There’s no doubt Pooley Bridge is one of our favourite places in the Lake District. This quaint village on the banks of Lake Ullswater is surrounded by a spectacular landscape perfect for hiking, boating, fishing and exploring.
But there’s another reason why we love this village so much. There’s so many great pubs in Pooley Bridge!
That’s great news, as regardless of how you spend your time in Pooley Bridge, if you’re like us then after a day of adventuring you’ll want some fantastic food and a refreshing pint.
We’ve enjoyed our stays so much when camping here (see our previous article) that we just had to go into more detail about some of our favourite Pooley Bridge pubs to eat, drink and have fun while in this beautiful village.
As you’ll see, there’s plenty of places for delicious pub grub, some fine dining options, and a great selection of ales too.
So sit back and relax as we guide you through the best pubs in Pooley Bridge!
The Best Pubs in Pooley Bridge For Beer, Food & Fun!
1. The Sun Inn
Of course we hope the sun is out, rather than in, when you visit this gastropub!
That’s so you can take advantage of the stunning beer garden at The Sun Inn. A beer garden that even has play equipment so kids can have fun while you chat and enjoy your drink in the sun.
However, should the weather not be so nice, you can settle down beside the roaring fireplace inside instead.
If you do, you’ll see that the interior is dominated by wood panelling and thick beams which help to create that classic traditional pub look, making this a picturesque place to eat and drink. The dining area is quiet and peaceful, but the separate bar area is a little more lively and that’s where you can watch live sports.
The regular ale at The Sun Inn tends to be Jennings Cumberland Ale but there’s another ale handpump that rotates giving different brewers a chance to shine. There is plenty of other beer on tap too, alongside some delicious wines and spirits.
This may be a gastropub but the presentation of the food is akin to that of fine dining. You’ll be getting your phone out to take pictures we’re sure of that!
There’s a real focus on classic British cuisine here, and starters include delicious Garlic King Prawns and Chicken Liver Pate. If you enjoy those then why not move onto a main of Steak and Ale Pie, Fish & Chips, Lamb Shank or some of the vegetarian and vegan options.
British comfort food isn’t the only cuisine you’ll get here though. If you’re looking for more of a kick in your meal you’ll be pleased to hear The Sun Inn also serves street food inspired Asian dishes! And if you’re able to handle more and make it to ordering dessert, then the Hot Chocolate Fudge Cake looked very good.
While those dishes are all served in the more formal dining area of the pub, if you’re in the bar and get a bit peckish you can also order sandwiches direct from the bar.
All in all, this is a family friendly place where dogs are allowed and disabled access is no issue. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy good food after a busy day adventuring.
Address: The Sun Inn, Pooley Bridge, CA10 2NN
2. The Crown Inn
When it comes to beer gardens in Pooley Bridge, this place takes the ‘crown’!
Located right next to the river, the picture perfect beer garden at The Crown Inn allows you to enjoy your pint in the sun with the sound of the river rushing by. Can you think of anything more relaxing?
Luckily there’s plenty of seating available in The Crown Inn’s beer garden, however this is no secret gem! On sunny days the garden fills up quick so get there early and claim your piece of nirvana.
The bar starts serving at 11am so if you’ve spent the morning wandering around the village and have built up a thirst, then this is a great place to spend the afternoon recharging those batteries with some good ale and grub.
Of course not every day will have glorious weather, but thankfully this pub has a nice cosy feel inside too. If you’re an ale fan, the bar has a full range of Thwaites available to choose from with amber, gold, IPA, mild and original all on offer.
That’s lots of other drinks too, but as food is a big focus here there’s an extensive and even adventurous wine list to choose from – all created so you can find that perfect wine pairing for your meal.
As for food, there’s a breakfast menu available between 8 and 10am, then at midday the main menu kicks in to cover lunch and dinner with food served till 7pm.
There are so many options on the main menu that it may take time for you to pick what you want. But we will share what we think are some of the highlights. For starters, the Cheese Topped Garlic Bread was delicious, while the meat heavy mains – such as burgers, steak, hot pot, beer battered fish and BBQ chicken – are well known locally for being extremely good.
And should you happen to visit on a Sunday you’d be kicking yourself if you missed out on their glorious roast lunch.
Superb food, great beer, warm atmosphere, dog friendly and the best beer garden around. It’s no surprise The Crown Inn is one of our favourite pubs in Pooley Bridge.
Address: Crown Inn, Pooley Bridge, CA10 2NP
3. Pooley Bridge Inn
If you’re looking for a laid back place to enjoy a drink in picturesque surroundings, then head over to the Pooley Bridge Inn.
Modernly decorated yet still retaining a traditional feel, it’s easy to relax by the fireplace on cold days here, or while away time in the sun having a pint in their beer garden.
The open plan bar gives things a spacious feel but there’s also a separate dining area to ensure you can have your meal in peace if you decide to eat here.
That bar is fully stocked offering cask ale, IPAs and lagers. The usual spirits and soft drinks make an appearance too of course, alongside fresh coffee if you’re looking for a mid-day pick-me-up.
