Visiting the Buttermere Valley with your dog
Dogs are welcome at the Buttermere Valley all year round, and there are plenty of places to take your four-legged friend while you're here. Help us look after our farmers' livelihood by keeping your dogs on a short lead. Please help keep the area enjoyable for everyone by keeping your dog in close control, cleaning up after them and following the guidance below.
Our pawprint rating system
We’ve been working on making it easier for you to find out how dog-friendly your visit will be before you and your four-legged-friend arrive. To help with this, we've created a new pawprint rating system and given all the places in our care a rating. You can find this information in the National Trust members’ handbook.
The Buttermere Valley is a one pawprint rated place.
Dogs are welcome here, but facilities are limited. They’ll be able to stretch their legs in the car park and walk in the nearby open spaces, depending on the season. Read on to discover exactly where you can take your dog.
Where can my dog go in the Buttermere Valley
Dogs are welcome throughout the Buttermere Valley and you will often spot our rangers out with their trusty and well trained four-legged side kicks. If you are lucky, you might see some sheep dogs hard at work in the valleys. There are many places to take your dog for walks throughout the Buttermere Valley, including the many trails which we have included here.
Since there are often livestock in the fields and on the fells , we ask that you keep your dogs on a short lead to avoid any cases of sheep worrying and to look after our farmers livelihoods. This will also help us protect our wildlife such as ground nesting birds and burrowing animals.
The Canine Code
We’ve worked with our partner Forthglade to come up with this Canine Code, which helps to make sure everyone can enjoy their day:
- Keep them close: using a short lead helps to keep your dog from disturbing ground-nesting birds and farm animals. It's essential to use a short lead around sheep. But if cattle approach you, it's best to let your dog off the lead, and call them back when it's safe to do so.
- Pick up the poo: please always clear up after your dog. If you can't find a bin nearby, take the poo bags home with you.
- Watch the signs: keep an eye on local signs and notices wherever you're walking. They'll tell you if a beach has a dog ban, for instance, or if a path has been diverted, or if you're in an area where dogs can run off-lead.
- Stay on the ball: remember that not everyone loves dogs, and some people fear them. So make sure your dog doesn't run up to other people, especially children.
Keeping control of your dog
Our definition of close or effective control is:
- Being able to recall your dogs in any situation at the first call
- Being able to clearly see your dog at all times (not just knowing they have gone into the undergrowth or over the crest of the hill). In practice, this means keeping them on a footpath if the surrounding vegetation is too dense for your dog to be visible
- Not allowing them to approach other visitors without their consent
- Having a lead with you to use if you encounter livestock or wildlife, or if you are asked to use one
Here's how to get the most out of a visit to the Lake District with your dog, while protecting the countryside and keeping livestock and wildlife safe.
After a good dog walk in the fresh air, find a place to sit and relax with your dog in a dog-friendly café.
If you’re bringing your dog to the places we care for, here’s information on the Canine Code and pawprint rating system to plan your visit.
We've partnered with natural pet food maker Forthglade to create the Dogs Welcome project, helping you and your dog to get the most out of the places in our care.
Explore the Lake District's Buttermere Valley and discover walks through rugged landscapes, panoramic views, thundering waterfalls and other forces of nature.
The Lake District has plenty of opportunities for you and your dog to explore some wonderful countryside – from the shores of Windermere to the fell tops in Langdale.
Explore the hills and woodlands on the eastern side of Crummock Water on this circular walk near Buttermere, Lake District.
Discover the best places for a dog walk, from coastal adventures and dramatic mountains to more leisurely walks near you. Plus find information on dog-friendly cafés and read our Canine Code.