Dog-friendly Furness Abbey in Cumbria by Good Doggy Guide
Poppy explores the dog-friendly Furness Abbey in Cumbria. Photo by Good Doggy Guide

Visit Furness Abbey with your dog

On Good Doggy Guide, we like to give you new ideas of places you can visit with your dog. Whether that’s fun walks or places of interest where dogs are welcome. And Furness Abbey certainly fits into the second category. Read on, to find out how our visit with Poppy the beagle went!

Furness Abbey is a great place to check out if you like a bit of history and architecture. This Cumbrian ruin is run by English Heritage and is actually a pretty big site. And away from the big tourist attractions of the Lake District, it’s often easy to get parking and enjoy some space too.

Furness Abbey: a dog-friendly visitor attraction

So, how dog-friendly is it? Well you enter through the visitor centre and museum, which in many places dogs simply can’t go. Not so here. We were able to take Poppy the dog around the exhibits and peruse the shop area. The tasty human treats are nicely out of reach of greedy hounds too. Outside there’s a dog water bowl, which seems to be kept topped up. Unlike some places we go to!

The day we went, a friendly member of staff welcomed us in with a quick, helpful overview of the site before leaving us to explore at our own pace. We arrived on a bank holiday, and were quite surprised at how quiet it was. So, there was plenty of space for us to have a good look at the exhibits with Poppy in tow, without getting in anyone’s way.

What is there to see?

Don’t miss the medieval treasures on display inside, such as the sparkly crozier and the interesting stone carvings. Of course, the Abbey remains are outside and quite substantial, so there’s plenty to explore. And Poppy seemed to enjoy exploring with us.

Dog-friendly Furness Abbey in Cumbria by Good Doggy Guide
Poppy prefers the smell of grass to the abbey ruins! Photo by Good Doggy Guide

The outdoor area is grassed so Poppy was happy walking and sniffing as we took a nosy around the historic site. So, the Abbey ruins are easy to walk around with a dog on a lead. And there’s enough space to sit down and enjoy a packed lunch in the grounds (which we did).

The highlights of the site for me were the ornate sedilia, the elaborate arches and the latrine. Whilst I think the highlight for Poppy was getting to sniff around somewhere new.

I admit, I do like my heritage attractions. We’re always discovering dog-friendly castles, abbeys and other ruins. So, do expect plenty more of these to pop up on Good Doggy Guide!

A beach stop-off

For high-energy dogs, we’d recommend stopping along the coast first, so your furry friend can let off some steam. The nearby beach at Roanhead (aka Sandscale Haws) is great for this. It has a lovely long, flat stretch of sand that any dog will love. If you walk around the headland away from the car park, it’s generally quieter so it’s ideal for dogs who need a bit of space away from others (like Poppy does). Of course, it helps if you time it right!

The dunes area is a nature reserve and important habitat for nesting birds and natterjack toads, so it’s a good idea to follow the National Trust’s advice on walking your dog here. And obviously, pick up your poop!