Pubs and inns

As everywhere else in the country, not every pub in the Lake District or the rest of Cumbria has accommodation for people to stay. But plenty of them do, and, many here are found in the most glorious locations, surrounded by fells, overlooking a lake or tucked down some quiet country lane.  

The views inside can be pretty good as well. Pubs and inns that have served generations of people from the 17th and 18th centuries have often been ‘remade’ for the modern day traveller, with stylish bedrooms and bathrooms sitting happily inside atmospheric old buildings. 

So - for many visitors - what could be better than relaxing in a Lakeland pub, with a real fire, a pint of Cumbrian beer and food made from local produce, knowing that in the morning they can strike out for the hills or do some sight-seeing after a hearty breakfast? 

Below are over 50 places to choose from, grouped according to towns and villages. The order will change every so often, to give everyone a chance of being near the top.

Askham, near Ullswater. The Queen’s Head

‘A village pub with a difference,’ say the Lowther family owners of this 17th century, AA four star gold inn, one of 25 ‘cosy pubs for walkers’ in The Sunday Telegraph in early 2022.

Clifton near Penrith. George & Dragon

This pub is closed for the time being because of a fire in June 2022 but its sister pub, the Queen’s Head at Askham’ (see above), under four miles (6.4km) away, has six bedrooms.

Crook near Windermere. The Wild Boar

There’s an immediately welcoming feel as you step into the flagstoned bar of this well known traditional inn where a fire burns in an old range to the left, and the bar straight ahead serves beer from its own Wild Boar Brewhouse. 

Crosthwaite. The Punch Bowl Inn and Restaurant

It’s not just damsons that are worthy of purple prose in the Lyth Valley. Visitors and critics alike are full of praise for this 300 year old pub which stands on the edge of Crosthwaite.

Kirkby Lonsdale. The Sun Inn

Whatever the weather is in Cumbria, the Sun Inn isn’t short of a sparkle. A main entry in the Good Hotel Guide 2022 and the Good Pub Guide 2021, Iain and Jenny Black’s five star destination combines the ‘charm and character of a 17th century country inn’ with stylish, contemporary accommodation.

Loweswater. Kirkstile Inn

'Famous Lake District pub in stunning Loweswater,’ says the Kirkstile whose habitat is pure, unadulterated Lakeland. Mellbreak, Grasmoor, Low Fell and others stand like sentinels around the 16th century building while Crummock Water is a few minutes away along a track. Loweswater and Buttermere are not far away either. 

Sedbergh. The Black Bull

‘A great new foodie boutique hotel,’ pronounced the travel section of The Times shortly after The Black Bull’s re-opening in 2018, following major refurbishment of this landmark Sedbergh building.

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