REAL ALE PUBS in SOUTH CUMBRIA
includes some in North Lancashire
These pages bring you my views on some of the local pubs in and around Storth, Cumbria; the Lake District and North Lancashire. I carry out extensive research visiting pubs in the area in search of good real ale. Its thirsty work, but someone has to do it. I've found some real gems and my views are shared with you on these pages. The star rating is ********** 5 or more real ales in excellent condition * little choice and barely drinkable. Cumbria has over 35 breweries producing excellent real ale. For more details visit my Cumbria Breweries page - here.
| SHIP INN,
The Ship Inn is situated at Sandside on the B5282 between Milnthorpe and Arnside. It has wonderful views over the Kent estuary. The Langdales and Coniston Old Man in the lake district are visible on a clear day. Following failed attempts to turn it into a fine dining restaurant the Ship Inn reopened in March 2011 as a pub once again and is being run by Ray and Lyn and family. Up to 4 real ales available which change regularly. Regular beers include, Old School Brewery, Swan Blond, Corby Blond, Carlisle State bitter and Tirrel.
Pub Grub is also available - sample menu
Comment - Wednesday night is Quiz night.
HARE N HOUNDS, LEVENS
pub that reopened in April 2013
after some refurbishment by the new owners. The pub is now a free house
with up to 5 local real ales available. Food is available up to 9pm
most days and lunchtime on Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday. Pub is closed
on Mondays except bank holidays.
Website - Hare and Hounds Levens
BROW INN, FAR SAWREY
Cuckoo Brow Inn is situated between Lake Windermere and Hawkeshead close to the National Trust owned home of Beatrix Potter. It has 14 en-suite bedrooms and welcomes walkers with muddy boots and wet dogs. It is open 7 days a week and has 3 real ale hand pumps serving local beers including Coniston Bluebird, Loweswater Gold and another which changes regularly. Free wi-fi available.
Tucked away on the edge of the village of Brigsteer this free house has 4 real ale hand pumps serving beers from Hawkshead, Coniston and Thwaites breweries. The building dates back to the mid 1700's and has been a public house for over 200 years. The pub has undergone a major redevelopment in 2013 including the addition of a garden room, covered walkways from the car park past a water feature and a completely redesigned interior. Open 7 days a week and serving food as well.
ARMS, BROUGHTON MILLS
The Blacksmiths is one mile off the A593 Broughton in Furness to Coniston road in the Lickle Valley. It is a lovely old 16th century farmhouse which has served beer for centuries and retains the character features of the original building. It has 3 real ale pumps serving local ales and the food is excellent too.
Comment - Although off the beaten track, this is good walking country and well worth a visit.
CROSS KEYS HOTEL, MILNTHORPE
Situated on the cross roads in Milnthorpe, the Cross Keys offers beers from the Robinson's stable and is popular with those who like a quieter environment then some of the other pubs in the village. It has a large car park at the rear and a function room upstairs which make it a good choice for those of you seeking a venue for a party.
KINGS ARMS, HALE
Situated on the
A6 south of Milnthorpe the Kings
Arms boasts a cosy atmosphere with fires at both ends of the lounge/bar
area. 4 real ales are on offer - all kept in excellent condition.
Recent guest beers include York Guzzler, Black Sheep, Hawkshead bitter
and Coniston Bluebird. The Kings Arms also offers excellent food at
reasonable prices. There is a separate dining room or you can eat in
the lounge bar.
Satterthwaite is in the Grizedale Forest and is a traditional Lakeland Inn. It is a free house and has four real ale hand pumps serving beer from local Cumbria breweries including, Hawkshead, Barngates, Cumbria Legendary Ales and Coniston. Open all day every day except Mondays in winter. There is a welcoming real fire in the bar and a good selection of food including a sandwich menu.
Comment - Good place to relax after a walk in the forest.
