• Neil

5 Favourite Places to Eat in The Lake District

Whether you are just about to go on a hike or have just come down off the mountains or fells, knowing there's somewhere good to go to get some good food and a hot brew or cold drink is part and parcel of a visit to the Lake District. With Winter kicking in and the weather getting colder, wetter and icier, these places become even more a haven allowing you to duck out of the elements for a spell, as well as supporting locally run businesses.

Given the size of the Lake District, there are so many places to choose from particularly in the very touristy areas.

We at On Clear Days have been to many due to being regular visitors to the Lakes, and can even go as far as to say we've never had a bad experience at any. There's always been a warm Cumbrian welcome in every place we've been. We do however, have some we are particularly fond of near to some of our favourite places to go walking.

Here are our 5 favourite places (in no particular order) and a few of our recommendations if you decide to eat there.

1. Yewdale Inn, Coniston

(2 Yewdale Road, Coniston, LA21 8DU)

This place is everything under one roof. A popular cafe, a restaurant, bar and hotel. We've been here a few times, is a short walk away from the main car park in Coniston and within 10 mins of the waters edge. It is pet friendly and with a terrace outside in warmer weather, you can see the fells looming behind the buildings, and the sound of Levers Water Beck as it flows through the village. A great stop off we've used a few times whether it be before or after heading up The Old Man of Coniston or a wander around Coniston Water (I recommend the Lakeland Platter).

2. The Pig, Windermere

(3 Crescent Rd, Windermere LA23 1EA)

The first time we went to The Pig, I was feeling a bit ropey. I hadn't slept much the night before, and the car journey up to the Lakes had taken an age. All was resolved after a brew and a sausage pattie sourdough roll. Once I'd had that, I was ready for the fells. Absolutely glorious. Despite the porky theme, there's a number of vegetarian options on their menu. Super friendly staff, pet friendly, and a good start/end point if you're either heading down into Bowness or up on to Orrest Head and beyond.

3. Granny Dowbekins Tearooms, Pooley Bridge (on the B5320, Penrith CA10 2NP)

Right on the northern tip of Ullswater, sits Granny Dowbekins. An unusual name that is hard to forget once you've been there. Literally across the road are the jetties for the Ullswater Steamers should you wish to go out onto the lake. This place is bright, breezy and cheerful, again awesome staff and is pet friendly. If ever you eat there (the cooked breakfast is a feast, the Cumberland sausage curl a meal in itself!) make sure you leave some room for their home made gingerbread. Take some away with you, and enjoy at the top of one of the many fells (Place Fell amongst others surround Ullswater) with a brew overlooking the amazing views of the lake. NB: Pooley Bridge can get very busy at weekends and during the holidays, so keep your eyes peeled for parking spots on the main road, but there are also locally run car parks set back off the street too which are easy to miss.

4. The Chalet Tearooms & Restaurant, Portinscale

(Keswick CA12 5RF)

Another North Lakes venue, we discovered this after a morning stride around the northern edge of Derwentwater. The Chalet, is in Portinscale, a village just outside of Keswick. It is a light and airy place, and a short walk from the waters edge where you can hire boats to go out on to the water. You can see your food being cooked so you can see everything is freshly prepared, and it certainly set us up for the day after we had checked out from our nearby hotel as we then drove further south and climbed Scafell Pike. The Tiroler Grostl (Alpine Hash) certainly helped stave off the mountain munchies that day! Also pet friendly just in case you are taking your pooch up that way.

5. Syke Farm Tearoom, Buttermere

(Buttermere, Cockermouth CA13 9XA)

My favourite place to go in the Lakes is up around Honister Pass/Fleetwith Pike/Haystacks etc, so this is a regular place to visit when passing through Buttermere. Pet friendly, vegan food on offer, and special breakfast deals if you're staying on their campsite. Whether it is a cup of tea and cake, or some hearty food (particularly when it gets cold and wet up that end of the Lakes), Syke Farm happily provides. Cake, always the cake. As someone with a seriously sweet tooth, I often find myself getting fixated whilst up on a rainy fell knowing that a big slab of cake or a scone at Syke Farm is a pay off waiting for me once I'm back down.

So that is our top five places. There are so many to choose from, but these are the places we keep returning to again and again. Have you got any favourites? Let us know as we're always on the hunt for new places to try!

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