The Shepherds Arms (Ennerdale)

Kirkland Road, Ennerdale Bridge, Cleator, CA23 3AR
The Shepherds Arms (Ennerdale) Outside

Nestled in the beautiful Ennerdale Valley, a remote part of west Cumbria that offers an idyllic escape from modern life, the Shepherds Arms is a traditional Cumbrian pub that prides itself on serving up Cumbrian ale and produce wherever possible. Located on the coast to coast walking route, the pub is popular with walkers seeking respite from the elements, and it helpfully provides a daily weather forecast for those setting off onto the fells.

The pub began life as a farmer’s house, where the occupant would sell beer to passing travellers. Inside, it is full of period charm and character. The pub is a 25-minute walk from the north-western shore of Ennerdale Water and one of the closest establishments to the lake that serves food.

Food & Drink

The Shepherds Arms serves a dazzling array of Cumbrian ales. It offers a changing selection that is almost always sourced from Cumbrian breweries, including Cumbrian Legendary Ales, Ennerdale, Hawkshead, Hesket Newmarket, and Keswick. In addition, it offers a number of premium beers, lagers, and ciders on draught.

The wine list is relatively simple and straightforward, but most tastes are catered for and it is reasonably priced. The bar also stocks a good variety of gins, including some local brands, as well as the usual choices of whiskies and spirits.

The Menu

During the summer months, food is available here throughout the day between noon and 9pm. During the winter, it is best to check in advance of your visit, as service times do vary. Helpfully, for both residents and those who are just passing by but don’t want to stop, the inn supplies packed lunches to be taken away. However, staying for lunch or dinner is a worthwhile endeavour, since the dishes are cooked on site and prepared using Cumbrian produce, including Lake District lamb and beef, and west Cumbrian free-range eggs.

There is a choice of bar snacks and light meals, including sandwiches and salads, but if you prefer something more substantial the main menu offers a wide choice of hearty and wholesome pub style dishes, including a mouth-watering Lake District lamb pasty, Cumbrian rib eye steak, and Cumberland sausage. Vegans are well served here with three dishes to choose from, and the daily specials board offers additional choices. A children’s menu is also available here.

Other Features

Dogs are welcome in the bar, but they are not permitted in after 6pm. There is a small pleasant beer garden to the rear of the pub with a stream running alongside it, so children do need to be supervised here. Inside the pub, there is a selection of board games available to play, including some that are aimed at children.


The Shepherds Arms (Ennerdale) accommodation

Photo thanks to the Shepherds Arms (Ennerdale)

The Shepherds Arms has eight cosy guestrooms that offer comfortable accommodation that is ideal for walkers, with dogs permitted to stay in two of the rooms. It’s worth noting that not all rooms have en-suite bathrooms. Instead, some rooms have their own private bathrooms accessed via a separate door, with dressing gowns provided. Twin and double rooms are available and all rooms are equipped with a television, tea and coffee making facilities, a hairdryer, and free Wi-Fi. A full cooked breakfast is included in the room rate.


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