Crossbank, RAVENSTONEDALE, Kirkby Stephen, CA17 4LL
Tables outside this 350-year-old former coaching inn come with some of the most outstanding views in England. Vast fells create an undulating patchwork that completely surrounds the stone inn. A source of the River Lune here has been tapped to create the heart of the inn's own nature reserve, where sightings have included otters, roe deer and countless upland birds. Rambling parties can pop in for breakfast before tackling the local trails; less-active travellers can explore the very traditional interior of the inn, where quirks like a huge aircraft propeller and a stuffed ram's head provoke comment. Lounge at the bar near the old Yorkshire range, quaff Yorkshire beer and peruse a menu of pub stalwarts and daily-changing specials that cater for most diets. Look for slow-roast pulled beef cooked in a barbecue sauce served with horseradish rösti potato and parsnip crisps; or pan-seared salmon fillet with Morecambe Bay shrimps. Twelve en suite rooms complete the picture here.