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Dog & Gun, Keswick

2 Lake Road
CA12 5BT
Phone: 01768773463

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 6 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Will Larter left this review about Dog & Gun

Despite the fact that this pub attracts dogs and their human companions in large numbers, I still like it. Since my last visit there has been a bit of a makeover, with what looks to be a new or renovated bar counter (with hooks!) and all but one of the settles that previously provided most of the seating now gone. These changes have made the pub lighter and perhaps more welcoming, though also perhaps losing some of its traditional appeal in the process. There are eight hand pumps arrayed along the bar counter (see photos), and I tried both the Keswick Thirst Noel 6% (which seemed sweeter than I remembered it from previous Christmas visits) and Eden Brewery's Cumbrian Black, a 3.6% mild that was so good I had a second half - partly because I enjoyed the first one so much, and partly to prove to the slightly inebriated chap stood at the bar that I was definitely not drinking Guinness.

Date of visits: 17th & 20th December 2017

On 4th April 2018 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2630 recommendations about 2480 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Aqualung . left this review about Dog & Gun

This place turned out to be pretty well rammed on a claggy half term Wednesday afternoon. It's a wide open plan area with a wooden floor.
The bar has eight hand pumps and it was just too busy to note all the beers but I did spot Old Peculier, GK IPA, Ennerdale Darkest & Raspberry Pale, Keswick KSB and Woof & Bang and Derwent Marshall Port Stout. I went for the KSB which wasn't too clear and didn't taste that great.
I wonder if this pub is a victim of it's own success. I much preferred the Wainwright down the road.

On 5th November 2016 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2143 recommendations about 2143 pubs]

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Ian Mapp left this review about Dog & Gun

I knew how popular it was from a previous visit - so booked a table (not easily) for 8pm on a saturday night.

Table nicely reserved.

They had no food.

Keswick pub crawl and photos at

On 11th October 2016 - rating: 1
[User has posted 277 recommendations about 276 pubs]

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John Bonser left this review about Dog & Gun

In the centre of Keswick, close to the Moot Hall, is The Dog and Gun, probably the Keswick pub that features the most frequently in the various pub / beer guides that abound nowadays.

As we approach, we see on the windows various notices that may or may not encourage one to visit. Thus for instance, we learn that the pub is “Keswick’s first and foremost entirely dog friendly pub”. Much more encouragingly, we are also told that The Dog and Gun is “the only pub in Keswick to feature in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide”.

It’s a fine, traditionally furnished, low ceilinged, flagstone floored pub with a small bar counter on the left hand side and a wider seating area on the right. Immediately in front of us is an old looking spiral stone staircase, but, somewhat oddly, it suddenly stops and doesn’t actually seem to lead anywhere.

Various items hang down from the black oak beams such as farming implements and skis. An extensive pump clip collection adorns the walls and there’s also some hanging hops. It’s quite narrow by the bar counter where there’s a number of high backed settles against the wall and facing the bar servery. On the bar counter is a large framed photo of the Keswick Mountain Rescue Team standing outside the pub and we are encouraged to donate and show our support. An old railway station style clock looks down on proceedings. It’s a fine characterful and quirky interior. Surprisingly, given its pro dog stance, tables and chairs are packed quite closely together and there’s little space for dogs to lounge around on the floor and get under people’s feet. Pleasingly on my visit, most dog owners appeared to have recognised this and were keeping their dogs under close control. I suppose it’s typically Britain for a pub to allow dogs unrestricted and unconditional access throughout opening hours, but to allow kids in only when they’re accompanied and dining. (Incidentally, when did you last see a dog buy a round in a pub?).

The pub’s main fame to claim is its “famous Hungarian goulash” – a house speciality, the origins and background to which are detailed in a framed article on a wall in a small corridor behind the bar. On my visits, most customers, including a good number of overseas visitors, were here enjoying this speciality, which looked appetising and substantial. With virtually every table occupied and with a strict no bookings policy, the bar area was largely populated, not with vertical drinkers, but with people hovering and waiting for a table to become vacant. Perhaps inevitably, dogs are not overlooked with “doggy treats” available for the princely sum of £ 1. Despite the food emphasis, it still feels very much like a proper pub and drinkers do not feel discouraged or unwelcome, even if space is at a premium.

