Opening Hours

Bar: Noon - Close

Food Served most Lunch & Evenings

Subject to change (please see “what’s new” below)

About Us

The Glen Rothay sits proudly in a prime position in the centre of the Lake District, just over a mile from Ambleside.

We strive to create a relaxing laid back atmosphere and just let the beautiful surroundings and charming old building work their magic. Leave your car in our large car park and unwind amidst the beautiful scenery. We will give you a good hearty Cumberland breakfast to set you up for the day and a traditional cosy English pub in which to relax in the evening. A strenuous day on the fells or a lazy day doing nothing much, its up to you, but we hope you will love our romantic little hotel.

Lake District Loveliness

Paul and Eleanor Knowles and family bought the hotel in 2014, charmed by the history and character of the place. And what a location! Draw up a wish-list of things you would like to find in your ideal Lake District hostelry and chances are they are to be found at the Glen Rothay. An historic and quirky building, open fires, next to a lake, surrounded by ancient woods - all there. An almost endless selection of walks from the doorstep, yes. Grand and cosy hotel rooms, still with many original features, tick. Just a short walk from our favourite Lakes town, Ambleside, tick. Varied grounds, with its own colony of badgers (though we never knew that was an aspiration!), tick. And William Wordsworth lived next door for Heavens sake! You can’t get more Lake District than that.

Cosy And Welcoming Since 1624

The building started life as a pub called David’s Inn before becoming a private residence known as Ivy Cottage. The bar area today is in the oldest part of the building, and much of the carved woodwork survives inside, including an intriguing cupboard recessed into the wall to the side of the large fireplace. The building was expanded by the Victorians, adding the grander rooms and new entrance to one side, plus the coach house in the grounds.

Wordsworth Lived Next Door

William Wordsworth moved from Dove Cottage, a mile of so away in Grasmere, to live at Rydal Mount, in 1813, and lived there until his death in 1850. The grounds of Rydal mount meet the edge of the hotel grounds, and Dora’s field, planted by Wordsworth with daffodils (of course…) in memory of his much missed daughter is next to the beer garden.

Rydal And Area

If you have never been to the Lake District, everything for which it is justifiably famous can be found within about three miles of Rydal. Leave your car at the hotel and let your feet explore the almost unlimited range of paths from the doorstep. Gentle lakeside strolls or strenuous fell walks, off you go… Fine walks radiate in all directions, through the woods and along the famous Loughrigg terrace and up on to the high fells. You could stay a week and do a different classic walk every day from the doorstep! Grasmere is two miles up the road, and the gorgeous Langdale valley not much further. Jump on your bike or take a cruise then relax in a steaming hot bath. There is a fine choice of restaurants in nearby Ambleside, or shops for outdoor gear or cinemas for entertainment.

Wild Weather And Glorious Nature

The springtime blossoming of the daffodils and bluebells is miraculous and inspiring every year, sometimes to be followed by a proper summer. Who then would want to be anywhere else? On top of a fell in the sunshine with the mountains stacked up all around, glittering lakes beneath. One could get almost poetic… And when winter hits with a vengeance, it really is magical. Snow covered hills, deep blue skies and a cosy pub to retire to after an invigorating walk. And we must mention the rain, it having a justified notoriety in the Lake District. When it rains it truly does rain. Tiny streams become crashing torrents and the lake can rise a metre in a few hours. Put on your waterproof and head out into the deluge and praise nature’s generosity in watering the lush vegetation and filling the Lakes up from time to time. Or sit in the bar, warm and dry, with a pint of Wainwrights bitter and a good book.