With rolling hills to climb, trickling streams to paddle through and woodland trails to sniff their way along, the Lake District is a pooch’s paradise. So, with the location ticking all of our pup-friendly boxes, we needed an equally dog-welcoming hotel to rest our heads after a day of exploring the Cumbrian countryside – cue the pawesome Sun Inn, Kirkby Lonsdale.
Made up of eleven guest rooms – seven of them allowing furry companions – this cozy B&B is the ideal spot for a weekend break both humans and four-legged furballs will love. The five-star Inn provides the perfect blend of old and new – mixing the traditional warm, homely feel of a 17th Century Inn with deluxe yet dog-friendly accommodation.
We all want to feel a little bit special when we escape for a night away, and it’s clear the Sun Inn understands that our pooches deserve the diamond treatment, too. Pulling out all the stops for the waggy-tailed among us, complimentary ‘pooch packs’ are provided in rooms upon arrival. These include a towel, dog bowl and special doggy treats. There is also a dog trail map on hand, showing a whole host of dog walks around the area – from ten-minute short strolls to thirty-minute lakeside adventures.
The owners’ love of dogs can also be found in the décor here.
And the pup-loving doesn’t stop at the room. We were so happy to find out doggy guests are also welcome in the bar, where they can curl up next to a real log fire in winter or cool down with an icy water bowl in the warmer months.
The Sun Inn also has a dog-friendly dining area where you can dine from a two AA rosette menu with your pooch by your side. It’s separate from the main eating area, so you know the humans dining around you are going to be pup lovers, too. We couldn’t wait to check this out later, but were keen to get out and explore the gems of Kirkby Lonsdale – our Border Terrier, Poppy, equally excited.
With gorgeous countryside on our doorstep, we were spoiled for choice. This place is picture perfect, full of quaint cottages built from Lakeland stone and little nooks to explore. Armed with poop bags aplenty, we headed along the River Lune to the scenic spot of Ruskin’s View – a view described by art critic John Ruskin as “one of the fairest in England and therefore the world”.
Poppy sniffed her way along the nearby woodland trail as us humans took in the stunning views. We soon found ourselves at a pretty stream where our pooch paddled her paws and made pals with an adorable Labrador named Bertie – five times the size of her but as cuddly as they come!
Next, we made our way down the imposing Radical Steps and followed the river along to Devil’s Bridge. It’s the ideal place to chill out with your pup and take in the sounds of flowing water, birdsong and church bells in the distance – oh, and the odd bark of playful pups chasing sticks through the grass.
The area is a dream and it would be easy to spend hours here, simply enjoying the fresh country air with pup in tow.
The whole of Kirkby Lonsdale is a dog-lover’s haven, with pups allowed in many of the cafes and independent shops in the historic market town. Check out the Italian Garden for a sandwich, best enjoyed while sitting outside in the sun. The restaurant is, of course, welcoming to dogs and they are happy to provide water for parched pooches.
Arriving back at the hotel after a long, muddy walk, the ‘dog & boot shower’ proved ideal for our mucky pup to freshen up and get a good hose down before heading back indoors.
After working up an appetite, it was time for Poppy to chow down while us humans swapped our walking clobber for something a little more fancy. We then headed downstairs to Carter’s restaurant, where other dogs were all happily relaxing as their owners tucked into some tasty grub. They’ve also added special hooks underneath the tables for dog leashes.
We opted for the Herb Gnocchi, complete with girolles, beetroot, kale, broccoli and honey mustard cream. A mouth-watering dish miles apart from what we had experienced in other dog-friendly diners.
Full up on good food, the luxurious king-sized bed was calling us and we decided to call it a night. Poppy shuffled back into her favourite spot in the room on her incredibly soft dog blanket – provided by the lovely cleaners at The Sun Inn. A quick doggy treat and slurp of water later and she was out for the night.
With plenty to see and do with your pup by your side, Kirkby Lonsdale is the ideal spot for a pooch-friendly visit. More, a night at The Sun Inn means you can have all the luxury of a boutique hotel, but with the added bonus of having your furry friend with you throughout your trip. It’s no surprise this place won a Visit England award for Dog Friendly Business Of The Year, we give it two paws up!
Featured Image: The Sun Inn