The Lake District Tradition of Sheep Dog Trials

English Lakes Hotels is pleased to sponsor the 117th Sheepdog Trials at Hill Farm, Ings on 6th August, an event that celebrates an important part of our local farming heritage. 

One Man and His Dog

Eight million of us were glued to our tv screens back in the 1980s for our weekly peak at ‘One Man and His Dog’, a show whersheepdog2e the rugged but intimate relationship between farmer and working dog intrigued and entertained. Border Collies are renowned for their intelligence, agility and hard work and it is said that the UK is very much the ‘kennel of the world’. 

Community dog trials have been in existence since the 1870s and national trials flourished post WWI. These days there is an International Sheep Dog Society governing the event with strict guidelines and regulations as well as thousands of members and registered dogs.

Time Honoured Traditions

Maria Walker, our CRS Manager, thoroughly enjoyed last year’s event and discovered that as well as the sheep dog trials, there’s a feast of other activities showcasing time-honoured skills and traditions.

The sun shone and it was a beautiful day in Windermere, perfect for the annual Lake District Sheepdog Trials where farmers and their 4-legged companions do their thing and keeping Lake District traditions alive. 


It really was a fun-filled day with lots going on from Sheepdog Trials, Trails for Foxhounds, Terriers and Hound Puppies, Cumberland & Westmorland Wrestling, Demonstrations, craft and trade stands and a refreshment tent.


I was captivated by the skillful dogs and their handlers. They completely rely on each other to work the sheep. The tradition of Cumberland Wrestling dates back over one hundred years. Moves such as outside-stroke, swinging-hip and twist-off-the-breast are still being used today along with the traditional costume of britches worn over white tights – not a look you would rock on a night out!! Boys as young as five years old throw themselves into the ring, enjoying every moment.


Events like this happen throughout the summer and it’s not too late to get involved. Take a look to find out what’s on.

Photo Highlights 2014

  • Photography by: Angus Hosking, Student at Lakes School

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