We visited the Lake District during an especially warm British summer and so looked for something to do with our pooch that had indoor and/or shady options. Castles are a great place to take your dog. Each one, from ruins to working castles, always have something to keep everyone interested and entertained. However, Lowther Castle exceeded our expectations and it is now our favourite dog-friendly castle in the UK!
The Lowther estate dates back as far as 1337 when Henry Lowther was granted a licence to create a 200 acre parkland. Since then the estate and its buildings have changed and developed into the fantastic Castle that now sits in ruin. The current building was built between 1807 and 1814 for £77,000 (!) and was closed in 1935. From there it was requisitioned for the war effort and slowly declined into a ruin with its parts and contents sold by the family. In 2011 it was reopened to the public following a £9m restoration effort. It is now a favourite family-friendly place to visit for many in the UK.
We visited because it was dog-friendly. Usually ‘dog-friendly castle’ means that you can explore the grounds and gardens. Lowther Castle, however, is decidedly dog-friendly and allow dogs everywhere except the children’s playground (‘the lost castle’). This means that you can spend a whole morning or afternoon with your dog enjoying everything that it has to offer. There is ample free parking in the car parks (although it is extremely popular on weekends and can fill up) and entry tickets can be bought online (£12 per adult as at July 2021).
Dog-friendly Lowther Castle Museum
On our visit we started with the museum, called the ‘exhibition’, mainly to get Sash out of the beating sun. The history of the Lowther family and the estate is fascinating and incudes many famous names from the past such as Queen Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots, William Wordsworth, etc. The museum ends in the ruined section of the castle that has been taken over by beautiful plants. Sash loved the museum, there was so much to smell and things that she couldn’t quite get her head around (like the stuffed dog from an artic expedition).
Dog-friendly Lowther Castle Grounds
The estate is huge and has lots of different parts to explore. in the 130 acres of land you can find a number of gardens that each have a personality and focus, woodland, meadows and hidden buildings. Your dog must be on the lead at all times. The grounds are used for a variety of purposes (e.g. sightseers, cyclists) and are tended to throughout the day, so you should always keep an eye on your pooch to make sure they’re not in the way of a slowly moving two of four wheeled vehicle.
Dog-friendly Lowther Castle café
We finished our visit sitting in the shaded area of the gorgeous courtyard café with refreshments. They offer a surprising range of food and drinks that would keep even the fussiest of your party happy.
As you can probably tell from this rather enthusiastically positive review, we absolutely loved it. It is the perfect day trip while in the Lake District.
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