With its craggy mountains, rolling rivers, and delightful hamlets, the Lake District valley of Borrowdale is a paradise for walkers, cyclists, climbers and nature lovers. And, after a day on the fells, there’s nothing better than stopping off for something tasty to eat.
Choosing a place to eat in Borrowdale is no easy feat - mainly because there are so many excellent eateries to pick from! Whether you’re getting dressed up for a night of fine dining or are rolling in off the fells covered in mud and with a dog in tow, you’ll find your perfect place to eat in the valley.
Get ready to renew your energy for the next hike, or else enjoy a trip into Borrowdale just for the food. Thanks to the stunning outlook and excellent produce, you’ll be glad you came!
Hazel Bank Country House Hotel
Treat yourself to multi-award-winning food at Hazel Bank, tucked away over the river from Rosthwaite. This charming country house was built in the 1800s and has been lovingly maintained every since. The dining room looks out onto the fellside garden, which is regularly visited by deer, rabbits, pheasants and red squirrels! Food is sourced from nearby producers and prepared by local lass and “Lady of the House” Donna MacRae alongside Masterchef finalist Darren Comish. Dinner is available to non-residents and is a set four-course meal that will send your tastebuds on a flight of fancy!
Open daily for evening meals, served between 7pm and 8pm. Booking essential.
Lodore Falls Hotel & Spa
The grand Lodore Falls Hotel & Spa stands proudly towards the southern end of Derwentwater, offering two fantastic restaurants.
Lake View Restaurant is an elegant spot overlooking the water and serving imaginative meals made from the best local ingredients. Remember to come in smart-casual attire. Or try the award-winning pan-Asian restaurant Mizu. Sample Japanese, Thai and Malaysian-inspired dishes with a Lake District twist.
If you’re keen to enjoy something a little more casual, the lounges, conservatory and terrace offer more relaxed places to sit for a coffee or a light lunch.
The Lodore Falls also offers dog-friendly dining in their side lounge.
Open daily, 12pm – 2pm and 5pm - 9.30pm.
The Borrowdale Hotel
This imposing building made of the local slate has a relaxing and welcoming interior with food that has won an AA Rosette. The fabulous restaurant offers silver service, with local produce and fine wines served with a smile. A vintage sign over the door reads: “When good fayre and good service be sought, Courteous attire should trouble ye nought”, so remember to come in smart-casual clothing! This isn’t a spot to rock up covered in mud after a wet day on the fells.
If you’re looking for something a bit more laid back, head to the lounge, conservatory and garden. Here you can take advantage of afternoon tea, hot drinks, light bites and seasonal meals. All are welcome – including your dog!
The Borrowdale Hotel is open daily, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon tea, and Sunday Roasts. Please check their website for specific meal times.
The Riverside Bar at Scafell Hotel is a relaxed public bar with a great range of real ales from Cumbrian micro-breweries around the county. Both locals and visitors enjoy this eatery, which serves meals described as “fill yer boots” food and includes burgers and pies. Choose from a place in front of the open fire or al fresco dining on the veranda.
You could also check out the restaurant, which offers more fabulous food in a more formal setting. Having been awarded an AA Rosette, you know that you can expect quality. Cumbrian fare is on the menu and booking is advised.
Open daily from 12-11pm (10.30pm on Sundays). Meals are served at 12pm - 2.30pm and 6pm – 9pm.
Mary Mount Hotel
The Mary Mount Hotel is the first eatery you reach as you enter Borrowdale from Keswick, so we won’t blame you if you’re tempted to stop off right away! With its idyllic views and peaceful setting, it’s a perfect option to escape the bustling thrum of town. Sip on a drink on the terrace, lounge in the lounge, and fill yourself up with a hearty meal in the restaurant. Hot drinks, scones and cake are on tap all day, so you can warm yourself up and give yourself a sugar boost whenever you like.
Dogs and muddy boots are welcome, though you’re asked not to take your four-legged friends into the front lounge or restaurant areas.
The Leathes Head Hotel
The Leathes Head Hotel is a magnificent Georgian building that welcomes you to sample its delightful fine dining dinner menus. Their Menu du Jour changes daily, making use of produce that’s sourced through local producers or foraged in the surrounding countryside. You’ll get a truly delectable taste of Cumbria when you dine here, with excellent service from the friendly staff.
