The Pheasant Inn Pub with rooms in Bassenthwaite Lake, Cumbria

Prices from:
£100 per night

David Hancock says:

  • Classic Lakeland coaching inn
  • Stunning location amid forest and fells
  • Traditional not trendy and better for it
  • Timeless bar; unchanged for 200 years
  • Food is bang up-to-date – modern British
  • Cosy, country-house style bedrooms

Muddy PawsGood for WalkingOutdoor PursuitsCandlelitClose to WaterVisit a Stately PilePrivate Dining

Real Time Booking Available

The Pheasant Inn Bassenthwaite Lake, Cumbria, CA13 9YE

The personal touch

The long, whitewashed inn, now quietly bypassed by the A66, stands tucked away on the old road on the edge of Wythop Forest, not far from Bassenthwaite Lake, and the surrounding woodland and glorious Lakeland fells provide an atmospheric backdrop to this grand old building. The Pheasant may look like the archetypal roadside coaching inn it once was, but it’s more of a country hotel these days, although it retains the aura and cosiness of an old inn. It’s the warm, welcoming atmosphere of the 500-year-old building that makes a memorable first impression. Period charm abounds – there are country-house style bedrooms, roaring fires, parquet flooring covered with rugs, highly polished period furniture, comfy chairs and furnishings in several lounges that look out onto extensive gardens, and the classic, very civilised little bar is softly lit and has old oak settles, hunting prints, tobacco-brown walls and a timeless air – perfect for supping a pint of Coniston Bluebird after a day on the fells. The unchanging character of the Pheasant and the unwavering determination not to pursue trends but to stick with quality, tranquility and service that appeals to many is what sets this fine old inn apart. Long-serving manager/director Matthew Wylie oversees the inn with aplomb.

Muddy paws

Dogs are allowed in the lounges, the bar and overnight in the two Garden Rooms and Matterdale and Kirkstone rooms (extra £10). Superb walks radiate from the front door

Sticky fingers

Children are welcome at the Pheasant and there’s a kid’s menu (served until 7pm). However, only children over 8 are allowed to stay overnight


Expect manicured lawns, colourful flowerbeds, shady terraces and a babbling stream – a splendid spot for summer afternoon teas and alfresco lunches

What’s the Damage?

15 doubles/twin: £100 – £200; single £95 -£115

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Private dining (seats 20)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Disabled access to restaurant and two bedrooms
  • Parking

The Pheasant Inn Bassenthwaite Lake, Cumbria, CA13 9YE

Do not disturb

It’s a great place to stay in a stunning location. All 15 bedrooms, including two in the separate Garden Lodge, have been refurbished to a very high standard with fixtures, fittings and fabrics of high quality, complimented by antique furnishings. Decor is traditional country house in style but this fits perfectly with the character of the old inn, with a fresh, floral theme and all rooms are immaculately serviced. There’s plenty of space, especially in the three suite-style rooms, and all are well appointed with a host of extras while bathrooms have powerful showers over baths. The two rooms in the Garden Lodge provide ground floor access, with ramp for wheel chair users, and one room has additional handrails to assist those with reduced mobility.

Creature comforts

Quality Mattisons mattresses; Eco Boutique toiletries; bathrobes; china tea service


Freeview TV; telephones; Roberts radio; free wi-fi


Spa treatments can be arranged at nearby Armathwaite Hall, which has a gym, swimming pool and 10 treatment rooms. The Pheasant has a special arrangement with the hotel

What’s for Breakfast?

Excellent cold buffet plus a good range of hot dishes with choice of locally smoked bacon, Cumberland sausage, Stornoway black pudding, free range eggs, Achiltibuie kippers or smoked salmon

What’s the Damage?

15 doubles/twin: £100 – £200; single £95 -£115

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Private dining (seats 20)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Disabled access to restaurant and two bedrooms
  • Parking
Eat & Drink

The Pheasant Inn Bassenthwaite Lake, Cumbria, CA13 9YE

Mastering the menu

Chef Jonathan Bell has been at The Pheasant since late 2016, bringing strong 2-rosette cooking experience to the kitchen, and his lunch and dinner menus offer plenty of choice and it’s best to book ahead. Modern British in outlook, firmly local in the sourcing of raw materials, Jonathan’s regularly changing set dinner menus (Wednesday to Saturday) in the fine dining Fell Restaurant read well, with interesting combinations and an enticing mixture of the earthy and the refined to well executed dishes. Think, duck breast and confit leg served with bacon rosti, wild mushrooms and port jus. The popular and more informal Bistro offers simpler, more traditional dishes ranging from excellent lunchtime sandwiches (roast beef, horseradish, crème fraiche) to seafood salad and 28-day Cumbrian sirloin steak with hand-cut chips and battered onions. Similarly, light lunches are served in both the bar and the various lounges (until 4.30pm), and afternoon tea is a treat not to be missed – expect homemade scones with rum butter, freshly made cakes and sandwiches and a wide variety of teas.

