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Traditional 17th-century inn with classic Lakeland views

At a glance

AA Pick of the Pubs
Bar menu
Restaurant menu
Microbrewed ales
Kids play area
Dog friendly

A good story lies behind the name of the inn. When a 19th-century landlady found her ducks blotto in the road after a beer leak 'contaminated' their feed, she thought they were dead and began plucking them. When they came round, she was so full of remorse she knitted them all warm Hawkshead yarn waistcoats. The inn stands at a crossroads above Ambleside with splendid views towards Windermere. Ales from the on-site Barngates brewery are served on a Brathay slate counter in the oak-floored, hop-hung bar, where wooden settles with Herdwick wool coverings, sketches, prints and enamel signs further contribute to the character. Add candlelight and a log fire, and what more could you want? Ideally the menu, of course, which offers a Lancashire cheese and smoked haddock soufflé; lamb rum and shoulder, potato terrine, salt-baked carrot and salsa verde; and parkin, poached grapes and salted caramel ice cream. Behind lies a tranquil garden with its own tarn.

Opening hours

  • Closed: 25 December
  • Open all week
  • Open all day
  • Lunch: Monday to Saturday 12–3.30, Sunday 12–4
  • Dinner: all week 6–9

Food and drink

  • Restaurant menu available
  • Real ales available: Barngates Cracker Ale, Tag Lag, Cat Nap, Brathay Gold, Pale, Red Bull Terrier, Goodhew's Dry Stout and Weiss
  • Microbrewery ales

Price guide

  • Credit cards accepted


  • Parking available
  • Free Wi-Fi


  • Children welcome
  • Children's menu
  • Play area available
  • High chairs
  • Baby change


  • Accessible toilets


  • Dog friendly
  • Allowed in bar
  • Allowed in garden

Getting here

From Kendal on A591 to Ambleside, then follow Hawkshead sign. In 2.5 miles inn sign on right, 1 mile up hill.

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