The luxury, award-winning venue is led by chef Liam Philbin and sees to every detail so that your meal is a special and memorable experience. Dining out in Borrowdale doesn’t get better than this!
Open daily. Pre-booking is essential.
Borrowdale Gates Hotel
Come to Borrowdale Gates in Rosthwaite for the food and stay for the views – or vice versa! Large windows with a panoramic outlook, local produce, and carefully crafted meals all combine to make a fabulous dining experience. It boasts a 2 AA Rosette for culinary excellence and offers a selection of French and locally-inspired dishes. Christopher Standhaven is the head chef: trained by a Michelin-starred mentor, he takes pride in every item of food in their imaginative dishes. Expect shellfish from Morecambe Bay, Herdwick Lamb from Yew Tree Farm, and cheeses from Kendal’s Cheese Larder.
Complement your meal with a quality wine, or treat yourself to an afternoon tea.
Open daily, 12pm to 2.30pm for a light lunch and 6.30pm - 8.30pm for dinner.
Borrowdale Pubs and Cafes
A favourite location for rock climbing in the Lake District,, Shepherds Cafe is named for Shepherds Crag, which towers above it. You can often see people scaling its heights before they stop off for a warming drink and a tasty slice of cake in the cafe.
If you’re looking for reasonably priced, unfussy lunches and tasty treats, this is the perfect place to pause for a break in the middle of your day.
Open April-November, school holidays and weekends, 10am – 5pm.
Grange Bridge Cottage Tea Shop
Sitting by the river in the pretty hamlet of Grange-in-Borrowdale, the Grange Bridge Cottage Tea Shop is the ideal place to stop off for lunch or afternoon tea. It has beautiful views of its namesake over the river, as well as the surrounding mountain scenery. Food is simple but good, with the likes of soup and sandwiches on the menu. Or taste some of the trout fresh from a local trout farm!
Open daily, 10am – 5pm.
The Bait Cabin, Honister Slate Mine
If you’re popping over the way to or from Buttermere, then you’ll want to stop off at Honister Slate Mine for its fascinating mine tours and hair-raising Via Ferrata. You can also take advantage of the small Bait Cabin cafe, which has indoor seating as well as outdoor options for the best view of the iconic road pass.
The tasty menu includes hot drinks, bacon butties, soup, toasties, and freshly baked sausage rolls.
The Flock-In Tearoom
Get ready for sheep-based humour and corny puns at The Flock-In Tearoom in Seathwaite! Their ‘ewe-nique’ menu features local Herdwick lamb directly from the farm it sits on. That means completely fresh stews and tasty pasties homemade on site – delicious! All are welcome – walkers, cyclists and casual visitors – to relax in the cosy tearoom or out in the garden.
The Flock-In is open from early February to November, 10am-5pm. Closed Wednesdays.
The Grange Cafe and Tearoom
Perfectly located for after a walk in Borrowdale or halfway around Derwentwater, The Grange Cafe and Tearoom serves an excellent choice of both veggie and meat lunches, as well as cakes, scones, waffles, bacon sarnies and much more! If you need some extra warmth coursing through your veins in the winter months, don’t forget to order one (or two) of their yummy mulled ciders! During the summer, you can enjoy sitting outside with a beer from a small Cumbrian brewery.
Open daily, 10am – 5pm.
The Langstrath Country Inn
Borrowdale is fairly unusual for the Lake District in that it doesn’t have a huge number of pubs - primarily because of its remoteness. In fact, The Langstrath Country Inn is the only pub in Borrowdale. Fortunately, though, it’s a good one, and you’ll be glad you stopped by.
Set right where the road runs out in the hamlet of Langstrath, the pub was originally a cottage built for the use of local miners and farm workers. Nowadays you can stop off after on your way down from the steep surrounding crags. You - and your dog - will be well seen to with hearty traditional pub meals, including a tasty roast on Sundays.
Open Tuesday - Sunday, 12pm - 10.30pm. Check the website for specific meal times.
Staying in Borrowdale
With its casual cafes, fine dining restaurants and relaxed terraces, eating out in Borrowdale is an absolute joy, whatever you fancy. Make the most of the views of this most beautiful Lake District valley when you stay at one our gorgeous Borrowdale holiday cottages.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.