The menu is filled with pub classics as well as food from all corners of the world. There’s plenty of vegan and vegetarian options too which is an added bonus. Why not share some of their delicious nachos or loaded Mexican fries to start off, or if you’re like us you may just go straight to a comfort food main like Steak & Ale Pie or Sausage & Mash.
With burgers, hot dogs, steak, kebab and a selection of sandwiches also on offer, you’re going to find at least one dish here that you’ll be happy with.
Open every day of the week, this family friendly Pooley Bridge pub with disabled access also welcomes dogs and feels like a place where conversation flows as much as the pints!
Address: Pooley Bridge Inn, Pooley Bridge, CA10 2NN
4. The Horse & Farrier
Should you manage to convince someone to be the designated driver (what a hero they are) then The Horse & Farrier in Dacre is just a 7-minute drive from Pooley Bridge and is well worth a visit.
Saved from complete closure and then beautiful refurnished, you’ll find it hard to find a pub in the area with a cosier or more friendly feel.
Exposed brickwork, wooden tables and fixtures for the lights add to the warm feeling, which is only aided when the fireplace is roaring in the evening.
Like all good pubs in Pooley Bridge and the surrounding region there’s a fantastic beer garden at The Horse & Farrier, with plenty of tables and benches to sit and soak up the sun.
Looking to eat? The food served is wholesome and hearty, and if we were to make a recommendation then go for either the Sweet Potato Falafel Burger or the Slow Roasted Belly of Pork. And if either of those aren’t for you then we’ve heard the Duck Spring Rolls and Pan-fried Mackerel are both very good.
There is always a great selection of ale and beer available as well, and recently added when we visited was Farm Yard Brew Co. Splish Splash IPA. There are three handpumps available too with the options changing frequently in order to give local brewers a chance to feature.
As with most pubs in Pooley Bridge and the surrounding area, you’re welcome to bring your dog along. There’s even the occasional pub quiz here too! Any upcoming events will be listed on their Facebook page.
Address: Horse & Farrier, Eden, Dacre, CA11 0H
5. The Secret Garden
Don’t worry if you haven’t found a seat in the sun by the river yet, as we know another fantastic spot for you.
The Secret Garden has one of the best beer gardens in Pooley Bridge thanks to their lovely seating outside that overlooks the river. Inside the decor is fresh and modern, so there’s no need to limit yourself to sitting outside either.
You may have just popped in for a pint but once you smell the food that’s wafting from the kitchen it’s likely you’ll stay for a bite! There’s a delicious selection of classic pub meals to choose from and we thought the chef showcased their talent well with the Lamb Shank and Flaming Nacho Burger.
Should you just need some midday refreshments, be sure to try the coffee and cake! The bar is fully stocked and there’s a cocktail menu to choose from too.
Address: The Secret Garden, Pooley Bridge, Ullswater
The award winning 1863 may be primarily a fine-dining restaurant, but we had to include them on our list of the best pubs in Pooley Bridge due to the great drink and ale selection.
Still, we recommend coming here to eat in the evening, as you will be in for a fine dining experience if you do.
For dinner there is the option of either a three course meal or a seven course tasting. The menu is seasonal so will change based on the time of year as the ingredients are fresh and sourced locally.
The dishes are inspired by British and European cuisine, and we’d recommend going for the seven course taster as it’ll really give you a great flavour of the overall menu on offer and a food experience to remember.
If you do choose three courses, each option can also be carefully paired with a specific wine. For example if you choose the Arctic Char for a starter then the pairing would be a Sauvignon Blanc. A main of Nordic Halibut would go with Rioja Blanco, while the Cartmel Valley Venison sets you up with Tinto, Quinta de Chocapalha.
As you may have guessed by now this isn’t your usual place. It’s upmarket and special – perfect for taking a loved one out for a night to remember.
The drinks menu is also carefully laid out with everything explained, with cocktails, spirits, ale and liqueurs all available.
To make sure local brewers are given a chance to shine, 1863 also has two ales of the month! Previously Hesket Newmarket, Keswick and Tirril breweries were all featured.
And on those sunny days make sure to take your drink outside to the front patio or the beer garden round the back.
Just one thing to note is that as this is a fine dining restaurant, the prices may not be for everyone. So be sure to check out their website to see if you like what’s there. Then it’s best to make a reservation in advance as 1863 can get booked up.
Along with the exceptional food, 1863 has a family friendly feel, everything has been elegantly decorated and there is disabled access. When you visit you will see exactly why they’re award winning.
Address: Elm House, High Street, Pooley Bridge, CA10 2NH
If you’re staying at Park Foot Holiday Park beside Pooley Bridge then you won’t need to go far for a refreshing pint and some good food.
TJ’s is located within the park and has plenty to offer food and drinks wise. It’s also set in a lovely rural setting, and there’s a great area outside for sitting in the sun.
The food is of a surprisingly good quality for a holiday park, and we’d recommend the Garlic and Tomato Flatbread or Chilli Loaded Fries to start.
For a filling main maybe opt for the tasty Sweet Potato Curry or Battered Cod with Chips. They have a grill section too with burgers and steaks, as well as a dedicated children’s menu.
Great food in a great setting. What more could you want!
Address: TJ’s Bar & Restaurant, Howtown, Penrith, CA10 2NA