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Who doesn’t love a trip to a pub? Serving hearty grub and local beers, there’s nowhere better to stop and refuel than one of these pubs in the Lake District.

From traditional inns with roaring fires to micro-pubs and trendy spots for a cocktail, there’s hundreds of pubs in Cumbria to choose from.

Many of our favourites have fantastic beer gardens showcasing the regions jaw-dropping views. And of course, many of them are dog-friendly and serve amazing food too.

We’ve compiled a list of the best pubs in the Lake District. Continue reading to find out more…

1. The Royal Oak, Ambleside

Tripadvisor 4/5– Bar / Pub / Vegetarian Friendly – £

An external shot of the white exterior and beer garden at The Royal Oak in Ambleside
© The Royal Oak

Idylically positioned in the heart of Ambleside, The Royal Oak is a traditional white-washed pub in Cumbria.

Fronted by a sunny beer garden and serving a range of food and drink, The Royal Oak is a must on any visit to Ambleside.

Grab yourself a crisp pint of beer and enjoy the fresh Cumbrian air with a leisurely seat in the garden. If the weather isn’t on your side, head indoors and indulge in a bite to eat beneath the exposed wooden beams of the traditional interior.

Choose from a menu of pub classics, including beef & ale pie and fish & chips, or sample something a little different with a Hungarian goulash.

There’s vegetarian and vegan options available, along with a menu to cater for the little ones.

Sample Menu 
Book a Table

Veggie/vegan options ✔ Dog-friendly ✔ Takeaway

2. The Hare & Hounds, Levens

Tripadvisor 4.5/5– Bar / Asian / British– ££ – £££

Idylically positioned on the edge of the national park, The Hare & Hounds is a must on our list of the best pubs in Cumbria.

Set within a 16th Century inn, The Hare & Hounds is a traditional pub serving a hearty menu prepared using fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Think hand-rolled pizza, homemade burgers and all the pub classics, with gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options available.

The Hare & Hounds offer a takeaway service on applicable menu items, available at a discount of 20%. Please note that this may not be available during busier periods.

If you’re in the mood for a drink, there’s a carefully curated cocktail list available in the bar. There’s also five hand pulls, offering some of the best Cumbrian ales on draught.

Sample Menu
Book a Table

Veggie/vegan options ✔ Dog-friendly ✔ Takeaway ✔

3. The Golden Rule, Ambleside

Tripadvisor 4.5/5

The whitewashed exterior of the Golden Rule pub decorated in vibrant flowers

© The Golden Rule

A Grade II listed building, The Golden Rule is a popular local pub situated in the heart of Ambleside.

A haven for pubgoers, this Lake District pub boasts traditional Cumbrian character, decorated in wooden beams, booth seating and pub paraphernalia.

There’s no TV’s, music or food here. The Golden Rule is a traditional pub serving a variety of drinks. A Robinsons pub, there’s cask beer and draught lager, along with a range of wines, whiskies, gins and other spirits.

Four-legged friends are welcome, and there’s a sunny beer garden to sit out and enjoy the warmer weather. Little ones are invited to join you until 9pm, and there’s WiFi and board games to keep you entertained.

Veggie/vegan options  Dog-friendly ✔ Takeaway

4. The Queens Head, Troutbeck

Tripadvisor 4.5/5– Bar / British / Pub – ££ – £££

This popular Lake District pub is situated amongst the rural greenery of the Troutbeck Valley. Sitting in a striking position on the fellside and framing expansive views of the surrounding countryside, The Queens Head is a must-visit.

This 17th Century Elizabethan Inn serves a mouth-watering menu prepared using local Lakeland ingredients. Sample the flavours of Cartmel Valley game, Westmorland chutney and the Great North Pie Co.

Each day there’s a daily special to choose from, with deals including a Monday pie night and a steak night on a Thursday. There’s even 20% off prosecco between 5-10pm on Fridays.

There’s something for your pampered pooch here too, with a substantial dog menu available. Choose from dog-friendly roast dinners, fish & chips, bark brew dog beer and paw star dog martini.

