Our favourite dog-friendly restaurants in the Lake District

There might well be no finer feeling than settling down at a table after a good hike, with the dog curled up at your feet, sipping at a pint and glancing over a menu which leaves you torn between delicious options. There might also be no finer place to get that feeling than the Lake District. Here’s a handful of our favourite dog-friendly restaurants in the Lakes, although with this being prime dog-walking territory, they’re more cosy pubs than white linen and six rows of cutlery.

Written by Chris Elmes

The Crown Inn, Pooley Bridge

Summer on the upstairs terrace with incredible views, or winter by the fire in the bar of this artfully renovated pub. Either is a superb way to round off or punctuate a day in the Lakes with your dog, walking the Ullswater Way or taking to the water on the old steamers. The menu proudly comprises, “big plates of food for the hungry” and The Crown is so dog friendly that if you book to stay in the B&B rooms with your dog, they’ll donate 10% of your booking to the Lake District Search and Rescue Association.

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The Drunken Duck Inn

You’ll have to stay in the bar area to eat here with your dog, but we couldn’t resist including such a Lake District local institution. The food is flamboyant and fabulous, with everything painstakingly chosen and created by an inventive team. Ambleside is a lovely place to wander while you wait for your table or you can really get your appetite going with a hike up Limestone beck, to enjoy views of lake Windermere and Esthwaite Water.

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The Boot and Shoe, Greystoke

Let’s not get all picky about these restaurants actually being within the borders of the Lake District National Park - the Boot and Shoe is in every sense a classic Lakes pub. The food is good, with a simple-and-satisfying air, but is comfortably overshadowed by a selection of real ales that could lead you into a very long tasting afternoon. It’s dog friendly throughout and sits right on a village green, where people have idled away over a pint in the sun for centuries.

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The line at Lancrigg is that they’re dog friendly because if your dog found out you’d visited without them, they’d never forgive you. Five of the bedrooms take dogs, as does the restaurant downstairs and the snug and smoky corner of the Poet’s Café Bar. Views from the outdoor tables are stunning and you can walk straight out of ancient woodland or take a long hike to Helm Crag before settling down to eat.

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The Queens Head

Although the décor of this 17th century inn has been barely modernised, the menu wows you with, “super-posh pub food - earthy truffle and creamy artichoke; deep-flavoured seasonal game, hand-dived scallops, brassicas and herby pestos” all beautifully presented and prepared. There are simpler menus as well though, with the light bites served from 1-3pm perfect for refuelling and getting back on the trail.

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View all our dog-friendly places to stay in the Lake District >

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Written by Chris Elmes

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