Autumn in the Lakes is all about comfort. Lots of cosy layers, watching a film or playing a board game, preparing warming food, splashing in a bubbling hot tub or dozing by a warming fire. All this after your adventures of a muddy woodland walk, relaxing wander around a lake, a bit of shopping or an exhilarating bike ride.
Here’s our guide to our favourite coffee stops, local pubs with open fires and top comfort food haunts that are sure to warm your autumn spirits following lots of lovely Lake District fresh air.
Whether your treat is an artisan coffee as you arrive in one of our villages for a mooch around the shops, or a foaming pint of local ale after a trip to your lodge leisure club, its all about comfort following on from adventure.
Perhaps you’re cooking in tonight? There’s little better than hearty, homemade sausage and mash after a family day out or cycle ride.
Your idea of cosy might be warming coffee and cake with the Sunday papers next to an open fire, or maybe it’s a refreshing pint after an autumn walk.
Local Pubs with Open Fires
A welcoming pub with good local ales and a roaring open fire are just perfect when you come down from a fresh autumn walk.
The Black Bull, Coniston
The Black Bull is located right at the foot of The Old Man of Coniston fell walk, and is home to the Coniston Brewing Company microbrewery, where we recommend the award-winning Bluebird Bitter. Alternatively, sample a few of their craft ales with the tasting board option, where you choose three thirds instead of a single pint. Walking boots, paws and wet gear is standard attire. The Black Bull have been brewing their own beer since 1995 and is a real mix of locals and walkers with a very friendly atmosphere.
For a rural lodge holiday this autumn, browse our Hawkshead lodges.
The Drunken Duck, Outgate
Located off the beaten track, high above Ambleside on the way to Hawkshead, ‘The Duck’ as this pub is known locally is a stylish-looking gastropub, with a fine-dining restaurant yet it has a very laid-back atmosphere. You’ll find local workmen enjoying a pint of beer from the onsite microbrewery, Barngates, as well as dining guests sipping a chablis as they wait for their table. The open fire is always on and draws you to it when you walk in the door. The comfy leather chairs here are a prime spot on a frosty autumn day. The bar area is very much dog-friendly too.
The Drunken Duck is an ideal choice if you’re staying in one of our Hawkshead lodges.
The Punch Bowl, Lyth Valley
For a dressier affair, head into the Lyth Valley where you’re spoilt for gastro pubs with autumnal candlelight, warmth and comfort food. Here you can enjoy a drink by the fireside whilst enjoying the Sunday newspaper and magazines. The Punch Bowl Inn in the village of Crosthwaite and this sheltered, pastoral valley is a great place to enjoy an autumn walk. A circular walk from Crosthwaite to Winster takes about 2 ¼ hours and the Brown Horse Inn at Winster also has a roaring log fire, great food and drink and its own micro brewery.
The Lyth Valley is only 7 miles from Bowness-on-Windermere where you can book your Autumn break in Fallbarrow Park, a beautiful woodland lodge resort on the eastern shore of Lake Windermere. We also have a quirky Willow Tree Pod at Brigsteer, sleeping 2 which is actually in the Lyth Valley.
Now for our warming coffee fix and hearty menus, filled with the best of autumn foods, like soups, stews and pies.
Cafe Culture, Windermere and Bowness
Homeground Coffee & Kitchen in Windermere is something of a must-visit destination. Get to #HG before 10:30am to enjoy a delicious Flat White in a lovely laid-back atmosphere. Or if you like a bustling busy place, head there for brunch.
Opposite, Cafe Italia occupies a great location at the top end of Windermere and is the place to go for that wonderful European pavement cafe culture. And don’t worry about nippy autumn weather, outdoor knee blankets are provided and there are plenty of outdoor heaters.
Just down the road is Bowness-on-Windermere, which runs right down to the shore of Lake Windermere. Here coffee house culture is superb offering a range of different styles for getting your coffee bean fix. There’s the standard Costa Coffee, and for those that like to support independents, there’s so much choice – Dr Brews Coffee, The Country Hut, to name two. The Choccobar in Bowness is an ideal autumn indulgent haunt and as the name suggests is the place to go for a luxury hot chocolate. Take your thermos with you and they will fill it up for your walk.
Here’s our Windermere and Bowness lodges which we believe are on some of the nicest lakeshore holiday parks in the UK. See for yourself!
Coffee & Beer, cycling & walking around Staveley
You’ll find the friendly cycling crowd at Wilfs Cafe, Staveley. The village of Staveley is a bit of a mecca itself, with places like Wilfs, More? The Artisan Bakery and Hawkshead Brewery & Beer Hall. More? are not your ordinary bakery, they also serve delicious award-winning pastries and quality coffee too. For something hearty to take on a walk to Kentmere, pick up one of their seasonal pies or traybakes. Not only is the coffee and ‘craic’ good at Wilfs, but their famous veggie chilli is perfect after a day on the fells.
Staveley sits at the entrance to the Kentmere valley, which is the cycling capital of the Lake District, where the route to Kentmere village is not to be missed for anyone into cycling. For walkers, the Kentmere Horseshoe is a classic ridge walk.
Staveley is only a 15-minute drive from Bowness and Windermere where you can choose from the best selection of lodges in the south Lakes.
Cafe Connoisseur, Kendal
Less trendy and more coffee connoisseur is Farrer’s of Kendal, home to the Lake District’s longest-established coffee brand. The black Edwardian facade is a far cry from the exposed wood and polished concrete of modern coffee houses, but Farrer’s are actually one of the oldest coffee roasting merchants in the UK and you can smell this heritage as soon as you step inside. Within the shop and cafe, there’s a wall of coffee beans to choose from, including all strengths and a variety of bean types. We like the Westmorland Blend.
For home comfort and no-frills coffee and tucker, the vegetarian ‘canteen’ Baba Ganoush in Kendal is a must. Don’t get us wrong, the food and drinks are excellent, but the style is laid-back, with a focus on hearty, slow-cooked dishes. It is daytime only eatery, the prices are very reasonable and there’s no waiting around for your nosh. Check out the blackboard for seasonal temptations and if you’re wanting something on the go, their takeaway soups are a perfect autumn warmer whilst you explore the market town of Kendal.
Brew Brothers on the main high street in Kendal is another quirky food stop – great hot and cold drinks and freshly made light lunches and hearty bowls. Great for friends gatherings.
Comida opposite Brew Brothers is a Cumbrian version of a Spanish tapas restaurant, with lots of lovely bites and drinks to try, a relaxed atmosphere and is open into the early evening.
We hope we’ve warmed you up ready for an autumn break here in the Lake District, where all adventures either begin or end with some wonderful seasonal good cheer.