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Inn on the Square, Keswick, Lake District
Overlooking the eponymous market square, in the centre of popular Keswick, this former coaching inn has been brushed up into a smart, urban hotel with cocktail bar, open-plan restaurant and light, Scandi-style bedrooms. The bright, colourful, contemporary design makes a refreshing change from many of Keswick's other hotels and pubs, and particularly appeals to younger couples and families - especially active ones; dogs and walkers welcomed. Unusually, its restaurant is a steakhouse, although there's a more traditional bar at the rear with real ales and pub-style food. The bedrooms have a sharp, snazzy design; most with town or fell views.
The twice-weekly market, which sprawls in front of the hotel, is a well-patronised and friendly affair, good for browsing for bags, clothing and gifts as well as local food products.
Shops, cafes, pubs and the Pencil Museum are within a five-minute walk and the lake only a 10-minute walk away.
By car: the hotel is 2 hours from Manchester, around 3 hours from Edinburgh and 5 hours 30 minutes from London. Parking available nearby.
By train: Penrith is the nearest main line station. There are regular buses to Keswick which take 40 minutes. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
The bold, contemporary art is striking, whether of local landscapes or legendary pop stars, or iconic album covers. Youthful-minded folk who like a buzzy atmosphere and contemporary design will enjoy it.
Service & Facilities
It was good to get back from a wet and muddy walk and find there's a drying room to get your gear warm and dry for the next day. Dogs are welcome, and beds and bowls can be provided plus there's an outside dog wash. Owners with dogs can take their meals in the Back Bar.
- Room Service
- Free Wi-Fi
The top (third-floor) rooms have the best views with those at the front combining rooftops and distant fells. The sheep photographs are an inspired design detail, and can't fail to make you smile.
Hygge, Town, Herdwick
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with shower, eco-friendly toiletries, Sealy matresses, tea and coffee facilities, radio, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
The steakhouse has an open kitchen so it's worth asking for a table with a good view. The front cocktail bar has a good gin list, with helpful notes about their main botanicals.
Brossen Steakhouse: AA Rosette, bright modern design, heart food, vegetarian options. Open everyday 12-9.30pm. Mains from £17, steaks from £20.
Front Bar: relaxed, brunch, lunch, cakes and cocktails. Open everyday 10am til late. Cocktails from £8.50.
Back Bar: cosy, dog-friendly, comfort food. Open everyday 12am til late. Mains from £13.