The Best Food Pubs in Ambleside


Ambleside is a typical Lake District town, built in local slate, full of character, and sitting at the tip of Windermere. As one of Lakeland’s most popular towns, there’s always a buzzing atmosphere and plenty of pubs and inns where you can grab a refreshing drink or a tasty meal. And they’re almost all dog-friendly, too!

Read our guide to the best food pubs in Ambleside, and don’t forget to take a look at our self-catering cottages in Ambleside for your stay.

Ambleside on Windermere at night

The Unicorn

Tucked away on North Road, the Unicorn is one of those pubs you have to know about. This part of Ambleside was known as Above Stock and is home to some of the oldest buildings in the town, with the Unicorn being the oldest pub. As you would expect with that kind of accolade, it has a wonderful traditional feel and serves up hearty pub meals and real ale.

Royal Oak

The Royal Oak is on the corner of Church Street. Look past all the chalk boards proclaiming live sports and extensive menus, as the Royal Oak is a really warm friendly pub that has a wonderful traditional feel. There’s a nice beer garden to the front where you can enjoy a bit of people watching. If you’re bringing a dog, make sure they look their best, as they may get snapped to go on the pet wall of fame! Their food speciality is the goulash, which comes in either a meat or vegetarian option.

The Kirkstone Pass Inn

The Kirkstone Pass Inn in the Lake DistrictA ‘traditional inn with altitude’, the Kirkstone Pass Inn is a pub of legend and acclaim. It’s the highest pub and occupied building in Cumbria and is over 500-years-old. With all that age, it’s no surprise that there are stories of mysterious hauntings! The interior is rustic in style and the owners pride themselves on serving good ‘mumsy’ meals and several namesake beers.

Wateredge Inn

The piece-de-resistance at The Wateredge Inn on Borrans Road has to be the large lawned garden that sits right on the lakeshore. There’s even a jetty with boat moorings! You can enjoy a locally-sourced traditional pub meal and then head out into the beer garden and maybe even dip your toes in the water while you sup your drink of choice.

The Lily Bar

With a great atmosphere and equally excellent food, The Lily Bar on Lake Road is one of Ambleside’s newest pubs. It boasts modern décor that generally attracts a younger group and hosts regular classic pub entertainment including weekly quizzes, open mic nights, live bands, and even a ‘pitcher night’. 

The Flying Fleece

The Flying Fleece in AmblesideSet in a historic mill building, The Flying Fleece takes its name from the old industry of fulling that took place there. You can still admire the working weir, wheel, and other bits of machinery while you enjoy a tasty meal and good drinks. There’s also an open fire for warming up by and a lovely patio when you want to soak up the sun.

The White Lion Hotel

The White Lion Hotel on Market Place includes a cosy bar with welcoming staff. Outside is a wonderful patio with lots of seating, parasols to shade from the sun, and even heaters when the days and nights are a little chillier. Their extensive menu of pub grub leaves you spoiled for choice.

The Ambleside Tavern

With locally sourced food at a good price, and award-winning cask ales, The Ambleside Tavern has everything you could want from a food pub! They also show a good selection of sports on the TV and have a pool table upstairs, so you can enjoy entertainment as well as a meal! Find it on Millans Park.

The Ambleside Inn

The Ambleside Inn in the Lake DistrictWith a lovely wood burner and knick-knacks dotted around the bar, The Ambleside Inn on Market Place is so cosy and welcoming that you may not want to leave! After a long day of walking in the fells, this is a great place to head to for everything from big roasts to tasty sandwiches.

Browse all our holiday cottages in Ambleside to enjoy the perfect Lake District stay.

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