What to do in Windermere on a dog friendly holiday

More and more people are taking their dogs on holiday with them. Various reasons are contributing to this such as the rise in dog owners and also the rise in dog friendly accommodation and businesses making a dog friendly holiday far more enjoyable for all.

Windermere and Bowness combined have a vast range of dog friendly accommodation from B&B’s to hotels and self catering apartments and cottages. What they also have are lots of dog friendly places to eat and drink.

To state the obvious but to reinforce it and really champion this most abundant yet free activity in and around Windermere and throughout the Lake District, walking. Where ever you stay in Windermere and Bowness there’s a walk right from its front door whether it’s for a short stroll or a day long hike. Dogs and owners will love being outdoors all day and well, it would be rude not to enjoy a spot of liquid refreshment in the form of a pint of local ale in one of the dog friendly pubs in Windermere and Bowness on the way back to the accommodation.

damson dene dog friendly bowness hotel

A day out sure to be enjoyed by two and four legged visitors is a trip on Lake Windermere. Lake cruises run from Bowness where a trip up to the south of the Lake at Newby Bridge can be taken or up to the northern end and Waterhead where Ambleside is easily accessed. Windermere Lake Cruises operate a dog friendly policy providing Fido is well behaved of course! Another boat trip, but slightly different this time is on the Hawkshead ferry. This ferry departs from Bowness Ferry Nab but crosses the lake this time instead of going up or down. It’s landing point is Far Sawrey, the once home of Beatrix Potter and it enables visitors, to have a far more convenient access to Near and Far Sawrey, Hawkshead and Esthwaite Water.

All in all, a dog friendly holiday in the Windermere and Bowness area really allows you to make the most of get out and about in this region, to really explore and to have real fun.

Top for dog friendly hotel accommodation, Damson Dene Hotel near Bowness. Large gardens and grounds for walking, a choice of dog friendly bedrooms and dogs allowed in the bar where delicious, local food is served.

Dog Friendlyness at a Cumbria Hotel

Now travelling with dogs brings a whole different perspective to finding the right hotel and most importantly, the right hotel location.

3 years ago we ventured into the world of dog ownership. Mac the Border Collie, this little pup who little did we know at the time, would completely change the main criteria of a hotel search! To add to it, we got Cam, and so are now a 2 dog family.

Mac and Cam go everywhere with us and so in a short amount of time we have got savvy as to what we look for and what we want when we stay in a hotel with them. How great is it that we can go away for 1 night, a weekend or a full week and enjoy walking them, relaxed on our time off. Then there’s the saving of kennel fees and the general worry of them being in one. We love walking and walking without them is just plain odd frankly! Whether we go up to the Isle of Skye or stay more local in the Lake District, both are dog walking paradises.

So to hotels. A dog friendly hotel to us is not simply one which allows dogs in rooms. When we look for a dog friendly hotel we’re looking for private, off road parking so we can safely get M+C in and out of the car. We’re looking for land or safe walking areas for them directly around the hotel for the necessities morning and evening and we’re looking for somewhere where M+C will be made to feel welcome. Oh, and of course, we want a place that us humans like the look of and serve good food!

tebay service hotel m6 motorway

Tebay Services Hotel and sleeping tight

Our last trip with M+C was to the Lake District and we’d had a recommendation for our Border Collie owning friends Dave and Sarah about the Tebay Services Hotel just off the M6 in Cumbria. So a weekend break was booked, 2 humans, 2 dogs. Couldn’t fault this place and a huge thanks to Dave and Sarah for the tip off.

Hard to imagine really this hotel is the near the motorway but it’s quiet, no passing traffic as it’s set back amongst countryside. A great and huge car park and the absolute best, even signposted dog walking paths and routes from the hotel. M+C would say their best bit about it was the treats they found in the room for them. They’d even put a water bowl in the room which was a nice touch.

So a really wonderful weekend was had by all and the Lake District really is such a fab place for dogs and so handy to get to.

(P.S You need to inform the hotel when you book if you’re taking Fido’s, you don’t want to miss out on the treats now do you! – All details we found on their website http://www.westmorlandhotel.com/Dog-friendly-rooms

North Devon has the dog friendly know how

Britain has been a nation of dog lovers for years but it seems in the last 5, it has become an obsession. The number of dog owners is increasing and with that so does the dog friendly facilities on offer.

