Cumbria’s Living Heritage has shared some exciting ‘heritage hound’ experiences in the stunning county of Cumbria, that are sure to leave you culturally enriched, invigorated and ready for a nice post-adventure nap with your furry friend after breathing in Cumbria’s fresh fells and forest air.

Explore the best sights and scents nature can offer with your best friend by your side. Head to the forest of Grizedale (LA22 0QJ) and you can enjoy walks ranging from 0.7 miles to 4 miles, discovering some of Grizedale’s world-renowned sculptures. Whether you sniff out ‘Some Fern’, the ‘Sheltered Seat’ or ‘The Clockwork Forest’, it’s bound to be a thrill.

Enjoying a lake view during a walk in Grizedale

At Whinlatter Forest (CA12 5TW), five trails await you, with the white waymarked 1.5-mile trail allowing you to be spiritually uplifted with views of mighty Skiddaw and the calming waters of Bassenthwaite. You and your four-legged friend may also spot osprey!

Dogs are very welcome at Hutton-in-the-Forest (CA11 9TH), a gravy bone is often waved –  perhaps your dog’s treat before you tackle the 1.6km Woodland Walk, to explore the real or mythical world of King Arthur and the Green Knight, or watch red squirrels scampering around. The gardens are at your disposal and even older doggies can enjoy a gentle walk, touring the gardens, lake and wildflower meadows at their own pace and resting by one of many seats, if necessary. Garden entrance costs £6.50 for adults.

Family sitting with their dog beside Coniston Water, at Brantwood, the former home of John Ruskin

If your canine wants to be captain for a day, they can board the National Trust’s Steam Yacht Gondola(LA21 8AN). A cruise can be the start of a walk on a trail, if you head to Brantwood (LA21 8AD) or Tarn Hows and lap up more views, but as doggies – wet and dry – are very welcome at Brantwood’s Terrace coffee house and restaurant, you might just wish to take advantage of a warm fire or sit outside and revel in what your eyes behold. A sailing costs between £12 and £22 for adults (£28-£48 for families) and dogs travel for free.  A walker’s ticket costs between £12-15, dependent on jetty chosen, with children travelling for £7/£8 and families for £26/£35.

Dog and owner onboard Steam Yacht Gondola, getting ready for an idyllic sail on Coniston

At National Trust Acorn Bank (CA10 1SP) and Allan Bank (LA22 9QB), there is more irresistible dog-focused fun. Acorn Bank’s, gardens and woodland walks are super, but you can go further, taking a 3.2-miles dog-friendly walk to Temple Sowerby. At Allan Bank on the other hand, you and your pooch can relax in front of a roaring fire in poet Wordsworth’s home. Acorn Bank entrance costs £8.80 for an adult and Allan Bank entrance is £7.50. Children’s and family tickets are available.

Dog and owners at Allan Bank, a former home of William Wordsworth

Ant hills can be sniffed out on a 1.9-mile Fell Walk from National Trust Sizergh Castle (LA8 8DZ) and you can enter the car park and café for no entrance fee, perhaps then returning for some tucker in the café.

Meanwhile, from Dalemain (CA11 0HB), you could explore the mystery of the Dacre Bears in the ancient Norman church of Dacre, just a 1.6-mile stroll from the home of the Original Marmalade Festival. Owners and their best friends can wander through the historic pasture lands, or explore the world of Mrs Mouse and revel in hand-painted Chinese wallpaper. Entrance to gardens costs £9 and to house and gardens £12. Dogs are allowed in the courtyard and on the walk.

Visit Mirehouse (CA12 4QD) and walk in the footsteps of poet Alfred Lord Tennyson, a frequent visitor here in his time. A lakeside walk here is perfect for doggies willing to give farm animals plenty of space and stay on their lead. Those that do can be rewarded with a post-walk rest in the Old Sawmill Tearoom. Adult entrance to Mirehouse’s gardens and lakeside walk costs £4 and £2 for a child aged over 4 years.

Muncaster castle

And then there’s the Bird of Prey show at Muncaster (CA18 1RQ) – the cherry on the cake for any dog, once they’ve explored as much of the 77-acre site around the castle as they wish, taking advantage of six miles of paths, suiting all from the lazy loafer wishing to head to the shore at Ravenglass, to the bounding hound intent on exploring rougher and readier routes. Those back by 2pm can take to the special doggie seating area for the Sky Hunters Flying Show, full of amazing birds of prey and a highlight for dogs kept on their lead, who can also enjoy some nice fresh water from bowls provided. Entrance to the gardens, including the show, hawk and owl centre and maze costs £12 for an adult and £6 for a child.

More information about all of these heritage-hound-friendly attractions can be accessed via


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