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Max is a remarkable English Springer Spaniel and the ‘Canine Ambassador to Keswick’, the jewel in the crown for the beautiful Lake District National Park. Keswick is the most dog-friendly town in the Lakes, twice being awarded the Kennel Club’s dog-friendliest town in the UK accolade and is also home to Keswick Scruffs dog show. So, Keswick is a great place to start our series of Max-approved walks in the Lakes.
Max is also an avid supporter of mental health charity, Mind, and hosts regular walks to promote wellbeing through walking with dogs, with the stunning Lake District as the backdrop.
“Walking the boys in the mountains has become such an important part of my daily life, walking takes away stress, it’s relaxing and you feel good after it, even in the rain and gale-force winds! Nothing beats a good brew and cake afterwards. The feel-good factor!”
Here are some of Max’s favourite walks in and around Keswick.
The pretty hamlet of Watendlath lies 5-miles out of Keswick and has a small tarn and surprisingly for the remote location, a tea room as well. There’s parking at Surprise View, and the well-marked path takes a linear route passing over Ashness Bridge, the most photographed in the Lake District. This walk follows Watendlath Beck providing lots of interest along the way. There are several lovely picnic and paddling spots too for enjoying a good cool-off. This is a great afternoon walk, taking 2-3 hours in total but can easily be made into a day trip.
This is a short walk with rewards of views over Keswick that is well worth the effort. It is a 2-mile linear walk, with a short but steep incline initially. Parking is easy at the car park at the head of Gale Road or you can walk straight from Keswick town centre. If the weather is clear and the ear flapometer isn’t too high, the view from the top of this classic Lakeland fell includes most of the highest peaks in England – Scafell Pike, Great End and Great Gable. If you’d like an alternative to this short stroll, you can use the Cumbria Way to make a loop walk.
Thirlmere reservoir is a real hidden gem of the northern Lakes. It is only a 15-minute drive down the A591 from Keswick town centre, yet is much quieter than the local walks around Derwentwater. Thirlmere is surrounded by coniferous woodland and so life doesn’t get much better for a dog here. One of Max’s favourite walks at Thirlmere is a walk to Dob Gill waterfall. A series of waterfalls that are actually very easy to get to, for little legs and grown-ups too, with parking at the pay and display Dob Gill car park, just past the hamlet of Wythburn. Dob Gill beck falls from Harrop Tarn down into Thirlmere, and the place where the two meet is excellent for cooling hot paws and for enjoying some refreshing slurps.
At the bottom of the garden of The Lingholm Estate, where Beatrix Potter holidayed as a child, is Derwentwater. To enjoy the peaceful western shore of Derwentwater, there’s parking at the estate or you can get the Keswick Launch. The jetty at Lingholm is currently closed, but a nice walk that your pup will love starts from the jetty at Hawes End. A lovely 15-minute walk north along the water’s shore takes you through woods to Lingholm – with lots of stick collecting opportunities on the way. The Lingholm Kitchen & Cafe, with indoor and outdoor seating, is dog-friendly and one of the best lunches in the Lakes.