Essential Information: The Lake District

Your guide to the best places to eat and sleep in The Lake District – plus some essential things to do while you are visiting.

Harrop Tarn



The Grasmere Hotel
Broadgate, Grasmere
LA22 9TA
015394 35277
A Victorian country house on the banks of the River Rothay, with gorgeous views. A quick visit to TripAdvisor will show you just what a wow factor it brings out in its guests.
Double rooms from £110.

Crow How B&B
Rydal Road, Ambleside LA22 9PN
15394 32193
Similarly central, there’s a beautiful little B&B called Crow How on the Ambleside to Grasmere road. Dating from 1848, it has two acres of gardens, lovely fell views – and fabulous breakfasts.
Double rooms from £54.


The Drunken DuckBarngates, Ambleside LA22 0NG
015394 36347
The Drunken Duck Inn above Ambleside has its own microbrewery, Barngates. Legend has it that the pub was named when the landlady, finding her ducks lying in the road and dead to the world, started to pluck them; only to realise – when they started squawking – that they’d been drinking from a leaking barrel in the cellar. There are lovely
views; the pub is at a crossroads close to Tarn Hows, a famously idyllic little lake.
Meals and double rooms from £105. Ideal for a special treat – we stayed here on our honeymoon.

The Jumble Room at Grasmere
Langdale Road, Grasmere
LA22 9SU
015394 35188
A colourful and arty atmosphere, and serving great food – the eclectic menu has everything from Vietnamese curry to fish and chips.

Holker Hall
Cark-in-Cartmel, Grange-over-Sands LA11 7PL
01539 558328
This is a wonderfully presented house and gardens that also hosts a garden festival. There is a superb café too.

The Britannia Inn
Elterwater, Ambleside LA22 9HP
015394 37210
This pretty, whitewashed pub in the Langdale valley has a relaxed atmosphere. Local real ales from the Coniston Brewing Company and Eden Brewers; traditional, hearty food.
Double rooms from £80.

Local Delicacy
Hawkshead Brewery
Mill Yard, Staveley LA8 9LR
01539 825260
The real ales at the Hawkshead Brewery were first created in 2002. The beers have been winning awards ever since. There are both ales and some fantastic ‘beer tapas’ (mini Yorkshires and sausages, among others) at The Beer Hall, a modern glass-walled building set in the Mill Yard. There are brewery tours here, too.

Unmissable Place
Rydal Mount
Ambleside LA22 9LU 
015394 33002
Wordsworth’s home at Dove Cottage is very famous (and there is a new museum next door) but for me a place of remarkable peace is his home from 1813-1850 at Rydal Mount. The Mount is just by Rydal Water, and you can also walk through the grounds of Rydal Park back to Ambleside (about a mile).
Tea room and gardens. Adult admission £6.75.

Rainy Day
Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House
LA23 3JT
015394 46139
We discovered Blackwell one rainy morning, and were instantly mesmerised by this beautifully preserved building. It has a great café, too.
Adult entry £7.20.

Safety First
Even on relatively easy walking routes in the Lakes, it makes sense to follow some simple guidelines on safety. Look out for the Mountain Rescue Association’s How to stay safe and enjoy the Fells leaflet, or read it before you go at

Finding Your Way
A good map is essential for all the routes in this feature. Four large scale Ordnance Survey maps cover the Lake District: Outdoor Leisure maps 4-7. Widely available in Lake District shops and elsewhere for around £7.99 each.


Harrop Tarn Western shore of Thirlmere.
Turn left from A591 to Dob Gill car park. It’s a two to three-hour circular walk with a moderate climb.

Rosthwaite (at the southern tip of Derwentwater) to Watendlath is about three miles with a steady climb; Yew Tree Crag and Bowder Stone adds another mile. Great Wood to Watendlath via Ashness Bridge is around 3.5 miles each way. National Trust tea rooms.

Blawith Common and Beacon Tarn
Start at Brown Howe, Coniston shore. Length three miles. The tarn is ‘Trout Tarn’ in Arthur Ransome’s Swallowdale.

Alcock Tarn 
From intersection of B5287 and A591 at Grasmere; after a short climb ignore signs for Stone Arthur and branch right. Alternatively, start from Town End. About two to three miles with moderate climbs.

Walk from Hawkshead to Colthouse; the signs to Claife Heights bring you to Latterbarrow. Three miles with mild climbs.

Great Langdale Beck 
Start in Chapel Stile, cross the river and head west through woodland to Baysbrown and Oak Howe; cross over to B5343 and back to the village. Two miles.


Loughrigg Fell
Many short walks are available from Grasmere or Rydal public car parks. Elterwater to Ambleside is about four miles; alternatively Elterwater to the top of Loughrigg
Fell is three miles with a moderate climb.