Ship Inn

126 Reviews

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May, 2014

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One of the largest bodies of water in the Lake District is Coniston.

Donald Campbell chose Coniston as the stretch of water upon which to make his many attempts at the World speed record in his jet hydroplane boat, Bluebird.

He held 8 land and water speed records, the only man to hold both records at the same time in 1964.

He was killed on Coniston on 4th January 1967, on the second of two runs when his boat took off and crashed.

Coniston village lies to the side of the lake, and at the foot of Coniston Old Man, one of the Lakes District's high peaks. One of the local pubs brews a bitter ale called Bluebird in Campbell's honour.

Just to the south of the main village, on a hillside location just off the A593 is the Ship Inn, a lovely old pub with old fashioned values. It is a whitewashed affair, with tables just outside the main door, away from the traffic.

Jim and Julie, the proprietors, have been in charge for six months now (as of May 2014) and they are making a good fist of the job.

The main attractions of any pub, for me at least, are the quality of the real ales and the friendliness of the staff. Both are spot on here, with a choice of ales, none of them at all bad, very moreish in fact. The locals are friendly too and we had a great night with an impromptu and somewhat raucous quiz night taking centre stage.

Food is served Thursday to Monday and is good home cooked food at very reasonable prices. The steak and ale pie with chips, seasonal vegetables and rich gravy hitting the right spot for a bunch of hungry hikers.

The breakfast is tasty and freshly cooked and was a welcome boost before our next days' long hike.

There are a number of letting bedrooms here, all comfortable, but due to the layout of this old building, bathroom facilities are shared. There is a ramp at the rear giving access to the first floor bedrooms for less able guests.

There is free wi-fi, so you can sit next to the fire in the lounge on those colder Lake District days and while away the hours in good company.

The small banked garden to the rear contains a number of slow worms which bask in the sunshine on warmer mornings. These look like small snakes but are in fact, completely harmless legless lizards. A rare sight to see.

Other sights in the area include Tarn Hows, a small lake in beautiful surroundings which can be walked all the way round on smooth paths. The refurbished steam gondola on Coniston offers a relaxing ride into the past as it chugs it's way around the lake to hop-on, hop-off landing stages.

The pub lies on the path of the Cumbria Way and we stayed there whilst completing the Inn Way to the Lake District, so it is popular with walkers and campers from the nearby campsite.

Such was the friendliness of the owners that they came out and gave each of us a hug before we set off on our travels the next day and to wish us well.

Now, I can't say that about many places!

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