Set back from A66 in Forestry Commission land between Keswick and Cockermouth. It rests on the western flank of Bassenthwaite Lake with the looming peaks of Skiddaw and Helvellyn enticing walkers.
The 15 rooms (two in the annexe Garden Lodge and open to dog owners) are traditional yet individually styled. Some have creaking oak beams, others dainty window seats overlooking the grounds, all come with tea trays, Robers radios and Molton Brown toiletries. There's a bit too many floral bedspreads for my taste but it feels in-keeping with the traditional decor of the property.
The three superior rooms offer cosy sitting areas within the bedrooms plus baths as well as power showers.
The Lounge for pre-dinner drinks and afternoon teas is refined and inviting with armchairs, a chiming grandfather clock and an open fire for chilly evenings.
Eating and drinking
Dining options are now divided between the Restaurant for fine dining and an all-day Bistro for more relaxed meals.
The former is has room to breathe and garden views to accomapny a set Market Menu and an a la carte Seasonal menu - try the local game in season. The latter, a 40-seat space created in 2010, offers gastropub-style food with daily specials chalked up on a huge blackboard and kids' options.
The piece de resistance of the Pheasant, however, is the bar, a red-ochre den ozzing character. It has Coniston Brewery ales on tap, a 70-stron menu of malt whiskies and 1920s artworks by local artists-cum-hellraiser Edward Thompson. This must be one the cosiest places in Cumbria to while away a winter evening.
Guests have a free pass to use the leisure facilities at nearby Armathwaite Hall.
For walkers, there's a daily weather forecast in each room, drying facilities and packed lunches avaialble to order.
The service is generally attentive but calm to reflect the genteel overall atmosphere of the property.
Who stays there
Walkers, retired empty-nesters, people celebrating anniversaries in style.
Children aged eight and above are welcome - charged at £30 each b&b; dogs in the Garden Lodge at £5 per night.
Dinner, b&b rates are for a minimum of two nights.
- High-Speed Internet
- Pets Allowed
- Room Service
- Families with teenagers
- Mature travellers
- Seasoned travellers
- Special occasions
- Nature / wildlife
Pros & Cons
- Choice to dining to avoid overkill
- Bags of history and character
- The best bar in the northern Lakes
- Reports of variable service