And surely to be able to spend precious holiday time with the whole family including the four legged members, well that is just the perfection. It is now easier than ever to travel with dogs, find dog friendly accommodation, dog friendly activities and even eating and drinking places where they are allowed.

dog friendly north devon

It’s a doubt many owners don’t relish the thought of a holiday destination with a diverse landscape so every day children and their four legged companions can enjoy something different, it is where regions such as North Devon really come into their own. This extremely diverse landscape offers things to do and walks whatever the weather, all too important with the UK’s slightly unpredictable climate!

The stunning beaches have to be the number one attraction in the North Devon area. Woolacombe and Saunton are both dog friendly beaches and the expanse of white sand is simply family heaven. If it’s hot then the sea provides dogs with a much needed way to cool down and there’s endless space for playing ball and Frisbee.

dog friendly camping north devon

Beyond the beaches are dunes, the craggy moorland of the North Devon coast and Exmoor National Park, all doggy delights. There are many well signposted routes including the South West Coast Path especially around the Combe Martin to Ilfracombe area where the route passes along a dog friendly beach and various dog friendly pubs. This route takes in The Hangman Hills, full of history and intrigue and prehistoric hill fort of Hillsborough.

Dog friendly accommodation can be found is various forms. A recommendation for location and quality of facilities is Stowford Farm Meadows North Devon camping and caravan site at Combe Martin. They have dog friendly camping, caravan pitching and static rentals and the 70 acre site has dog friendly, waymarked walking routes handy for morning and evening trundles out. On top of that the dog day kennel service means even though you love them, a dog free day can be had, handy when wanting to visit an attraction. The site is fully equipped with a shop, places to eat and drink, a heated pool, crazy golf and entertainment.

More great dog friendly Lake District self catering news

We’re talking Lake District, we’re talking luxury, we’re talking dog friendly which can only mean excitement in our camp. In a time when the “Hound Pound” is riding high, many dog owners and also their canine companions don’t want to settle for second best anymore when it comes to dog friendly accommodation.

I’ve just read some great news for dog owners and their four legged friends. A self catering holiday cottage near Newby Bridge has not only been stupendously renovated but is now also dog friendly. To top off the greatness the owners of the cottage are allowing two of our four legged friends to stay which for us two canine families is even better news.

luxury lake district cottage

The Living Room at Barrow Hollin

The cottage is called Barrow Hollin and is located on a quiet road yet with easy access of the A590 between Newby Bridge and Witherslack marketed by The Lakeland Cottage Company. Newby Bridge and Lakeside have three hotels with restaurants and bars for food and at last glance had dog friendly areas in the bars. Over to Witherslack and The Derby Arms is a fab pub, dog friendly and very gastro like so everyone is happy and of course, real ales. Just 1.5 miles away from the cottage is The Crown Inn, again a great gastro type pub, real ales and plenty of local produce. It’s not hard to grasp you will not go hungry staying at this holiday cottage! Barrow Hollin is also within easy reach of Cartmel for the offering of food and beverages there as well as for Cartmel Races.

dog friendly cartmel

The Utility/Doggie Room at Barrow Hollin

The area is absolutely littered with walking routes from low level to around the lake to proper fell walks. Windermere Lake Cruises are also dog friendly and a trip from Lakeside down to Waterhead, stopping off at Bowness perhaps is a grand day out.

The interior is a thing of beauty with original features galore including wood panelling. Out into the garden and that is also a delight with views and a great area for the dogs to explore. Talking of practicality hear and the utility/dog room as it is called provides an ideal place for boot and waterproof storage, washing facilities and a place for the dogs to bed down and also eat. It is a utility room you’d happily live and sit in I can tell you and the dogs have a rug and a great view of the open countryside to enjoy.

My only piece of advice is to put the dogs in the car before you start to pack the bags at the end of the week or short break, they won’t want to leave!

