There are many great, dog-friendly, cosy, traditional and modern pubs and restaurants in the western Lakes. This is but a sample of some we've enjoyed visiting nearby …. (We advise ringing first check opening times and to book for food, especially in summer months).
This lovely venue is just three minutes’ stroll from the Tree House, is a fully refurbished coaching inn with a superb restaurant and pub with real ales and hotel accommodation. It is also dog friendly – you can even take the dog in while you have a meal although you’ll be asked to sit in the cosy bar area rather than the restaurant (but it’s nearer the fire). No doubt the dog will be given the royal treatment too! The inn holds occasional events and live music. You can check bar and restaurant opening times on 01946 443512 or search The White Mare - Official on Facebook. Instagram its whitemareofficial.
Five minutes’ drive away in Calderbridge is The Stanley Arms where the river-fronted beer garden is known as the Best in
Cumbria. Set in a lovely, tranquil tree-lined setting next to the bridge, the pub is well known for good food.
The garden is the highlight however (in our opinion). Last time we visited was on a sunny evening when a small group of children down at the riverside were having great fun skimming stones whilst their parents tried to entice them over to the table where the food was waiting … without much success!
This family-run hotel is an 8-minute drive from Beckermet and serves food daily using local produce. The fare is traditional pub grub but tasty and at a reasonable price. There's an outdoor area where you can relax in summer with spectacular views towards Wasdale and Black Combe and in winter it's cosy and warm with log burning stoves, carpets, interesting decor and a very festive feel around Christmas.
Gosforth (9 mins) is a popular Lakeland village with several pubs and an excellent pizza restaurant. Towards the east of the village is The Gosforth Hall Inn named pub of the year 2017 by the West Cumbria branch of the Campaign for Real Ale. In good weather you can enjoy their great beer garden where they also host occasional beer festivals and live music. This is a great venue with good pub grub and we highly recommend it. The building dates back to the 17th century. It's also home to the fireplace with the longest span in England and possibly, Europe. If you get chance, have a chat with the owner who's usually around - she is a mine of information about this fascinating building.
As you enter the village from the Calderbridge direction you’ll find two well established pubs – the newly refurbished The Lion and the Lamb and The Globe Inn. The former affords a nice vantage point for sitting outside and watching the world go by. The Globe Inn is more traditional but unfortunately (or fortunately, if you think pubs are for drinking only!) it doesn’t offer food.
is a superb venue diagonally opposite the Globe Inn which we highly recommend if you like wood fired pizza and a modern take on traditional Italian food. The restaurant is very well run and serves all day (from 11am Tue-Sat, lunch from 12pm-2.15pm and Evening menu from 5.30pm to 9.30pm, Sun from 5pm-9pm, closed Mondays). They also do takeaways for collection.
The restaurant is pet-friendly (as most venues are in The Lakes) but it’s best to book as they will need to reserve the (very comfortable) table at the entrance for you if you have a dog in tow.
If you want to visit a real locals’ pub, The Kellbank is popular with good, locally sourced food served in the bar or restaurant. There’s also a children’s playground, breakfast, real ales and a variety of gins available. If you want a rest from cooking, there’s a great takeaway service including a delicious takeaway Sunday roast. Families and dogs are welcome. There’s even a special place for parking your pony if you have one. (www.thekellbank.co.uk/)
Nether Wasdale is the gateway to Wasdale and is a beautiful village with superb views. Here, you’ll find two traditional pubs standing opposite each other. The Strands Hotel, (www.strands-brewery.co.uk), a former post house dating from the 18th century, is famous for its great atmosphere, real fires, hand cut chips, steak and ale pie and Sunday Roast with a selection of real ales, some of which are brewed in the village microbrewery. The pub also hosts a beer festival with live bands etc in May every year. Across the road, the Screes Inn is a bit more rustic with slate floors, wood burning stoves and of course, real ales, also served by the microbrewery. The food is homely and staff very friendly (at both venues). www.thescrees.co.uk/
The Wasdale Head Inn is a famous watering hole and refuge in remote Wasdale. For many who have scaled the heights of Scafell Pike, Great Gable or other major peaks it provides a warm and welcome respite from the elements. Surrounded by spectacular scenery the Inn’s famous Ritsons Bar and Residents’ bar is usually buzzing with people enjoying the hearty and wholesome bar meals and real ales, In wetter conditions the atmosphere may be a bit steamy as the rain drips off the clothes of walkers congregating in front of the fire. However, in more clement weather the stunning views can be enjoyed from the garden and its beck-side tables.
The Boot Inn
Cask Ales, atmosphere and award-winning food in abundance.
Boot, Eskdale Valley, Cumbria CA19 1TG Tel:01946 723711
Brook House Country Inn
Cosy and warm pub with real fires. Imaginative menu including vegetarian options and puddings!
Boot, Eskdale CA19 1TG Tel: 019467 23288
Traditional homely inn with open fires. The pub has just had an extensive refurbishment which has retained the original character adding more comfortable seating areas and panoramic windows with lovely views in addition to cosy wood beamed bar. Dogs are welcome and you may have to step over a couple of sleepy pooches to get to the bar. The restaurant serves lovely British food plus dishes from around the world - the lasagne is highly recommended.
Whitecroft, Santon Bridge, HolmrookCA19 1UX
The Fox and Hounds
Lovely newly refurbished pub about one and a half miles from the lake in the centre of the village opposite the church. Large, secluded beer garden and cosy bar with two welcoming log fires. An excellent selection of ales and hearty, traditional pub food from locally sourced ingredients.
