The Royal Oak Borrowdale

North West England Cumbria Borrowdale

  • From £100 a night
  • 24 Guest Rooms
  • Coaching Inn
  • Pub with Rooms

Contemporary comfort at a charming hotel in the Lake District’s Borrowdale Valley

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Stay at The Royal Oak in Borrowdale and the windows of your room will offer a framed scene of the charming stone buildings of Rosthwaite village or of babbling Stonethwaite beck. Either way, the backdrop beyond will be the high fells of the northern Lake District. It’s an area best described by walker, writer and champion of the area, Alfred Wainwright, who claimed: “The Lake District is the loveliest part of England, and Borrowdale is the fairest of its valleys.” We’re not going to argue with that.

Situated in the heart of this fair and lovely valley, The Royal Oak offers 24 double and triple rooms for guests, along with a self-catering apartment that sleeps 4 people and a pair of bunk barns out back that house 4–6. The hotel has been hosting visitors for at least 200 years, but you might be surprised by the contemporary comfort of its guest rooms, which were fully refurbished in 2022, when they replaced every bed in every room and every tile in the en-suite bathrooms. Crucially, for a village of stone-walled cottages and farmhouses in the nation's most-loved national park, it's been done with taste and style. Indeed, The Royal Oak was runner-up for the 2023 'Cumbria Tourism Best Small Hotel Award’.

There's a modern feel throughout and bathrooms are particularly slick, with heated towel rails, metro tiles and backlit mirrors. But the bedrooms are warmed by earthy, natural tones to compliment occasional original features – and what you’ll see outside. Crisp white bed linen, fluffy towels, toiletries and tea and coffee-making facilities are among the standard room inclusions. All this will delight anyone who stays, but it’s downstairs that identifies this as a place where walkers and dogs are as welcome as guests who simply want to relax. There's a residents-only bar, lounge and snug with patterned upholstery and feature walls which continue the contemporary comfort. These are spaces to read, play games or simply chat about the day's adventures with fellow guests. A range of local beers and carefully chosen wines sit alongside the seasonal menu of farmhouse-style dinners, with daily dishes at great-value prices. Hearty breakfasts are served here too (included in the price), and packed lunches are available to take away on your walks. Testament to their food is offering is winning the 2023 'Cumbria Life Magazine Casual Dining Experience’.

It’s the walking that most people come for, and there’s something to suit most tastes in this area, from gentle strolls along the beck to the serious hike up Scafell Pike. On land, Keswick and Grasmere are easy enough to drive to; for water, Derwentwater and Buttermere are nearby. In truth, the whole of the Lakes can be explored from here, and wherever your adventuring takes you, The Royal Oak provides what you need on your return. As Wainwright himself noted: “Long experience of the needs of fell-walkers has made Borrowdale folk adept at catering for outsize appetites and tired bodies.” The Royal Oak certainly does that – and in modern style.

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We have an eclectic mix of sleeping accommodation, beautifully designed by Emma Barnes from Magna Designs.

Bunk Barns

A basic room with modern rustic charm, a bunk barn sleeping 4 or 6, compromising of 2 or 3 comfy bunk beds with individually sprung mattress and hypoallergenic duvets and pillows. Tea and coffee making facilities, large en-suite, complimentary toiletries, free WiFi and a view of the beck and mountains. Great value for money for groups, we have 2 of these.

Double or twin classic, superior and executive  rooms

Characterful rooms with modern rustic charm featuring comfy beds with individually sprung mattress and hypoallergenic duvets and pillows. Tea and coffee making facilities, en-suite, complimentary toiletries, free WiFi and either a view of the beck and mountains or the village and mountains. Well the extra money to upgrade to a superior or executive room.

Quad and triple rooms

Characterful rooms with modern rustic charm for 3 or 4 people featuring  comfy beds with individually sprung mattress and hypoallergenic duvets and pillows. Tea and coffee making facilities, large en-suite, complimentary toiletries, free WiFi and either a view of the beck and mountains or the village and mountains.


Characterful room with modern rustic charm for 4 featuring  2 bedrooms, living area and kitchen facilities, comfy beds with individually sprung mattress and hypoallergenic duvets and pillows. Tea and coffee making facilities, large en-suite, complimentary toiletries, free WiFi and  a view of the beck and mountains.

Suitable For

Dogs are more than welcome and all doggies receive a welcome pack at a charge of £30 per stay, however they are not allowed in the dining room.


