The Horse & Rainbow (Kendal)

32 Highgate, Kendal, LA9 4SX
The Horse & Rainbow (Kendal) Outside

Recently changed hands, the Horse & Rainbow, previously known as the Rainbow Tavern, is one of Kendal’s oldest pubs, with records dating back to 1638.

Located in the centre of Kendal, the Horse & Rainbow is a traditional style watering hole. Since the new owners took over food service has been removed and the inn no longer offers accommodation. Instead, it is now a popular place to watch the latest sporting action whilst enjoying a pint or playing a game of pool.

Food & Drink

Horse & Rainbow bar

Image thanks to the Horse & Rainbow

There is no longer a food service at Horse & Rainbow. This is a Craft Union owned pub, a company that specialises in small pubs that cater for locals wishing to meet up and watch their favourite sports. The pub is therefore not tied to any specific brewery and instead offers a range of draught beers, lagers, and ciders from a number of nationally recognised chains from the front bar. The back bar has a choice of bottled drinks, some wines, and some spirits. The drinks are generally reasonably priced compared to other establishments in the area.

Other Features

Horse & Rainbow pub pool table

Image thanks to the Horse & Rainbow

The pub is dog friendly throughout. The pub has three television screens and subscriptions to Sky Sports and BT Sports, making it an ideal place to catch up with your favourite sport. There is a weekly quiz each Wednesday evening and the winners are awarded with a tab to spend behind the bar. The Horse & Rainbow has a pool table, costing 50p per go. It is free to use on Mondays.


The Horse & Rainbow is one of Kendal’s oldest inns. The first record of the inn was a mention in the “Annals of Kendal” by Cornelius Nicholson, who described an oak table inscribed with the date 1648 that was discovered in the property. In the early 18th century, the inn’s owner, Robert Stephenson, used profits from the inn to help the town’s poorest residents.

In the 19th century, the inn was known as “Mrs Lawsons”, before being taken over by Freemason James Harker, who then allowed the inn to be used as meeting place by the Freemasons. Later records indicate that the inn once had the capacity to stable 60 horses. More recently, the inn was known as the “Pot of Gold”, and then the “Rainbow Tavern” before becoming the Horse & Rainbow a couple of years ago.


Swap Start/End