7 Independent Cafes in the Lake District

Nestled amongst the stunning fells and tranquil waters of the Lake District are cafes that complement the serenity and beauty of the surrounding landscape.

These establishments are not just stops for a quick bite, but destinations in themselves, offering locally sourced produce and a warm Cumbrian welcome.

From the charming streets of Ambleside to the picturesque shores of Windermere, each cafe has its unique allure, whether it’s for a hearty full English breakfast or a delicate slice of homemade cake.

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The experience of enjoying a rich, aromatic cup of coffee or a beautifully poured latte in the Lake District is often accompanied by views of rolling hills, serene lakes, and the occasional glimpse of roaming wildlife.

Visitors can relish the comfort of a cosy nook in a traditional tearoom or bask in the sun at a riverside garden café.

With the sumptuous selection of traditional treats on offer, like scones with clotted cream and jam, it’s easy to see why these cafes are known for providing both indulgence and relaxation in equal measure.

Best Cafe in Lake District(3)

For those venturing into the heart of the Lake District, it becomes apparent that cafes here are about more than just food and drink; they’re a pivotal part of the community and exploration experience. From Herdwicks Cafe where the service adds to the memorable food, to Homeground Coffee + Kitchen known for its cosy atmosphere and excellent brews, each establishment embodies the spirit of Cumbria, offering a warm retreat after a day spent in the fells.

Best 7 Cafes in Lake District

Exploring the Lake District isn’t just about the landscapes; it’s also a journey through some of the best coffee and tea offerings in the region.

Cafés dotted around the Lakes serve up exquisite speciality coffees and teas that satisfy even the most discerning aficionados.

1. Homeground Coffee

Homeground Coffee stands out with its unique ‘Homeground Blend’—a must-try for visitors. They complement their coffee with a delightful array of cakes, adding to the cosy atmosphere that’s just perfect for a restful break.

2. Brew Brothers

Brew Brothers offers an exceptional coffee experience that highlights their dedication to quality.

Their carefully selected beans are roasted to perfection, ensuring that every cup is a celebration of the coffee’s rich and complex flavours.

3. Esquires

Esquires Coffee is a franchise of coffee houses that has locations across the UK, including a shop in the scenic Lake District.

Esquires Coffee prides itself on being an ethical and environmentally conscious company, providing Fairtrade and organic coffee to its customers.

The brand emphasizes the importance of community and aims to create a welcoming atmosphere in each of its cafes where people can enjoy high-quality coffee and food.

Their dedication to sustainability extends to their food offerings, which include locally sourced products whenever possible. With a focus on creating a unique and comfortable environment, Esquires Coffee shops serve as a gathering place for local residents and visitors alike.

4. Fold Coffee

Fold Coffee in Kendal, located in the Lake District, is run by Chelsea Eddy-Waland and her husband Jack. This cafe is known for its high-quality artisan coffee and friendly atmosphere. Fold Coffee is situated on the Beezon Road Trading Estate and is connected to Fell Crossfit, indicating a community-oriented space that combines fitness with great coffee.

The cafe has made a name for itself by specializing in friendly service and fantastic coffee, making it a popular spot for both locals and visitors to the area.

5. The Fizzy Tart

The Fizzy Tarté, located in the heart of Bowness on Windermere in the Lake District, is a cafe bar that offers a luxurious range of Champagne, Afternoon Teas, and Cocktails.

Known for its elegant setting and sophisticated drink menu, The Fizzy Tarté provides a chic experience for those looking to enjoy a bit of indulgence.

Their cocktail menu includes a variety of classic and signature concoctions, showcasing their commitment to quality and creativity in mixology. The establishment is a destination for both locals and tourists seeking a high-end bar atmosphere with exceptional service and a premium selection of beverages.

6. Lake Road Brunch

Lake Road Brunch in Keswick is a popular destination for those seeking a top-notch breakfast, brunch, or lunch experience. They are known for their delicious full English breakfast, which includes the best sausages in town and homemade hash, among other tasty offerings.

Their menu also features items like the Blueberry & Lemon Stack, which consists of fluffy American pancakes with blueberries, served with a homemade blueberry and lemon curd topped with ice cream.

Lake Road Brunch has a reputation for providing high-quality, flavorful dishes in a welcoming atmosphere, making it a must-visit spot for locals and visitors in Keswick. Their commitment to quality food and service is evident in their high Tripadvisor rating, where they are ranked highly among restaurants in Keswick.

7. Zeffirellis’ Unique Coffee Offerings

Lastly, Zeffirellis doesn’t just attract cinephiles with its films but also coffee lovers with its unique coffee offerings. They’ve made a name for themselves serving up a diverse range of coffee that pairs beautifully with their famous pastries.

