Birkdale House

Cosy Lake District Pubs

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Birkdale House

22nd November 2023

According to the forecast, the temperatures are about to take a tumble. Winter is on its way (for a week or so anyway). And when the chill sets in, nothing beats ducking into the comfortable surroundings of a cosy Lake District pub.

There are so many fantastic pubs to choose from, so we thought we’d focus on Windermere and the surrounding area to provide a little inspiration. Below are a few of our favourite cosy Lake District pubs, each with its own unique character and welcoming atmosphere, somewhere to while away a lunchtime and afternoon, or spend an evening, enjoying some delicious food and drink with family and friends.

The Crafty Baa

We’ll start with this little gem and former AA Pub of the Year. Situated in the heart of Windermere, the Crafty Baa is a family run pub and if you’re a craft beer fan, this quirky pub is a must visit, with over 100 bottled craft beers from around the world available, on top of the real ales, stouts, porters, IPAs and lagers. Food is served all day (from 11am to 10.30pm) and whether it’s nibbles, platters or hot sandwiches, there’s something to satisfy most appetites.

The Watermill at Ings

Just a couple of miles out of Windermere towards Kendal is the village of Ings and The Watermill Inn, a multi-award winning, family-run pub and brewery which has gained an enviable reputation for brewing its own beers.

The Watermill Inn offers all day, casual dining in a relaxed atmosphere. The main menu features seasonal dishes, as well as chef’s specials. This is hearty dining at its best and at this time of year, we thoroughly recommend the beef and collie wobbles ale pie.

The Punchbowl Inn, Crosthwaite

About twenty minutes by car from Windermere, on the outskirts of the village of Crosthwaite, is the Punchbowl Inn, a charming and rustic seventeenth century pub in the heart of the Lyth Valley.

With its wooden beams, open fire, and friendly locals, the Punch Bowl provides a warm and welcoming retreat. It has also become synonymous with fantastic food, earning two well-deserved AA rosettes along the way.

If you do decide to book a table, make sure you try the twice baked cheese soufflé. It’s amazing.

The Hare and Hounds at Bowland Bridge

To the 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 perfect place to visit.

You’ll find classic pub dishes here, such as beer battered fish and chips or steak and ale pie, as well as daily specials, lighter meals and vegetarian dishes. For something truly special, make sure you book a table for Sunday lunch, particularly if you’re partial to a Yorkshire Pudding.

The Masons Arms, Strawberry Bank

If you take a short (but steep) stroll up the hill from the Hare and Hounds, you’ll come to the Masons Arms, a 16th century inn boasting spectacular views across the Winster Valley. Here you’ll find a cosy bar, exposed beams and roaring log fires, not to mention stunning food, a fine selection of ales and a warm Lake District welcome.

Hole in t’Wall, Bowness-on-Windermere

Our final stop is the Hole in t’Wall in Bowness and an opportunity to step back in time. As well as being the oldest pub in Bowness, it was also named the cosiest pub in Britain in a survey conducted earlier this year.

With its low ceilings, exposed beams, and roaring log fire, this pub exudes a timeless charm. Settle into a comfy armchair, sip on a pint of local ale, and savour the rustic ambiance.

There are so many amazing pubs in and around Windermere, so narrowing it down to just a few was challenging. But if you’re in the area, these cosy Lake District pubs are well worth a visit.

If you’d like more information on fantastic pubs in the area, please do get in touch.