Winners of the 2023 Cumbria Life Magazine 'Best Casual Dining Experience' and runners up Cumbria Tourism 'Best Small Hotel'
We have created a stylish and contemporary yet homely and charming place to stay. Extended and totally refurbished throughout – like totally refurbished; every pipe, every carpet and every bed. We have respectfully recognised The Borowdale Royal Oak's character and place in the valley where it has stood for over 200 years offering its weathered sanctuary to generations of visitors.
We have thought of everything … even installing boot warmers in the dedicated drying room and an electric car charging station.
Staying at The Borrowdale Royal Oak will give you time to gather your thoughts, or to empty your mind and enjoy true relaxation. Listen to the beck, feel the warmth of the sun, the gentle breeze, or the fresh rain. Absorb the beautiful scenery and find your inner sanctuary. In this post pandemis world, there is a stronger awareness to cherish the great outdoors and look after our wealth and wellbeing.
We've opted for a no telvision policy but the high speed WiFi will allow you stream on your devices.
“No, we don’t need more sleep. Its our souls that are tired, not our bodies. We need nature. We need magic. We need freedom. We need adventure. We need truth. We need stillness. We don’t need more sleep, we need to wake up and live.”
– Brooke Hampton –
Kickback in our lounge and snug, enjoy the company of friends and family, or meet new people – we love the murmur of our guests chattering away and sharing their stories. We also love your dogs – they will be made more than welcome. You will find us extremely friendly, with staff that want to be part of your story.
Our breakfast and evening dinner menus are prepared with the best, fresh locally sourced produce. Tempting homemade meals, can be complemented with real ales and fine wines from our carefully hand-picked selection of tasty beverages. We offer all day complimentary tea and coffee to our residents and scones will be available every afternoon.
We have an eclectic mix of sleeping accommodation: each room is different and beautifully designed. Classic rooms ideal for walkers who might be spending more time out than in, for as little as £15 a night you can upgrade, we have Superior, Executive Bedrooms and a Four Poster Bedroom with a view of the beck. Wealso offer a Self-contained Apartment which includes a kitchenette and a bunk bedroom ,for two, which would suit a family of four and perfect for longer stays. We’ve converted the old garages into two basic Bunk Barn Rooms, perfect for groups of 4 or 6 people enjoying the lakes and fells together.
All have 1500 count individually sprung mattresses, hypoallergenic pillows and duvets, tea and coffee making facilities and free WiFi. We can promise you a room with a view, so whether you are overlooking the beck, village or looking over the fells, you can always enjoy the beautiful scenery.
All this arguably in the very middle of the best range of fell walking in the country.
We aren’t sure when the Royal Oak was actually built but we do know it was constructed on the site of the farm and we also know it was rebuilt between 1740 and 1780, this was around the time slate was discovered in the valley. Back then farming was quite a lucrative business, especially the sheep’s wool trade, enabling farmers to build larger more luxurious accommodation. The building named Rosthwaite House but was known as the Miners Arms and was mainly used as a local drinking hole for the miners who worked in slate mine.
Historical documents show the property changing hands several times whilst trading as the Miners Arms, the earliest record in 1823 shows Mary Coates as the licensee who passed it onto John Simpson. In 1832, his wife Sarah, the licensee decided to go more upmarket, rebrand and changed the name to the Royal Oak Inn to encourage visitors to explore the beauty of the valley. With 8 letting rooms she wanted to create a comfortable and salubrious place to stay. An extract from the Westmorland Gazette in 1832 tells of Sarah Simpson hosting a ladies tea party for 14 ladies from Keswick which sends a different message to the customers than a pub that conjures up an image of a watering hole for rowdy, dirty, thirsty miners. The hotel stayed with the Simpson family for around 50 years.
Other interesting historical documents record the property being used as an auction house and hosting dinner after the fox hunt. The Royal Oak even held sports days including running races, wrestling and leaping competitions. Better still in 1812 William Wordsworth shared his bed for the night with a Scottish pedlar.
The hotel has changed hands around eight times since 1862 but did you know the building in the courtyard on the lefthand side was only built in 1999 when the previous owners, the Dowie family constructed a 4 bedroomed building, sympathetically in keeping with the other buildings. They built it on the site of the old pig hull and you would never know it was just over 20 years old.
CAREERS AT THE ROYAL OAK