Part of the fun of a winter walk over the Cumbrian fells and summits is looking forward to a warm fire and cheery pint in a Lake District pub. Even better when you can tear into a tasty meal as well. Dress warmly in thermal underwear and be prepared for fast-changing weather. You’ll probably have changed out of your boots when you got back to the car, but if not, be considerate and knock the mud off. Here are a few of our favourite watering holes. For more info on the Lake District check out www.golakes.co.uk.
The Bitter End, Cockermouth
A pub with its own micro brewery where the whole process can be seen through a glazed partition. With open fires, home-made meals and great real ales, this is a top spot to head for. On Tuesdays, there’s a free-to-enter quiz night with a case of beer as the winners’ prize.
01900 828993; www.bitterend.co.uk
Tower Bank Arms, near Sawrey, Ambleside
Hilltop, Beatrix Potter’s former home, is just behind this pub which can be seen in one of the sketches for ‘The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck’. Dating back to the 17th century, this inn offers quality fresh food and a wide selection of traditional local ales. Children and dogs welcome.
015394 36334; www.towerbankarms.co.uk
The Drunken Duck Inn, Barngates, Ambleside
A multi award-winning family-owned inn which serves fine local produce imaginatively prepared and served. The food is complemented by great local beers and a traditional interior with an open fire and Brathay Black slate bar top. Cracking bar meals!
015394 36347; www.drunkenduckinn.co.uk
Watermill Inn, Ings, near Windermere
CAMRA’s Cumbrian Pub of the Year in 2009, there’s a relaxed friendly atmosphere in the Watermill and a micro brewery to boot. There is an extensive menu and a large daily Chef’s Specials board, emphasising traditional dishes.
01539 821309; www.watermillinn.co.uk
The Punch Bowl Inn, Crosthwaite
In the heart of the unspoilt Lyth Valley, close to central Lake District. The inn is a blend of old and new, with excellent food, good beers and wines and a lovely location; the bar is warm and friendly with antique furniture, open fires, polished oak floorboards and leather chairs.
015395 68237; www.the-punchbowl.co.uk