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Nel’s Holiday In Dog Friendly Holiday Bowness

We LOVE Bowness! It is one of our favourite dog friendly places in the UK.

Usually, we stay on a boat, however, it has been winterised (which means no water) and we weren’t prepared to trek in the rain at midnight just to use the loo.. so we booked a hotel! Scary and very exciting as it was our first experience staying in a hotel with Nelly, even though she’s very used to lodges; but I’m so glad we did it!

Our Hotel

During our dog friendly Bowness holiday, we stayed in the Virginia Cottage. A little, family-run guest house, right in the middle of Bowness. For two nights it was next to nothing so we thought, why not! We had to inform them we had a dog with us before booking but they were extremely accommodating.

The owner met us at the door, the hospitality was next to none. I was extremely nervous of the fact I had Nelly with me, I didn’t want to feel like I was imposing with a dog however we bumped into two more families with dogs on the way up to our room, and the gentleman who owned the cottage couldn’t have been nicer! (Himself having a 13-year-old dog wandering round).

Nelly was welcomed into the room by a dog bowl with a chew inside, so she gave the room a massive paws up straight away. I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone with a pooch, it’s extremely affordable, especially being central! We will definitely be going back.

Our Favourite Foodie Finds

Where do I start! We visit Bowness often, so we do have our firm favourites. So let me start with the most familiar one to us… The Boathouse. Unbelievably dog friendly, amazing food and amazing gin! It’s on the Marina so fab for people who love boats.. like us as it’s a 30-second walk to and from our boat!

Again, another one for boat lovers is the Boaters Bar. You can sit by the window and overlook a mini marina and part of Windermere Lake, again they are so dog friendly and the drinks are incredible. It’s a new one to Bowness but is definitely one of our top 3 already.

Whilst we were there we also went for tea at The Flying Pig and oh my, we’ve been for breakfast before but never dinner! We shared a Camembert (my all-time favourite) and I had a half roast chicken. I died and went to heaven. Nelly sat by the fire whilst we ate and the staff were incredible, again I couldn’t fault how dog friendly they all were.

Now. A part which I honestly was not impressed with on our mini-break. We went to a cafe which we have been to before (but never for food), The Magic Roundabout.

They claim to be dog friendly however I got the strong impression that they were all slightly nervous with Nelly being there (she’s only very small) so I felt like I was being a bit of an imposition. Anyway, we ordered our breakfast because we were starving and I have to say we were not impressed. The food wasn’t well done, it was OK but there are many other places surrounding that do breakfast much better so I don’t think we’ll be returning again. Maybe in summer when you can sit outside!


The best part!! (When you’re a spaniel and take to water like a duck). There are too many walks to name around Bowness but our favourite is the very simple one from the Marina to Bowness. You walk along the edge of the Lake and in summer it is a prime picnic spot! The dogs are all in and out of the Lake, chasing sticks having a BALL! Nelly knows this walk like the back of her hand and pulls like a steam train to get to it whenever we are near.

Overall, as you can tell, we love this place. It was a fabulous weekend at the dog friendly Bowness. If you haven’t been, please go and see for yourselves. You won’t regret it!


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