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Borrowdale Royal Oak Hotel

(1 review)

Dogs: 2

1 night 2 persons from £110

Multiple Dogs

No Size Limits

Leave Unattended

Newly extended and refurbished, we have an eclectic mix of en-suite rooms, an apartment and bunk barns. Breakfast and evening dinner available, friendly and welcoming staff who want to be part of your story. Surrounded by beautiful fells and the beck, a tranquil getaway to explore the North Lakes with Keswick a short drive away.

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When you think of the Lake District, spectacular fells, picturesque lakes and stunning scenery comes to mind, The Borrowdale Royal Oak in the Borrowdale Valley delivers, with its idyllic location in the North Lakes. We have access to the best display of fell walking in the country with walks and activities for all levels of fitness. Let your adventures begin.

Steeped in history, the hotel has dwelled here for nearly 300 years, formerly a farmhouse and a miners tavern it has been providing accommodation for over a century. We have created a stylish and contemporary yet homely and charming place to stay. Extended and totally refurbished throughout, we have respectfully recognised its character and setting in the valley. 

We have thought of everything, even a drying room and boot warmers.

Staying at the Borrowdale Royal Oak will give you a profound sense of serenity and tranquillity, gather your thoughts or empty your mind and enjoy true relaxation. Listen to the beck, feel the sun, the gentle breeze and the fresh rain, absorb the beautiful scenery and find your inner sanctuary.

Chill out in our welcoming lounge and snug, enjoy the company of friends and family or meet new friends, we love the murmur of our guests chattering away, sharing their stories. We also love dogs, your canine friends will be made more than welcome. You will find us extremely welcoming with staff that want to be part of your story.

Our breakfast and evening dinner menus are prepared with the best, fresh locally sourced produce, tempting home made meals, complimented with real ales and fine wines from our carefully hand picked selection of beverages. We even offer all day complimentary tea and coffee, not to mention scrumptious cakes every afternoon.

We have an eclectic mix of sleeping accommodation, beautifully designed classic, superior, executive and deluxe ensuite bedrooms, a stylish self contained apartment and trendy bunk barn rooms for groups of 4 or 6.

All have individually sprung mattresses, hypo-allergenic pillows and duvets, tea and coffee making facilities and free WiFi. We can promise you a room with a view, so whether you are overlooking the beck or the fells, enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Dogfriendly Magazine Review

Read our comprehensive review of this listing printed in our bi-monthly magazine.

Name: Royal Oak Hotel, Borrowdale
Reviewer: Paige Nicole

Living in Manchester, I love that we can jump in our car, travel two hours from home and be in what seems like another world. We stayed at The Royal Oak Hotel in Borrowdale, the Lake District in March, a month that generally waves goodbye to the bitter cold wintery nights and begins to welcome the delights of spring, fields of flowers and warmer weather.  

I had planned to capture all elements of the new season in my photographs but Mother Nature had other plans. Instead, we were treated to lashings of pure white snow as we made our way up the windy country roads. A winter wonderland and, arguably, even more beautiful than the scenic settings I had imagined in my head. 

Soon after we arrived in the idyllic Borrowdale Valley where, tucked up tightly off the country road, stood The Royal Oak Hotel. The hotel building is steeped in history and has been providing accommodation for nearly three centuries. Originally, it was a farmhouse and a miner’s tavern. While retaining many of the original features, the newly refurbished hotel offers a modern and stylish twist, adding to its overwhelming charm and beauty. It provides a range of accommodations from classic and executive double, to triple and quadruple rooms to budget-friendly bunks, barns and a self-contained two-bedroom studio apartment with a bathroom, separate living space and kitchenette. The rooms have a contemporary but cosy feeling, offering tea and coffee-making facilities, complimentary locally produced toiletries and free Wifi.

We arrived late afternoon on a Friday, parked up (with plenty of free spaces to park), checked in, unpacked and were ready to explore the surrounding area. After the car journey, Shadow and Roo were excited to get their noses to the ground and venture into the valley. The hotel is in the heart of Rosthwaite, a village surrounded by mountains, and it sits between the river Derwent and Stonethwaite Beck. We walked along the slender roads with quaint and charming cottages on either side and found ourselves lost in what I can only describe as a dog owner’s paradise. The views were magnificent – snow-covered fells with acres of land surrounding us. A picture could not capture its perfection. For two Labradors who love the outdoor life, it was magic. Kit also made the most of the open space and tired his little legs chasing after the dogs.

As a pet parent (of two big Labradors) having lots of land to explore and walking routes on the doorstep is essential on holiday. The hotel is in prime position for fell walking or a relaxed stroll.

After our walk, we headed back to warm up and settle in. We stayed in a triple room with a double and sofa bed. It was very spacious and decorated beautifully – the coat hanger on the wall was the perfect touch to hang our big coats and dog leads on. Shadow and Roo were treated to a packet of complimentary Sunday Roast flavour treats and soon made themselves at home. We had stunning views of a stream and a flock of Herdwick sheep in an enclosed field next door. While the dogs needed some shut-eye, we were ready for a cheeky tipple and some grub.

