The Best Pubs in the Lake District with Accommodation

Three Shires Inn, Little Langdale, Lake District
Three Shires Inn, Little Langdale, Lake District | © Peter Barritt / Alamy Stock Photo
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10 September 2020

Few things are better than dinner at a cosy country inn, with your bed for the night a few steps away. What they sometimes lack in luxury, they more than make up for in character. The Lake District’s country inns, brimming with traditional beers and wooden beams, make for the perfect weekend boltholes. Here’s our pick of the best.

Cuckoo Brow Inn, Far Sawrey

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Cuckoo Brow Inn
Courtesy of Cuckoo Brow Inn / Expedia | Courtesy of Cuckoo Brow Inn / Expedia
In the middle of Beatrix Potter country, the rustic-chic aesthetic and forest-to-fork menu are the main draws to Cuckoo Brow Inn. Its 14 cosy ensuite bedrooms sit above the renovated pub, and all boast power showers. Don’t expect your average pub grub here – from the game in the Huntsman’s Hot Pot to the Cumbrian sausage breakfast, the chef’s passion for the Lakes is evident in the locally sourced and freshly foraged ingredients. Wash them down with a huge selection of traditional real ales. Dogs welcome.
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Hare and Hounds, Kendal

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Courtesy of Hare & Hounds / Expedia | Courtesy of Hare & Hounds / Expedia
A 16th-century coaching inn turned slick modern pub, the Hare and Hounds can be found in the pretty village of Levens. Sink into plush leather armchairs and dine on upscale British comfort food, with a good range of ales. Five tastefully decorated ensuite rooms feature designer wallpaper, and thoughtful touches include homemade brownies, fresh coffee and locally made toiletries. The barn annexe has its own entrance, car parking, kitchen and living area – perfect if you like to alternate pub meals with self-catering.
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Three Shires Inn, Little Langdale

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Courtesy of The Three Shires Inn / Expedia | Courtesy of The Three Shires Inn / Expedia
The Three Shires Inn is a perfect example of a basically charming pub. Set in the secluded valley of Little Langdale, it’s a great base for everyone: runners, climbers, hikers, bikers and sailors. It has nine colourfully-decorated twin and double rooms, including two suites that are perfect for a special occasion. Expect local Lakeland produce and an ample selection of beer – the pub boasts Cask Marque recognition for its well-kept traditional ales.
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Queens Head Hotel, Troutbeck

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Queens Head Hotel
Courtesy of Queens Head Hotel / Expedia | Courtesy of Queens Head Hotel / Expedia
This former 17th-century coaching inn welcomes guests (and dogs) with whitewashed walls and open fires. Decor in both the pub and bedrooms is a combination of oak floors, large wooden beams and exposed brick, while the food is an unpretentious mixture of homely classics with Cumbrian flair. Its peachy location in the Troutbeck Valley is perfect for good walks; be sure to take advantage of the packed lunches and special bags for muddy boots.
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Drunken Duck Inn, Barnsgate

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Dramatic landscapes, locally sourced brews and fresh produce – the ‘Duck’ has a lot going for it. Rooms range from standard to suites, with hotel levels of service in addition to complimentary afternoon tea, and a drying room for wet clothes. This isn’t the place for a budget meal – main dishes are usually £24 – but it’s worth the money, with a varied menu including pork belly, chalk stream trout and curried cod. Don’t miss out on the Sunday lunch and its beautifully crisp roasties.

The Black Bull, Sedbergh

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The Black Bull, Sedbergh
Courtesy of The Black Bull / Expedia | Courtesy of The Black Bull / Expedia
This chic gastropub marries contemporary style with comfort, and offers the perfect retreat after a day exploring the market town of Sedbergh. Think wooden floors, exposed stonework and wood burning stoves. Sunny days can be spent in its large pub garden enjoying an Asian-inspired local menu – we recommend the squash, courgette flower, yoghurt and dukkah starter, followed by wild Lakeland venison. As for the bedrooms, expect a cool mix of rustic furniture with wool carpets, handwoven blankets and luxurious roll top baths.
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The Royal Oak, Keswick

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Courtesy of Royal Oak at Keswick / Expedia | Courtesy of Royal Oak at Keswick / Expedia
‘Eat, drink and sleep’ is the solid philosophy of this charismatic 18th-century coaching inn, close to the town centre of Keswick. The hearty menu comprises sharing plates piled high with delicious meats and cheeses, and classics like beer-battered fish served alongside real ales. If you’re staying for the night, spacious rooms with big, bouncy beds come with extras like fresh milk for tea, and sizeable biscuits.
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King’s Head Inn, Keswick

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Courtesy of The King's Head Inn / Expedia | Courtesy of The King's Head Inn / Expedia
A tastefully decorated, unpretentious pub from the 17th Century, the King’s Head Inn, at the foot of Helvellyn mountain, has outstanding culinary credentials. Along with the traditional dining area and beer garden, the acclaimed St John’s restaurant is where the magic happens, with its feature charcoal fireplace and delectable four-course seasonal menu. 17 ensuite bedrooms include single, double, twin and family options, all with views of the rolling fells.
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The Plough Inn, Lupton

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62395674
Courtesy of The Plough Inn / Booking.com | Courtesy of The Plough Inn / Booking.com
The Plough Inn is an outstanding inn-meets-pub, and its relaxed rustic charm strikes a happy balance between traditional and upbeat. A 20-minute drive from popular Windermere, there’s little to do without a car, but you’ll be too full to leave after indulging in its traditional British menu of homemade pie, ploughman’s board and everything in-between. The opulent rooms (complete with freestanding bath and cosy dressing gowns) make for a dreamy night in.
These recommendations were updated on September 10, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.