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Like a cosy winter pub? You’re in the right place!

Jo Spencer - Wednesday, December 02, 2015


The Lake District is renowned for great walks, scenery, food and hospitality. There’s no place where visitors feel more welcome. It comes as no surprise therefore, that our publicans know how to pull a good pint! Cosy pubs are part of the fabric of the Lake District, many of which have graced the landscape for hundreds of years. It’s hard to choose, but here’s five of our absolute favourites:

The Britannia Inn, Elterwater:

The Britannia is a walkers favourite and is located at the heart of the small village of Elterwater. Built more than 500 years ago, it was converted to an inn in the early nineteenth century. A rustic pub serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, there are two bars with roaring fires and cosy nooks, so you can really get settled on long winter nights! Hot pork rolls with stuffing and gravy are a speciality. The Britannia is also dog friendly, with four legged friends able to join in the frivolities! www.thebritanniainn.com

The Masons Arms, Strawberry Bank:

The Masons Arms is an absolute must if you happen to find yourself in the lakes! Set on the east side of Windermere, overlooking the Winster Valley, the Masons Arms is a year round pub as they have heaters on the patio, so punters can enjoy an all year experience. This delightful and historical inn offers visitors a cosy atmospheric bar with old fireplaces, roaring log fires, low beamed ceilings and quirky furniture such as an ancient cast-iron range jammed into the wall opposite the bar. Popular dishes are Lakeland damson and pork sausage, local game, roasted belly pork and Cartmel lamb shank. www.masonarmsstrawberrybank.co.uk

The Drunken Duck, Ambleside:

This is the Lake District’s most renowned ‘gastropub’. Situated on a crossroads between Hawkshead and Coniston, it’s surrounded by fields near the beauty spot of Tarn Hows, with spectacular views. The ‘Duck’ acquired its name – apparently - when a Victorian landlady of the inn found her ducks lying stretched out in the road and concluding that they were dead, prepared them for the oven. It transpired however that the ducks had partaken of a spillage of beer in the cellar which had drained from the floor into the duck's customary feeding ditch! Inside the pub, there’s a beamed bar, with its walls covered with sporting prints, fox’s heads and vintage beer adverts, but the neutral colour schemes feel more London gastropub than Lakeland inn. Tuck into pig’s cheek, cherry-glazed duck and pork belly with faggots, washed down with ales from the attached Barngates Brewery. www.drunkenduck.co.uk

The Pheasant Inn, Bassenthwaite:

The Pheasant at Bassenthwaite is more than two hundred years old and is found in a glorious position in the more rustic setting of the Northern Lakes. With open fires and a bar, bistro and restaurant, there’s plenty of options for visitors of all tastes. Dogs are also welcomed! The building was originally a coaching inn and there are many reminders of this, particularly in the little old oak bar, which is full of darks nooks and crannies. Not many Lake District pubs can claim to have had the same excellent head chef leading the kitchens team for more than 20 years, which has made this Lake District inn a steady favourite. www.the-pheasant.co.uk

Tweedies Bar, Grasmere:

Tweedies provides the most original offering of craft ales than any other venue in the South Lakes, with more than 40 craft ales and three keg craft ales available. Set in the heart of Grasmere, this popular walkers bar features a roaring log burner, live music on the weekends and food that matches their original ales. Employees know everything about each beer and the dishes with which to serve it, with the ‘Somewhat Sour fermented with wild yeast Damson Beer’ a perfect match with cheese, duck and venison. They also host a beer festival each September – The Grasmere Guzzler – with more than 100 craft ales, ciders and world beers available. www.dalelodgehotel.co.uk/tweedies-bar

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