The best Lake District pubs and inns

Because a good walk in the Lake District always ends with a good pub, right?

The Yan at Broadrayne, Grasmere

by Trail magazine |

If you're after some great food to round off your day in the fells, here’s our top pick of foodie pubs, inns and restaurants where you can also stay the night, and they won’t mind if you stagger in with muddy boots...

spacer

Kirkstile Inn, Loweswater

Kirkstile Inn, Loweswater

With the perfect Lakeland backdrop, the Kirkstile is the epitome of the good ole English country pub. Perfect for a post-walk pint and meal, its rustic charm is down-to-earth and reasonably priced. We are sold on its cosy atmosphere, open fire, their own award-winning beer and excellent pub food. The Kirkstile is the worthy recipient of many an award and is fabulously positioned in the north-west of the Lakes at the foot of Mellbreak fell, next to Crummock Water and not far from Buttermere. It’s a good job they have some lovely rooms to stay in too, because once you arrive you won’t want to leave.

kirkstile.com

spacer

The Queens Head, Troutbeck

The Queens Head, Troutbeck

The Queen’s Head is another shining example of everything we love about a hillwalkers’ inn. Situated just outside the quaint little village of Troutbeck above Windermere and Ambleside, you can walk from the door up onto the fells of Kentmere or Wansfell and return to an open fire, a relaxed, sociable atmosphere and very yummy food. Having been restored after a fire gutted the 17th century Grade 2 listed building in 2014, you can stay in one of their gorgeously refurbished rooms, where walkers and dogs are welcomed.

queensheadtroutbeck.pub

spacer

The Drunken Duck, Barngates

The Drunken Duck, Barngates

Over the years the Drunken Duck has earned itself a well-deserved reputation for great food. A clear step up from standard pub food, if your partial to an amuse-bouche to kick off your meal, you won’t be disappointed. Perhaps the best way to appreciate the full range of gastronomic delights on offer is to stay the night, where breakfast is the tastiest we’ve had, followed by afternoon cream tea with champagne and a 3-course evening meal. While the food might be fancy, the ambiance is relaxed and rustic, with hops decorating the ceilings. You’ll find it on a crossroads in the middle of nowhere, but just a short drive from Ambleside.

drunkenduckinn.co.uk

spacer

The Yan, Grasmere

The Yan, Grasmere

This 17th century farmhouse is less of a pub, and more of a restaurant inn. But its location right opposite Helm Crag, with the Helvellyn range towering beyond and Grasmere less than a kilometre down the road makes it a fantastic treat for hillwalkers who enjoy good food. The vibe is rustic, with a modern, bright and airy feel. It’s is a family-run business, with two generations joining forces to quickly earn The Yan a reputation for fantastic food without the snobbery. For a down-to-earth blend of modern food, stylish rooms, in a wonderful setting, The Yan’s a great choice.

theyan.co.uk

spacer

The Black Swan, Ravenstonedale

The Black Swan, Ravenstonedale

You’re right, Ravenstonedale is not actually in the Lake District. You’ll find the Black Swan in the Howgill fells, just bordering the Lakes. We love it because the Lakes can get awfully busy in peak times, and this cute little village of Ravenstonedale avoids the crowds, but gives you easy access to the Howgills, The Lakes, The Yorkshire Dales AND the Pennines… kinda perfect for walkers. Plus, wherever you’re headed, the inn is worth a visit, just a 10-minute detour from the M6. The food is a delight, and you can stay in one of their gorgeous rooms, or even in a fairy-lit riverside yurt – just over the lane from the pub.

blackswanhotel.com

spacer

Mason’s Arms, Cartmel

Mason’s Arms, Cartmel

Dating back to the 16th century, the Masons Arms at Cartmel Fell is a true walkers’ pub – and a flippin’ fabulous one at that! Racking up its awards and recommendations, it is set on the side of a hill on the quieter side of the Lakes. Serving up quality meals, with a fine selection of beverages, it has oodles of character and a beer garden with wide open fell views, plus a gorgeous choice of suites or cottage accommodation. We love it!

masonsarmsstrawberrybank.co.uk

spacer
Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us