The Masons is a Lakeland institution, an ancient inn lost in blissful country. You’re on the side of a hill with 15-mile views across a quilt of fields to Scout Scar; in summer, pub life decants onto a beautiful terrace – a sitting room in the sun – where window boxes and flowerbeds tumble with colour. The inn dates to the 16th century and is impossibly pretty. The bar is gorgeous, with low ceilings, wavy beams, flagged floors and roaring fires, then splendid local ales to quench your thirst.
Rustic elegance upstairs comes courtesy of stripped floors, country rugs and red walls in the first-floor dining room, so grab a window seat for fabulous views and dig into local fare, perhaps cheese soufflé, haunch of venison, toffee and banana sundae. Rooms (in the main house) and cottages (off the courtyard, great for families) all have comfort and style in spades. You’ll find lovely beds, pretty fabrics and super bathrooms; several have private terraces, too. As befitting a community local.