The pub offers an interesting range of real ales and would appear to be one of the few Keswick pubs that is not owned by either Jennings or Robinsons. 6 handpumps offer beers from local micros, including the local Keswick Brewery. On several consecutive late September evening visits, 2 Keswick beers were on – Landlords Choice ( £ 3.15p) and Thirst Gold – which were in good nick. Other beers on included brews from Hawkshead, Cumbrian Legendary ( Loweswater Gold ) and Derwent ( Marshall Stout ). Probably the best selling beer was Theakstond Old Peculier, priced at what I would consider to be a reasonable £ 3.35p. CAMRA members get a 20p discount.

The pub is a CAMRA Good Beer Guide regular and is, indeed, as advertised, the only Keswick pub with a listing. It appears to offer easily the best range of real ale in town and is well worth seeking out, but expect it to be heaving and standing room only at most times.

(Disappointingly, since my visit and writing the above report, I have become aware that, following a change of ownership, the pub has had a refurbishment, which, according to reports, has resulted in most of the characterful quirkiness disappearing. Reports on Tripadvisor from those people who have been “before” and “after” are not encouraging, but I understand that the Hungarian goulash is still on the menu after protests when it was going to be discontinued).

On 31st October 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Phantom Pigeon left this review about Dog & Gun

As has been said, great range of beers mostly from local breweries, served and kept well, and reasonably priced.
The food - Fair sized portions, once again at reasonable prices. I can recommend the goulash.
Very dog friendly and, on the evening we went, seemed to be the busiest pub in Keswick.
A definite return visit is warranted.

On 16th December 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 96 recommendations about 88 pubs]

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James Joines left this review about Dog & Gun

Great range of beers mostly from local breweries. Limited food availability but portions looked good.
As mentioned by others very dog friendly and well worth a visit.

On 10th October 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 841 recommendations about 835 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Michael Wright left this review about Dog & Gun

Visit was sunny midweek afternoon June 2013

It was only flying visit because I was on coach party, so only had time for a one pint, one long bar, but has separate areas, as mentioned it is very dog friendly, two dogs, with owners, came in whilst I was there, the landlady [I assume it was her] promptly provided bowls of water for the dogs

Also seems people friendly, I could not help but notice how much care they took ensuring a person in motorised wheelchair was comfortable & able to reach food, a nice caring touch

No piped music on my visit, maybe times change or was I lucky?

As mentioned by Will, excellent range of ales, just wish I had more time to sample them

I never tried the food, but what I saw looked good

Never likely to return to Keswick, but if I did I would make a beeline here and I advise you to do same

On 8th August 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 526 recommendations about 382 pubs]

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Will Larter left this review about Dog & Gun

This pub always has an ecellent range of real ales to choose from, and at this time of year that usually includes Keswick Thirst Noel, a 6% seasonal beer. Others on the bar on my recent visit were Theakstons Old Peculier, Eden Gold, Tirril Barman's Massive Baubles and Loweswater Gold.

This is an incredibly dog-friendly pub, with two notices prominently displayed on the bar advising the availability of "doggy treat bags", with what might be thought unnecessary guidance towards a subsequent use for the empty bag. Less prominently displayed was the notice that tells Camra members they can claim a 20p a pint discount (or 10p a half) on any real ale on production of their membership card. I found the music even more annoying than in my previous visits here, so the rating has gone down slightly.

On 31st December 2012 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2630 recommendations about 2480 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Will Larter left this review about Dog & Gun

Probably the best pub in Keswick, though others will have their own ideas. Always has Keswick Brewery product on the bar, this time Thirst Fall and Chestnut, plus there were Yates Bitter, Theakstons Old Peculier and Rannerdale Robin. I commented on the horrendous piped music, and the barman, equally disgusted, said that it was provided by "head office" and they didn't have any choice in the matter. I suppose it's inevitable that "head office" is entirely populated by morons with no musical taste: it's the way of the world. The speciality dish is Hungarian goulash, which seemed to be enjoyed by other customers, though as a vegetarian myself I couldn't possibly comment. For those who need it, wi-fi is available.

On 30th December 2010 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2630 recommendations about 2480 pubs]