Where to go, what to see, food and drink to sample, things to do on fine or rainy days - find out about the Woolpack's favourite places, people and partners.
From Cockermouth across to Ullswater and Derwentwater up through the Skiddaw range to the distant Solway Firth, our northern region is well worth a visit for those of you who never make it past Junction 36. Famous lakes and popular towns combine with roads less-travelled and tranquil and picturesque corners the average tourist doesn't reach.
Fine spirits from local ingredients, a distillery tour and tastings, good shop, excellent cafe & restaurant and free parking, all at the end of Bassenthwaite just off the A66
One of Cumbria's first microbreweries and co-operatively owned to prevent its closure or sale to a larger enterprise, the brewery is open for evening tours and the pretty and little-visited area in which the village of Hesket Newmarket is found is well worth seeking out.
Cumbrian salami, gluten-free cured meats, fresh game and premium fresh meat, we're pleased to offer Shaw Meats at the Woolpack. Based at Wigton on the Solway coast, you can pick up Shaw goodies from their website, or look out for them in quality food emporia across Cumbria and Northern England.
Bedrock Gin and Standing Stones Vodka, both available at the Woolpack as well as online, are distilled in Keswick at the able hand of Spirit of the Lakes Ltd. The company's owner devised the botanicals blend as a tribute to the beauty of his beloved native county after returning to Cumbria and so Bedrock Gin was launched in 2008. The acclaimed vodka Standing Stones followed in 2013.
Including the up-and-coming Eden Valley and busy Penrith and Kendal as well as reaching over to Great and Little Langdales just over the hill from us, the east boasts many fantastic food champions and outstanding craftsmen as well as great places to visit.
On the Brathay near Skelwith Bridge, Chesters is THE place for lunch or drinks by the river. 'Snappy, buzzy.....and the food is a cut above your usual cafe fare' and all made onsite.
Set high above Ambleside, this traditional inn, restaurant and Barngates microbrewery has commanding views, good food, fantastic ales made on the premises and a great story of hand-knitted coats for drunken ducks which gives it its name.
Based in Kendal, we love James' indoor and outdoor furniture, utensils and sculptures. Look out for him at quality craft events and country fairs.
Divert off the main road to Windermere for award-winning gourmet bakery MORE?, at Mill Yard in Staveley. As well as supplying restaurants and eateries, you can find their products at leading food retailers in the area as well as food fairs and events in the county, but their shop and cafe is a treat.
Prize-winning and always delicious, Hawkhead Relish's products are all handmade in small batches right at home in the Lake District. Available from many outlets as well as online, the Woolpack is pleased to use them too. Drop by the shop in Hawkshead for free tastings!
Mint and chocolate liqueur inspired by the world-famous Kendal Mint Cake, first launched in 1990 and the brainchild of the owner of Burgundy's Wine Bar and Brewhouse in Kendal, you can sample it at the Woolpack.
The range of seven core Lakes-inspired craft ales plus seasonal brews from Bowness Bay takes some beating. Frequently found on the guest ales list at the Woolpack, you can also sample Bowness's wares at their Tap House at the brewery in Kendal.
The home of the famous Cowmire Damson Gin, still made to a traditional local recipe, is Cowmire Hall in the Winster Valley near Windermere. They also make an outstanding Ancient Orchard cider, available from many retailers and inns countrywide including the Hardknott Bar.
From Barrow's ship-building heritage through the desolate southern peninsulas across to the borders of Lancashire, the south includes the busiest honeypots of the Central Lakes as some of its less well-known treasures.
Based at Yew Tree Farm near Coniston (formerly owned by Beatrix Potter and one of the most-photographed buildings in the Lake District), we love Jo's acclaimed portrayals of farm and domestic animals. While Jo exhibits occasionally at home, visit her website for news on where to see and buy her work. Yew Tree Farm offers self-catering breaks in the iconic main farmhouse too - find out more.
Formerly known at the Punchbowl Inn and now relaunched as the Black Lab, this is a charming country inn worth a visit in all seasons. Set near Underbarrow in the lovely Lyth valley in the south east Lakes, just a step from Windermere and well worth seeking out.
With a home base at Newby Bridge, Kin Vodka has taken the drinking world by storm and widely available in watering holes and retail outlets nationally as well as in the Hardknott Bar's vodka collection.
Set up in an old hen house by professional actor Andy Arnold-Bennett, The Shed 1 Distillery in the South Lakes market town of Ulverston has attracted as much attention for its quirky story as for the quality of its products. With a range of three fine gins so far (Cuckold's Revenge, Giggle in the Ginnel and Festive Tipple), Cumbria's smallest distillery has won a place in many serious watering holes, including the Hardknott Bar of course.
Artisan brewers Fell are based in Flookburgh in the southern Lake District Peninsulas, brewing craft ales, as they say, to savour not sup and with friends, not alone. They supply a number of shops and inns in the region and found on our guest ale pump too.
...is best! But we would say that. From lofty St Bees head to loftier Scafell Pike and including Coniston, Wastwater and Ennerdale Water as well as the Irish Sea coast's beautiful beaches, the Western Lake District surprises and delights. Meet the neighbours!
Cumbria's only wakepark is at Port Haverigg near Millom in the Western Lake District. Offering wakeboarding, waterskiing, wakeskating, kneeboarding, banana, ringo and boat rides, it's a great watersports day out for all.
We're glad to feature craft ales from award-winning locals Ennerdale Brewery at the Woolpack. Based in Rowrah, just up the road north of Ennerdale Bridge, their beers are available to takeaway as well as drink at the Brewery Tap.
For adults and kids, for fun or serious fitness, this new trampolining park in Workington is a great wet-day activity, a brilliant party venue or space-filler on a day out to attractions in Whitehaven or Maryport. Booking is essential, please note.
So much more than just a butcher and grocer, based in the little market town of Broughton in Furness, a visit to Melville Tysons is a treat. With the best meat pies you'll taste anywhere (and available on the Woolpack's menu), this family business founded in the 1950s stocks an astonishing range of fresh produce and deli goods.
Friendly family-run C17th inn on the square in Broughton in Furness, one of the area's most ancient market towns, the Manor is a traditional pub. CAMRA-accredited, award-winning and with a fine range of permanently-available and guest ales from local breweries, a leisurely pint at the Manor, outside in the square in fine weather, is worth the trip to Broughton on its own.
Ok, so they are London-based but you will find Peter Spanton tonic at the Hardknott Bar. Mix with our premium gins for a drink less ordinary.
But of course! and right next door to the Woolpack, our neighbours at WLA offer a dizzying range of outdoor activities, from sedate to seriously challenging, for all ages and abilities with the expert tuition and equipment to match; it's the best way to get up-close-and-personal with this fantastic part of the Lake District.