10 of the best walkers’ inns in the UK

10 of the best walkers’ inns in the UK

Base camp for the UK’s big walks, these atmospheric pubs have hosted Hillary, Wainwright and other legends

Wasdale Head Inn, Lake District

Famously one of the early focal points in the birth of mountaineering, the Wasdale Head was a base for the first English alpinists from the early 1800s.

Many luminaries of the climbing world have visited since, and its Ritson’s Bar and Residents’ Bar remain legendary climbers’ meeting points. It was here, too, that the Lake District Ski Club was founded in 1936, when a local climber, Molly FitzGibbon, marched into the bar and announced that she was starting one.

As a rare, and isolated, hotel in the Wasdale valley, it sits at the end of Wastwater, the Lake District’s deepest and arguably most dramatic lake: there are terrible scree slopes on one side; on the other an incongruous fringe of beaches popular with swimmers in summer; and above, the highest mountains.

From the tables outside, the view is dominated by the steep flanks of Kirk Fell and Great Gable. The crowds come to bag Scafell Pike, England’s highest peak, but those who hike in the opposite direction – beside the lovely Mosedale Beck and up to Black Sail Pass and the summit of Pillar – can leave most other walkers behind.

More mucky boots than boutique, the accommodation – nine bedrooms in the main hotel, plus three apartments and six self-catering apartments in a converted barn – is simple and functional rather than chic, but of course, it’s the views people come for.
Singles £60 B&B, doubles from £120, self-catering apartments (sleep 2-4) from £249 for three nights, wasdale.com. The pub also has a campsite

Pen-Y-Gwryd Hotel, Snowdonia

When news of the ascent of Everest by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary reached the UK in 1953, the landlord of the Pen-Y-Gwryd ran up and down the hotel corridors banging on the doors in the middle of the night, insisting the guests rise and climb Snowdon in celebration.

Andy Halliday

Andy is a camping expert with over 20 years of outdoor experience. He shares his expertise through his blog that features on his very own e-commerce camping gear store. He aspires to use his knowledge and experience to help disabled families get the most out of every trip they take.

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