On the menu

(Starters: £7.25 – £9.50; Main Courses: £11.50 – £21; Puddings: £7; Fell Restaurant: 2-courses £38; 3-courses £45)

Bistro/Bar Menu

Cullen skink; cheddar cheese soufflé, creamed leeks; haggis Scotch egg, whisky & herb sauce

Shepherd’s pie, game casserole; beer battered haddock, hand-cut chips; venison burger, smoked cheddar, tomato & gin ketchup, skinny fries

Sticky toffee pudding, salted caramel sauce, banana ice cream; chocolate & orange mousse, chocolate chip cookie

Fell Restaurant (Dinner & Sunday Lunch)

Roast hake, chicken dumplings, soy & spring onion broth

Lamb loin, crispy shoulder, fondant potatoes, salt roast celeriac, tomato jus

Banana parfait, brandy snap, banana ice cream, toffee sauce

Sunday roasts

(£13.50 – £16; set lunch in Fell Restaurant 2-courses £19; 3-courses £23)

Expect a choice of three meat dishes (always beef and lamb), all classically served and of excellent quality, with really memorable roast potatoes.

Time to Eat

Breakfast: 8am – 10am

Lunch: 12pm – 2.30pm (light meals until 4.30pm)

Afternoon tea: 3pm-5pm

Dinner: 6pm – 9pm (Fell Restaurant Wednesday to Saturday only)

Local, local, local

Meat, game & other products: Cocklakes Farm Shop, Deli & Café (www.

Coffee: Coffee Care, Skipton, North Yorkshire (www. )

Beer: nearly always Cumbrian from Coniston and Hawkshead Breweries, and Cumbrian Legendary Ales

Wine – Frank Stainton, Kendal (www. )

Furnishings – local carpenter/cabinet maker Matt Jardine made the bedroom furniture and fitted out the bistro with oak flooring and tables

Behind the bar

The hugely atmospheric bar has remained unchanged for 200 years, a unique, rare and timeless place to rest and unwind after a day’s exploring the surrounding fells. The traditional bar counter, usually adorned with a huge vase of seasonal fresh flowers, hides a treasure trove of drinks, from Cumbrian cask ales, perhaps Coniston Bluebird, Loweswater Gold and Hawkshead Bitter, hundreds of malt whiskies (many over 25 years old), a raft of gins, which includes the Lakes Gin distilled less than a mile away, and premium soft drinks and mixers from Fever Tree, Fentimans and Frobishers. Wines on the excellent, 100-strong list are sourced entirely from Frank Stainton Wines, the renowned Cumbrian wine merchant based in Kendal, and there are some rare gems and plenty by the glass or carafe. Coffee aficionado Matthew works with Coffee Care in Skipton to create his own blend for the inn.

Bar snacks

Homemade crisps; haddock goujons & tartare sauce; bread, humus, olive oil, balsamic vinegar

Time at the bar

11.30am – 11pm

What’s the Damage?

15 doubles/twin: £100 – £200; single £95 -£115

What Else?

  • All credit cards taken
  • Private dining (seats 20)
  • Alfresco dining
  • Disabled access to restaurant and two bedrooms
  • Parking
Food Trail

Take it back home
Tour the brewery that brewed your favourite pint, visit the shop on the farm that reared your delicious Sunday roast beef, and seek out the roadside stalls selling the local crab and samphire on the inn’s menu, the Food Trail features the local artisan producers and suppliers where you can buy to enjoy at home.

Change of scenery
Looking for a pub for lunch following a country walk, a different venue for dinner, or a good café for coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea, then the best in the area are listed below. If you find a new and exciting eatery in the area that’s worthy of a mention on the Food Trail, then please to do let us know –

1 Inn Location - The Pheasant Inn


Farrer's Tea and Coffee House, 13 Stricklandgate, Kendal LA9 4LY

From 1819, when John Farrer started a family business of specialist tea and coffee merchant at Stricklandgate, the tantalizing aroma of roasting coffee became a feature of daily life in the market town of Kendal. Visit the tearoom to sample the great range of teas and coffees available while enjoying fresh cakes and maybe an exhibition of local art.


