The Pheasant Inn (Bassenthwaite)

Bassenthwaite Lake, Cockermouth, CA13 9YE
The Pheasant Inn (Bassenthwaite) Outside

Nestled on a quiet country lane off the A66, the Pheasant Inn truly is one of the western Lake District’s gems. This former 18th century coaching inn combines award winning dining with cosy lounges and delightful accommodation.

Located at the foot of Sale Fell on the western edge of lake Bassenthwaite, the inn is very popular with walkers and local residents. So popular in fact, that during even the quieter seasons we recommend you book a table if you are planning to dine here. Inside, you will find historic artwork and country inn chic, whilst outside you will find much more than a beer garden, with landscaped grounds that are simply delightful in the warmer months.

Food & Drink

The pub at the Pheasant Inn in Bassenthwaite

The Pheasant Inn is widely regarded by local residents for its incredible food. It has two AA rosettes and is regularly featured in lists of top ten inns created for the national media. The inn has two restaurants. The Fell Restaurant offers a fine dining experience, whilst the Bistro is a more relaxed affair. Both are overseen by the same head chef and offer food that uses the very best of local ingredients.

You will find all of the pub favourites in the Bistro, including fish and chips, shepherds pie, etc., as well as a good selection of lighter bits and snacks. The bistro also has a children’s menu, but children are not permitted in other areas of the inn. Afternoon tea is served in the inn’s cosy lounge that features comfortable sofas and views of the gardens.

Beer & Wine

Food can also be eaten in the bar, where alongside a fabulous selection of local cask ales, you will find 100s of single malt whiskies to try. The wine list is extensive and has been carefully created in conjunction with a local wine expert. There are over 88 wines on the list available to buy by the bottle, with several available by the glass.

Wines range in price from just under £5 for a glass of house wine to just under £500 for a bottle of Chateau Mouton-Rothschild vintage 1996. The bar is popular with locals and features paintings by Edward Thompson, apparently once given to the inn by the artist in payment of an outstanding tab, but now worth several thousand pounds.

Other Features

The beer garden at the Pheasant Inn in Bassenthwaite

In the summer months, there are few places better to enjoy a pint of real ale than in the Pheasant Inn’s beautifully maintained gardens. Situated at the foot of Sale Fell, and away from the main road, the garden is a tranquil place to eat and drink. A small stream runs through the gardens and local wildlife including red squirrels can often be spotted here.

Drinks from the bar or food from the bistro can be taken on one of the many tables dotted around the gardens. There miniature paths to explore, numerous plants, and a selection of topiary. For special occasions, the inn can offer a private dining option for up to 20 people, ideal for birthdays or anniversaries.


The Pheasant Inn was built over 500 years ago, originally as a farm house. However, in 1778, it became a coaching inn and later became a favourite of John Peel, a notable huntsman who is the subject of an old folk song. In the second half of the 19th century, a turnpike road was constructed between Keswick and Cockermouth, passing the Pheasant and bringing much more trade to the pub, leading to the pub to employ a boatman who would take visitors out to the lake to fish.

The Pheasant has remained a popular watering hole over the years, so much so that during the 2009 floods, one patron paddled his canoe to the bar in order to avoid missing out on that much needed tipple.


The Pheasant Inn Hotel Room

The Pheasant Inn has 15 rooms that are individually styled and beautifully presented. All have en-suite facilities and are spacious with antique style furniture. Hospitality trays feature fine bone china and beds are adorned with rich Egyptian cotton.

Guests who stay in the inn’s rooms benefit from complimentary access to the spa at the nearby Armathwaite Hall, and breakfast is included in the room rate. Four rooms are dog friendly, but you must contact the hotel in advance if you wish to bring your pet.


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