The Blacksmiths Arms (Broughton Mills)

Broughton Mills, Broughton-in-Furness, LA20 6AX
The Blacksmiths Arms (Broughton Mills) Outside

If you are seeking out the perfect pub in the Lake District it’s possible you might find it in the small village of Broughton Mills, in the Lickle Valley area. Dating back to 1577, the pub is featured in the CAMRA National Inventory of pubs with interiors of ‘historic significance’ with slate floors and oak ceiling beams that are well over 300 years old.

This pub has won numerous awards thanks in part to the work of Head Chef Mark Satterthwaite who competed in the 2018 edition of Masterchef: The Professionals. Along with the charming interiors and exquisite food, this pub offers a fine selection of drinks, open fires in the winter and delightful hanging baskets outside in the summer. It’s not easy to reach, but it’s certainly worth the effort.

Food & Drink

Inside the Blacksmiths Arms

Image thanks to The Blacksmiths Arms

The Blacksmiths Arms benefits from four individual rooms and unlike many modern pubs the bar room is reserved for drinking only. The pub serves up a changing selection of real ales that are usually sourced from local breweries, such as the Barngates Brewery in Ambleside and the Cross Bay Brewery over the water in Morecambe. Along with nationally recognised beers and lagers on draught the pub stocks Pennine Pilsner from the Tirril Brewery near Penrith and farmhouse cider is available during the summer months. The bar also offers up a good choice of wines, with mulled wine available during the winter, along with a fine selection of spirits and other drinks.

It is the food that drives most people to make the journey into the valley to the Blacksmith Arms and Head Chef Mark Satterthwaite is certainly deserving of the recognition he has received. Pub grub this is not, and with food available twice a day between 12pm until 2pm and then again from 6pm until 9pm, (excluding Mondays) advanced booking is highly recommended. The lunch time menu offers a good range of sandwiches, along with lighter meals, such as a salad of shredded confit of duck, whilst the mouth-watering main menu features imaginative dishes, such as local lamb rump with a port and rosemary reduction, and lemon baked cod loin with capers.

For those who prefer the classics you will find them all here, including steak, burgers, and battered cod – all of which are beautifully presented. Many of the dishes use locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. This family friendly pub has a children’s menu that offers a good mixture of classic favourites and dishes for more adventurous eaters, and daily specials offer additional choices.

Other Features

Dogs are permitted in a couple of the rooms and outside where there is a courtyard beer garden.


The Blacksmiths Arms is one of the oldest pubs in the Lake District, built around 1577, originally as a farmhouse. It’s thought that the resident farmer began to sell ale to passing travellers, with workers and others coming to the Broughton Mills village to grind corn and weave cloth. Although the exact date of when the house officially converted into a pub is unknown, records from 1748 list the house as an inn.

Later in 1802, Samuel Taylor Coleridge stopped at the pub for pint during his tour of the Lake District. For the past 100 years the pub has hosted the Walna Scar Shepherds Meet where local fell famers get together to show off their finest livestock.


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