Kendal Farmers' Market, Market Place, Kendal LA9 4TP

Kendal Farmers Market is held in the Market Place in Kendal on the last Friday in each month from 9:30 to 3:30pm.


Stainton Wines, 1 Station Yard, Kendal LA9 6BT

Feisty, independent, opinionated and honest is the best way to sum up Frank Stainton’s approach to his business. Beginning in 1984, the overriding quest has been to source, import and sell the most characterful and interesting wines at every price point. “Our £7 bottle of wine will be the best value £7 wine on the market”


Askham Hall Gardens & Café, Penrith CA10 2HH

Historic building and fascinating flower and kitchen gardens that have been restored to their former glory and magnificence. Now a restaurant with rooms, it has a very special café that draws on the Lowther Estate's wide range of organic and rare breed produce.


The Lakes Distillery Bassenthwaite Lake, Keswick CA13 9SJ

The largest whisky distillery in England is just a mile away from The Pheasant and, like the inn, is set in beautiful location but right beside Bassenthwaite Lake, and overlooking one of the Lake District’s highest peaks, Skiddaw. It offers a wide range of facilities for visitors of all ages to enjoy, including an interactive tour, which follows the journey of how the distillery’s world-class whisky, gin and vodka are made and includes a tasting session at the end.


Cocklakes Farm Shop & Tea Room Troutbeck, Penrith CA11 0SG

Superb farm shop and café situated just off A66 between Keswick and Penrith and with views across a fishing lake and of Blencathra and Mell Fell. Stock up on homemade sausages, pies and quiches, farm-reared beef, and local cheeses, jams and honey, amongst other goodies in the deli section. Don’t miss the Rod & Reel Tea Room for decent breakfasts, light lunches and afternoon teas with cake and scones.

Out & About

1 Inn Location - The Pheasant Inn



Ullswater Steamers, Glenridding Pier House CA11 0US

The Ullswater Steamers have been sailing on ‘England’s most beautiful lake’ since 1859 – take a one or two hour cruise along the lakeside, with the dramatic backdrop of Helvellyn and the stunning fells.


Horse Riding Parkfoot Pony Trekking, Howtown CA10 2NA

Trek on horseback for an hour or a day along pretty country lanes, and by the lakeside - the views over Ullswater are breathtaking – all the routes are off-road, and the Highland ponies are sure-footed and well mannered.


Lake District Wildlife Park, Bassenthwaite CA12 4RD

The only wildlife park in this part of Cumbria, the emphasis here is very much on conservation, education and engaging with visitors. Take a stroll and see more than 1,000 species – from anaconda to zebra.


Keswick Climbing Wall, Goosewell Farm, Keswick CA12 4RN

There’s something here for all ages – including indoor climbing, bouldering and archery throughout the year. Climbing lessons are available and experienced climbers have an excellent range of challenges to confront them. One bonus is that the climbing wall represents a perfect alternative if wet outside.


Grizedale Visitor Centre, Hawkshead, Cumbria LA22 0OJ

Slinking across the Furness Fells above Coniston, Grizedale Forest’s mix of old woodland and pines is laced by forest roads and tracks rising to sublime viewpoints. Ideal cycling territory, enhanced by the famous Sculpture Trail, with many works created over the years by a range of artists.


Low Wood, Windermere, Cumbria LA23 1LP

Low Wood Watersports and Activity Centre, with its large lake frontage and extensive range of equipment, is a great location for water-skiing, wake surfing, sailing, kayaking/canoeing and boat hire.


Pendle & Cumbria Balloon Flights LA8 8HR

If walking seems too much like hard work then let hot air do all the work for you and glide effortlessly up high and gaze down from the wicker basket on an intricate combination of glistening water, rugged bracken clad outcrops, woodlands and twisting stone walls. Flights in the Lyth Valley (South Lakes).



Bookends, 66 Main St, Keswick CA12 5DX

Independent bookshop with the emphasis on books and maps of the Lake District within a great range of general interest titles, many at reduced prices.


Special Expressions, 34 Main St, Keswick CA12 5JD

Established in 2001, Special Expressions retails Harry Mason designer jewellery at various shows, fairs and events around the UK. Special Expressions specialises in distinctive and desirable designs.



Predictably, the streets of this delightful little Lakeland town are busy for much of the year, but what is surprising is the great choice of craft, gift and gallery shops to be found here. Expect, too, plenty of coffee shops and bistro-style restaurants.


