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Visiting Claife Viewing Station and Windermere West Shore with your dog

Visitors enjoying the view from Claife Viewing Station overlooking Windermere, Lake Disitrict
Visitors and their dog taking in the view of Windermere from Claife Viewing Station | © National Trust Images/Steven Barber

Well-behaved dogs are more than welcome at Claife Viewing Station and the west shore of Windermere. With long lakeside and woodland walks, it’s a great place for you and your four-legged friend to explore.

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.

Claife Viewing Station and Windermere West Shore is a three pawprint rated place.

Three pawprints shows the very best places you can visit for a day with your dog. You’ll be able to take your dog to most areas, including indoors for a cup of tea and a treat. Read on to discover exactly where you can take your dog.

Where can I take my dog?

Dogs are welcome at Claife Viewing Station and Café in the Courtyard. The hard-wearing stone and steel materials of the Viewing Station are very dog-friendly.

The lakeshore path between Wray Castle and Claife Viewing Station is a safe, car-free walk with lots of opportunities for pooches to paddle.

What facilities are available for my dog?

There is a refreshing water bowl and tasty dog treats available at the café.

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
A group of visitors chatting outside Claife Viewing Station and Windermere West Shore, Cumbria

Discover more at Claife Viewing Station and Windermere West Shore

Find out how to get to Claife Viewing Station and Windermere West Shore, where to park, the things to see and do and more.

Our partners


We've partnered with natural pet food maker Forthglade so that you and your dog can get even more out of the special places we care for.

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