WOODLANDS HOTEL, SILVERDALE
Hidden away on
the north side of the village of
Silverdale, the Woodlands Hotel gets the prize for being the hardest to
find. A pot holed track leads up to the hotel and on entering you find
yourself in a hall with no obvious bar in sight. Take the door on your
left into the snooker room and then pass through to the bar. Do not be
put off by the pumps on the bar, the real ale is out of sight in the
back. A blackboard displays what's available from a changing range of
up to 4 guest beers. They also offer their own woody bitter and keg
DERBY ARMS, WITHERSLACK
This pub is
managed by the same team that run the
Strickland Arms so you can expect good food and a selection of real
beers. The bar has 6 hand pumps with beers from Hawkshead, Black sheep,
Coniston, Tirrel, and Twaites breweries, plus Jollyboys bitter from
Cumbria Legendary Brewery. For lager drinkers they have an excellent
Just off the A6, 2 miles south of Milnthorpe, the Wheatsheaf at Beetham offers a warm welcome and 3 real ales - Jennings Cumberland ale, Thwaites Lancaster Bomber and the excellent Thwaites Wainwright Ale.
LONGLANDS HOTEL, TEWITFIELD Nr Carnforth
Busy pub with a
lively atmosphere. The Longlands
has a good range of real ales with two resident beers, Theakstons Black
Bull and Black Sheep bitter plus two guest beers. Beers on offer are
usually in good condition.
MASON'S ARMS, STRAWBERRY BANK Nr Cartmel Fell
Those of you
seeking something a bit different will
not be disappointed here as this popular pub offers an extensive range
of foreign bottled beers and draught lagers. For those seeking real
British ale they have 5 hand pumps offering Boddington's bitter, 2
bitters from the local Hawkshead micro brewery, Timothy Tailor
Landlord, and Jennings Cumberland when we visited).
Situated just off the A590 dual carriageway at Haverthwaite this pub has 5 real ales in the bar and a further 5 real ales in the lounge giving a choice of up to 10 different beers. They also have an impressive range of lager, cider and bottled beers.
Comment - Has plenty of outside seating so a great place for a beer in the sun. Working model railway in lounge,
|QUEENS HEAD HOTEL - TROUTBECK
This 400 year
old coaching inn is situated at
Troutbeck on the A592 from Windermere to Penrith. It has many old
features including a converted four poster bed as a bar. Stone flags
and oak beams feature strongly. Offers 6 real ales which included
Coniston Bluebird and Old Man, Barngates Red Bull, Boddingtons and
Jennings Cumberland when I last visited.
NB Due to extensive fire damage this pub is currently closed (Dec 2015)
|KIRKSTONE PASS INN
Drive up Kirkstone Pass from Ambleside and when you reach the junction with the A592 Windermere - Ullswater Road you will find the Kirkstone Pass Inn. At 1500 feet above sea level it is the highest pub in the Lake District and the third highest in the UK and is 510 years old. The pub has 3 real ale hand pumps and was serving Carlisle Pale Bitter and Moorhouse Black Cat when I last visited.
Comment - Big car park opposite.
Just up the hill from Oxenholme station lies the Station Inn which is a child friendly pub with a large eating area and a reputation for good real ale. Usually has 4 real ales including Black Sheep bitter, Doombar & Copper Dragon on my last visit.
Comment - Has an adventure playground for the kids.
HOUSE INN, TORVER
of 2 pubs in the village of
Torver near Coniston. Has a real fire
and olde world charm. Usually has five real ales from local breweries.
On my last visit (May 2013) they had Coniston Bluebird, Loweswater
Gold, Barngates Tag Lag, Hawkesheed Red plus one other which was sold
out as the pump clip was turned around. Food is also very good here.
Comment - There is a CL caravan site for 5 caravans to the rear off the car park.
Website of Church House Inn
PUNCH BOWL, CROSTHWAITE
If this web site
gave ratings for food the Punch
Bowl at Crosthwaite would get 10 stars and is thoroughly recommended
for those seeking excellent cuisine. It offers 3 good real ales from
the local Barngates brewery -Tag-lag, Cat Nap and Westmorland Gold and
a guest beer, currently Black Sheep..
|BULLS HEAD, MILNTHORPE
The Bulls Head at Milnthorpe is on the main A6 adjacent to the traffic lights and directly opposite the Cross Keys Hotel. There is parking in the square behind the pub. This pub was closed for a while and has had several changes of landlord but is now open again.
