The five best dog-friendly pubs in the Lake District

There’s nowhere better than the Lake District to go for that finest breed of dog walks – the ones that end at brilliant pubs. While you could try walking at random and keeping an eye out for chimney smoke or the broad tiled roof of a welcoming inn and probably do ok, here are some of the best dog-friendly pubs in the Lake District, as judged by us and our dogs.

Written by Chris Elmes

Blacksmiths Arms

The serving of beer here is part of a tradition stretching back to the late 1500s, when the old inn was an unofficial ale house, where a farmer served workers, travellers and reportedly Coleridge, in the kitchen. These days... it’s not much different. The interior is so well preserved it’s of “historical significance”, the ales are local brews and there’s always a warm welcome for weary feet and paws. This isn’t just a dog-friendly pub, it’s a soul-friendly pub, that’ll warm you from your heart to your toes.

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Set aside some time for staring at the pumps here, because you don’t want to rush your choice of one of 17 ales, ciders and perries. The food isn’t a much simpler decision, with seasonal menus that showcase the best of Lake District produce. On Sundays though, there’s only one call to make. Pick your meat and then feel your eyes widen as it comes out accompanied by a giant board stacked with Yorkshire puddings, vegetables, roast potatoes and chef James’ secret recipe gravy. Just make sure the dog is tired enough to stay under the table.

Visit Tweedies >

The Royal Oak

Keswick is a lovely lively hub in the centre of the Lake District and The Royal Oak is a great place to soak up its atmosphere, as you step in straight off the high street into the cosy bar. You might have arrived from a quick visit to the dramatic site of Castlerigg stone circle down the road, or a longer dog walk to the viewpoint at Walla Crag, but you’ll sink into the comfort of the place either way, finding bowls for your four-legged friend and pints for yourselves.

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George & Dragon

You and the dog will have to squeeze into the George & Dragon where you can, because it’s full of awards statues. Some are for the accommodation, some the food, some the farm-to-field ethos. All are richly deserved. Although dogs have to stay in the bar, you won’t miss out on the fine cuisine or the gentle ambience made by the families, hikers, cyclists and dog walkers that throng in and out of the place all day.

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The Eagle’s Head

On foot, this place takes some getting to but, when you find it, hidden in the Grizedale Forest between Lake Windemere and Coniston Water, you’ll be delighted that you made the effort. It’s dog and muddy boot friendly (they know their guests well) and serves a simple menu that’ll fuel you up for the walk home. There’s no other pub for miles, but luckily there are plenty of breweries. So many in fact that the owners have made the decision to serve only beer made within twenty miles of the bar.

Visit The Eagle's Head

We hope you’re straining at the lead to get to some of these great dog-friendly Lake District pubs, but remember that this list is of course not comprehensive. If you’re staying in a Paws & Stay place, check the guest book for the owners’ local tips and always make sure you’ve booked ahead if you need to.

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

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Written by Chris Elmes

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