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!

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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.

Dog friendly Cartmel (it’s not just all about the food you know!)

Cartmel, now firmly on the foodie map (arguably the culinary capital of Cumbria) and also the horse racing calendar. Romantic, weekend away heaven in rural, rolling fell surrounding loveliness yet buzzing with understated life.

But after a recent visit to Cartmel, having not been there for a good 5 years or so, (also pre-dog ownership), we were completely and utterly shocked (in a good way of course) at the amount of visitors with dogs. Why being the location it is with plenty of open space and paths we were surprised we don’t know. Also that Cartmel is smack bang in long standing farming communities where dogs are not only companions but also workers. But the people walking throughout the village square and around we definitely visitors from out of the area.

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Dog and tractor friendly Cartmel

We had gone without dogs. To say we were gutted was an understatement. It was only during the marathon 22 course menu at L’enclume did the thought of Mac and Cam not being with us, leave our minds. The problem time was during the day when we spent it all saying “ooh, the boys would have loved this pub” and spying loads of great walks we could have done with them.

For not only is Cartmel great outside for dogs, all the pubs are dog friendly too. But as with the whole of the village, the pubs are stunning too, they are all places where really good food is served, great , local real ales and you can even get Prosecco by the glass.

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Des Res for pooches and you in Cartmel

So we thought we owe it to Mac and Cam to return to Cartmel and of course with them in tow. Luxury, dog friendly holiday cottages are available from The Lakeland Cottage Company. Some of them have a 5 star gold rating fitting perfectly with 5 star Cartmel you and your dogs will experience in and around Cartmel. All their dog friendly properties can be viewed here.

Obviously, every dog is welcome in Cartmel but I really would advise giving Fido a little spruce up before visiting, you’d hate for him to feel uncomfortable!

Dog Friendly Windermere

With a healthy number and choice of pubs and bars, Windermere and Bowness are excellent places for dog friendly holidays.

Whether you’re staying up in Windermere and down in Bowness, there are plenty of well signposted and accessed walks to do to that you and your dog will love. Orrest Head is a must little walk. Starting across the road from the train station, Orrest Head is only a short uphill walk but the commanding views of Lake Windermere, the Coniston and Langdale fells are stunning. From Orrest Head you can choose to walk to Troutbeck and even onto Ambleside if you’re feeling energetic.

dog friendly windermereA lovely circular walk and for near panoramic views of the Lake District is up and around Gummers How. This walk is around a 3 mile walk, well signposted and with mostly good paths. A trig point at the summit means you’ve reached it and then it’s a case of taking in the view. Being 6 or so miles from Bowness, it is advisable to drive and park in the Forestry Commission car park at Gummers How.

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Gummers How footpath and tripoint

What could be better than a cruise with your dog? Windermere Lake Cruises allows dogs on their regular sailings from Bowness where you can cruise down the full length of the lake or choose to just head down to Lakeside or up to Waterhead for Ambleside. Both locations have great walks for dogs as well as dog friendly places to eat and drink. The Windermere Ferry also operates from Bowness from Ferry Nab which can take you across the lake where the western shores of Windermere can be explored.

Onto places to stay and Windermere Marina Village have a number of dog friendly self catering cottages which handily allow up to 2 dogs. The resort offers safe access from cottage to the parking space with the only vehicles being other guests and marina staff around the perimeter 5mph road. The marina also has onsite a restaurant and bar and downstairs and the terrace are dog friendly. There are superb views of the marina from the terrace and plenty of space between tables for dogs.

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One of the dog friendly cottages at Windermere Marina Village 

One piece of advice, make sure you take a camera out with you wherever you go as they’ll be so many excellent scenic dog posing shots to take!

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.

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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!!!!!”

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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.

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Mac & Cam in Wastwater