Brown Horse Inn

Book now (price from £94.00)

Address: Winster, Windermere, LA23 3NR, England

Star rating:
4 star hotel

4.6

The traditional coaching inn is moving with the times.

Some traditional Lakeland properties come across a bit lah-di-dah at times: all "Yes, sir, no sir" and "Look at our tasting menu".

That's why I liked the Brown Horse. It has the heritage appeal of a traditional coaching inn, the inspired menu of a dining hotspot and an annexe of new, boutique-inspred rooms. Yet it also feels grounded in real life with no-fuss ethos and a genuine sense of no-nosense Cumbrian culture.

Maybe that's because the family still farms across the road and the wafts of the countryside are the first thing to grab you as you step out of the car.

Feet up by the fire, real ale in hand, dinner in the oven. I already feel at home.

Location
4.4
90%
Eating/drinking
4.6
90%
Leisure facilities
n/a
90%
Service
4.6
90%
Value for money
4.6
90%
Bedrooms
4.2
90%
Public areas
4.2
90%

Location

Rural - don't expect a mobile signal. It's anout 1.5 miles outside of Bowness on the scenic Lythe Valley Road. Great views.

Bedrooms

The five rooms in the main building are specious and traditional with oak beams and high ceilings. They creak and groan with the age of the building.

Four new cottage-style rooms in an annexe off the back of reception are quieter and more modern, although the neutral colours and Italian renaissance artworks on the walls feel slightly out of keeping with the more rustic overall ambience.

Public areas

Rustic and cosy, espeically in the bar. Personally, I'd happily loose the TV showing football matches.

One thing: I soon tired of Elton John on permanent rotation in the bar. I guess that's why they call it the blues.

Eating and drinking

Qulaity, gastropub-style food is the key draw and self sufficiency is the big idea. Most of the produce is sourced in a three-mile radius with meat and vegetables simply crossing the A5074 from farm field to fork.

I found a hearty plate of pork loins with chive mash and black pudding went down rather well, especially when accompanied by a pint of Old School, one of four in-house microbrewery ales, with hints of caramel.

The year-old microbrewery, charmingly installed in a former cow shed, is going great guns with two ales and two lagers. The farm shop beyond the car park has lots of homemade goodies and flavours from the restaurant to take home wirth you.

Leisure facilities

Ask about using the hotel's pass for a local leisure club.

Service

In keeping with the overall atmosphere, it was friendly and unfussy.

Who stays there

Families in the larger rooms; gastropub afficianados; people who like substance over style.

Amenities

  • High-Speed Internet
  • Parking
  • Restaurant

Recommended for

  • Foodies
  • Seasoned travellers
  • Great views / scenery
  • Relaxation
  • No fuss
  • Nature / wildlife

Pros & Cons

  • Farm-fresh produce
  • Local ales
  • Simple but satisfying
  • Room incongruous with overall tone
  • Chilly bathrooms
Book now (price from £94.00)