After a long day of hiking, sailing or general exploration of the Lake District, what better way to unwind than with delicious food and drink in the cozy surroundings of a cozy Lake District pub?
For those of us who live and work in the Lake District, we are truly spoiled when it comes to choosing which pub to visit. So we thought we’d focus on Windermere and the surrounding area to inspire you a bit. Here are ten of our favorite cozy pubs, a place to spend a lunch and an afternoon, or spend an evening, enjoying the good company of family and friends.
The Cunning Baa
Located in the heart of Windermere, Crafty Baa is a family pub and former AA Pub of the Year. If you’re a craft beer fan, this quirky pub is a must visit for any beer lover, with over 100 bottled craft beers from around the world available, in addition to real ales, stouts, porters, IPAs and lagers. Food is served all day (11am-10:30pm) and definitely worth trying. Whether it’s snacks, platters or hot sandwiches, there’s something to satisfy most appetites.
The Crafty Baa is child and dog friendly.
A few miles from Windermere towards Kendal is the village of Ings and The Watermill Inn, a multi-award winning family run pub and brewery set in a quiet lane surrounded by stunning countryside.
The pub has gained an enviable reputation for brewing its own beers, twelve in total, and many of them have some kind of canine reference in the name, like Golden Retriever, a Bit’er Ruff or Collie Wobbles, a wink. eye to the dog. – friendly nature of the pub.
The Watermill Inn offers all-day casual dining in a relaxed atmosphere, rather than restaurant dining. The main menu offers seasonal dishes, as well as chef’s specials. It’s a hearty meal and at this time of year we highly recommend the beef and collie pie.
Search for The Punchbowl Inn
On the outskirts of the village of Crosthwaite, about 20 minutes’ drive from Windermere, is the Punchbowl Inn, a charming and rustic 17th century pub in the heart of the Lyth Valley.
The Punchbowl has become synonymous with fantastic food, earning two well-deserved AA rosettes along the way. It offers a varied menu, available for lunch from Monday to Saturday (12pm-3pm) and every evening from 5.30pm to 8.30pm (Saturday and Sunday 6pm-8.30pm). The Sunday lunch menu changes every week and is served from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. And you can choose between a traditional bar or formal and informal restaurants.
The bar serves a selection of locally brewed beers, as well as an extensive range of malt whiskeys and gins, including local damson gin. There is also an excellent wine list.
If you decide to book a table, be sure to try the twice baked cheese soufflé. It’s incredible.
Black Labrador, Underbarrow
The Black Labrador is located in the village of Underbarrow, a short drive from the Punchbowl. As the name suggests, your canine companions will be warmly welcomed at the Black Labrador.
Open Wednesday to Sunday (at time of writing), this 16e The Century Pub offers a warm welcome to Lakeland, not least thanks to the bar’s roaring log burner. It also offers delicious food and a fine selection of beers and wines.
The Hare and the Dogs at Bowland Bridge
Nestled deep in the Winster Valley, east of Lake Windermere, is the Hare and Hounds at Bowland Bridge. And if you’re looking for fantastic food without the fuss, this is the place.
Here you’ll find classic pub fare, such as beer battered fish and chips or steak and ale pie, as well as daily specials, light meals and vegetarian options. For something really special, be sure to book a table for Sunday lunch, especially if you like a Yorkshire Pudding.
Masons’ Arms, Strawberry Bank
If you take a short (but steep) walk up the hill from the Hare and Hounds, you will come to the Masons Arms, a 16e Century Inn with spectacular views over the Winster Valley. The Masons Arms has been described as a “true gem in the Lake District”. Here you’ll find a cozy bar, exposed beams and crackling log fires, not to mention delicious food, a fine selection of beers and a warm Lake District welcome.
Dining here is a must. People come from far and wide to try some of the gastronomic delights on offer. Enjoy everything from your pub classics to internationally inspired dishes, from hot and cold sandwiches to vegetarian options. And if you’re a pudding lover, be sure to try the locally made gourmet ice cream.
Search for The Brown Horse Inn
Nestled in the beautiful Winster Valley, the Brown Horse Inn is comfortable and welcoming in all seasons, but especially at this time of year. The beautiful decoration of this former post house from the 1850s gives it a warm and traditional atmosphere. And as the nights roll in, enjoy comfort food prepared with a touch of elegance, including slow-cooked meats, Stornoway black pudding or Thai green curry.
The owners try to keep the menu as local and as close to nature as possible. And you will certainly receive a warm welcome.
Tower Bank Arms, near Sawrey
When the ferry is running why not head to the west side of Lake Windermere and Beatrix Potter country. Or more specifically, why not pop into Tower Bank Arms, a few yards from the author’s former home in Hill Top.
These days it’s a traditional country pub with a crackling log fire and flagstone floors. It offers three regular beers on tap, while two other guest beers are usually from local breweries.
The food is considered some of the best in the region, so it is very popular. It has also gained a reputation for being extremely suitable for people with food allergies and intolerances. So if you plan to eat there, be sure to book in advance.
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The head of the queen, Troutbeck
The Queen’s Head at Troutbeck is a 17th century coaching inn at the foot of Kirkstone Pass, nestled into the hillsides overlooking the Troutbeck Valley. The inn has recently undergone a complete restoration and the result oozes class with ornate wooden carvings, large stone fireplaces and exposed beams.
The Queens Head has become renowned for serving good food, with a range of tasty options including a full cooked breakfast available for guests and non-guests. The perfect way to start your day. The main menu changes with the seasons and is served from noon to 9 p.m. daily.
Hole in t’Wall, Bowness-on-Windermere
We’ll tour favorite pubs not far from where we started – at the Hole in t’Wall in Bowness, just over a mile from the Crafty Baa. As well as being the oldest pub in Bowness, it was also named Britain’s coziest pub in a survey earlier this year.
Whether you’re looking for a pint of award-winning Robinsons beer, a craft gin or a wholesome meal, a warm welcome awaits at Hole in t’Wall.
There are so many amazing pubs in and around Windermere so narrowing it down to just ten was a challenge. But if you’re in the area, here are ten cozy pubs you really should visit.
Rachael Thomas is Managing Director of Matson Ground Estate Company Limited, which owns a number of holiday homes in the Lake District including Birkdale House. Birkdale House is a luxury Victorian residence in the heart of a private estate in the English Lake District.
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