Eskdale is one of the most beautiful valleys in the Lake District. Situated in the quieter side of the National Park, it has a peaceful tranquillity that makes it especially appealing to those who want to avoid the crowds. Amid all this tranquillity are several fantastic pubs serving great food and some fine ales. There are several cottages in the lake district which make a great base from which to explore Eskdale and what better way to finish the day of adventure off than to visit one of these fine establishments.
As you come to the main village, Eskdale Green from the south, you come to The King George IV. Under new management the pub has regained its status as one of the main focal points of the valley. It’s a welcoming pub with open fire, oak ceilings and slate floors. There is a sunny patio outside and pets are welcome both in and out.
The King George IV has a self catering Apartment called the King George Apartment, which sleeps 8 and a luxury self contained caravan for 4/6 called The Cabin and if that wasn’t enough they’ve even got a flat sleeping 2 people.
At the other end of Eskdale Green is The Bower House Inn. Here there is a lovely beer garden with a small wood and a stream at one end, plus a play area for children. The building itself has a lot of character being a 17th Century coaching inn. Nowadays it combines traditional Lake District hospitality with modern comforts such as wifi and regular events. The food is locally sourced and the ales are locally brewed.
Arriving in Eskdale over Hardknott Pass, the first pub you come to is The Woolpack Inn (and after a trip over the steepest pass in England, you will be glad of a pint or two to bring yourself back to reality). This pub was taken over by Harry & Paddington Berger in 2010 and they have worked wonders with it. The surrounding scenery is stunning, the ale is real stuff and the food is good and honest, made from local ingredients wherever possible. There is a large beer garden and your dog is more than welcome.
Heading down the valley you will then come to Boot which is a tiny hamlet with two pubs – The Boot Inn and the Brook House. Both are just a five minute walk down the road from the Ravenglass and Eskdale steam railway. The Brook House is classic. It is family owned and all the food is home made on site (and available all day). Their real ales include Cumbrian specials such as Hawkshead Bitter, Jennings, Barngates and Yates. And if ale isn’t enough to tempt you there, they also serve over 150 malt whiskeys.
The Boot Inn is further up the road and has a great children’s play area at the bottom of the beer garden. Inside there are darts and pool and the pub prides itself on being a lively pub with a good atmosphere.
Between them the Woolpack Inn, Brook House Inn and Boot Inn host a beer festival in June. With over 70 beers from nearly 70 breweries, each pub has a different choice. The 5-10 minute walk between the pubs can provide welcome fresh air, and a chance to plan the next pint!
Just outside of the valley, going towards Wasdale is The Santon Bridge Inn. Sunday lunches are a speciality here but the pub is great any time of the week with its open fire, real ale and country inn atmosphere. Wifi is available here, as well as a friendly smile from Humphrey who works behind the bar! If you are visiting in November, then don’t miss the World’s Biggest Liar Competition held at the Santon Bridge Inn. Staying in Lake District Cottages is a great way to explore the lakes and all it has to offer.