My Best Lake District Pubs

19 February 2014

Thought I'd compile a list of my best Lake District pubs. A lot of these choices are based on the places I go hiking, cycling or camping the most, which is Langdale and Borrowdale and various places that force me to go to Tweedies Bar afterwards.

There are a lot of other Lake district pubs that I like and could easily add to this list but I don't want you to think I have a problem.

Tweedies Bar - Grasmere

I seemed to finish a lot of walks in or around Grasmere and, sorry to all the other pubs there, Tweedies Bar is the best by far. It's got Coniston Beer and Loweswater Gold, it's got stone floors and solid tables and stinky hikers - and that's what I like.

Old Dungeon Ghyll – Langdale

This is the best cow barn in the world. Every climber that ever lived as been to this bar, this is obviously not true but it sounds the right thing to say. It's old, it's got beams and a fire and no one cares if you spill your beer. There's whisky and real ale and big plate fulls of grub. Last time I was in there they were selling Jennings Cumberland Ale, probably still are. Black Sheep beers are also good.

Ritson's Bar, Wasdale Head Inn – Wasdale

We camp a lot in Wasdale, sometimes in the field in front of the pub and sometimes in the National Trust site a mile or so along the road. Ritson's Bar round the side of the Inn is the place to be in the winter. It's got a stove in the back room, real ale and it's got bangers and mash, enough said. It used to have its own brewery (Great Gable Brewing Company) of which Yewbarrow was delicious. Now the beers are from Hawkshead breweries, also very good so give Hawkshead Red a try.

Drunken Duck – Between Ambleside and Hawkshead

Not that easy to find but a good stop off if you've been in the Langdale Fells. This feel a bit more upmarket than other hiking pubs, so make sure you wipe your feet and give your armpits a quick sniff before you enter. Barngates Brewery beers are all good, my favourites are the Tag lag and The Red Bull Terrier. The Salt Beef dish for lunch is making me slaver typing this.

Dog and Gun – Keswick

No matter what hour of the day you go into this pub it's always busy. Okay, I haven't tried 3.00pm on a Tuesday in February, but, now that you've made me, I will next year. Keswick Brewery and Loweswater Gold are my favourites and you have to try their famous Hungarian Goulash.

Kirkstile Inn – Loweswater

This place has been providing food and drink since Henry VIII was getting fat and drunk, and they are not very shy about letting people know. It was the original home of the modestly named Cumbrian Legendary Brewery (now situated at Hawkshead) and (according to their website) it is 'one of the most famous bars in the Lake District, and one of the greatest beer gardens.' Who am I to argue with any of that?

The George - Keswick

Cow Pie, that's all I have to say. It's big, it's got cow inside it and it comes with a load of big fat chips. This and a pint of Jennings Snecklifter will make your stomach forget about the rain outside. They say they serve the perfect pint and I'm not going to disagree with them.

The Old Crown – Hesket New Market

It’s famous for being owned by the villagers and for being Prince Charles's favourite Lakeland pub. He's been here a couple of times apparently and loves a pint of 'Great Cockup' from the brewery behind. It's small and cute and my favourite beer is Doris' 90th.

Cheers and thanks for reading.

Ian Young

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