The beers on offer include Black Sheep, St Austell Tribute and Lancaster Blonde. Food is also available.
|MORTAL MAN - TROUTBECK Nr
Tucked away in
the Troutbeck Fells, just up the
hill from the Queens Head Hotel, the Mortal Man was first established
in 1689. The bar and lounge are quite small but you will find 5 real
ale hand pumps here serving beers from local Cumbrian breweries.
BROWN HORSE, WINSTER
in the small village of Winster in the Lythe Valley, the Brown Horse
has 3 real ales on offer including, Jennings Cumberland Ale, Theakstons
Best bitter and Hawkshead bitter. It provides a pleasant atmosphere
including a welcoming log fire in winter. The pub has a pleasant
restaurant area for food but a bar area has been retained for drinkers.
On the A65 between J36 of the M6 and Kirkby Lonsdale, the Plough is more of a restaurant than a pub but it does have a proper bar with 4 real ale pumps and an area where you can just sit for a drink if you wish. Beers on offer vary but usually include beers from local breweries such as Coniston and Kirkby Lonsdale.
DUCK INN, BARNGATES
Home of the Barngates Brewery, so you would expect a good selection of real ales here and you will not be disappointed. Situated within a few minutes drive of Tarn Hows, Coniston Old Man and the Langdale Pikes, it provides good real ale and food and magnificent views of the surrounding countryside.
Comment - Beers are named after dogs that have lived at the inn.
Situated on the road from Ambleside to Hawkshead, the 18th Century Outgate Inn lies in the small hamlet of Outgate. It is a Robinson's house so beers on offer all come from the Robinson's stable. Lettings rooms now available.
Comment - Live jazz on Friday nights - see website for details.
LINDALE INN, LINDALE Nr Grange
Popular pub on
the edge of the village of Lindale.
Usually has up to 4 real ales on offer from the Mitchells group. Is
very popular in the summer when trade is boosted by tourists from the
Flookburgh and Meathop caravan sites. There is outside seating to the
rear of the pub.
|THE SILVERDALE HOTEL, Silverdale
The Silverdale Hotel on Shore Road has been refurbished and is worth a visit if in Silverdale. It is just up the road from the estuary where you can drive right down onto the foreshore. The pub offers 2 real ales from Jennings and Tirrel breweries as well as some keg beers. They also do bar food at reasonable prices.
Comment - Has a good garden area for drinking outside.
THE ALBION, ARNSIDE
Situated on the
seafront at Arnside, with great
views across Morecambe Bay, the Albion is a great place to sit and
watch the world go by on a nice sunny day. The Albion is over 200 years
old and is a Thwaites pub which has recently won awards for customer
service and Thwaites Pub of the Year 2013. They have a minimum of 4
cask beers on offer and increase this to 5 or 6 during high season
including guest beers. Additionally a beer festival with up to 10
different beers is held every 6 months or so.
Website - Albion at Arnside
CROWN INN, HIGH NEWTON
The Crown at High
Newton is a traditional Lakeland
Coaching Inn nestled in the quiet village of High Newton in the
southern reaches of the English Lakes. Following extensive
refurbishment in July 2010, the Crown Inn has re-opened with the bar
and restaurant retaining all the original features of a comfortable
hostelry whilst offering locally sourced home cooked food accompanied
by a fine wine list and an ever-changing selection of local cask ales.
The lower bar area, with its open log fire and carved oak settles, is
both relaxed and welcoming.
SNOOTY FOX, KIRKBY LONSDALE
pub has some interesting items on
display inside and offers a range of 4 real ales. Theakstons Best,
Black Sheep bitter, Skipton Breweries Copper Dragon and Tirrel Ale when
we last visited. Its also a good place to eat and can offer
accommodation if you want to stay in the village.
AVANTI, KIRKBY LONSDALE
as Ditto this is not a pub but more
of a bistro. Avanti has an eating area upstairs and one of the best
"beer gardens" I've seen which must be viewed at night to appreciate
the lighting effects, it even has heaters to keep you warm. Only one
real ale is available - Bass but this was in excellent condition. Keg
Boddingtons is also served
WATERMILL INN, INGS
Situated in the village of Ings near Windermere, this traditional lake district pub offers good food and a constantly changing range of quality real ales from all over the country plus five brewed at the pub.
