When it comes to perfect Lake District pubs, the Kirkstile in is in my top ten, nay, my top five! It embodies everything you could ever want in a perfect pub. Cheery staff, proper Lakeland food, ale brewed in it’s own microbrewery, a blackened chimney breast and roaring fire, a flagged floor and the lived in style of low beams, chunky furniture and pictures of years gone by on the wall.
I went for a ramble with Rosie the jack russell, starting from the Kirkstile down to the shores of Crummock Water. Along this particular shore of Crummock, there are spectacular views of Grasmoor, where it takes on a whole new appearance, virtually alpine in form.
In the foreground is Scale Hill, a famous stop on the Victorian tours of the Lake District. At this time of year, the hill is a riot of colour as the trees turn. Wide tracks lead through the wood. The path is suitable for prams and wheelchairs though it is a bit bumpy in places. It's great for bikes!
After we had spotted all the squirrels, had a splash in the lake, and wandered back it was tie for lunch. As luck would have it, we bagged a seat right next to the blazing fire, where Rosie proceeded to make herself comfortable on my jumper (!) whilst we waited for our food.
Soon a steaming tattie pot and steak pie arrived, huge generous portions with gorgeous chunky chips and a giant pile of vegetables. We paid £7-8 for our meals from the lunch menu; incredibly good value for such beautifully well presented tasty food.
Scale Hill and the shores of Crummock make for a perfect short wintery walk, especially if you have children with you as you can make it as long or short as you like. Myriad paths lead through the forest and there is even a small cave!