Late November brought the first sprinkling of snow to the Lake District fell tops, heralding the arrival of the winter season. With shorter days, longer nights, and brisk arctic winds bringing in the cold weather, now is the time to seek comfort and warmth.

However, don’t let that put you off booking a winter break to the Lake District, as we have plenty of cosy places where you can relax and enjoy the comfort that a warming fire brings.

Allan Bank, Grasmere

Allan Bank

Image thanks to The National Trust

Now on its winter opening hours, Allan Bank will be welcoming visitors every weekend in December before Christmas before closing its doors to the public until February. Therefore, don’t delay in seeking out some winter comfort at this beautiful home above Grasmere. Devoid of most of its original furniture, this is a place where visitors are invited to feel at home.

Turn up, help yourself to tea and biscuits (a small donation is welcome) and sit in a comfortable armchair and watch for red squirrels. Perhaps use the supplied paints and paper to paint the view as the clouds roll in across the fells, or head upstairs to try one of the various crafts that are available. There’s even a playroom for children.

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Syke Farm Tea Room, Buttermere

Skye Farm Tea Room

Image thanks to Syke Farm Tea Room

There is nothing more welcoming after a long walk in chilly winds than a warm fire and a cup of hot chocolate topped with marshmallows and cream. Open daily (weather permitting) this cosy café housed in a converted farm building serves delicious cakes baked on site, hot drinks in large mugs, and light lunches with hot options available, as well as traditional roast dinners each Sunday.

Upstairs, there are a good number of tables, whilst downstairs you will find a log stove and an array of locally produced gifts to peruse and possibly buy. Of course, if you prefer to cool down rather than warm up, then a sample of the Buttermere Ayrshire Ice Cream produced by the farm is a must.

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Sticklebarn Tavern, Langdale

Sticklebarn Tavern

Image thanks to the National Trust

Nestled in the Langdale Valley, the Sticklebarn Tavern is a pub with a difference. The only pub that is both owned and operated by the National Trust, the tavern is a cosy and inviting space that welcomes walkers with muddy boots.

There’s a roaring fire in the winter months and the pub serves homecooked and wholesome dishes that include a Herdwick Lamb Stew that will warm the heart on a cold night. There are film screenings on Tuesday nights, a quiz on Sunday evenings, and the pub serves real ale. Children, dogs, and walkers with muddy boots are most welcome here.

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Upfront Puppet Theatre, Near Penrith

Upfront Puppet Theatre

Image thanks to the Upfront Puppet Theatre

Located near Hutton-In-The-Forest, north of Penrith, the Upfront Puppet Theatre is a quirky little space where visitors are taken on an imaginative journey through bold story-telling and colourful puppets, all created on site. It’s one of the quieter tourist attractions in the Lake District, housed in a renovated 17th century farm house.

The intimate theatre space sees various performances throughout the year and this winter there is an enthralling production of The Snow Queen, based on the classic fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen. Along with the puppet theatre, there is a small art gallery, gift shop and a vegetarian coffee shop.

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Low Sizergh Barn, Near Kendal

Low Sizergh Barn

Image thanks to

Perched on the very edge of the Lake District, close to Sizergh Castle, Low Sizergh Farm is a large working farm with a flock of 170 cows, 200 sheep and 700 hens. It’s also home to Low Sizergh Barn, a rustic and cosy café that is open daily and housed inside a converted barn, complete with exposed beams creating a homely atmosphere. The barn is adjacent to the milking sheds with a viewing area that allows you to see into the shed.

The cows come in daily at 3.30pm to be milked, giving café-goers a greater appreciation for the sourcing of their food. This winter the café is serving a festive afternoon tea each day between 2pm and 4.30pm. There’s also a farm shop and a farm trail with fairy doors to spot along the way.

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Cuckoo Brow Inn, Far Sawrey

Cuckoo Brew Inn

A short stroll from Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s former home, you will find the charming and welcoming Cuckoo Brow Inn. With real ales, log fires, and hearty home cooked food this is a splendid place to pop into on a cold winter’s day after a long walk. It’s a place where you can sit back and relax, with part of the inn housed in the building’s former stables, creating snug corners where you will find a selection of games to help you pass away the hours.

Drop in a donation and pick up a second hand book, cosy up next to the wood burning stove, and sip on a cup of hot chocolate or a pint of real ale. Perhaps you will find it so inviting you will want to check in for the night.

More Information: Cuckoo Brow Inn