Lake District pubs: Ale houses to country pubs
The Lake District is one of the most stunning areas of natural beauty in the UK. England’s largest national park is home to its highest mountain, its deepest lake and some of its most atmospheric pubs. In the Lake District, pubs are warmed by log fires, ales are pulled beneath wooden fittings and local produce is transformed into delicious pub grub.
Best for: Fine wine beside the fire.
The Drunken Duck is a stylish country inn with beautiful wooden furnishings and an accomplished food and drinks menu. The 15-strong kitchen brigade prepares delicious meals such as confit duck leg and smoked haddock chowder in the open kitchen.
Visitors love the pub’s wide selection of fine wines and local ales, which can be enjoyed beside the wood fire or out on a picnic table overlooking the Ambleside fells.
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Best for: An informal snack.
On arrival at the Eltermere Inn, you’ll be greeted by manicured lawns framed by breath-taking views of Langdale Valley’s rolling hills. Once inside, you’ll find a warm, cosy lounge and an informal bar area.
Located in Elterwater, this welcoming country pub is just a stone’s throw away from the attractions of Grasmere, Ambleside and Windermere. Be sure to schedule a stop for a bite to eat and a glass of wine if you’re in the area.
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Cuckoo Brow Inn
Location: Far Sawrey
Best for: Visiting Beatrix Potter’s home.
The Cuckoo Brow Inn in the pretty village of Far Sawrey is a friendly pub, situated within walking distance of the National Trust home of Beatrix Potter. The quaint public house is surrounded by popular walking trails, scenic cycling routes and the beautiful countryside which inspired Beatrix Potter’s work. It’s one of the best pubs in the Lake District for visiting many Beatrix Potter attractions.
Hearty food is served all day, from breakfast through to lunch and dinner. It’s prepared by AA Rosette-awarded Head Chef Loredan Gargalac. The wine list features organic bottles, and muddy boots, wet dogs and children are welcome!
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The Factory Tap
Best for: Real ale.
The Factory Tap is Kendal’s premier real ale pub. It’s perfect for discovering new hand-crafted beers in a warm and friendly environment. The pub sits right at the heart of the community and often hosts live music sessions and local arts festivals.
This welcoming ale tavern is a contemporary pub set within an old stone building. At the end of each month they bring the culinary delights of street food to the pub. Look out for delicious Caribbean, Thai and vegan dishes.
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Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery
Best for: Beer in a barn.
Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery Co was established in 2009. Brewing had been at the heart of the town for centuries until the trade died out in the 21st century. The head brewer’s passion for real ale led to the re-establishment of a local brewery in Kirkby. Situated at the Old Station Yard, the brewery’s beer barn serves one of the freshest pints in the area.
The first beer produced by Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery was ‘Ruskins,’ named after the iconic Ruskin’s View, which Turner famously painted in 1816. The brewery pump clips are branded with an image of local landmark Devils Bridge and all of the beer names are linked to the local area.
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The Crafty Baa
Best for: Craft beer and soul music.
If you enjoy craft beer then you simply must visit The Crafty Baa during during your Lake District holidays. Located in Windermere, this upcycled family-run business serves over 50 varieties of beer.
The Crafty Baa has a cosy open fire and plays a range of Motown, Jazz, Blues and Soul. Acoustic sets are often played here in this rustic setting. Tucked away in Windermere, this little bar is strewn with fairy lights and has a welcoming vibe.
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The Wateredge Inn
Location: Lake Windermere
Best for: Gorgeous lakeside views.
The Wateredge Inn has an enviable location right on the shores of beautiful Lake Windermere. Its mesmerising setting offers those wanting to drink or dine the perfect view, with boats and water steamers cruising by. Wildlife is abundant too and can often be seen from this spectacular spot.
From the lakeside terrace to the cosy fireside, The Wateredge Inn is a scenic place to have a drink, whatever the season. The interior is simple and traditional and its menu offers lots of pub classics. However, it really is the breath-taking location that people come to enjoy here.
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The Punch Bowl
Location: Lyth Valley
Best for: Seasonal produce.
The Punch Bowl is situated in the heart of the unspoilt Lyth Valley at Crosthwaite in Cumbria. Offering a ‘unique blend of old and new,’ The Punch Bowl is a luxurious country restaurant offering quality food and drinks options. Flickering fires, oak beams and polished oak floors only enhance the ambience.
The Punch Bowl’s tasteful country decor is stylish yet welcoming, with deep leather sofas and armchairs, stone fireplaces and lots of candlelight. The menu at the Punch Bowl is sophisticated and presented with flair. The kitchen focusses on local and seasonal produce.
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The Bitter End
Best for: Gin lovers.
The Bitter End is a traditional pub and restaurant in Cockermouth, which is popular with the locals and often busy. Well positioned in this market town, the pub serves a classic menu and changes its specials weekly. Home to one of the smallest breweries in Cumbria, the pub has a good range of real ales and beers alongside fine wines and an extensive gin menu.
The interior of The Bitter End pub is lovely and traditional, with a brick fireplace, log fires, stone walls and comfortable furnishings. This is a dog-friendly pub and food here is considered great value.
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