To view Barrow Hollin and all of the dog friendly cottages in the Lake District area offered by The Lakeland Cottage Company, visit https://www.lakeland-cottage-company.co.uk/lake-district-cottages/pet_friendly_cottages/

By Jenny Andrew

Experience the Kalm of Kentmere on your next dog friendly Lake District escape

It’s correct to say, not a huge percentage of visitors to the Lake District will have heard of Kentmere or the Kentmere Valley. Tucked away with Windermere and Troutbeck to the west and Staveley to the south, Kentmere is a haven for real fell walkers and especially for those wishing to truly escape from the rat race.

We all love Windermere and Ambleside but their popularity is something not to everyone’s taste. The Lake District continues to get busier and busier year on year which has propelled even better services, more choice and in terms of food and drink, a really food lovers destination now.

kentmere valley lake district

The stunning and unspoilt Kentmere Valley.

But what is so fantastic about this National Park is the fact there are still places for a complete getaway, fully of just peacefulness and tranquillity of which Kentmere has it in abundance. The area provides direct access to some of the more challenging walks in the National Park such as the Kentmere Horseshoe and across to the awe inspiring Haweswater but also plenty of low level ones too. The valley is particularly enticing for us dog owners with very few roads, miles of open space with very little to get in our way. The latest Cumbrian Tourism #theplacetobe campaign image sums the valley up perfectly.

kentmere valley cottage

The Bothy, 4 star dog friendly holiday cottage

The Bothy is a perfect bolt hole. This sleeps 2 4 star self catering property enables a car free holiday upon arrival with countless walks right from the cottage door. It naturally allows our most prized possession, our four legged friend and is an easy 2 mile walk to the award winning Watermill Inn at Ings. The inn has its own micro brewery, serves hearty food and is extremely dog friendly, what more could you ask for from a Lake District pub? Around 3 miles away is the village of Staveley, great for stocking up on supplies especially from More Artisan bakery and Hawkshead Brewery. The Bothy is bookable through The Lakeland Cottage Company with off peak rates starting from £375 per week.

The Lake District has been confirmed dog friendly!

In the Kennel Club Be Dog Friendly Awards, the Lake District won the great outdoors category. But that wasn’t all for the Lake District as Keswick won most dog friendly town/city.

“Be Dog Friendly is a Kennel Club Campaign to encourage, recognise and reward places and businesses that go the extra mile for the benefit of the UK’s 8 million dogs and their owners”.

To make these awards even better, not just having this accolade but also the fact the win was based on public votes. The comments made by the voters for the Lake District were centred hugely around the amount of places to walk with dogs up the fells, the many paths, bridleways and lakeshores but also the choice of amount of dog friendly accommodation, pubs, cafes, shops and attractions that allowed dogs.

dog friendly lake districtEspecially when it comes to dog friendly accommodation, the choice in Cumbria and the Lake District is vast. Every type of accommodation can be found from town centre B&B’s to country house hotels and all manner of holiday cottages and apartments from basic to 5 star luxury.

As a Kennel Club campaign, Be Dog Friendly is also there to encourage and educate owners in practical tips and advice on how dogs should conduct themselves when in dog friendly places. These tip bits of advice include not leaving dogs unattended whether in a pub or at a hotel room for example also being vigilant when it comes to house training and hygiene. All common sense tips yet which a small proportion of owners appear to forget from time to time.

For those who have been coming to the Lake District with their dogs for years will no doubt notice the bigger and better choice of dog friendly accommodation and other services which is continuing to rise. For those who haven’t been, get yourself and your four legged friend there and it’s quite a high certainty that won’t be the last visit!

5 star dog friendly Lake District cottages can be found through The Lakeland Cottage Company agency.

We didn’t need a survey to tell us dogs have become more than man’s best friend

Well for starters also woman’s best friend! According to the survey, 23,000 admit to calling their dog their “Baby”. Now I don’t do that but once in a while I’ll find myself lying in bed with 2 Border Collies keeping my feet warm.

Not that unbelievably it was owners of small breed dogs who shared their beds with their pooches the most. More unbelievably was the amount of St Bernards that hoped on beds. I’m actually quite jealous at the thought of having such a big bed that can accommodate possibly 2 adults and a St Bernard!


Happy as larry on “his” bed!

But all in all this article just goes to show and confirm the UK is a nation of dog lovers and dogs are most definitely part of the family. We share walks with them, laughter with them even holidays with them.

Read the full article here.

