This is a great pub with fantastic staff in a breathtaking location, the weekend live entertainment is great and I would highly recommend visiting this pub which also has a lovely beer garden, and a wonderful atmosphere. The only downside is that the landlord is like a Nazi and come last orders at 22.50pm you have to get your last drink which is fair enough, but when 23.00 hours strikes he made us feel extremely unwelcome, even if you only have 10 minutes to drink a full pint he will whip it off the table and look at his watch.. A quiet couple wanting to finish drinks were basically kicked out with the door slammed behind us.. Shame on you Mr Evil landbaron.. This in fairness did not put us off re-visiting but left an unsavoury taste in our mouths about how tourists are veiwed from a local point of view? If you wont let people finish their drinks then why serve it in the first place..
Apparently it used to be a 'local pub for local people' but its a very welcomnig place that tolerates the hordes of tourists , and finds enough room so that you don't feel claustrophobic. It does B&B, and out the back is a brewery where they make real ale. What more could anyone desire? The Location: The Bull is on the junction between the two roads that run through Coniston, and consequentally is easy to find. From it, you can just about see some of the surrounding peaks, you cannot see the lake at all - views are not something it has going for it. The pub is clearly old (don't ask me, I dont know.)and is large. The front of the pub, a square-ish area with road on two sides, pub on the other two, has many wooden picnic tables. It can be very pleasant to sit out, but if there is much traffic than it's better to go inside. Once inside, you encounter a pleasantly gloomy place, with a bar, tables, a private room for those enjoying B&B and nothing gimicky at all. Inside is cool, airy, and big enough to cope with most of the worst excesses of the summer. As they do food, it is entirely child friendly. The drinks - moderatly pricey, but no worse than anywhere else in the Lakes - two pounds will get you a pint. The brewery makes two beers - Bluebird ale, names after the speed craft that famously crashed in the lake, and "Old Man" - after the Old Man of Coniston, which is a mountian. So you can have all the delights of going to the bar and asking for an old man. There's a selection of more familiar beers and ales, but the local brews are excellent. There's usually a scrumpy cider - at my last visit it was something called "Ruby Tuesday." Spirits, wines etc, and absynthe, which you don't see very often. The food - they serve food all day, from crisps and nuts to tea and buns to three course meals. The prices are reasonable - five to ten pounds for a main course, and you get lots to eat for your m oney. They do very large Cumberland sausages, excellent chips, and indulgent puddings. I can heartily recomend this as a place to eat. Furthermore, the staff are friendly, helpful and efficient. The loos are nice and are kept clean. The atmosphere is relaxed, welcoming and enjoyable. The pub is situated such that you can make it the last point on your walk if you go 'up the old man' and stop in or a much needed pint and a bite to eat. As I am too spherical to be going up any old men (ok, I will stop the old man jokes soon, promies) I spent a very happy afternoon there munching their bar snacks, drinking cooling beverages and reading - it was a very pleasant experience. If you find yourself in that corner of the world, give it a go. Oh, and they sell gift packs - eight pounds will buy you a bottle of old man, a bottle of bluebird and a special glass, which makes quite a nice pressie.
The Stickle Barn set in the village of Great Langdale and surrounded by the beautiful Langdale Pikes, is far and away the best pub in Cumbria. It is in an ideal spot for walkers, near to several B&B's, the Great Langdale Campsite, and even having its own centrally heated bunkhouse accommodation out back. There is a small village shop nearby and it is a short drive to nearby towns of Ambleside, Hawkshead, Conniston, and even Windermere. Just a few minutes drive (or about half an hours walk for the energetic amongst you) is the breathtaking Blea Tarn, set in some incredible scenery, and definitely worth a visit. The pub itself has a lively friendly atmosphere, wonderful food (though somewhat expensive, it is definitely worth it) a TV room, pool table, fruit machines, juke box (with much better music that is often found in pubs) and an upstairs area that often has live bands and discos with extended opening hours. A great range of beers are stocked, and I highly recommend a pint of Scrumpy Jack (or two!) Often I wish I lived nearer to the Lake District, because I would love to make the Stickle Barn my local. As it is, I have a five-hour drive to get there, which is a little bit much for a Friday night out!! If you are ever visiting the Lake District, I strongly recommend checking out this pub. The bar staff are always very friendly, and I have been invited back to several parties in their rooms (they tend to live in the bunk house) This pub has a great mix of tourists and locals, without being too cliquey as is sometimes the case in Cumbrian pubs where southerners like myself are not always made very welcome. Dogs are allowed in The Stickle Barn too, which is great as many people visiting the Lakes are keen walkers and take their pets with them. All this in a fairly small, and did I mention very friendly pub.