CAMRA - Westmorland pub of the year 2009 and many other awards
Comment - With up to 16 different beers available the Watermill Inn has something for everyone - Highly recommended .
EAGLE AND CHILD, STAVELEY
in the village of Staveley, half way between Kendal and Windermere,
this country inn boasts four hand pumps and an ever changing range of
real ales mainly from local brewers. On our last visit they had Yates
bitter, Coniston Bluebird, Black Sheep bitter and Barngates Catnap all
in excellent condition. The inn has riverside gardens and offers food
PHEASANT INN, ALLITHWAITE
Flookburgh Rd in the village of
Allithwaite near Grange over Sands you will find this lovely country
Inn which has a good range of real ales and good food. Twaites bitter
is always on offer but in addition there are four other hand pumps
serving beers from local breweries. In addition the pub occasionally
has Black Sheep and Timothy Taylor ales.
Comment - you will get a warm welcome here and a good selection of beers.
The Pheasant Inn website
GILPIN BRIDGE HOTEL, LEVENS
the A590 near Levens this Robinson's owned hotel offers three real
ales, Robinsons Unicorn (renamed Best Bitter) HB and Cumbria Way. For
the smoothflow fans the Robinsons is also available in a frothy version.
STRICKLAND ARMS, SIZERGH
to Sizergh Castle, the Strickland
Arms has re-opened after a prolonged period of closure and extensive
alterations which have transformed the interior. The pub has four hand
pumps for real ale with a changing range of beers from Thwaites, Hesket
Newmarket, Hawkshead, Tirrel and Coniston breweries.
|BLACK BULL HOTEL, CONISTON
Situated at the foot of Coniston Old Man, the Black Bull also plays host to the Coniston Brewing Company, brewers of award winning ales such as Coniston Bluebird. As you would expect, a good selection of beers in tip top condition.
Comment - Plenty of outside seating to sit and watch the world go by.
|BRITANNIA INN, ELTERWATER
Set in the heart of the Lake District near the Langdales, this 400 year old inn is very popular all year round and rightly so. As well as a good selection of food it offers 6 real ales which included resident beers - Coniston Bluebird, Jennings Bitter, and up to 4 other guest beers which change regularly.
Comment - You may just loose the will to go for that walk if you pop in here first.
|GREY WALLS HOTEL and GREYS INN,
On Elleray Road, just off the main A591, this large country house hotel offers a good selection of real ales and is away from the hustle and bustle of Bowness.
Comment - Small car park so you may need to search around for parking. Bus stop nearby.
BLUE BELL HOTEL, HEVERSHAM
former vicarage and school dormitory, the Blue Bell is owned by Samuel
Smiths Tadcaster brewery. Sadly, only Sam Smith's products are
available. Although the bar has 2 hand pumps they both serve the
unremarkable Old Brewery Bitter at bargain prices. Low prices means its
very popular with the younger set.
SUN INN, CROOK
lakeland inn with stone floors and open
fires in winter.
Situated in the small village of Crook between Kendal and Bowness the
Sun Inn also has a good reputation for food. Beers available on our
last visit were Theakston's Best Bitter, Coniston Bluebird and Courage
Note - this pub closed in December 2014 but is expected to reopen soon.
GOLDEN RULE, AMBLESIDE
The Golden Rule
was famous for the quality of its
Hartley's bitter when it came in wooden barrels from Ulverston. Now
sells a range of Robinson's beers including Robinson's Best, Hartley's
XB, Frederic's, Stockport Arches and Hatters Mild. A Lake District
LUNESDALE ARMS, TUNSTALL
On the A683
between Lancaster and Kirkby Lonsdale.
This pub has recently changed hands and has undergone extensive
refurbishment including a repositioned bar and exposure of the stone
and wood floors. The bar area is reserved for drinkers (no food) and
there is a large dining area. Beers available when we visited in Dec 09
were Timothy Taylor Best bitter and Black Sheep bitter.
QUEENS HOTEL, AMBLESIDE
the centre of the village, the Queens
Hotel is making a real effort to attract customers by offering two real
ales and two guest beers. In Nov 2006 they had Jennings Bitter and
Yate's Bitter along with Coniston Bluebird and Hawkshead bitter. Very
popular with the local real ale fans.
