The Lake District drinking and nightlife

Top Choice Craft Beer in Windermere & Around

Crafty Baa

The clue's in the name – the craft-beer revolution comes to Windermere, with a vast selection of brews: Czech pilsners, weissbiers, smoked lagers, even mango, gooseberry and coconut beers, chalked up on a wall of sl…
Pub in Elterwater & Great Langdale

Britannia Inn

On Elterwater's village green, this classic whitewashed inn has been serving ale for five centuries: the current line-up includes brews from Coniston Brewery and the nearby Langdale Brewing Company (our pick is the …
Pub in Hawkshead

Tower Bank Arms

Eagle-eyed Potter fans might recognise this village pub, as it famously featured in The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck. Covered in climbing roses and with a neat little clock above the porch, it makes a fine spot for lu…
Pub in Coniston

Sun Hotel

Famously used as a headquarters by Donald Campbell during his fateful campaign, this trad boozer is a good place for a pint, with a fell-view beer garden and cosy crannies to hunker down in – look out for Campbell m…
Pub in Coniston

Black Bull

Coniston's main meeting spot, the old Black Bull offers a warren of rooms and a popular outside terrace. The pub grub's good (mains £8 to £18), but it's mainly known for its home-brewed ales: Bluebird Bitter and Old…
Brewery in Windermere & Around

Hawkshead Brewery

This renowned craft brewery has its own beer hall in Staveley, 3 miles east of Windermere. Core beers include Hawkshead Bitter, dark Brodie's Prime and fruity Red. Guided tours can be arranged in advance.
Pub in Cockermouth

Bitter End

This brewpub produces its own award-winning beers such as Cockermouth Pride, Lakeland Honey Beer and Cuddy Lugs. You can watch the vats at work through a glass partition in the bar.
Pub in Ambleside

Royal Oak

Right in the heart of town, this old whitewashed inn is the best pub in Ambleside, with hearty pub mains, good ales and a busy outside terrace. It's a hikers' favourite.
Wine Bar in Ambleside


For something a little more upscale than Ambleside's trad pubs, head down to this slinky wine bar for a glass of wine and a spot of local music. There are candlelit tables and armchairs to sink into – and 'speedquiz…
Pub in Keswick

George Hotel

A spit-and-sawdust pub that claims to be the oldest drinking den in town. It's owned by Jenning's Brewery, so you can sup on a pint of Cumberland or Sneck Lifter while you make pals with the locals.