Ennerdale Bridge CA23 3A
The Shepherd’s Arms Hotel
An old farmhouse in the centre of Ennerdale Bridge offering a friendly welcome in a traditional Lakeland style. Open from 5pm Mondays to Thursdays and from 12noon on Fridays to Sundays when food is served all day. Delicious Sunday roasts are available.
Kirkland Road, Ennerdale Bridge CA23 3AR Tel: 01946 861 249
The Bower House Inn
Welcoming coaching inn with real fires and conservatory annex, lovely beer garden, great village location and views. Interesting menu and excellent food. Dog and people friendly, the landlords are very friendly too! Open Mon to Sat 12.30pm to 2.30pm & 4.30pm to 8.30pm. Sunday 12pm to 8.30pm. Bar is open every day from 12noon to 10pm. Booking strongly advised. It's well worth a visit!
Eskdale, HolmrookCA19 1TD Tel: 019467 23244
For a complete change of scenery, the dramatic coastal resort of St Bees has many pubs and restaurants and (allegedly) a lively night life. We can recommend The Manor which serves food daily from 12am to 10pm (Tel: 01946 820587), or The Queen's Hotel on 129-130 Main Street, CA27 0DE where there’s a cosy, country pub atmosphere with oak beams, fires and swish beer garden. Specialises in real ales, wines and home cooked food – the fish and chips looked delicious!
Try Anna’s Cafe Bar overlooking the Marina for great coffee, food and luminous cocktails. http://annaswhitehaven.co.uk/. There’s lots of down to earth, traditional locals as well as gin and cocktail bars or Zest Harbourside which is on Harbour Front, CA28 7LR and specialises in casual dining with an unpretentious menu.
For a more formal meal in Whitehaven, try the Georgian House Restaurant on 8-11 Church Street CA28 7AY Tel: 01946 696611
If you’re a ‘Spoons’ devotee (and who isn't?) , the nearest Wetherspoon pubs are:
Henry Bessemer (13.7 miles)
New Oxford Street
The Bransty Arch (7.9 miles)
The Chief Justice of Common Pleas (18.4 miles)
2 Bank Street
If you want a delicious breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea or early dinner in a stunning location, try the lately restored Sawmill Cafe and Farm Shop standing on the banks of the River Irt. Renovated by a local farming family with a working waterwheel and millrace running through the building, the cafe serves homemade, locally sourced food - Wasdale lamb, local farm ice cream, Lakeland beers etc. It's excellent! You could combine a visit with a trip to Wasdale, arguably the Lake Districts' most atmospheric valley.
The Sawmill, Nether Wasdale CA20 1ET Tel: 019467 26716
Or nearer by is Yam Frae Yam Cafe in Gosforth - a lovely little cafe with a 'hip' vibe serving full English and Continental breakfasts, light bites, cakes and delicious coffee.
Gosforth, CA20 1EJ Tel: 019467 25696
For a posh meal …
Near to home is Sella Park Country Hotel (pictured left) is in Calderbridge which is only five minutes' drive away, where there is a lovely garden room and restaurant with tranquil gardens leading down to the river.
The Trout Hotel, about 35 minutes' drive away in Cockermouth is very swish with a gourmet menu. The WestLakes Hotel at Seascale also has refined dining in the setting of a beautiful Georgian house. The Bridge Inn at Santon (previously mentioned) is quite special too.
Unfortunately, we haven’t visited all the pubs and restaurants in the area (yet!), so guests’ contributions would be very welcome!
Some Menus can be found in the drawer in the dresser.
We’ve had some very good takeaways from the Dragon Palace in Egremont – they also offer some Thai dishes.
5 Main St, Egremont CA22 2AB. Tel: 01946 824020
Opening hours are 4.30-11pm, closed on Tuesday.
Be warned – you need to book early on a weekend as there may be up to two and a half hours delay on delivery.
The Wild Olive, Gosforth – gorgeous pizzas and Italian food (unfortunately they don’t deliver) CA20 1AH Open Tue to Sat 11am-9.30pm, Sun 5-9pm, closed Mon. Tel: 019467 25999
Teza Spice, 8 Main St, Egremont CA22 2DJ 01946 823186. Open 5-10.30pm Tue to Sun. Closed Mon.
A good Indian restaurant with prompt delivery.
There’s also the Egremont Tandoori which we haven’t tried yet. A delivery service is available.
44, Main Street, Egremont CA22 2AD Tel: 019467 48582
Fish and Chips
Frazers, 33 Main St, Egremont CA22 2DR. Tel: 01946 823642. Open Mon to Sat 8am-9pm. Closed Sun. (They do a great Cumberland Sausage too!)
Noah’s Plaice, also in Egremont tucked down a side street, has an original take on the traditional fish supper with Cumberland pigs in blankets, pie slabs, fried veg and salad boxes.
7, Coleridge Drive, Egremont CA22 2EX Tel: 01946 447784
Neither chippy does deliveries unfortunately.
Also highly recommended on Google and by our neighbours (though we haven’t tried it yet) is the Istanbul Pizza and Kebab House, 7-18 Main St, Egremont CA22 2DW Tel: 01946 820088. Open seven days a week from 4-11pm. And although it doesn’t mention it on Google, apparently, they do offer a delivery service.
13 Market Place, Egremont CA22 2AF Tel: 01946 328282. With 5-star reviews this friendly takeaway and delivery service offers tasty fare ranging from bacon butties to Large Breakfast boxes with Cumberland sausage, and the full works. They also have a large selection of homemade pies, hot baguettes, salads, cold sandwiches … and even deliver breakfasts to the door!