The Black Swan

North West England Cumbria Ravenstonedale

Juts outside Kirkby Stephen beautiful Howgill Fells, this is everything you expect of a country pub – and it has luxury yurts out in the garden too

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Right on the border between Cumbria and its Lake District and Yorkshire and its Dales, the Black Swan, just outside the pleasant market town of Kirkby Stephen, delivers everything we expect of a country pub with rooms – a great location, comfy rooms and good food, and it’s also dog-friendly. It's in a fabulous rural location, close enough to both the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District national parks to explore them comfortably. The rooms are cosy and comfortable without being ostentatious and have all the amenities you need (they also have a couple of rooms on the ground floor for disabled or elderly visitors) and you can make the most of the vast array of walks in the immediate area, most notably the beautiful Howgill Fells. There's a homely downstairs bar, and food in the dining room is appealingly hearty and homemade, perfect after a long day's walking, locally sourced and from a changing seasonal menu that features plenty for vegetarians.

Uniquely, they also have three  yurts set up in a patch of woodland in the riverside garden – Yorkshire-built roundhouses with wood-burning stoves, proper beds with linen, towels, robes and slippers and tea- and coffeemaking facilities: hotel suites in the garden, basically, with a hearty Cumbrian breakfast included in your stay. Only the compost loo and open-air shower separates them from the indoor rooms, plus the outdoor seating, communal firepit and rope swing.

Residents can also use the tennis courts and mini golf course, which are just off-site in the village of Ravenstonedale, and of course the inn’s two AA-rosette restaurant is on hand for dinner. By day there are the wonderful Howgill Fells for walks, and Kirkby Stephen is a stop on the scenic Carlisle–Settle Railway, so you don’t even need to bring the car.


Suitable For


The pub is situated within the Yorkshire Dales National Park and close to the eastern edge of the Lake District National Park – just half an hour from Windermere, so there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure and sightseeing. Cumbria Classic Coaches (01539 623254) operates heritage bus tours from the village and the Stone Trail Riding Centre offer horse riding and mountain bike hire. The Coast-to-Coast walk passes nearby and the scenic Carlisle-Settle Railway’s Kirby Stephen station is just a mile down the road. There are plenty of lovely market towns nearby too including Kirkby Stephen just five miles away with Settle, Penrith, Kirkby Lonsdale and Barnard Castle within a half-hour drive.


Open all year.


Double rooms £75–£100, suites £115–£130.


Contact Website  01539 623 204  The Black Swan, Ravenstonedale, Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria CA17 4NG

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Getting There

From junction 38 on the M6 follow the A685 towards Kirkby Stephen. After about 19 miles, turn right in to Ravenstonedale. When the road forks after a couple of hundred metres, take the left fork and keep going for a further half a mile until you see The Black Swan on the right.

The Kirkby Stephen station on the scenic Carlisle-Settle Railway is about a mile from The Black Swan and pick-ups from there are available, if arranged in advance.


  • Campfires Allowed
  • Short walk to the pub
  • Walking
  • Bicycle Routes
  • Dog-friendly
  • Forests
  • Hills & Mountains
  • Romantic Retreat
  • Waterside

Related Guides

See Glamping in Ravenstonedale


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