Rheged Centre, Redhills CA11 0DQ

This is Europe’s largest grass covered building – it’s a dramatic, contemporary setting for exhibitions, talks and workshops and an Imax screen showing films. A Foodhall, café and great shops here too, selling hand made chocolates, arts & crafts, books, and outdoor clothing.


Percy House, 38-42 Market Place, Cockermouth, Cumbria

Situated in a historic building dating back to 1390 this is a wonderful setting for a specially selected mix of arts and crafts. These include jewellery, textiles, glassware, ceramics, metal ware, paintings, photographs and sculpture produced locally using a variety of sandstone, slate and limestone.

Places to visit


Hill Top, Near Sawrey, Ambleside LA22 0LF

The National Trust describes Hill Top, on the banks of Lake Windermere, as a Beatrix Potter time capsule. It's a wonderful experience as you step back in time to 1914. The garden is also a great attraction, with its flowers, herbs, fruit and vegetables.


Sizergh Castle & Garden, Sizergh, Kendal, LA8 8AE

A family home near Kendal that represents 700 years of history. Still occupied by the Strickland family, Sizergh has a wealth of tales to tell. Take time to explore the garden and the 1,600-acre estate.


Dalemain, Penrith CA11 0HB

Historic country house and gardens near Ullswater. Described as one of the most beautiful stately homes in the north west, the pink stone of its Georgian façade glows wonderfully in the Lakeland sunshine. Dalemain includes an extensive award-winning garden with plants including a Greek fir.


Rydal Mount, Ambleside LA22 9LU

Rydal Mount can be reached on foot from nearby Ambleside, making it the focal point of a manageable and very attractive Lakeland walk. William Wordsworth and his family moved to Rydal Mount in 1813. With its 4-acre garden and charming setting on the banks of Rydal Water, the house suited Wordsworth perfectly.


Stagshaw Garden, Ambleside Road, Ambleside LA22 0HE

Covering about 8 acres, this woodland garden, near Ambleside, is owned by the National Trust. There are winding paths and a wide variety of shrubs, trees and plants, including rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas.


Dove Cottage Wordsworth Trust, Dove Cottage, Grasmere, Cumbria LA22 9SH

Walk around the lakeshore of Ullswater on a cloudy day in springtime when the daffodils are out and then come here to the place William Wordsworth wrote his most quoted poem. An award-winning museum and library house one of the greatest collections of manuscripts, books and paintings relating to British Romanticism


Muncaster Castle, Ravenglass, Cumbria CA18 1RQ

Home to the Pennington family for 800 years, and built to repel the marauding Scots, the castle is a genuine treasure trove of art and antiques. Set between the Irish Sea and Hardknott Pass, Muncaster is located in one of Europe's most remote and dramatic landscapes. Also home to the Hawk and Owl Centre.


Mirehouse & Gardens Bassenthwaite Lake, Keswick CA12 4QE

Set in the heart of the North Lake District, three miles from Keswick, the beautiful, natural gardens at Mirehouse offer stunning views of the dramatic Lakeland landscape they are set in. Enjoy the attraction of the tranquility of the walled Bee Garden, stroll in quiet contemplation along the Poetry Walk or by the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake.


Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway Ravenglass, Cumbria CA18 1SW

England’s steepest, most enjoyable mountain roads pass the lonely Roman Fort at Hard Knott before plummeting into remote Eskdale and the hamlet of Boot. From here, a narrow-gauge steam railway slips down the beautiful valley to the ancient tidal port of Ravenglass, with further Roman remains and the nearby Muncaster Castle.


The Lake District has many spectacular walks to try, you’d never complete them all. There are countless circular rambles and signposted trails but for something truly breathtaking, climb to the summit of Scafell Pike in the west of Cumbria. This much-loved Lakeland landmark rises to 3,209ft and from the flat, rocky summit you can look over a vast panorama of peaks and valleys.


Not surprisingly, the Lake District has an assortment of challenging mountain trails, gentle country lanes and classic cross-country routes from which to choose. Bike hire is readily available.


The Lake District plays host to numerous cultural events and colourful festivals. There’s everything from the Grasmere Lakeland Sports and Show and the famous Appleby Horse Fair to the Windermere Air Show and Ambleside Christmas Lights Festival.

Getting there

Location, Location, Location

By Road: Exit M6 (J40), take A66 for Keswick and North Lakes. Continue past Keswick towards Cockermouth; inn is located midway between Keswick and Cockermouth (6 miles) and signposted from the A66

By Rail: Nearest railway stations are at Workington (13.5 miles) and Penrith (25 miles)


Cockermouth, Bassenthwaite Lake, Cumbria, CA13 9YE

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