Our favourite dog-friendly cottages in the Lake District and Cumbria near a pub

There aren't many distractions in the Lake District and Cumbria – just miles and miles of pristine countryside, lofty peaks that beg a climb and, of course, lakes. Lots of them. This area is amazing for getting away with the dog and simply enjoying the huge amount of open green space and outdoor activities on hand. But, once the day’s over, and you’ve had your share of paddleboarding, woodland walks and lakeside strolls – you've earned the right for a treat. And that means one thing: a proper pub. Here are our favourite dog-friendly cottages in the Lake District and Cumbria near a pub.

Written by Jem Brownlee

5 minute read

A dog A bedroom

Brownber House

The pub: The Black Swan Distance: 39-minute walk / five-minute drive

You’ve got the best of both worlds at Brownber House. Found on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, there are miles of farm country and rural Cumbria on your doorstep. The outside has a rustic look but inside, it’s been lovingly restored to a fresh cottage feel. There's a large, modern kitchen, perfect for cooking up a storm and a beautiful dining room to serve up your feast. And at the end of a long day, you'll find it easy to catch a good night's sleep in one of the four cosy bedrooms.

There are plenty of walking routes straight from the front door, with the Howgill Fells nearby, The Dales in easy reach and of course, The Lake District is nearby too. Try out the route around Ravenstonedale and Smardale that takes you over the viaduct – and if that doesn’t tucker out the hound, then there are two classic long-distance footpaths – the Coast to Coast and the Dales High Way. There are even bag-carrying companies who can ship your things to your destination, so you can dodge the shoulder ache if you’re going point to point.

Cyclists will be thrilled to take on Tan Hill, The Lakes or The Dales Loop – and if you’ve brought your own bikes, there’s safe storage in the basement. Swimmers will also be overjoyed with the lakes in easy reach, but there are plenty of rivers to take a little dip in as well.

Something about all this fresh air will have you working up quite the appetite, and you'll be pleased to hear there are some great dog-friendly pubs in the local area. In Ravenstonedale, you’ll find The Black Swan and King’s Head pubs both of which dog friendly and both filled to the brim with local beers and fantastic local food.

Stay at: Brownber House, Kirkby Stephen >

Living room


The pub: The Black Bull Distance: 57-minute walk / six-minute drive

Bullghyll is also on the northernmost tip of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, so there's the option to head into this beautiful stretch of green, to the North Pennines AONB, or the Lake District. Bullghyll is a cosy dog-friendly cottage, typical of the area, with dry stone walling and a slate roof. Inside, architect and designer Georgina Rose (former architect of Soho House) has created an interior to admire. Should the weather betray you, you’ll spend your time thumbing through bookshelves, listening to the pitter-patter of rain, and showing the wood burner the soles of your feet.

On sunny days you could find yourself on the half-hour drive to see Penrith Castle or popping into The Narrowbar Café for a spot of lunch – it’s dog friendly and with a delicious menu of homemade food. Drive south and you’ll get to Kendal, for shops and the Brewery Arts Centre which is home to two cinemas, a drama studio, galleries, a theatre and, best of all, a dog-friendly restaurant/bar.

Whether you’re doing the little towns or the big lakes, you're likely to need some grub when you're out and about. Take the six-minute drive to Kirkby Stephen to go to the dog-friendly pub, The Black Bull. Or, a little further to The Black Bull at Nateby or The Fat Lamb.

Stay at: Bullghyll, Kirkby Stephen >

A row of houses in the countryside

Gatecroft Barn

The pub: The Cumberland Inn Distance: Eight-minute drive

Gatecroft Barn is a dog-friendly cottage in the North Pennines AONB and, with room for four, it's perfect for families, or a couple of couples who are looking for a trip away with the dog. There's a BBQ in the enclosed garden, so keep an eye out for farm shops on your journey there, to pick up something delicious to grill on arrival. Alternatively, just throw your bags down and head to your private spa, complete with hot tub and sauna. The dog will have something to look forward to as well, aside from all the walks straight from the front door and the enclosed garden, they'll love the dog treats and joining you on the sofa with the dog blankets.

If you'd rather eat out, head to The Cumberland Inn in Alston. It welcomes dogs and promises traditional pub food and a terrace for sunny days.

For small villages and towns to explore, get out and explore the quaint village of Garrigill, within the North Pennines AONB, or if you’re feeling like a spot of local culture, The Hive at Nenthead, a meticulously restored Methodist chapel, boasting a stunning setting with an art gallery, a craft shop, and a café.

If it’s walks you’re after there’s a lovely one from Gatecroft Barn to the breathtaking Ashgill Force Waterfall, a short but scenic journey that isn’t too challenging. Or there’s the chance to head to Hadrian's Wall and Epiacum Roman Fort, to take a look around at this marvel of architecture. Naturally, there’s also the Lake District in easy reach, where walks are found in abundance, with various difficulties to choose from.

Stay at: Gatecroft Barn, Garrigill >

Written by Jem Brownlee

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