Sample Menu 
Book a Table

Veggie/vegan options ✔ Dog-friendly ✔ Takeaway

5. The Pheasant Inn, Bassenthwaite

Tripadvisor 4/5

An armchair sat at a table with two coffee cups and a mug of milk

© The Pheasant Inn

Next up on our list of the best pubs in the Lake District is The Pheasant Inn in Bassenthwaite. Positioned close to the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake, this 17th-century coaching inn has been renovated to provide a wonderful spot to eat and drink.

The refurb of this Cumbrian pub sees new, contemporary features effortlessly blended with traditional, olde-worlde aspects. Think roaring open fires under exposed wooden beams, all complimented by luxury interiors and decor.

The Pheasant Inn serves a seasonal food menu prepared using fresh, local ingredients. The sample menu includes Appleby cheddar macaroni cheese and Cumberland sausage and mash. A fancy take on traditional pub grub.

There’s light bites available for smaller appetites, along with breakfast, coffee and desserts. Room for a steamy americano and a slice of Cumbrian sticky toffee pudding anyone?

If you’re just stopping by for a tipple, there’s a mouthwatering array of hand-pulled and cask ales, along with crisp wines and a choice of spirits. The awe-inspiring backdrop of the picturesque gardens surrounding this Lake District pub provide a idyllic spot to enjoy a drink.

Sample Menu
Book a Table: 01768 612 921

Veggie/vegan options ✔ Dog-friendly ✔ Takeaway

6. The Bank Tavern, Keswick

Tripadvisor 4/5– Quick Bites / Bar / British – ££ – £££


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A traditional pub in the centre of the community, The Bank Tavern is considered one of the best pubs in Keswick. It’s also one of the towns oldest!

Opening it’s doors from 11am daily, The Bank Tavern is like taking a step back in time in history. It’s charming interior is adorned with traditional pub decor, including wood paneling, inglenook fireplaces and bench seating.

A long bar takes centre stage, stocked with a range of cask ales, lagers, wines and spirits. If you can’t decide, why not try a taster trio of three third-pints of local beer.

This Lake District pub also serves a hearty food menu, with an unpretentious choice of jacket potatoes, sandwiches, and pub classics. If you’re feeling indulgent, the sample dessert menu includes profiteroles, warm fudge cake, apple strudel and an eclectic cheese board.

Four-legged friends are welcome in a designated area of the pub, making The Bank Tavern the perfect pit-stop on afternoon walkies.

Sample Menu
Book a Table: 017687 72663

Veggie/vegan options ✔ Dog-friendly ✔ Takeaway

7. The Crafty Baa, Windermere

Tripadvisor 4.5/5– Bar / Wine Bar / Vegetarian Friendly – £


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Winner of the AA Best Pub of the Year, our list of the best Lake District pubs would not be complete without The Crafty Baa in Windermere. This popular Lake District pub comprises of three themed rooms, including The Pie and Pint, recognized as the smallest pub in the Lake District.

The Crafty Baa is pub like no other, decorated floor to ceiling in pub paraphanalia, exposed stonework and wooden features, creating a welcoming and intimate atmsophere to enjoy a drink.

100 blackboards adorn the wall, advertising a jaw-dropping selection of 100 craft beers available to choose from. Can you handle 2 of the world’s strongest beers, Snake Venom at 67.5% and Beithir Fire at 75%?

The mouth-watering menu includes cheese toasties prepared with a two cheese blend and local artisan sourdough, nibbles of olives, scotch eggs and pork pies and slate charcuterie boards.

Little ones and furry friends are welcome on ground-floor, and there’s even free snacks to keep them entertained! We’d recommend visiting between Sunday and Thursday, where regular live music provides the soundtrack to your experience.

Sample menu
Book a Table: 015394 88002

Veggie/vegan options ✔ Dog-friendly ✔ Takeaway ✔

Tempted by our list of the best pubs in the Lake District? Book one of these lodges in Cumbria today and sample these flavours for yourself!

And for more exciting ways to spend your time in our wonderous region, give our guides on must-visit National Trust properties in the Lake District and things to do in the Lake District a read.

Ratings sourced from Tripadvisor

This blog has been adapted based on original content written by Lake District Lodge Holidays