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Cumbrian pub wins award

Posted 28 September 2012
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Cumbrian pub wins award
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It is a familiar site in many a country pub - walkers coming through the door at the end of a long day's walking with mud on their boots.

Some may be tired and thirsty after a warm day, although in recent months a more likely scenario has involved the rain dripping off their waterproofs.

Either way, many who love to go walking enjoy the fact that a nice comfortable hostelry awaits them at the end.

With Cumbria being such a big destination for walkers - as home to the whole of one national park and part of another - it may delight many to learn that it is one of the county's establishments that has won the award for England's finest pub at the AA Hospitality Awards 2012.

The Black Swan in Ravenstonedale near Kirkby Stephen picked up the award, with the AA saying of it: "Family owned and run, there is a relaxed atmosphere here with very friendly service.  A good array of local real ales is available along with good honest cooking utilising local seasonal ingredients."

It is one of many awards picked up by the institution recently, including the Westmorland CAMRA 'Pub of the Year' 2012 gong and listings in the Good Hotel guide in 2010 and 2011.

Walkers in various parts of Cumbria will have their own favourite pubs, with popular bars in the Lake District including the Wasdale Head Inn, situated at the foot of England's highest mountains.

Some places offer a headstart on the climb. The Kirkstone Inn is a case in point, at nearly 1,500 ft above sea level and situated between Red Screes and Stony Cove Pike is an ideal base for walks and a convenient place to come back to at the end.

In the Yorkshire Dales, the Tan Hill Inn is the highest pub in England at 1,732 ft and its popularity with walkers is always guaranteed as it is on the Pennine Way.

This national park may soon encompass the Black Swan as well, with Natural England's proposed expansion of the boundaries into what was once Westmorland including the Northern Howgills and Ravenstonedale Village.

But whether in a national park or not, a nice country pub is something that can make a good country walk great.
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