Tips for visiting the Lake District with your dog

Visitors walking their dog on the circular trail around the lake at Buttermere Valley, Cumbria

Whether you love a long hike through the high fells, a gentle stroll along a lake shore, or perhaps just a place to settle down and enjoy the view with a cuppa, the Lake District provides ample opportunity for you and your pooch. It also home to around 3 million sheep and important wildlife.

Whilst lambing season in some parts of the country can be over before Easter, in the Lakeland fells, hardy native breeds like Herdwicks will lamb in April and May.

This is also a time of year when ground nesting birds such as curlew, lapwing, snipe and grouse are sitting on eggs or rearing chicks. These birds blend into their environment, so you probably won’t spot them until they have already been disturbed from their nest.

Help us look after the places you and your dog enjoy by following these simple guidelines. 

Take the lead

You can reduce the chance of your dog disturbing ground-nesting birds and farmer’s livestock by keeping them on a short lead. Remember, if you’re approached by cattle, the safest thing to do is let your dog go and call them back when safe to do so. 

Scoop that poop

Picking up your dog’s litter keeps the area clean for everyone to enjoy. When you’re done pop it in the bin, or, if there isn’t one, take it home with you. 

Paws for thought

Are you in the right area? Sometimes we might ask you to walk somewhere else to help us protect you, the places we look after and the wildlife that lives there. Keep an eye out for signs and be extra careful on coastal and cliff top paths. 

Be on the ball

While lots of us love dogs, some of us don’t. That’s why it’s important to make sure your four-legged friendly doesn’t run up to other people – especially children. 

" There’s nothing worse than seeing your dog respond, often unexpectedly, by chasing after sheep, cattle or wildlife; and being powerless to stop them. We need to share the responsibility of caring for this special landscape. I find it really helpful when someone lets me know there are sheep or cattle, or if they have been lucky enough to spot a nesting curlew. Those of us who love walking our dog in this beautiful place also want to help protect it, and by sharing what’s around the corner can all do our bit. "
- Jess Darwin, ranger for Grasmere

Recommendations for dog walks

A dog friendly day out