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Masons Arms, Cartmel Fell, Lake District
Perched on a hill-slope overlooking the green Lyth and Winster valleys in the quieter southern Lakes, this is a traditional Lakeland inn at its finest. A huddle of low-beamed snug-like rooms, warmed with fires and furnished with a pleasing mismatch of rustic chairs and settles, it serves up just the sort of hearty pub food that you'd expect - plus a range of decent ales, of course. Five bedrooms are tucked at the back, most of them cosily arranged over two floors, and all furnished in a fresh cottage style, some with private patios and dog-friendly. In addition there are two cottages designed for self-catering available on a nightly rate, sleeping up to six.
A couple of miles from the pub is the starting point for a walk up Gummer's How, which rewards you with unfeasibly good views for such an easy climb.
Grizedale Forest is a 30-minute drive away, while Lake Windermere is merely a 10-minute drive.
By car: around 1 hour 30 minutes from Manchester, 3 hours from Edinburgh and just under 5 hours from London. Free on-site parking.
By train: from Manchester Piccadilly (just over 1 hour), London Euston (3 hours) and Edinburgh Waverley (2 hours) to Oxenholme Lake District station. The hotel is a 25-minute taxi ride from the station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
The Masons Arms will suit outdoorsy types, including dog-owners who like the buzz of a pub atmosphere and cosy rustic bedrooms without the need for fancy extras. It's nice to find a traditional pub that has been gently smartened up but without losing any of its innate character and features.
Service & Facilities
When the pub got really busy on a sunny day it was nice to retreat to our own patio at the back.
- Board games
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
Dogs are allowed in some of the rooms and in both cottages, and dog bowls are available, plus staff can advise on the best local dog-walks.
We love the Cartmel Fell Premium Suite, which has a cosy mezzanine bedroom, private patio and lovely views across the valley. Although the bedroom area can be tight, the split-level arrangement makes the rooms feel spacious.
Suite, Premium Suite, Cottage
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, tea and coffee facilities, TV, free Wi-Fi,
Food & Drink
If it's a half-decent day, you can take breakfast on the terrace and enjoy the views while tucking into a full grill - there are vegetarian options, too - or big bacon butty. The famous sticky toffee pudding, made only a few miles away at Cartmel, is a real highlight.
The restaurant: relaxed atmosphere, high end pub food, locally sourced ingredients. Open all day. Mains from £12.95.