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Pub review: Contained in the Seventeenth-century Horse & Farrier, a paradise for walkers within the Lake District

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Above the massive front door to this walkers’ paradise of a Lake District pub, a date is etched in curling red and black numbers: 1688.

The Horse & Farrier, originally a farmhouse before the canny farmer switched tack, has had travellers dropping by well before the times of Wordsworth’s lonely wanderings and the tourist boom that followed.

Back in those early days, only the hardiest would make it. In his 1720s travel book, A Tour Through The Whole Island Of Great Britain, Daniel Defoe declared on arrival at Windermere and its ‘unpaffable hills’ that ‘all of the nice a part of England was at an end’, and headed back to London.

Tom Chesshyre checked into the Horse and Farrier (above), which is ready right in front of Blencathra mountain within the village of Threlkeld

Magnificent: Tom describes Blencathra, pictured, as one of the Lake District's 'very finest peaks'

Magnificent: Tom describes Blencathra, pictured, as one in every of the Lake District’s ‘very finest peaks’

In his 1720s travel book, A Tour Through The Whole Island Of Great Britain, Daniel Defoe declared on arrival at Windermere and its ¿unpaffable hills¿ that ¿all the pleasant part of England was at an end¿, and headed back to London. Above - Blencathra

In his 1720s travel book, A Tour Through The Whole Island Of Great Britain, Daniel Defoe declared on arrival at Windermere and its ‘unpaffable hills’ that ‘all of the nice a part of England was at an end’, and headed back to London. Above – Blencathra

In fact, the rugged mountains (or fells) were soon to turn out to be the massive lure, somewhat than a reason to remain away.

And one in every of the very finest peaks, Blencathra, is correct behind the Horse & Farrier, which makes an ideal base for an ascent.

From the skin, the old hostelry within the peaceful village of Threlkeld looks quaint and alluring – a terrace of whitewashed buildings with black-framed windows, flowers in hanging baskets and a vibrant pub sign depicting a farrier hard at work nailing on a horseshoe.

Inside, fires flicker and a series of labyrinthine rooms with snugs and nooks stretch out beneath a low-beamed ceiling.

Tom dined on chicken madras, one of the inn¿s ¿classic¿ dishes, with mango chutney, poppadoms and turmeric rice

 Tom dined on chicken madras, one in every of the inn’s ‘classic’ dishes, with mango chutney, poppadoms and turmeric rice

Tom says that from the outside the Horse & Farrier looks 'quaint and inviting', and inside 'fires flicker'

Tom says that from the skin the Horse & Farrier looks ‘quaint and alluring’, and inside ‘fires flicker’

The inn has a dozen or so 'smart' guest rooms, which have recently been refurbished

The inn has a dozen or so ‘smart’ guest rooms, which have recently been refurbished 

Walkers sheltering from a downpour sat in huddles, steam rising from fleeces as they nursed pints of Wainwright – a beer named after the famous Lakeland hiker and guidebook-writer Alfred Wainwright.

The dozen or so smart bedrooms on the independently run inn, owned by the Arkley family, have recently been refurbished. Mine was in shades of grey with a cushty, wide bed and good linen. The lavatory was neatly arranged with olive-coloured tiles and a good shower. Just what was required after tackling Blencathra.

However the fells aren’t the one local attraction. The bustling market town of Keswick might be reached along a five-mile former railway converted right into a mountain climbing path. The intriguing Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum, based in an old granite quarry, is across the way in which. Plus, you may pop into the Horse & Farrier’s jolly nearby sister pub, the Salutation (often called The Sally), for a game of darts. The Sally also has newly refurbished rooms.

Of his stay, Tom said he was 'pleased to have chosen the Horse & Farrier for the night'

 Of his stay, Tom said he was ‘pleased to have chosen the Horse & Farrier for the night’ 

Tom writes: 'Walkers sheltering from a downpour sat in huddles, steam rising from fleeces as they nursed pints of Wainwright ¿ a beer named after the famous Lakeland hiker and guidebook-writer Alfred Wainwright'

Tom writes: ‘Walkers sheltering from a downpour sat in huddles, steam rising from fleeces as they nursed pints of Wainwright – a beer named after the famous Lakeland hiker and guidebook-writer Alfred Wainwright’

Breakfast was 'memorable', says Tom - 'perfectly poached eggs, a generous portion of smoked salmon and excellent coffee'. Above, Blencathra lords it over the village of Threlkeld

Breakfast was ‘memorable’, says Tom – ‘perfectly poached eggs, a generous portion of smoked salmon and excellent coffee’. Above, Blencathra lords it over the village of Threlkeld

B&B rates at the Horse & Farrier start from £110 a night. The picture above shows snow covering the summit of Blencathra

B&B rates on the Horse & Farrier start from £110 an evening. The image above shows snow covering the summit of Blencathra

The bustling market town of Keswick, above, can be reached from the Horse & Farrier along a five-mile former railway converted into a hiking path

The bustling market town of Keswick, above, might be reached from the Horse & Farrier along a five-mile former railway converted right into a mountain climbing path

Good, hearty food is out there on the Horse & Farrier itself – burgers, steak pies, fish and chips, lamb shank – drawing locals and tourists alike. A genial hum of conversation arose on the evening of my stay. Noticing a neighbour tucking right into a delicious-smelling chicken madras, one in every of the inn’s ‘classic’ dishes, I ordered the identical and it was no let-down: spicy and tender, with mango chutney, poppadoms and turmeric rice.

Breakfast was equally memorable: perfectly poached eggs, a generous portion of smoked salmon and excellent coffee.

I then set off for the fells once more, a spring in my step, pleased to have chosen the Horse & Farrier for the night.

TRAVEL FACTS  

Horse & Farrier, Threlkeld, Cumbria. B&B from £110 an evening (horseandfarrier.com).

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