Category Archives: Cumbria

The Black Swan Inn

Culgarth, Penrith, Cumbria:

An overnight stop. This is a family-run inn in the old sense of the word: a pub you can stay in., and it’s doing a great job. It’s the village pub, and a decent hotel as well. Great food, 2 excellent cask ales on, brilliant staff, and a comfortable place to stay, having got our kicks on the nearby A66.

Best of all the bar is still a bar, and there’s two eating areas (one next to the bar, and a restaurant), and proper demarcation between them, meaning it becomes a “destination pub” for diners and hotel guests, but still does a good job of village pub.

The Royal Station Hotel


Large Victorian hotel near the station. Slightly reduced in size with some bits rented out, and a bit faded grandeur (but evidently under refurbishment). The bar was pub-like, and pleasant enough, full of locals on a Friday evening, we came for a drink, then returned for food as the nearby Chinese restaurant was shut. Food and beer both fine, though only 1 ale available, but decent lager as well. Could be absolutely magnificent with investment, and the current people seem to be doing a good job.

The Commodore Inn


This didn’t give a good impression from one side- looking a bit tatty as we walked through town, but later, approaching from the prom it looked better, and in the event was pretty good, with friendly staff, great beer, and decent sandwiches. The place isn’t plush or fancy, but not tatty either, inside.

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks


We wanted a few days away, so we stopped here: it’s a pub with rooms, not a hotel- but it’s both a comfortable place to stay, and a nice pub. Friendly landlord and staff, excellent Thwaites beer, wine, and food, and a great location just minutes from the station and with stunning views over the bay. Our room was pretty good too.

The pub was featured on Four in a Bed a few years ago.

The Elleray


A debate ensued over hotel or pub, and Stymistress persuaded me that it was pub, despite having rooms and the wanky “eat drink sleep” slogan. We didn’t enter in the best of moods, having had a rare loss of public transport mojo, so we were less than enthused. Trying to be objective, it was OK: beer and staff were fine, it was just a it modern-trendy stripped floor slightly-posh, but overall it wasn’t bad at all, and being at the edge of town, near the station, it was a little quieter, and handy for the bus back.

The Queens


A mistake: our bus ride to Windemere was on a bus that called everywhere, so it took a long time. This meant we missed food times at The Queens (which seems a bit odd, I’d have thought serving all day would make good money), but we stayed for a drink. A nice, traditional pub, good beer and wine, and outside space (which sadly highlighted the fact that Windemere really needs a bypass). I’d imagine it could get very, very busy.