On entering the hotel entrance, we walked through to a lounge area, sectioned off into two rooms, offering cosy and comfortable seating and tables. The perfect place to chat with others staying at the hotel, meet their pups and enjoy a cold pint or glass of wine. Dogs are allowed anywhere in the hotel, except in the dedicated dining areas but you can eat in the lounge areas with your pups. 

Through another door was a quaint bar area showcasing a 17th-century style oven (obviously not now in use) pretty wall-hung pictures and a cute pink tartan pig doorstop. We were certainly made to feel at home when we met hotel manager Ann. Born not far from my neck of the woods in Manchester, Ann moved to the lakes when she was 18 and is a village girl at heart. She has worked at the hotel since 1975 (at just 19 years old) and her pride and proudness of the place beams as she told us about all the things to do in the area and places to see.

We were welcomed into the dining room, cosied up in the corner and ordered from the menu. We had planned to visit many different cafes and restaurants during our stay but we did not need to. The food at the Royal Oak is exquisite and head chef David Lee should be immensely proud. It is Cumbrian hospitality at its finest. The hotel offers a daily-changing  menu with a choice of two or three courses. Food choices relate to the season. I enjoyed the vegetarian option of carrot and coriander soup, followed by herb roast cauliflower. Ash chose the meat option of picanha beef rump with smoked potato terrine, and Kit enjoyed a plate of potatoes and fresh vegetables. We had the Pear & Ginger cake with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream to finish, which was a firm favourite with other diners too.

The next day was special for us as our boy Shadow turned six. We started the day with breakfast. Walking into the dining area, we were met with an array of delicious pastries, fresh Greek yoghurt, fresh fruit salad, overnight oats and you could order a smoothie on request, and that was just the start. Hot breakfast options are also available to order including a full English, poached eggs and eggs benedict. There were vegetarian options available too.

The morning started with a walk on another of the routes surrounding the hotel (towards Stonethwaite) before venturing to The Lingholm Estate (a recommendation of Ann’s) situated on the Western Shore of Derwentwater. Just a 16-minute drive from the hotel, to Lingholm Estate offers a range of accommodation, kitchen and walled garden which allows dogs. We stayed for tea, coffee and a delicious piece of chocolate and blackcurrant roulade. 

It was interesting to learn that Beatrix Potter herself spent many years holidaying at Lingholm. After exploring the gardens, we headed back to the car and travelled to Keswick, known as England’s most dog friendly town. Lucky for us it was market day and the street was lined with cool and quirky stalls selling everything from cakes and brownies to clothing and kitchenware. We headed to Crow Park, a National Trust site just outside the town centre. The park has large grass areas, perfect for a leisurely walk and for the dogs to let off steam. They had a paddle in the open water too.

We walked back towards Keswick town centre and stopped for lunch at Café Hope. A great café, with stunning views and caters for everyone, especially those with fur. It offers an array of refreshments including hot and alcoholic beverages and serves hot food, cream teas and cakes. The café also has a dog menu. We ordered Shadow and Roo a bowlful of sausages each.

Back at the hotel, we sat in the snug area with a pot of tea before heading to the dining room for another delicious meal. Kit had a good rummage through the board games box and the dogs were waiting for everyone to come in and give them a fuss before they went for a well-needed rest. We spoke with so many people staying at the hotel who had returned year after year because they loved it so much, which speaks for itself.

On our final morning, we again enjoyed breakfast before departing. We were sad to leave as the stay had been one of a kind – a real home-from-home experience. We were going to miss waking up to the cheeky Herdwick sheep who liked to escape their field and stroll around the car park.

Having had dogs all my life and spending a lot of time looking for pet-friendly places to eat and stay, I now realise that there is a big difference between dogs who are allowed and dogs who are welcomed, and the Royal Oak Hotel certainly makes your furry friends feel like part of the furniture. That goes for us humans too. Ann and the fantastic ladies there, treated us not like customers, but as friends. We cannot wait to return. Thank you for showing us the Lake’s utmost beauty.

Royal Oak Hotel, review by Paige Nicole and appears in DogFriendly magazine issue 78.  For more information on the DogFriendly magazine visit https://www.dogfriendly.co.uk/magazine

(1 review)

Graham, July 2022

Stayed here for 5 nights with my greyhound. They are genuinely dog friendly. Your dog can be with you to take your meals in the lounge or bar. Lovely part of the country to explore. Be aware there are lots of sheep and cows in the area, do keep your hound on a lead if you walk through a field.

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Listing Updated: 17/05/2024

Changes to businesses do occur. Please do double check this business is still dog friendly before you make a booking


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Listing Address

Lake District
CA12 5XB
017687 77214

Listing Details

Can Leave Dog Unattended


Owner Has A Dog


Limit On Dog Size

No Limit

No. Of Dogs Welcome


Charge For Dogs


Dog Welcome Pack


Electric Vehicle Charger


Walks From Door


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