Our favourite local pubs

By 28th June 2020Pubs

It’s been a while hasn’t it?

Real ales, log fires, and of course, home made food and chips.  Pubs – we’ve missed you !!!

Not sure about you – but we can’t wait for things like pub-style fish and chips, sausage and mash, burger and the trimmings, steak and chips….. you get the picture !!!

We have so many great local pubs in Cumbria, and in particular within a short distance from Witherslack.  We’ve missed that great combination of high-quality cosy pubs, nearby or just an easy cycle away.  All of them have outside sitting areas, where you can rest your bikes, and have a bite to eat and a drink.

Check the pub websites for actual reopening arrangements from 4 July onwards: booking will be needed at most places too.

Something big was happening around here in the 17th century as we have a fantastic selection of 17th Century coaching houses, where folk would stop to slake their thirst and rest a while, on their way north.

What better on a sunny afternoon than perhaps cycling around this peaceful and beautiful area, stopping off at various pubs, to sample something cooling and some of their amazing pub food.

First up is our local:  The Derby Arms   

Derby Arms

Derby Arms, Witherslack

A traditional country pub, serving good food, beer and wine in a traditional setting, with log fires and period furniture.  Outside tables and a warm welcome for cyclists, walkers and dogs.  It’s next door to the village shop, and this whole place is a hub for the local community.

If you’re cycling on the Bay Cycle way toward Kendal, you’ll come straight out at the Hare & Hounds in Levens, a 16th Century coaching inn set in the pretty village of Levens.  It’s a proper village pub, full of character, with a mean cocktail list, local cask ales, great craft beers and delicious comfort food.  The Hare and Hounds welcomes everyone – kids, muddy boots and dogs included.  Outdoor seating, and log fires in the winter.

One of our cycle Loops from the village takes you up through Underbarrow and Crosthwaite.

Two absolutely cracking pubs – the Black Labrador at Underbarrow, and then further afield,  Punch Bowl at Crosthwaite.  The Black Labrador,  another 16th century coaching house,  with outside seating and a terraced garden area  or in the winter when you can snuggle up on comfy sofas in front of a blazing log burner.  The Punch Bowl has award-winning food and luxurious country feel, offering bar meals and a restaurant.

Just beyond Crosthwaite is another Hare & Hounds at Bowland Bridge.  Another 17th Century coaching house, in the heart of the Winster Valley.  Further on toward Winster and you’ll find the Brown Horse,  specialising in local cumbrian food, with its own micro brewery.

At Brigsteer, the next village along, you’ll find the rather awesome Wheatsheaf at Brigsteer.  Loved by locals and visitors, with a lively atmosphere, great food and spaces to sit outside and by the river, it offers a warm welcome and is popular with cyclists.

The Gilpin Bridge Inn between Witherslack and Levens serves food all day and has a great outdoor playground.  Brilliant for families to enjoy a meal and time together.

At Sizergh, near Kendal you’ll find The Strickland Arms.  offering superb dining in a historic setting, in the grounds of Sizergh Castle, Kendal.   Cycle a little further on and you’ll find the fabulous Low Sizergh Barn – farm shop and tea-room with great food, afternoon teas, hearty breakfasts and we think the best local cheese shop in the area!  If you fancy a culture visit whilst here, Sizergh Castle sits in its lovely grounds between the pub and the Farm shop.

Low Sizergh Barn Shop

Low Sizergh Barn Shop Sizergh, Near Kendal

All these pubs are dog friendly in the bar areas, welcoming well-behaved pooches and their humans.

Wherever you end up,  you could happily spend a couple of days sampling the delights of all these pubs and toddle back to base,  with a smile on your face having tasted some of the best food and drink in Cumbria.

Please be kind and patient with staff as they get used to the ‘new normal’ and work hard to welcome you back to these cosy places.

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