Capturing the Views: A Guide to Scenic Cafe Locations

The Lake District offers not just a feast for the taste buds but a visual banquet, with cafes situated by tranquil lakes, atop rugged mountains, and alongside serene rivers. Here’s a taster of spots where they can soak in stunning panoramas while enjoying a warm brew or a bite to eat.

Lakeside Cafes with Breathtaking Views

The Cafe at Lakeland: Sitting comfortably by the shores of Windermere, guests here are treated to expansive views of the lake. The cafe boasts a selection of artisan coffee and homemade cakes, all served with a side of gentle ripples and the soothing tranquillity of the water. 

Fellbites Café: Possessing a more secluded charm, this café is nestled within the embrace of Lake’s timeless beauty. Visitors can indulge in fresh sandwiches and pastries, all the while gazing out at the serene aquatic expanse.

Mountain Top Coffee Retreats

Kirkstone Pass Inn: Perched high on a mountain pass, this ancient inn rewards the adventurous with views that are hard to beat. The café serves traditional pub fare, but it’s the breathtaking panorama of the surrounding peaks that truly captivates visitors.

River View Coffee Shops

Sticklebarn, Langdale Valley: Owned by Lanty Slee, the place is not just rich in history but offers warming coffees in the presence of the River Brathay‘s gentle flow. This café delivers a serene river view, flanked by lush greens and the symphony of flowing water.

In each of these locations, one’s coffee comes with a complimentary dash of nature’s grandeur. Wherever visitors choose to unwind, the views across the Lake District’s cafés are sure to leave them spellbound.

The Lake District Cafe Scene

When trotting around the gorgeous Lake District, one mustn’t miss out on the cafe culture that’s just as rich as the landscapes. From beckoning historical spots to navigating seasonal delicacies, there’s much to relish beyond just the scenic beauty.

Cafes with Historic Charm

In the quaint corners of the Lake District, cafes steeped in history offer more than just a cuppa. The Old School Tearoom in Rydal, for instance, entices with its traditional ambiance harkening back to the days of slate and chalk. Visitors can sip their tea and ponder the generations of scholars who once studied within these walls. Their historical significance is evident in the very architecture and atmosphere.

Staying Updated: Seasonal Menus and Specialities

Cafes here often update their fare to reflect the bounty of the season. Whether it’s the summer strawberries creamed to perfection or a warm, spicy pumpkin latte in autumn, the local spots like Homeground Coffee + Kitchen know how to delight with seasonal specialities. Visitors should always ask for the chef’s special to experience the freshest ingredients from Cumbria’s larder.

Dealing with Crowds: Timing Your Visits

Anyone who’s experienced the Lake District will know that queues can be common at popular cafes, like the buzz-worthy Apple Pie Cafe & Bakery. However, there’s a trick to beat the rush: timing. Savvy travellers pop by during the quieter moments, usually mid-morning or late afternoon, avoiding the common lunchtime surge. For those who don’t mind a bit of a wait, the queues are often worth it for a bite of Cumbria’s famed apple pie.

Frequently Asked Questions

Exploring the Lake District affords one the chance to visit an array of delightful cafés. They can sip specialty coffees, enjoy brunch, and take in the serene lake views. Here’s a curated list of FAQs to guide them to the best café experiences in the region.

Where can I find a café with stunning lake views in the Lake District?

For breathtaking lake vistas complemented by a warm cuppa, The Café at Lakeland is the place to be. It’s not just a café but a window to the Lakeland’s majestic beauty.

What are the top spots for specialty coffee in the Lake District?

Coffee enthusiasts should not miss Homeground Coffee + Kitchen, renowned for its premium brews and welcoming ambiance. It’s a haven for coffee connoisseurs.

Can you recommend any local coffee roasters in the Lake District area?

Whilst the Lake District is more known for its landscapes than its roasters, cafés such as Sticklebarn in Langdale Valley do offer a range of locally roasted coffee that celebrates the region’s flavours.

What are the best cafés for brunch in the Lake District?

They should look no further than Granny Dowbekin’s for a brunch spread that includes everything from classic full English breakfasts to light, healthy options.

Which cafés in Windermere come highly recommended?

Windermere does not disappoint, with charming spots such as Homeground Coffee + Kitchen offering a perfect spot to unwind after a day of exploring the scenic shores of Windermere.

Could you tell me about the most charming cafés in Bowness-on-Windermere?

They will find quaint charm in abundance at the delightful cafés dotted across Bowness-on-Windermere, a town teeming with cosy nooks like the family-run café The Old School Tearoom, which offers a variety of homemade cakes and a selection of teas.

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