Dog Travel

The North Lakes Hotel & Spa in the Lake District: Layla Flaherty Reviews

In 2017 the Lake District was named as a World Heritage Site joining iconic locations such as the Taj Mahal, Grand Canyon and Great Barrier Reef.

For breathtaking scenery, picture-perfect villages and gorgeous places to stay, a large chunk of which welcome owners and their dogs equally, a trip to the Lake District is hard to beat.

That’s why when we were invited to visit the area for a spa break at the North Lakes Hotel & Spa, we invited Layla Flaherty and her dog Buttons to visit with some friends.

Here’s Layla to share how they got on.

The North Lakes Hotel & Spa offers a gateway to the beautiful Lake District. The hotel itself is in the historic market town of Penrith in Cumbria, which offers modern comfort and relaxation.

This hotel is ideal if you have access to a car as the hotel is approximately 30 minutes to an hour drive from all the well know outstanding nature spots dotted around the Lakes. The hotel is located next to the M6 which can be quite loud outside the hotel but once inside the busy motorway is non-evident.

If you are looking for a modern hotel with attention to detail, then this hotel is one to consider. The rooms are a generous size offering extra comfort and of course, the hotel has a few designated dog friendly rooms too (pictured below).

The hotel’s restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients and you can see the chef cooking over an open-flamed grill, which adds to the culinary experience.

Unfortunately, if you do eat in the FYR Restaurant, dogs are not allowed to join you but the hotel is happy for you to leave your pet in your room should you wish to dine in the main restaurant.

Alternatively, the breakfast room is open to guests with pets in the evening if you would prefer to have your dog by your side.

There is something for everyone at the North Lakes.

If you’re looking for some much-needed rest and relaxation, the hotel has a spa with facilities including a sauna, steam room and swimming pool, which is lit very prettily, clean and well maintained. Treatments, such as facials and massages, are also available to book in the spa.

Dogs are able to stay in your room while you visit the spa, although if you’re visiting for a mix of outdoor adventures with your dog and luxury treatments, it might be worth exploring the idea of a local dog creche or enlisting the services of dog walker so you know your dog is cared for and has a little company while you’re apart in case they get restless. While Buttons and my friend’s dog were fine being left while we visited the spa, I fear this may not have been the case for our canine neighbour, so it’s something to consider.

I would say this hotel is a boutique hotel mixed with outdoor discovery.

It has a huge green field to the back of the hotel where you can let your dog off lead to run and stretch their legs. The hotel also has a fenced garden area for owners don’t want to let their dogs off their leads, this can also be used as a toilet area for pets.

Golf lovers, whether bringing pets along for their stay or not, will love the fact the hotel is within walking distance of the Penrith Golf Club, the 18-hole course gives you plenty of green to get your swing going. The garden area also offers complimentary blankets where you can unwind and sit by the fire to relax. My only critique is the noise of the motorway but if that doesn’t bother you, then you’re in for a treat.

What to do in the Lake District with dogs

If there’s one thing you’ll find in abundance in the Lakes, aside from it being one big dog friendly walk, is lots of great dog friendly places to eat.

Personally, I loved a little town called Pooley Bridge, which is about a 30-minute drive from the hotel, and Keswick, which is about a 40-minute drive away. Both offer great hiking walks and traditional shops selling fresh produce alongside a wealth of bars and restaurants.

Pooley Bridge

Keswick is a pretty market town, which offers a range of attractions for visitors, from shops and restaurants to museums with a difference and boating trips around Lake Derwentwater. I would highly recommend a visit to this picturesque village.


With regards to days out in the Lake District, there’s something for everyone regardless of age.

Be it adventure sports, hill walking, coastal and sea activities, arts and crafts, historic remains and museums, the list is endless. In short, whatever you’re into, you’ll find something to enjoy.

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If you fancy getting around on two wheels there is the option to hire bicycles almost everywhere you go. I even spotted dog trailers and baskets, just some of the ways in which area has adapted to welcome visiting dog owners.

Back at the North Lakes Hotel & Spa, in all, the staff were excellent, very professional and friendly and the breakfast buffet is extremely tasty with a wide choice of good quality items to choose from.

If you’re looking for a bit of affordable luxury and an escape from everyday chores, then I’d highly recommend the Lake District and suggest you take a look at what the North Lakes Hotel & Spa has to offer.

Find out more about the North Lakes Hotel & Spa by visiting



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