The Borrowdale Valley

The upper Borrowdale Valley has been attracting walkers ever since it was “discovered” and popularised by the Lake District Poets, such as Coleridge, Southey and of course Wordsworth.

The Jaws of Borrowdale” formed the most beautiful square mile in the whole of The Lake District. He made sure that his long distance path – The Coast to Coast walk spent a night in the Shangri La of Rosthwaite. Another long distant path also stops in Rosthwaite – The Cumbrian Way – this climbs over Stake Pass from Langdale and descends the most Glen like valley of Langstrath en-route for Keswick. Increasingly popular is The Inn Way where thirsty walkers stop for a pint or two of local beer en route between Ambleside and Braithwaite.

Most visitors will want to explore the fells that surround the valley. Either tackling the challenges of Great Gable, Scafell Pike, and Glaramara or seeking out more moderate hills like Castle Crag, Kings How or High Spy. For those whose high fell days are over – memories can be rekindled with gentle strolls along Stonethwaite Beck and the shores of Derwentwater. The Atlantic Oak woodlands and curiosities like “The Bowder Stone” are also there to be enjoyed.

If you are new to the area you may wish to get your hands on the following guide books:

  • The Guide Books of John & Anne Nuttall. – occasional guests of ours!
  • Alfred Wainwright – Pictorial Guides to The Lake District
  • The Lakeland Fells – FRCC
  • On Lower Lakeland Fells – Bob Allen
  • Complete Lakeland Fells – Bill Birkett

The following are challenging walks – some passing through and spending only one night – others best enjoyed during a longer stay:

  • The Coast to Coast - The Allerdale Ramble
  • The Cumbrian Way - The Four Three’s
  • The Inn Way - The Three Peaks
  • The Wordsworth Way - Scafell Pike

Food & Drink

We have our own onsite restaurant where a 4-course evening dinner is available for £35 per person.


Open all year.


Double rooms from £100-£165 a night, including breakfast.
Bunk Barns £180–£220, Apartment £220. We have superior, executive and deluxe rooms, it's definitely worth paying for the upgrade, bigger rooms with more characterful features

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The Owner Says

When you think of the Lake District, spectacular fells, picturesque lakes and stunning scenery comes to mind, The Royal Oak in the Borrowdale Valley delivers, with its idyllic location in the North Lakes. We have access to the best display of fell walking in the country with walks and activities for all levels of fitness. Let your adventures begin.

Steeped in history, the hotel has dwelled here for nearly 300 years, formerly a farmhouse and a miners tavern it has been providing accommodation for over a century. We have created a stylish and contemporary yet homely and charming place to stay. Extended and totally refurbished throughout, we have respectfully recognised its character and setting in the valley.

We have thought of everything, even a drying room and boot warmers.

Staying at the Royal Oak will give you a profound sense of serenity and tranquility, gather your thoughts or empty your mind and enjoy true relaxation. Listen to the beck, feel the sun, the gentle breeze and the fresh rain, absorb the beautiful scenery and find your inner sanctuary.

Chill out in our welcoming lounge and snug, enjoy the company of friends and family or meet new friends, we love the murmur of our guests chattering away, sharing their stories. We also love dogs, your canine friends will be made more than welcome. You will find us extremely welcoming 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 home made meals, complimented with real ales and fine wines from our carefully hand picked selection of beverages. We even offer all day complimentary tea and coffee, not to mention scrumptious cakes every afternoon.


Contact Website  01768 777 214  The Royal Oak Borrowdale, The Royal Oak, Stonethwaite, Cumbria CA12 5XB

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Getting There

From the M6 at Junction 40 take the A66 westwards towards Keswick, exit at the large roundabout (junction with the A591) and follow signs for Borrowdale on to the B5289. The valley road leads south along the eastern shores of Derwentwater and twists into the upper valley. Rosthwaite is six miles from Keswick and you will find The Royal Oak on the left hand side just after entering the village. If you have a SATNAV our postcode is: CA12 5XB and our Grid Reference is: NY 259 149.
There is a regular bus service from Keswick town centre


  • Bar
  • Car-Charging Points
  • Coffee/Tea Facilities
  • Hairdryer
  • Iron & Board
  • Parking
  • Restaurant
  • Wifi

Looking For...

  • Dog-Friendly
  • Eco Retreat
  • Hills & Mountains
  • Sensational Views
  • Walking

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