In the Lake District you’re never more than tripping distance from a village pub. Whether it’s been gastro-ised or not you’ll be able to tell from the menu. If it’s laminated expect pies and chips. If not, you’ll find posh pies and chunky chips.


It rains a lot here but the silver lining is there are lots of cosy cafes around, perfect for sheltering from the elements. One of the best is Lucy’s on a Plate in Ambleside and Chesters Cafe at Skelwith Bridge.

A good resource for finding decent restaurants is Artisan Food. Top eateries include Lucy4 At The Porthole in Bowness, The Glass House in Ambleside and, for that special occasion, the fabulous Sharrow Bay by Ullswater.

Farmers’ markets
Pick up local delicacies and organic meats and cheeses at one of the many farmers’ markets held in the villages and towns of the Lake District. See The Cumbrian Directory.

Don’t leave without trying:

  • Cumberland sausage: A herby sausage coiled like a rope.
  • Kendal mint cake: Basically a block of sugar and peppermint oil designed to give hikers energy (for the march to the dentist).
  • Damsons: A member of the plum family particularly good in jam.
  • Gingerbread: Make a beeline to Sarah Nelson’s Gingerbread Shop in Grasmere and you’ll know why.
  • Cheese: From Allerdale goats’ cheese to Thornby Moor smoked chedder, the dairy produce of the Lakes is second to none.
  • Ale: Ditch the tasteless international lagers in favour of locally brewed beers and ales. Breweries to look out for are Hawkshead, Barngates (attached to the Drunken Duck Inn) and Jennings.