10 of the best pubs in the Lake District for a post-walk drink 


One of the great joys of a day out in the Lake District is finishing a walk or adventure at one of the many traditional pubs. A place to warm up and swap stories by the fire on those days when the famous Lakeland wet weather sets in or a place to bask in a lively beer garden if you are lucky enough to visit on a sunny day. 

These are the pubs I return to time and time again since living here – from an old faithful in the remote western Lake District to a famous climbers pub deep in the Langdale Valley – these are the places I can rely upon to refuel me after a memorable day in the hills. 

1. The Kirkstile Inn, Loweswater 


Located between the shores of Loweswater and Crummock Water, The Kirkstile Inn is a cosy refuge in winter and the perfect place for post walk pint in summer with a sizeable beer garden set in the looming shadow of 512m high Melbreak fell. 

The pub is also the birthplace of Cumbrian Ales, started in 2003 (which has now moved to a larger site due to the popularity of the ales), including the famous Loweswater Gold. 

Best for walks near: Loweswater, Crummock Water, Buttermere 
Do they serve food? Lunch and Dinner

Kirkstile Inn, Loweswater, Cockermouth CA13 0RU

2. The Britannia Inn, Elterwater


The Britannia Inn lies at the heart of the tiny Elterwater village on the edge of the dramtic Langdale Valley and just off a small green where you will likely find sheep roaming in the road. 

Filled with cosy nooks by the fire and a large outside patio for summer, The Brittania Inn serves local ales from a number of local breweries, including the Langdale Brewing Company. 

Best for walks near: Elterwater, Chapel Stile, Great Langdale, Ambleside 

Do they serve food? Lunch and Dinner 

The Britannia Inn, Main Street, Elterwater, Ambleside LA22 9HP

3. The Golden Rule, Ambleside


Tucked away up a short steep hill from the main bustling centre of Ambleside, the Grade II listed Golden Rule is often packed to the rafters with locals and walkers alike. 

With a small beer garden out the back, the pub comes into its own on wet days, where a wide selection of board games can entertain you. Choose from seven cask ales and an extensive selection of draught and bottled beers and ciders. 

Best for walks near: Ambleside and the central Lake District 

Do they serve food? No 

The Golden Rule, Smithy Brow, Ambleside LA22 9AS

4. Dog and Gunn, Keswick


Set in the heart of the northern town of Keswick, a short walk from Derwentwater, the Dog and Gunn is the perfect place to retreat to after a day out in the neighbouring fells.

Despite being owned by Greene King, the Dog and Gunn also serves local beers, including the Keswick Brewing Company (which is just a short walk from the town centre). It’s also famous for its homemade Hungarian Goulash, the perfect hearty dish to reward yourself after a long day’s walk. 

Best for walks near: Keswick and the northern fells (Skiddaw Range, Cat Bells, Walla Crag)

Do they serve food? Lunch and Dinner 

Dog and Gunn, 2 Lake Rd, Keswick CA12 5BT

5. The White Lion Inn, Patterdale 


Located in the quiet village of Patterdale at the southern end of Ullswater, The White Lion Inn is filled with quirky memorabilia (look out for the suit of armour!) and cosy corners with real ale and traditional pub meals. The perfect place to finish a day climbing iconic Helvellyn. 

Best for walks near: Patterdale, Glenridding, Ullswater and the Helvellyn Range 

Do they serve food? 

The White Lion Inn, Patterdale, Penrith CA11 0NW

6. Old Dungeon Ghyll, Langdale 


Undoubtedly one of my favourite pubs in the Lake District, the Old Dungeon Ghyll, is located at the end of the road in the dramatic Langdale Valley. 

This is a pub of great history, a sense that you are stepping back in time when pubs were still a little rough around the edges. The wall is lined with photos of famous mountaineers and climbers who have conquered the surrounding peaks. Huddle by the fire with a local ale or whisky or spill out into the beer garden for views over iconic Langdale Pikes.  Wednesday night plays host to the legendary music night of local musicians. 

Best for walks near: Langdale, Langdale Pikes, Bow Fell, Crinkle Crags 

Do they serve food? Lunch and Dinner 

Old Dungeon Ghyll, Great Langdale, Ambleside LA22 9JY

7. Wasdale Head Inn, Wasdale 


Tucked beneath England’s highest mountain and on the shore of England’s deepest lake ,Wastwater, the Wasdale Head Inn has welcomed farmers, miners, merchants and walkers for over 200 years. The pub has a number of rooms, including the Ritson’s Bar – famed for being amongst the birthplace of British rock climbing. Real ales, a cosy fire, home-cooked meal make it an excellent spot to refuel after climbing Scafell Pike. 

Best for walks near: Western Lake District fells, Wastwater, a major route up Scafell Pike, Great Gable, Yewbarrow 

Do they serve food?

Wasdale Head Inn, Wasdale Head, Gosforth CA20 1EX

8. Brook House Inn, Boot, near Eskdale


Located just outside the tiny hamlet of Boot the Eskdale Valley, I visited this pub twice on my recent birthday adventure to the western Lake District and loved it – lots of local beers to choose from, well over 100 whiskies and tasty homemade food using local produce.

Do they serve food? Lunch and Dinner

Best for walks near: Eskdale Valley, Western Lake District Fells, a longer route up Scafell Pike 

Brook House Inn, Boot, Holmrook CA19 1TG

9. The Mortal Man, Troutbeck 


Off the main tourist spots of the southern Lake District, Troutbeck is a small hamlet tucked beneath the hills a few miles from Windermere and Ambleside.

Hiking over Wansfell and down towards Troutbeck, The Mortal Man is the perfect midpoint pit stop on a great day walk from Ambleside. Cosy log fires to warm up in winter and a large beer garden with views overlooking the Kentmere Horseshoe on sunny days, you can continue through the village and back to Ambleside along Jenkins Crag and Skelghyll Woods for a great 7 mile circular walk.

Do they serve food? Lunch and Dinner

Best for walks near: Ambleside, Windermere, Central Lake District 

The Mortal Man, Troutbeck, Windermere LA23 1PL

10. Tweedies Bar and Lodge, Grasmere 


Based in the heart of the village of Grasmere, Tweedies is an award-winning bar famous for its extensive range (usually up to 17) of craft beers, ales and perries sourced locally and from across the UK. 

A great place to head in summer with a large pub garden with views of the surrounding central Lake District hills and the perfect place to end popular walks from Grasmere, such as Easedale Tarn and Helm Crag.

Do they do food? Lunch and Dinner 

Best for walks near: Grasmere, Ambleside, Central Lake District fells 

Tweedies Bar and Lodge, Red Bank Rd, Grasmere LA22 9SW

Do you have a favourite Lake District pub that isn’t on the list? Share in the comments below or let me know over on Instagram.

Looking for more advice on your trip to the Lake District? Check out these posts….

12 of the best cafes in the Lake District

A long weekend in the Lake District: an itinerary for you first visit

12 things to know before visiting the Lake District

Join my monthly Letters from the Lake District

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