5 best pubs in the Lake District holiday cottages

5 best pubs in the Lake District

Content Team 29 May 2020

“In heaven, there is no beer, that’s why we’re drinking it here. And when we’re gone from here, all our friends will be drinking all the beer,” – Ernst Neubach & Ralph Maria Siegel.

If your idea of heaven is a pub, then the composers of this song probably never visited the Lake District. Offering the ultimate in relief, refreshment and relaxation, we bring you a guide to the five best pubs available to mortal man, woman, child and hound in the Lake District.

Eating out is such a huge part of any holiday as not only can you try lots of new food and local delicacies, it also offers a full break for everyone in your group. There is nothing better than kicking back and relaxing in a cosy pub, beer in hand, after an adventurous day out exploring with your loved ones. Tuck into a huge burger lunch or steak dinner whilst sampling the local ale and soak up the friendly atmosphere whilst pup snoozes by the fire.

Here are our five little steps to heaven...

The Drunken Duck

With its gorgeous fell views, this hilariously monikered gastropub has been a regional favourite of locals and return visitors alike for over 300 years. It’s been owned by the same custodians since the 1970s and is one of the Lake District’s oldest and best-known foodie pubs - that’s quite a pedigree. It's found close to the serene Tarn Hows, at a crossroads between Hawkshead and Coniston.

Cycling to a Lake District pub

The food is exceptional and imaginative – try the cherry-glazed duck or pork belly and faggots, accompanied with a refreshing local ale. The cosy interior evokes farmhouse living with its slate-gilded bar and wood burners. Book dinner after a day exploring Hawkshead or the former home of Beatrix Potter, Hill Top.

Need to know:

  • Location: LA22 0NG
  • Dogs are welcome in the bar, but not in the restaurant part of the establishment
  • Prices: main courses £23 and lunches £12 on average
  • Booking in advance is advised

The Woolpack

This charming English country inn does well to blend the new and practical with the old and comfortable. Sup a well-earned pint or glass of wine in one of the pub’s many comfy corners, after a long walk in the fells. You can also choose to dine at the neighbouring bar / café, called The Hardknott Bar, where you can enjoy the local art on the walls.

Pints of Lake District ale

Located close to Hardknott Pass, the River Esk, and Burnmoor Tarn just outside the hamlet of Boot, The Woolpack is certainly off-the-beaten-track but well-worth seeking out for its great bar menu and choice of ales. It's very reasonably priced and generous portions are the order of the day. 

Need to know:

  • Location: CA19 1TH
  • The Woolpack is a dog-friendly pub that welcomes all. Read our dog-friendly guide to places to eat for even more pet-friendly eateries.
  • Prices: £13.50 main course average
  • Booking in advance is advised

The Mortal Man

This 17th-century country pub has a quirky interior design and great views to enjoy on your visit. Located in Troutbeck Valley, where you can see down to Lake Windermere, it is also within 5 miles of Ambleside and can be visited with ease from many of the region’s popular visitor attractions. Try some of the local walks including the trail to Helvellyn, or take a drive over the superb Kirkstone Pass, 3 miles to Ullswater.

Ale by the lake

Write a postcard home (or take an Instagram before your dinner goes cold) and tell your friends about the fantastic all-day menu. It consists of traditional pub standards like homemade gourmet burgers with an array of inspiring toppings. Keep an eye on the daily specials for good belly fillers and mouth-watering desserts, both hot and cold. Pick from a dazzling choice of at least five local real ales and a dozen ciders to sample. They even brew their own ale called ‘Sally Birketts’ and their tempting wine list is also set to impress. 

Need to know:

  • Location: LA23 1PL
  • The Mortal Man welcomes dogs, so bring along your hound for company.
  • Prices: main courses £14 on average
  • Booking in advance is advised.

The George and Dragon Inn

This distinctive pub for discerning diners is enjoying a growing reputation for its food and drink. Tucked away in the grounds of the Askham Hall Estate, 3 miles from the market town of Penrith, The George and Dragon Inn is a superb place to dine of an evening. Country dishes and hearty flavours form a very respectable and tasty menu. There are delicious ales on draught and open fires, and photographic portraits of cattle characterise the bar.

Pulling pints of ale in the Lake District

The restaurant has an open kitchen, so you can see the chefs rustle up your dinner in fine fashion. The menu offers a great selection of English and European surf and turf dishes as well as some tasty desserts. Be enticed to try something from the wine list too.

Need to know:

  • Location: CA10 2ER
  • Pets are allowed in the inn so feel free to bring them along too
  • Prices: Prices: main course £14 on average
  • Booking in advance is advised.

The Wild Boar

Last but not least, we have The Wild Boar; it is here that you can try their ‘alternative afternoon tea’. Out go the finger sandwiches and in come mini fish and chips, pork scratchings, pigs in blankets and a unique spin on the jam and cream element - there’s also a twisty variant for vegetarians. But whereabouts is the Wild Boar? Set in the Gilpin Valley, it is famed for its crackling log fires, gorgeous seasonal menu and a good sample of ales and wines.

Hot food Lake District-style

The Grill & Smokehouse has an open kitchen where you can witness all the hard work that goes into creating their delicious fare. The Wild Boar is certainly one of the best places to sup a pint and get warm after a day of trekking and touring around the fabulous Lake District. There are comprehensive children’s menus which is a definite plus for young families.

Need to know:

  • Location: LA23 3NF
  • Dogs are welcome at The Wild Boar and they will love the private woodland and walking trails.
  • Prices: main course £18 on average
  • Booking in advance is advised.

If you are interested in walking and climbing in the Lake District, read our guide for even more rewarding treks in the area. This is the best way to work up your appetite!

Lake District beauty

More great pubs in the Lake District...

For more information on local ale available in pubs throughout the Lake District check out our guide to the best breweries in the area. 

Stay in a self-catering cottage near a pub in the Lake District

There are so many great places to eat and drink informally across the Lake District. If you are planning a holiday in the region, we have some lovely cottages for you to stay in. From country cottages to lakeside apartments, farmhouses and suburban home-from-homes, we have something in our collection of Lake District holiday cottages that are perfect for you and your family.

If you are taking the dog away, make sure you check out our guide on dog-friendly places to eat and drink and also our dog-friendly cottages. Browse our collection today!

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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