The Lake District is renowned for its excellent, unparalleled scenery and incredible walks, but it’s equally as famous for its cosy Cumbrian pubs.
After a long walk exploring the famous fells, the shores of Windermere Lake and the coves and caves at Rydal water, nothing quite compares to taking off those muddy boots and relaxing in an ambient, friendly pub by the roaring fire.
We like to think we’ve tried and tested the vast majority of pubs that surround our two wonderful Lake District cottages (it’s a hard life!), and so it’s only right we share our favourites.
1. THE DRUNKEN DUCK INN, AMBLESIDE
Regarded as the local’s favourite by The Telegraph, this traditional pub dates back to the 17th Century, and is renowned for its convivial nature and atmosphere.
When you step inside the Drunken Duck Inn, you’ll find a genuinely friendly and personable team serving up top-quality, classic pub food that makes for a perfect lunch time pit stop and refuel. Think hearty fish and chips, fresh warming soups and not forgetting their ultimate Sunday roast (pre-booking is essential for this one as once it’s gone, it’s gone!), often served up with a modern, experimental twist.
Note: The Drunken Duck Inn is a dog-free pub, so you’ll need to leave those muddy paws outside!
2. THE YAN AT BROADRAYNE, NEAR GRASMERE
A must-visit for the foodies among us, The Yan offers a cosy haven away from the winter chill, nestled away on a traditional Lakeland farm dating back to the 1600s.
The Yan offers exceptional service that is authentic and personable, and delicious culinary delights that make full use of the region’s finest flavours and ingredients. Plus, you won’t have to worry about muddy boots here, simply sit back and soak up the atmosphere while warming up by the fire.
The Yan is ideally situated for anyone attempting some, or all, of the Coast to Coast trail near Grasmere, as the route passes right through the Broadrayne farm. Alternatively, if you’re staying at Mary’s Cottage, it’s just a 30-minute walk away. Meaning you’ll have most certainly earned a tipple or two on the walk-up, but you don’t have to worry about getting home!
3. THE PRIEST HOLE, AMBLESIDE
Possibly the oldest pub in our top 5, this delightful pub dates back to the 16th century, aptly receiving its name as a nod to the rich history and cultural heritage associated with this period. Priest holes were clever hiding places created to conceal Catholic Priests during a time when the Catholic faith as a whole was suppressed, most famously during Henry VIII’s break with the Catholic Church, back in Tudor England.
Today, The Priest Hole serves as a welcoming, warm environment for all, serving up fresh seasonal dishes and using the very best local suppliers such as Hawkshead Relish, two local butcheries and Pennington’s tea and coffee, to give you a real taste of the Lakes.
You’ll find no airs and graces when visiting The Priest Hole, just refreshingly casual service and top-notch food.
4. QUEEN'S HEAD, HAWKSHEAD
This quintessential, traditional pub has been welcoming weary travellers and visitors since the 1800s and is a great place to stop for some relaxed dining and a drink while exploring the pretty market village of Hawkshead.
Expect roaring fires, a brilliant selection of local ales and award-winning menus featuring hearty classics and Cumbrian-sized portions!
Bonus points: Dogs are equally as welcome as their human companions, with complimentary treats available at the bar, too.
5. AMBLESIDE INN, AMBLESIDE
Nestled away in the heart of Ambleside, it’s no mystery how this pub earned its namesake. The Ambleside Inn has been welcoming visitors for more than 300 years, though in more recent years the pub has seen multiple renovations, adding a new lease of life to its cosy charm.
After stepping foot inside the inn, you’re guaranteed to feel right at home, whether browsing their seasonal menu serving up delicious hearty meals – the perfect pick me up after a long day of exploring the Lakes – or simply warming up by the fire with your favourite drink in hand.
The Ambleside Inn is also proudly dog-friendly, so your four-legged friend can enjoy some chill-out time by the fire, too!
Now you’ve found some perfect pubs to enjoy some local Cumbrian cuisine in, you just need a lovely place to rest your head, too!
mary's cottage (sleeps 2)
Mary’s Cottage, situated in the heart of Ambleside, is a perfect base for those wanting a holiday equal parts cosy and quiet indoors, and in the middle of the action. These self-contained cottages have everything you need for a heavenly stay in the Lakes, from an al fresco hot tub to cosy log burners and dog-friendly facilities.
FOX CORNER (SLEEPS 2)
If you prefer to stay off the beaten track, Fox Corner is for you. Just a 10-minute stroll from the shores of Windermere Lake, and a 30-minute walk from the centre of Grasmere, Fox Corner is a romantic, rural retreat designed just for two, with stunning fell views. Whether you fancy wild swimming, walking way up in the clouds, or simply sitting back in your toasty warm hot tub, Fox Corner is the perfect escape from the daily hustle and bustle.
Book now to secure your perfect staycation. Short breaks available with 10% off winter bookings when you use code ‘WINTER10’