The Rise of the Dog Friendly Holiday

The rise of the dog friendly holiday is a combination of a few factors, the increasing number of dog owners, our complete love and craziness for our four legged friends and our need to be savvy with our money. Take a dog on holiday and the cost is far, far less than outing them into a kennel with some accommodation even offering a pets stay for free policy. Kennels or home from home dog sitting can be anything from £10 to around £30 per night whereas even some luxury accommodation venues charging a rate of just those figures for a full week stay when coming with their owners.

It has just been reported in The Times, there are now 9 million dogs in the UK in 24 per cent of households and dogs, for the first time in 21 years, have overtaken cats in popularity. It really is the time for dogs with businesses relating to the dog sector opening left, right and centre and even the news that the amount of dog related books due for the Christmas market supersedes cook books! Is this really true that dogs are even more popular than Great British Bake Off??!!! Naturally we here at Nice Doggy blog agree dogs are better than baking but of course, having a passion for dogs AND baking is the best.

dog friendly lake districtIt is then quite understandable that we want our four legged family members to come on holiday with us and the demand has fueled a whole host of businesses opening their doors to dogs or as The Telegraph reported back in April this year, chasing the Hound Pound.

So dog owners have now more choice of places to stay and dog friendly things to do whilst on holiday, they can enjoy their time off with their canine companion and let’s not forget also save money on kennel fees along the way.

A dog friendly hotel in Cumbria both inside and out

As most dog owners know, it’s not just about the facilities inside the dog friendly hotel that make the decision of where to stay with our four legged friends, outside is as, if not more, important.

Where the hotel is located is a huge factor, it most definitely is for us. For instance, if your dog is used to the quiet then staying somewhere noisy is only going to upset the dog and you and definitely lead to a stressful stay. Of course, the following concerns don’t apply to every dog, some are perfectly adapt to stay and travel in any locations, busy, quiet, town or country.

Some hotels state they are dog friendly but really they just allow dogs in my eyes. With little in the way of grounds or places to safely walk dogs especially earlier in the morning and late at night for the necessaries, makes the experience a bit of a hassle. Having an enclosed garden or even just plenty of off road places to walk right from the hotel door, is great for dogs and their owners.

dog friendly hotel cumbria

Amongst all the grass and countryside nestles the dog friendly Tebay Services Westmorland Hotel

This blog is ultimately focused on the dog friendly holiday aspect of Cumbria and the Lake District but it is worth remembering that the positioning of Cumbria with the M6 motorway running alongside it makes it an excellent place for a long journey break. Breaking up a long journey is even more important when travelling with dogs. They even more so than up need to stretch their legs, get some fresh air and especially when it’s hot, cool down. A motorway services hotel with a difference than many people will be aware of is the Tebay Services Westmorland Hotel. What you may not realise is it is dog friendly. Straight off the motorway yet in the countryside, the hotel has a number of dog friendly bedrooms, a large car park and plenty of grounds for walks with even some special signposted ones. One guest, James Stevens, posted an excellent photo and few words on the hotels Facebook wall earlier this year:

“Jakey boy loves to stay at Tebay Westmorland hotel, the bank opposite the cark park is the perfect place to let off steam before settling down in his room with his humans. He has his own personal water bowl and nibbles, compliments of the hotel’s friendly staff!!!!!”

dog friendly cumbria

Jakey running through the grass outside the Tebay Services Westmorland Hotel

Although I’m sure the nibbles went down amazingly well with Jakey, I also imagine if he could talk (and don’t you wish they could!) he would say he loved the bank of grass to run through and the fresh, Cumbrian air just as much.

Oh, and the hotel is really good for humans too, we’d better not forget to mention that too!

Woof Woof, here’s the first post on our new blog

If you love the Lakes District and love your four legged friend then you’ll love this blog. We’re going to give you news and reviews on dog friendly accommodation, great dog friendly places to eat and drink and plenty of ideas of dog friendly activities and all throughout the Lake District and Cumbria, arguably one of the most dog friendly counties in the United Kingdom.

Heading up the team behind this blog are Mac & Cam, the Border Collies. Born and bred and in West Cumbria, they know where to sniff out the best dog friendly locations spanning the length and breadth of the county. They are aided by two humans, Jenny & Mike.


Mac & Cam in Wastwater