The Kirkstone Pass Inn

Ambleside, LA22 9LQ

This hotel is permenantly closed

See other hotels in Ambleside

The Kirkstone Pass Inn Outside

If you want a pint with a view, but don’t fancy walking to get there, then head up to the Kirkstone Pass Inn. Cumbria’s highest inn, and the second highest in Britain, has been welcoming guests who make it up “the struggle”, aka the Kirkstone Pass, for centuries.

At an altitude of 1,500ft the views from the pub are breath-taking, whilst inside, you will find roaring fires in the winter and a traditionally styled inn free from the distractions of modern life. The Kirkstone Pass is often closed in the winter due to snow. Therefore, if you are planning a visit during the winter months, it is always advisable to ring ahead to check opening hours.

Food & Drink

The Kirkstone Pass Inn pub

Photo thanks to the Kirkstone Pass Inn

During the summer months, food is served from noon until 8pm, but the times vary considerably in the winter so do check in advance if you are planning on dining here. The inn is very traditional in nature, so you won’t find gastro style dining here. Instead, you will be offered filling, wholesome and home-made dishes. Ingredients are locally sourced where possible. There’s a day time menu offering a selection of baguettes, burgers, and light hot meals.

In the evenings, the pub serves up a wide selection of pub favourites, including steak and ale pie and a choice of curry dishes, whilst vegetarians are well served with a choice of dishes. There’s a dedicated children’s menu and, on Sundays, a traditional roast dinner is served.

The pub has three pumps for real ale and serves a changing selection of beers that are mostly sourced from Cumbrian breweries, and in addition, there are a good number of beers and lagers available on draught. There is a limited selection of wine and the bar stocks the usual selection of spirits and soft drinks. Hot drinks are also available throughout the day.

Other Features

Dogs are welcome in the bar and in the bothy bunkhouse, but not in the guest rooms. The inn has a fabulous beer garden that takes full advantage of the altitude of the location with sweeping views down towards Windermere.


It’s thought that parts of the Kirkstone Inn date back to the fifteenth century, with possible links to a local monastery. The building was converted into a coaching inn during the 1800s. The pass was originally used as a drovers’ track with farmers bringing their livestock over the fells to sell at local markets, and the inn provided a welcome respite.

Over the years, there have been a number of reports of paranormal activity with the inn said to be one of the Lake District’s most haunted sites. It is believed that the spirits of travellers who lost their lives on the notorious pass now wander the corridors of the inn.


The Kirkstone Pass Inn accommodation

Photo thanks to the Kirkstone Pass Inn

There are five rooms at the Kirkstone Pass Inn. One is a four-poster suite complete with a small kitchenette and exposed beams in sloped ceilings creating a cosy atmosphere. There are three double rooms and one triple room – all with en-suite bathroom facilities. Rooms are equipped with tea and coffee making facilities and televisions with DVD players as there is no television signal. There is also no Wi-Fi and mobile reception is poor.

If funds are really limited you can book out the bothy bunkhouse. This is accommodation at its most basic, as reflected by the price. The bunkhouse has six bunkbeds, therefore sleeping up to 12 people, with one shared shower room. Guests need to bring their own bedding.


Swap Start/End