The Woolpack Inn (Eskdale)

Hardknott Pass, Eskdale, CA19 1TH
The Woolpack Inn (Eskdale) Outside

Eskdale is one of the most remote parts of the Lake District, difficult to reach unless you are willing to take the long drive around the fells, or brave Hardknott Pass with its gradient of 33%. Perhaps it’s not surprising then, that in an area where visitor attractions and entertainment venues are sparse, the valley’s pubs play a pivotal role in the community.

The Woolpack Inn is a fine example of a pub at the heart of village life. Much more than a place to drink, eat, or rest your head, this is a place where locals and visitors alike come to enjoy live music, festivals, and fun days. Located at the start of Hardknott Pass, the pub is superbly situated for exploring this little visited corner of the Lake District.

Food & Drink

Woolpack Inn (Eskdale) pub

The Woolpack Inn has been significantly refurbished in recent years and now offers two different dining experiences. The Hardknott Café has a contemporary décor and serves food between 8am and 5pm, catering mostly for passing walkers and cyclists. The café serves breakfast until 12pm, with a selection of items available. If you need to set yourself up for a long day on the fells, you can opt for the full breakfast buffet that is available until 9.30am and includes a full cooked breakfast and a self-serve continental buffet. Throughout the rest of the day, a selection of hot and cold sandwiches are served alongside a limited choice of light bites and snacks.

If you prefer something a little more substantial, then you can dine in at the bar or the dining room, which has a much more rustic and traditional atmosphere. However, the menu, which is available between noon and 9pm, is far from traditional pub grub. There is a fabulous selection of tapas, and a mouth-watering array of pizzas that are all freshly cooked in an authentic woodburning oven. There’s an imaginative selection of salads, whilst steaks are served on a lava stone heated to 300 degrees, enabling you to cook your own steak for as long as you prefer. In addition, there is a small choice of traditional dishes. The inn caters for vegetarians and those on gluten and dairy free diets, and there is a reasonable children’s menu.

The Woolpack Inn is devoted to real ale and real cider, hosting festivals for both each year. The inn serves up to ten changing cask ales (usually less during the winter), mostly selected from Cumbrian breweries, but with some interesting choices sourced from further afield. The inn also serves a good range of speciality ciders and various beers and lagers on draught and in bottles. There is a reasonably priced wine list with a selection available by the glass, and discounts available if you choose to buy a bottle to drink elsewhere. The inn also has a varied menu of gins, vodkas, and other spirits, as well as cocktails, and soft drinks.

Other Features

Woolpack Inn (Eskdale) pool-table

The Woolpack Inn is famous for hosting events throughout the year. The Boot Beer Festival is the largest, when the inn teams up with the two other pubs in the area to put on a three-day event with over 140 ales to try. The event also has live music and other forms of entertainment. Other events hosted by the Woolpack include festivals for cider, gin, wine, and vodka, as well as celebration events and fun days for national holidays, such as Easter and New Year.

In the café area of the pub, you will find a 100 inch HD TV with a Sky Sports subscription, showing all of the major sporting events. There is a separate games room inside with a pool table and a darts board, as well as a small library. Outside, there is a children’s play area with various play equipment. Dogs are welcome in the main bar area, where there are tables for dining, and in the beer garden.


Woolpack Inn (Eskdale) accommodation

The Woolpack Inn has seven en-suite rooms that have been refurbished with a classic, elegant, style. All rooms have en-suite facilities with either a bath, or a shower, or both, so it’s best to check before booking if you have a preference. One room has a double hot tub for those extra special occasions. Single, twin, and double rooms are available.

Rooms benefit from flat screen televisions with digital channels, free Wi-Fi, a hospitality tray, complimentary luxury toiletries from Pure Lakes, and a hairdryer. Dogs can stay for a small surcharge. Overnight guests can also receive discounts on a range of activities provided by West Lakes Adventure who are located next to the inn. Breakfast is available for an additional charge.


Swap Start/End