ROYAL OAK, AMBLESIDE
village pub in the heart of this lake district village. Offering beers
from Theakstons (Best bitter and HB) and Youngers when I called in. One
of the 4 handpumps was out of action so they may offer something else
as well. Owned by the John Barras Pub Company
ORANGE TREE, KIRKBY LONSDALE
is ideal for a nights pub crawling
as it has several pubs offering a wide variety of good beer. One of our
favourites is the Orange Tree which has well kept beer from Kirkby
Lonsdale Brewery. Its also a good place to eat.
WHITE HART, BOUTH Nr Ulverston
Lakeland village pub which has an
interesting decor and up to 6 real ales available. The walls and beamed
ceiling are adorned with old tools and implements, stuffed animals,
horse brasses and a collection of mugs. Many of the beers on offer are
brewed in Cumbria so its well worth a visit. The food is good too.
century coaching inn situated next to
the canal in Hest Bank village between Bolton le Sands and Morecambe.
Gaining a reputation for good food and real ale. Normally has up to 4
real ales available including Black Sheep, Lancaster Blonde and 2
Just round the
corner from the Golden Rule the
Unicorn with its beamed ceiling and horse brasses is a popular venue
for jazz music. It sells a range of real ale from Robinson's. On offer
when we visited in April were Old Stockport bitter, Stockport Arches
bitter, Hartleys and Frederic's.
SUN INN, KIRKBY LONSDALE
Pub near the
centre of the village which has become
less popular with real ale fans lately. Has several real ales on offer
including Theakstons, Timothy Taylor Best and Black Sheep bitter. It
also has a bistro area for food.
PHEASANT INN, CASTERTON
century coaching inn is renowned for its
food but also serves some good real ales. It keeps Theakstons best
bitter but also offers 2 guest beers - Corby Ale and Tirrel on my last
visit (Apr 13).
WHOOP HALL, KIRKBY LONSDALE
Situated on the
A65 2 miles east of the village of
Kirkby Lonsdale. This popular hotel often has live entertainment in the
bar and offers some good real ales. It has a caravan site alongside so
you can bring your own bed and make a weekend of it
EAGLES HEAD, OVER KELLET
pub with entertainment on Friday
nights and complementary chips on the bar when we visited in early May.
A Mitchell's pub that now offers Caledonian - Flying Scotsman and
Tetley bitter. Boddingtons Keg is also available.
CAVENDISH ARMS, CARTMEL
century inn knows something about keeping
good real ale as until recently it produced its own beer. It also has a
good reputation for food and also has rooms available for a longer
stay. When we visited in Dec they had Charles Wells Bombardier,
Theakston's Best and Jennings Cumberland Ale, all of which were in
in the square, this popular pub offers
a good range of up to 4 real ales from local brewers such as Hawkshead
and Barngates. Those sampled were in excellent condition when I
PUNCH BOWL, UNDERBARROW
This pub in the
village of Underbarrow near Kendal
has beamed ceilings and a welcoming fire if you visit in winter. It
offers 3 real ales - Hawkshead bitter plus 2 guest ales from Cumbrian
HARE AND HOUNDS, BOWLAND BRIDGE
Traditional lakeland village pub offering a good range of locally produced beers and good food. Real ales sourced from Tirrel, Hesket Newmarket, Ulverston and other local breweries.
Comment - You are guaranteed a good pint here and the food is very good too.
YE OLDE FIGHTING COCKS, ARNSIDE
On the seafront
Arnside, this popular pub offers 3 reals ales from Thwaites
brewery. Popular with the tourists in summer and
now enjoying increased popularity with the locals. Featured on the TV
series "4 in a bed" in January 2015
|SUN INN, HAWKSHEAD
This 17th Century Inn is the first of 3 pubs you come across if entering the village of Hawkshead on foot from the main car park. It has 4 hand pumps offering real ales from local brewers such as Barngates, Hawkshead and Jennings.
Comment - Try the Hawkshead and Barngates bitters
|QUEENS HEAD, HAWKSHEAD
In the centre of the village you will find the 2nd of 3 pubs all serving real Ale. This is a delightful 16th century pub focusing primarily on providing good food. All the beers here are by Robinson's so you will not find any local brews on any of the 4 hand pumps.
