England’s Lake District has lots of charming pubs that serve real, traditional ales and hearty food – just the thing after a long day of hiking.
Several of the area’s pubs also offer rooms, which range from basic to down-right luxurious. If you’re interested in historic Lake District accommodation that’s inexpensive and atmospheric, pub lodging is a good choice. And in many cases, you’ll get to know some of the local gentries.
Two miles east of Windermere in Ings, the Watermill Inn is one of the best-known and most appealing lake district inns. The pub – which is located in an old, stone mill – has won numerous awards, including Cumbria Pub of the Year in 2009 and UK Beer Pub of the Year 2011.
The pub pulls 16 Real Ales and serves traditional pub meals. The River Gowan flows through the property and there’s a sunny beer garden facing it. There are eight guest rooms upstairs, each with private bath. Dogs are welcome too.
The Bridge Hotel in Buttermere is on a site that’s been occupied for more than 1,000 years. The location near Buttermere Fells is great for walking. The 21 standard, superior, and four-poster rooms have telephones, but no TVs or radios. Internet access is available in the Residents Lounge.
Several apartments with kitchens and balconies or patios are also available. These have good views of Buttermere Round, Haystack, and the surrounding gardens.
The menu in the dining room changes nightly and more than 60 wines are available, in addition to the good selection of ales.
A 17th-century traditional inn, Tower Bank Arms is in the village of Near Sawrey, next to Hill Top, the home of Beatrix Potter. The Tower Bank Arms is mentioned in The Tales of Jemima Puddleduck.
The inn is a National Trust property and the original slate floor, stove, and wood beams have been preserved. The pub serves local beers and organic wines, and when the weather’s fine, you can sit in the garden with views of the woodlands and village.
Four rooms with private bathrooms, TVs, and tea and coffee-making supplies are available. Guests can also take advantage of the inn’s two fishing permits. Dogs may stay with their owners free of charge.
Nestled beneath England’s tallest mountains, Wasdale Head Inn offers classic Lake District accommodation. It has ten rooms in the main building and seven apartments in an old, converted barn. All have been recently refurbished.
Ritson’s Bar is a gathering place for hikers and raconteurs – the original landlord was known as the “World’s Biggest Liar.” And in summer, the patrons head out into the garden. The restaurant specializes in Herdwick lamb and mutton.
The location is quite remote, so you’ll enjoy plenty of peace and quiet during your stay.
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If you’re in the town of Keswick, the Dog & Gun is an excellent pub known for its Hungarian Goulash and local ales. As befits the name, dogs are most welcome.