Are you thinking of visiting Coniston in the Lake District with your dog?
We love trying out new dog friendly destinations, and recently visited the pretty village with Patch.
There’s plenty of gorgeous stonebuilt cottages plus shops, a garage and about half a dozen traditional and dog friendly pubs.
Coniston is a little quieter than other nearby towns and villages, but busy enough to be fun and ideal for dog owners.
Coniston holds the fifth largest of the lakes with a lake that runs five miles long making it also one of the biggest lakes in England.
It is also home to the Old Man of Coniston mountain which towers above the waters, an ideal antidote to staring at your laptop or phone screen!
It’s loved by dog walkers like myself because of the many different low and high intensity walks, and dog friendly pubs.
In this post you’ll discover places to stay and things to do in Coniston, and if you visit and have any suggestions, do let me know in the comments or message us on social media @thepawpostuk on all platforms.
When we visited for the first time in 2021, we stayed in Silver Howe Cottage which is part of The Coppermines Lakes Cottages, it’s one of their 90 plus cottages that they offer in the Lake District.
Most of their cottages are pet friendly, with a small additional charge – we paid £5 extra a night for Patch to come with us.
Our cottage was tucked away just a short walk from the centre of Coniston Village.
It was ideal for the three of us and had been recently renovated with a top of the range kitchen.
The living room was really cosy with a lovely little fire and a very comfy sofa – perfect for putting our feet up after a long walk and cracking open a bottle (or two) of wine!
Everything was within walking distance, which Patch loved because he just can’t get enough of being out and about, and it was great to not have to get back in the car after a muddy walk too!
You can checkout their handpicked cottages here: www.coppermines.co.uk
In October 2022 I visited again with my friend Kerry Jordan, a dog photographer who lives in the Lake District and her Whippets Bertie and Shadow.
This time we stayed at Bowmanstead Cottage, a gorgeous traditional house just outside of the village close to the Ship Inn.
The amazing photo of Patch and the rainbow was taken by Kerry, and if you’d like to find out how you can have her photograph your dog, here’s her website: https://www.furandfables.com/
I’ve put more of her stunning work in this post, as well as her gorgeous boys Bertie and Shadow.
Walks near Coniston
On my recent trip with Kerry we hiked up Holme Fell. This is a moderately challenging walk, and about two miles long, and it’s one of the Wainwrights too.
There’s parking space close to the fell and you pass through a wooded area, ideal for foraging, before going up the fell, and it has an ascent of 317 metres.
You’ll find lots of routes to explore and it’s suitable for families.
And look at the stunning rainbow we saw up there! Just breathtaking isn’t it?
Walking around the village is lovely and there are lots of little shops to take a look in, but if you want to challenge yourself a bit more there are plenty of walks to explore.
There’s Coniston Water, which is a short walk from the village.
There’s lots of smaller walking routes around the water, or you can go all the way around which is approximately 14 miles in total.
You also have the option to hop on a ferry that will take you to various spots around the water including Torver, The Coniston Inn and Brantwood.
All the ferries allow dogs and you can find out more here www.conistonlaunch.co.uk
We did the Old Man of Coniston which is quite a challenging walk.
It’s one of the higher fells in the Lakes and is quite steep all the way up – it doesn’t level out much so you don’t get a break from the incline. It is five to six miles in length with an elevation of 803 metres or 2,663 feet.
There are several paths to the summit, each with different difficulties.
As we walked up the route we chose we saw the abandoned Victorian quarry which was both eery and fascinating.
Whilst there is a path it in some parts is quite rocky, and your feet may favour you trying to walk on the grass.
Don’t be surprised if there is a small amount of scrambling over the rocks depending on the path that you choose!
Just before we got to the summit we approached an incredibly beautiful area, which Patch thoroughly enjoyed – the lake.
It is breathtaking and as we visited over May bank holiday, it was a good opportunity for him to cool off.
We had a drink and a flapjack for a boost of energy and Patch went in for a paddle.
When you get to the summit, it’s a short scramble to the top, which Patch loved.
He is the nosiest dog and he looked so happy taking in the sights.
At the top the view is amazing. On a clear day you can see as far as Morecambe Bay, you also get to look down at the lake and see how far you’ve climbed.
It’s a great achievement and we spent some time at the top taking it all in.
Warning, you may need to shuffle down on your bum on the way down, but it is worth it as it’s a great walk!
Find out more: www.lakeswalks.co.uk/walks/old_man_of_coniston/
During our stay we also went and met up with our friend Kate Taylor from www.Dotty4Paws.co.uk.
Kate is a fellow terrier mum and dog blogger and we met at Grizedale Forest, which is a short drive from Coniston.
Grizedale is ideal in the summer as you have so much shade, plus there’s mountain bike trails, which Kate’s husband Rob went on as we walked round and had a catch up.
And for families, there’s shorter routes for children, forest activites and a nice cafe for drinks and snacks.
Patch loved meeting Kate’s dogs Poppy and Gertie, look at him!
Dog friendly places to eat and drink in Coniston
The Crown Inn
We went to The Crown which was very traditional, when you think of a British pub this is the kind of place that springs to mind.
On the first night, after a walk in Patterdale on the way there, we went for the Steak Pie and chips and the waiter gave a knowing nod that we’d made the right choice.
They have great homemade burgers and do a good Sunday Lunch, it’s definitely where you want to go if you’re after hearty English grub and the chips are a huge reward after a big long walk.
It’s also very dog friendly and the staff made a big fuss of Patch, bringing him biscuits while we tucked into our grub.
The Coniston Inn
We also visited The Coniston Inn and were very impressed by their amazing roast dinner, they weren’t shy on the gravy too which is always a bonus!
They have a lovely outdoor area for drinks in the summer, just don’t forget your sun cream if you’re planning on being there for some day drinks.
Again, very dog friendly they offered Patch some doggy biscuits which he was very happy with!.
The Ship Inn
On my second stay with Kerry, we were right next to the Ship in our holiday cottage. It’s a really friendly traditional pub with real ales and hearty pub grub.
Kerry had Barbeque Ribs and I had Steak Pie and chips (I do eat other meals I promise) and Patch may have had a nibble.
The Ship Inn is dog friendly of course, with a beer garden outside, and offers bed and breakfast too which is popular with walkers.
The Black Bull
On our stay we also visited The Black Bull which is another dog friendly pub. It is right in the centre of the village, so it’s an ideal spot for if you’ve had a couple of ales and don’t want to walk far home!
They offer traditional English food, think gammon and eggs and fish and chips. They also have a very good selection of ales that Tommy tried but couldn’t possibly sample them all!
Again, there was loads of dogs in there, with pretty much every table having a tired and contented pup snoozing underneath!
The Yewdale is another dog friendly spot, we didn’t eat there but they have a good selection of pub food and pizzas on the menu, you can’t go wrong with that!
For a real treat, have a holiday photoshoot!
And are you looking for an amazing dog photographer in the Lakes to capture your pup?
Please do go and check out Kerry’s incredible work on her website, www.furandfables.com she has packages where she can come and meet you on location, so you could even have a shoot as part of your holiday and have memories to treasure forever like we have!
Pet Supplies in Coniston
Unfortunately there isn’t a pet shop in Coniston but the Co-op has a range of food, treats and essentials so you don’t need to panic if you run out of treats or poo bags!
Have you been to Coniston and spotted anything you’d like to share?
Let us know if we’ve missed anything in the comments below.
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