The friendliest pub in Ambleside is the Golden Rule, Smithy Brow (tel. 01539/432257), named for the brass yardstick mounted over the bar. Its country-hunt theme features comfortable leather furniture and cast-iron tables. You can step into one side room and throw darts, or go into the other for a quiet, contemplative pint. Behind the bar, a small but colorful garden provides a serene setting in warm weather. There's inexpensive pub grub if you get hungry.
Located 5km (3 miles) west of town, off the A593 in Little Langdale, Three Shires (tel. 01539/437215; www.threeshiresinn.co.uk), a stone-built pub in the Three Shires Inn with a stripped timber-and-flagstone interior, offers stunning views of the valley and wooded hills. You can get good pub grub here, as well as a pint of Black Sheep Bitter, Ruddles County, or Webster's Yorkshire. Malt whiskies are well represented.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.