We have received enquiries about options for a night out from those wanting to party after the Relay. There is no ‘official’ event organised but best options for drinking (and eating) for those staying over are probably Grasmere or Ambleside.
Grasmere is a quiet and picturesque village in the heart of the Lake District. Unsurprisingly, it is hardly known for its banging nightlife. There are, however, a handful of pubs and hotel bars that are worth a visit. Right next to the Relay field on the A591 are the Travellers’ Rest and Swan pubs. Think traditional Lakeland: slate floors, good beer and in the Swan’s case, well-heeled patrons. In the village itself are a variety of hotel bars just a stone’s throw from the camping and campervan sites, the most notable of which are Bar 1769, attached to the Inn at Grasmere right in the centre of the village, and Tweedies Bar, which may require navigational skills to find but will be well worth the effort. Tweedies has a huge selection of craft beer and ales and has live music until midnight on a Saturday.
Ambleside is another idyllic Lakeland village with an abundance of pubs and restaurants. It has a bit more hustle and bustle and a town-like feel compared to Grasmere and is likely to be a bit busier around the pubs – think Newcastle in Northern Ireland after the champs race or Fort William after the Ben (without the aggro). The Golden Rule is a favourite of hill goers and is a pub-lovers pub. Good beer, a homely feel, and friendly locals make this place popular. The Unicorn is a bit of a hidden gem around the corner from the Rule; small, welcoming and often with live music on a weekend. The Lily offers something a bit different and is a more modern wine bar with a bit of music on and a younger, smarter crowd. The hotel bars of Churchill’s, White Lion and Queen’s are roomier and all serve food. Churchill’s has live music on a Saturday. The Royal Oak in the centre of the village is another Lakeland pub with good beer, a low beamed roof and decent outside seating to watch the world go by. Finally, there is the Ambleside Tavern with the draw of the downstairs late-night disco-club of Sporties. Free entry from 11pm and open until 2am, this is where the hardcore will head to dance their cares away in to the wee hours.
The Badger Bar is also worth a mention, sandwiched between Grasmere and Ambleside in the pretty hamlet of Rydal. Owned by a fell runner, and in addition to the attractions of great ales, roaring fires and oak panelled finery, there is a colony of badgers that can be observed around dusk.
Travel between Grasmere and Ambleside can be done either by taxi or the 555 bus. See the bus timetable here: