5 best pubs in the Lake District holiday cottages

5 best pubs in the Lake District

“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. Five little steps to heaven.

The Drunken Duck

Cycling to a Lake District pub

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. Found close to the serene Tarn Hows, at a crossroads between Hawkshead and Coniston. 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. Please note: 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

Pints of Lake District ale

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 art on the walls by locals.

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. Very reasonably priced and generous portions are the order of the day. Take your hound along as 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

Ale by the lake

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.

Write a postcard home (or take an Instagram before it goes cold) and tell your friends about the fantastic all-day menu. It consists of traditional pub standards like from 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. The Mortal Man welcomes dog owners, so bring along your hound for company.

Prices: main courses £14 on average

Booking in advance is advised.

The George and Dragon Inn

Pulling pints of ale in the Lake District

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.  Delicious ales on draught, open fires and photographic portraits of cattle characterise the bar. 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.

Prices: main course £14 on average

Booking in advance is advised.

The Wild Boar

Hot food Lake District-style

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 and gorgeous seasonal menu and a good sample of ales and wines. 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.

Prices: main course £18 on average

If you are interested in walking and climbing in the Lake District, read our guide for even more rewarding treks in the area.

Lake District beauty

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 Hawkshead holiday cottages that are perfect for you and your family.

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