite dog walks in the Lake District.
Derwentwater Circuit, Keswick (10 miles)
Derwentwater is amongst the most beautiful lakes in the entire district. On a warm summer’s day, the verdant landscape, from the numerous islands that inhabit the lake, all the way to the Cat Bells come alive in the sun.
Start from the National Trust shop in Derwentwater Lakeshore, and meander around the 10-mile circuit which winds its way between the shoreline and the ancient woodland bustling around the banks. The route is mostly on the flat, so even though it’s a lengthy walk, it’s suitable for most walkers. You’ll finish up in Portinscale Village.
Dodd Wood and Dodd Fell (5 miles)
Dodd Fell – and the local conifer wood – lie north of nearby Derwentwater and the bustling town of Keswick. It is amongst the highest of the fells that are still easily accessible. The recent clearing of the forest has created a majestic view of the local scenery, including Bassenthwaite Lake, Derwentwater and the towering mountain of Scafell Pike.
Plus, the woodland is one of the last bastions of the Red Squirrel in Great Britain. But you’ll also see an Osprey on a good day.
Start at Dodd Wood Car Park, and head around the circuit with your pooch.
Ennerdale Water (7.5 miles)
Ennerdale is more secluded than many of the other lakes, for a gentler afternoon stroll with your dog. The rugged landscape is marked by some of the most magnificent fells in Cumbria: Great Gable, Green Gable, High Crag and many more. Don’t forget to bring a camera: the views are unmissable.
Plus, the local hamlet of Ennerdale Bridge contains a couple of pubs for a well-earned drink and a rest. The Fox & Hound not only accept dogs but actively welcomes them!
Start and finish at Bleach Green Car Park.
Patterdale to Silver Point (7 miles)
Starting in the quaint village of Patterdale, – where the first Patterdale terriers were raised – head north towards Silver Point. Along the way, you’ll pass the beautiful Ullswater and the dappled forest by its banks. Look out for the white and gold of the native daffodil that blooms in the spring months. You might also notice the magnificent Ullswater Steamers cruising on the lake. The boats have been operating for over 150 years, and both man and dog alike are welcome aboard.
Upon reaching Silver Point, you can enjoy the panoramic views of the north of the second largest lake in the Lake District. Perhaps the best picnic spot in the area!
Thirlmere (5 miles)
Originally a natural lake, Thirlmere was greatly expanded in the 1800s, to form the reservoir that exists to this day. The track around the lake is unmarked, but still easy to follow. Starting at the Couridjah picnic area, you’ll enjoy a gentle stroll around the three lakes that collectively form Thirlmere. The walk is a little steep in places so that it can be a bit difficult for some canines.
Keep your eye peeled for birds. The area is a bird watcher’s paradise, inhabited by, white-faced herons, musk ducks, pacific black ducks, Australasian grebes, and even the great white-bellied sea eagles.
Take along a picnic, and relax in the sun, admiring the views of Helvellyn with your dog.
Dalegarth to Stanley Force Ghyll, Eskdale (2.5 miles)
For a quick mooch with your pooch, there are few walks in the Lake District better than the trek from Dalegarth to Stanley Force. Taking in the stunning Eskdale Valley, with the riparian ribbon of the River Esk meandering its way beneath the looming Scafell range.
While on most walks, the fun is in the journey, here everything builds to the destination: Stanley Force. A gushing 60-foot waterfall, which thunders down through the high ledges and precipices and the banks knotted with rhododendrons; before flowing off into Dalegarth.
To get to the fall, follow the series of footbridges from Dalegarth Railway station, making your way through woodland and fields of the valley floor. Be careful when you reach the waterfall, as the ledges can be slippery and you don’t want to take a tumble.
Under the canopy, there’s plenty for your dog to explore; before heading back to the car park.
Elterwater and Skelwith Force Falls (2.5 miles)
Starting at the sleepy village of Elterwater, with its trickling stream and old stone bridge, you and your pooch follow the River Brathay to Elterwater Lake. You’ll be greeted with a mesmerising backdrop of the Langdale Pikes captured priorly in the beautiful watercolour by Thomas Frederick Worrall. Head on through the woodland and over Skelwith Bridge, till you arrive at the rumbling Skelwith Force falls that come tumbling over the rocky river bed.
Upon returning to the village, enjoy a drink and bite to eat at the dog-friendly Britannia Inn or Elterwater Café. The village has become a popular hotspot with fellwalkers. It offers the ideal rest stop after a gentle stroll to the falls.
As you can see, the Lake District has a vast array of walks available: from a simple stroll to a leg-stretching romp. Whatever you and your dog fancy, the adventure awaits!
If you are looking for more UK dog walks, you make like to read about the best