Ten of the cosiest pubs to visit in the Lake District
PUBLISHED: 21:38 20 December 2013 | UPDATED: 21:45 06 April 2016
We are not short of great pubs in the Lakes but which to choose? Here are some favourites picked by the Lancashire Life team
The Masons Arms, Strawberry Bank, Cartmel Fell, near Grange-over-Sands. LA11 6NW.
The archetypal cosy country inn with the menu of a top class restaurant. Quaint surroundings and log fires make this a popular destination all year round and there are rooms if you can’t bear to leave. Excellent local brews go with delicious dinners – everything from posh fish and chips to marinated shoulder of Cartmel lamb cooked on the bone. Great views over the Lyth Valley.
The General Burgoyne, Church Road, Great Urswick, LA12 0SZ.
Recent winners in the Lancashire Life Food & Drink Awards, this pub claims to be the only UK hostelry bearing the name of the 18th century general. But it’s cosy snug and open fires make it a special stopping point in any hike with home cooked food by landlord and head chef Craig Sherrington topping the bill. Talking points include a skull in a cupboard.
The Boot Inn, Eskdale Valley, Cumbria CA19 1TG
This is where the Lake District gets a little more rugged and remote but the hamlet of Boot in Eskdale has this splendid bolt hole offering hearty food from key local producers. The pub dates back to the 17th century but i recent times it has been refurbished and sensitively renovated. The owners have retained the log fires and the prices remain sensible – a double room is as little as £50.
The Pheasant, Bassenthwaite Lake, near Cockermouth, CA13 9YE
Possessor of one of the UK’s more interesting bars. The walls are impregnated with the tar from a million pipes and cigarettes and varnished to a deep shade of burgundy. The huntsman John Peel was once a regular. Now completely smoke-free, it forms the heart of a beautiful old coaching inn offering fine dining and comfortable beds.
Drunken Duck, Barngates, near Ambleside. LA22 0NG
Legend has it the landlady in Victorian times found a group of ‘dead’ ducks and started plucking them for dinner. This was a shame because they were sleeping off the effects of a leaky beer barrel. Today, this is one of the region’s classic dining pubs with rooms. The bar has kept its cosy charm but more customers will arrive in BMWs than walking boots.
Cuckoo Brow Inn, Far Sawrey, Hawkshead, Cumbria LA22 0LQ
It has that 1920s country inn feel packed with quirky ornaments and interesting nooks and crannies. Transformed in recent times with an extensive make-over, the Cuckoo Brow will have fires lit, beer in top condition and a menu that prides itself in being mostly sourced from within a 20 mile radius – including some delicious Herwick.
Brown Horse, Winster, A5074 ,near Windermere at LA23 3NR.
The Times restaurant critic Giles Coren wrote that the Brown Horse had served one the best steaks he’d ever eaten. The traditional country bar is beamed and has a roaring fire to warm you through after a walk through the pretty Winster Valley. This dining pub with rooms also has its own micro-brewery and its own farm producing much of the meat and veg.
The George and Dragon, Clifton, near Penrith. CA10 2ER
This beautifully refurbished inn is part of the Lowther estate and the restaurant uses mainly meat and vegetables they’ve produced themselves. The building is a former coaching inn and the restoration has used reclaimed stone and slate flags and the colour scheme is in keeping with its Georgian heritage. Barewood tables, soft sofas and out of the way alcoves make it a great place to stay.
Hole in t' Wall, Lowside, Bowness-on-Windermere, Windermere, LA23 3DH
So named because there was a hole through which a foaming pint could be handed to the neighbouring blacksmith. It has been in operation for more than 400 years and during that time was visited by Charles Dickens. Not for tall people with delicate skulls but a happy haven if you enjoy good beer .
The Golden Rule, Smith Brow, Ambleside. LA22 9AS.
A pub for aficionados of a warm hearth and good beer rather than those looking for fine dining – unless you count a well-pickled egg. This is an old pub up a steep bank and that means it’s often overlooked by the visiting masses. There’s no background music, no noisy games machines and no big screen television. It’s a place to sit, chat and have a pint. Cheers!