Comment - This pub was standing when Wordsworth was a lad.
|KINGS ARMS, HAWKSHEAD
In the centre of Hawkshead in the market square, you will find the 3rd of 3 pubs in the village. The Kings Arms is a typical small Lakeland hotel. It is 500 years old and features oak beams and an open fire. It has 2 hand pumps serving real ale from local producers and further afield.
Comment - You will need to walk to this pub as no cars are allowed into the village.
THE CANAL TURN, CARNFORTH
Its quite rare
these days to get a totally new pub
but on the Canal side in Carnforth is a little gem. Opened in summer
2001 this pub was formerly a cottage and has been tastefully converted.
What's more it has six real ales on offer including; Moorlands-Old
Speckled Hen, Black Sheep bitter, Bass, Hancocks HB, Cask Worthington
IPA and Greene King Abbot Ale.
MARTON ARMS, THORNTON in LONSDALE
OK, the Marton
Arms is over the border in Yorkshire
but it is well worth a visit. The bar has 16 hand pumps and offers an
ever changing range of real ales from all over the country. Whiskey
drinkers will not be disappointed either as there are over 200
different ones available. The pub has letting rooms and provides good
bar food. It is very popular with cave dwellers and pot holers
WHITE LION HOTEL, AMBLESIDE
The White Lion
large hotel in the centre of
the village offering a good choice of beer including 2 real ales. These
change regularly and include some you may not get elsewhere locally.
See website for current beer offerings. Has
spacious dining areas so its a good place to eat as well.
KINGS ARMS, Burton in Kendal
On the main
street in Burton, this pub is once
again very popular. When I visited in Mar 07 they had 5 cask
conditioned beers on offer plus Jennings Mild. All were in good
condition and reasonably priced.
KINGS ARMS HOTEL, KIRKBY LONSDALE
Situated on the
main street in the village of
Kirkby Lonsdale, the Kings Arms is a Scottish and Newcastle house
offering Theakston's Best bitter as its only real ale along with
dark smooth Keg and John smiths keg.
|BARBON INN &
The village of Barbon is near Kirkby Lonsdale mid way between the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Park. It is a 17th century Coaching Inn which has 10 bedrooms for guests and a restaurant. The bar area is warmed by an open range fire and has 2 real ales from Tetley and Kirkby Lonsdale breweries. The owners are wine experts so the wine list is interesting too.
Comment - Barbon is home to a hill climb circuit so motor sport fans will love this place.
NEW INN, YEALAND CONYERS
lies just off the A6 between
Carnforth and Milnthorpe. This ivy covered pub has undergone a number
of landlord changes in recent years but continues to offer good food
and a range of real ales from Robinson's.
SPORTSMAN INN, AMBLESIDE
Offering a TV in
the bar and a Disco to 1am this
popular inn belongs to Thwaites and in common with other Thwaites
houses only offers real ales from its own brewery. Fine if you are a
of Thwaites products.
PUNCH BOWL, BARROWS GREEN
On the A65 3
South of Kendal, this pub offers an ever changing selection of real
ales from around the country. Is a meeting place for some groups such
as the local air cooled VW club and the Harley Davidson group. Has quiz
and folk music niights. See website for details.
COACH AND HORSES, MILNTHORPE
pub which has 3 hand pumps on the
bar dispensing beers from Everards and Hawkshead breweries.
you know of a pub offering
good real ale within 30 minutes of Storth or you just want to comment
on any of
the reviews please email me by clicking on the feedback button below.
forget to visit the guest book on my homepage.
Click here to find details of all the breweries in Cumbria
For more information on brewers, beers and pub sites take a look at the excellent Beermad website
For a directory of UK real ale brewers go to Quaffale.org.uk
For the latest news on local pubs and breweries go to the local Campaign for Real Ale site - CAMRA Westmorland or Lunesdale CAMRA
For a humorous guide to pubs in Lancaster checkout The Lancaster Pub Scene and avoid the pubs where no one is welcome.
Fancy something to eat? Take a look at my Storth village information page with details of restaurants in the area. Click here for menus
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