This is a photo guide to the Lake District Inn Way which we walked in September 2007. It is a fantastic circular walk created by Mark Reid, taking you through the beautiful Lakeland landscape. The route passes 44 traditional English pubs, many of which have a unique range of local Real Ales.

This page contains full details of all stages, or you can use the links on the right to view each individual stage. We have also collected together details of the accommodation we stayed in.

We hope it will be of some use to those who may be planning to do the walk themselves, or encourage others to give it a try.

Please enjoy our report, and sign our guestbook or leave comments.

Rachael & Mark.

Day 1 - Saturday 8th September

Ambleside to Grasmere
8 miles, 3 3/4 hours (including pub visits)

About the day
The first day should be from Ambleside to Rosthwaite but we split it into two sections for a few reasons. We had to travel up from Suffolk which took around six hours, not leaving much time for walking. We could have simply started the walk on Sunday, but found it impossible to book any accommodation in Ambleside for a single night at a weekend. As we had the extra days available we decided to spread the holiday out a little.

This meant we had plently of time to visit some of the numerous pubs on the first day. The route lists 16 pubs on the first stage, 8 of which are in Ambleside. We decided to save 3 for the final day when we return to Ambleside. The places we visited were:

1) Salutation Hotel, Ambleside - 11:40am

A smart hotel lounge bar. Comfortable seating, very quiet. Nice coffee.

2) Churchills, Ambleside - 12:00pm

Large air conditioned, open plan modern pub with TV screens.

3) Royal Oak, Ambleside - 12:30pm

Small cosy bar. Seating outside in a sunny spot.

4) White Lion Hotel, Ambleside - 12:45pm

Family friendly food pub. Large indoors, limited seating outdoors.

5) Unicorn Inn, Ambleside - 1:30pm

Very cosy, friendly traditional pub. Good beer.

With our rucksacks packed we finally set off from Bridge House in Ambleside at 2:30.

We began with a gentle stroll along the track towards Rydal Hall. At Rydal we took a short detour down past the church to reach the next pub of the day.

6) Badger Bar, Rydal - 3:25pm

On busy road, but nice beer garden. Lots of badger items inside. Seemed very dark after the bright sunshine.

Retracing our steps we returned to the path continuing through woods towards Grasmere. There were occasional glimpses of Rydal Water through the trees. The water looked very inviting on such a hot day.

Leaving the woods, there was a tough climb up towards Alcock Tarn. This was hard going for our first day in the hills. We were rewarded with great views over Grasmere lake and back along the length of Windermere.

The route then dropped just as steeply back down to the valley to reach two more pubs on the roadside.

7) Travellers Rest, Grasmere - 5:30pm

A nice floral pub with great views over to Helm Crag.

8) The Swan, Grasmere - 5:50pm

A very smart hotel bar. Seating outside on busy road but with good view of Grasmere.

After these quick stops we walked through Grasmere village and found our B & B for the evening - Banerigg Guest House.

After freshening up we returned to the village for the final two pubs for today.

9) Lamb Inn, Grasmere - 7:45pm

A very busy popular pub.

10) Tweedies Bar, Grasmere - 8:15pm

A lovely small bar with huge garden. Hosting the 1st Grasmere beer festival. A very good food menu here.

Day 2 - Sunday 9th September

Grasmere to Rosthwaite
12 miles, 7 hours (including pub visits)

About the day

Having cut the first day short we added on a little extra by walking round Grasmere lake back into the village. Here we stopped for morning coffee at the remaining pub to visit in Grasmere.

11) Dove and Olive Branch, Grasmere - 10:55am

A very compact bar. Part of the Wordsworth Hotel.

Leaving Grasmere behind we took the long, gradually climbing
path up Far Easedale.

On reaching Greenup Edge the mist descended, cutting off any distant views for a time. The last time we were here, walking Coast to Coast, conditions were pretty much the same. The route between Rosthwaite and Grasmere is common to both paths and so we met several people walking the opposite way.

As we descended towards Lining Crag the mist cleared, opening views to Derwent Water.

From the top of Lining Crag we could see clearly down Greenup Gill. The many drumlins and different vegetation formed a patchwork of colours below.

After a short steep section down the edge of Lining Crag we
followed the gill past Eagle Crag on a more gentle incline.

We briefly detoured up beside Langstrath Beck, across the footbridge and then continued along the other bank of Stonethwaite Beck into Stonethwaite. Here we reached the next pub of the journey.

12) The Langstrath Inn, Stonethwaite - 3:45pm

A very friendly bar. Great food. Highly recommended.

After booking a table at the Langstrath to eat later, we moved along to Rosthwaite and the final pub for the day.

13) Riverside Bar, Rosthwaite - 4:40pm

A large open bar. Nicer inside than the approach suggests.

Final stop was the B&B for the evening, Gillercombe in Rosthwaite.

Day 3 - Monday 10th September

Rosthwaite to Braithwaite
13.5 miles, 8 hours (including pub visits)

About the day

Another bright sunny day and the view from the bedroom window made us keen to get started. Today was our first 'full' day stage.

We left our B&B and took the footpath along the River Derwent to rejoin the route just outside Rosthwaite.

It was then a steep climb up Tongue Gill, passing through Rigghead Quarries. There are lots of mine entrances here.

Once through the quarries the going got easier and there was only a further short climb to the summit of High Spy.

From the top of High Spy there were clear views towards Grasmoor and Grisedale Pike to the West, and Causey Pike and Bassenthwaite Lake to the North.

The following stage was a fairly easy ridge walk along Maiden Moor towards Catbells. There were great views across Derwent Water to Keswick, Skiddaw and Blencathra.

Dropping down into the Newlands Valley we headed for the lunchtime pub stop for today.

14) Swinside Inn, Newlands Valley - 2:30pm

A friendly feel, great views from the beer garden. Unfortunately we were too late for food as they stop serving at 2pm.

Crossing to the far side of Newlands Valley we climbed on a track above Stonycroft Gill between Barrow and Causey Pike. Looking back we could see Catbells framed between the two.

We descended from Barrow Door into Braithwaite to reach the next pub.

15) Coledale Inn, Braithwaite - 5:10pm

A quiet bar, nice garden but lacked atmosphere.

After a short break we dropped our bags off at our B&B, The Sidings.

Later on we visited the other two pubs in Braithwaite.

16) Middle Ruddings Country Inn, Braithwaite - 8:00pm

A comfortable relaxed bar. Very good food.

17) Royal Oak, Braithwaite - 9:30pm

A lively pub with a cosy friendly feel.

Day 4 - Tuesday 11th September

Braithwaite to Buttermere
12.5 miles, 7 1/2 hours (including pub visits)

About the day

There wasn't a cloud in the sky as we set off from Braithwaite. From outside the B&B we had a view towards the hills surrounding the Coledale valley.

Leaving Braithwaite we walked passed some pretty vine covered outbuildings.

We then followed the long track leading up Coledale valley to the Force Crag mine buildings.

From here we crossed Coledale beck and began the steep climb up to Coledale Hause.

Paths radiate out from here heading up to the surrounding peaks. Looking back we could see Skiddaw and Blencathra in the distance.

Our path headed down into Gasgale Gill alongside some waterfalls. The path here was quite worn in places.

The valley is very pretty, carpeted with heather and lots of small tumbling waterfalls as the Liza Beck makes its way down. The combination of sunshine, smell of heather and sound of water made this a very enjoyable part of the walk. Towards the end there were a few sections of path where some scrambling was needed.

Eventually the valley opened out with views over Crummock Water towards Mellbreak and Loweswater Fell.

We then reached the next pub of the walk.

18) Kirkstile Inn, Loweswater - 2:30pm

A cosy welcoming pub. A good selection of their own Loweswater Beer. Good views from the garden.

The final section of the walk today followed the shore of Crummock Water. By now the cloud had dropped and was covering parts of the valley we had descended.

We then reached Buttermere and found our accommodation - Buttermere Youth Hostel. Here we had our own room.

For the evening we had two further pubs to visit.

19) Bridge Hotel, Buttermere - 6:30pm

An interesting old building, however very quiet. Good basic pub food.

20) Fish Hotel, Buttermere - 7:45pm

A large bustling open plan bar. A good range of beer.