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Reviews & Awards

Don't Just Listen To Us

Customer Testimonials

NorthEastMe999
NorthEastMe999
14 April 2024
Verified
A great stay! We stayed overnight and had a great time. A lovely friendly welcome for us and the dog! There's a pleasant bar with a great selection of drinks. The dinner menu was imaginative and the execution was faultless. Excellent service! Well worth visiting here, and it's genuinely welcoming for dogs 😃
Alex R
Alex R
31 March 2024
Verified
A really excellent lunch - a great find! We had an excellent lunch in the bar over Easter weekend. I could have tried everything on the menu! We had scallop and haddock risotto, asparagus with a perfectly cooked duck egg and a really smashing fish and chips. We thought the quality of the food (especially the fish) was excellent with beautiful presentation. Our small son was also well catered for and welcomed and loved the banana pancakes. The pub itself is lovely, nice and busy with passing walkers and cyclists there is a sunny beer garden, it’s a great spot. One thing - service is not included (such a rarity now) remember to bring some cash!
J2R2R
J2R2R
25 February 2024
Verified
An Evening With A Difference (Knot A Joke) A nice evening out with meals that were different to our regular pub restaurant visits. A little bit overpriced but in line with some other places we have been to in The Lake District nearby. My meals were spot on and some within the party had a few questions when their meals arrived but were acceptable. Overall a good evening with a good first impression and hope to visit again soon. We should be more aware of the different food style offered here next time we visit. A nice smiley face in a knot of wood on the table greeted us.
Safari64704974620
Safari64704974620
1 January 2024
Verified
Absolutely fantastic I think this is our 4th time coming here for a meal as a treat whilst visiting kirkby stephen for a week. We visited today on new year's day and it was absolutely fantastic. We are made to feel so welcome, it's such a cosy, warm place with a wonderful atmosphere. Every bit of our meal was so tasty, excellent value for money and the staff just brilliant. Probably another year before we can come again but can't wait.
Pete
Pete
5 December 2023
Verified
5 Star - well deserved We stayed in the black Swan (Room 3) while visiting family. We had the most amazing dinner in the restaurant. Definitely not pub grub but a delicious gourmet meal prepared by a very talented chef. All the staff were absolutely amazing, very friendly and welcoming. The room was beautiful and very comfortable and we slept like logs. Breakfast was fabulous too. Absolutely 5 star and can’t wait to come back.
KateLeicestershire
KateLeicestershire
20 September 2023
Verified
Absolute delight This is our third visit but not for some time and we were keen to return. Booked a table for lunch and the service was wonderful - very attentive and warm and was especially child friendly. The food was standout - smoked trout, crayfish & scallop rissotto, cod with mussels, sea bream with shellfish sauce and a dhal. Good portion sizes and expert cooking. Highly recommend a visit here.
Rainb0w17
Rainb0w17
29 August 2023
Verified
What a gem We booked this hotel last minute to break a journey up and see a bit of the Lune Valley and were not disappointed. It’s in a lovely peaceful and calm location, oozing tradition and history with helpful and hospitable staff. There is an excellent dinner menu as well as a hearty breakfast to be had. The bar, lounge and dining areas exude Victorian charm and character including some examples of Hybrid Taxidemy.
Jasprhi
Jasprhi
27 August 2023
Verified
A Very Comfortable Experience! Arriving on a late afternoon when it was absolutely throwing it down, we were soon put at ease and led to our spacious room with our two pooches (miniature dachshunds), where we were able to relax for an hour or two before going for dinner. The room was easy access to the outside and provided with poo bags, dog biscuits, dog bowl and a dog towel - how dog-friendly is that?! Also, there was a fridge with fresh milk for that much needed cuppa on arrival! The meal area set up for dog accompanied visitors is in the bar area, which was very comfortable and there were five tables set up with couples and a family and some seven, very well behaved dogs all laying down under the table with not one bark amongst them! Both of us chose fish for the main course. Mine was the cod with a mussel sauce, which was absolutely delicious and my wife chose the sea bream with a curry type sauce, which was excellent. On the following morning I had a good cooked breakfast and my wife chose smoked salmon with scrambled egg, the egg cooked to perfection and served with oodles of smoked salmon. This report sounds very biased towards dog owners but I can assure non dog-owners that the dining facilities are at the other side of the hotel and there is no need to be in proximity of out canine friends if you don’t wish to be! This was our fourth visit to the Black Swan, usually calling in for lunch on the way up to Scotland and it was the first time we have stayed overnight but it won’t be the last! A very enjoyable affordable stay on the last evening of our Scottish holiday. Thank you!

The Black Swan

Awards

We are proud to have been recognised consistently over 16 years for our achievements from local and national, well-respected publications/organisations.

Awards
1

From both local and national bodies.

On Trip Advisor
1 *

From over 750 Reviews.

Years
1

Of hard work by Louise and all the Team.

2023

The UK’s 20th best gastropub!

We are absolutely overwhelmed to announce that we have been named the UK’s 20th best gastropub in the 2023 Estrella Damn UK Top 50 gastropubs! 

Estrella Dam Top 50 Gastropubs Award

2022

Cumbria Tourism Awards Pub of the Year

In 2022 the Black Swan won the Cumbria Tourism Awards Pub of the Year again! 

Pub Of The Year - Cumbria Tourism Award 2022

2019

Cumbria Tourism Awards Pub of the Year

In 2019 the Black Swan won the Cumbria Tourism Awards Pub of the Year.

2018

The Black Swan named ‘Best INN Class’

The Black Swan hotel in Cumbria was named Britain’s ‘Best Inn 2018’ at the Great British Pub Awards. The national industry Oscars were hosted by The Morning Advertiser, with John Smith’s acting as the leading sponsor, at a glittering award ceremony in London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel on Thursday 7th of September, to which a shortlist of the UK’s elite pubs & industry experts attended.

Louise Dinnes, who has privately owned The Black Swan for the past 12 years, was overwhelmed to receive the award, alongside her daughter Eleanor, on behalf of her loyal & dedicated team of staff. The former ‘AA pub of the year’ beat off five other finalists ranging from North Yorkshire to Cornwall, after completing the rigorous judging process which included management questionnaires, mystery visits & telephone interviews.

On the evening, Louise commented “I feel very honoured to collect this award, it’s a fantastic achievement for our pub, a complement to my dedicated staff and a real highlight for our local community of suppliers, whom we work so closely with.’’

When asked, what attributes make The Black Swan stand out, Louise stated ‘’We are constantly striving to deliver a consistent product, reinvest in the business and improve the service that we offer. We are lucky to have a fabulous building and location and we have managed to instill a very individual style into the pub.

​Meanwhile, the front of house staff are encouraged to showcase their personality in the service & our food offering is constantly evolving since Scott and his kitchen team were awarded 2AA rosettes in September last year.’’ 

The pub is open all year round, for breakfast, morning coffee, lunch & dinner, hosting 16 bedrooms with the recent addition of 3 glamping tents in the riverside garden. Over the past year, Louise has also established the “Ravenstonedale Retreat”, which is a charitable cause aimed at helping guests suffering from myeloma (bone cancer) and their families to enjoy a much-needed break, all in memory of her husband Alan Dinnes, who died of multiple-myeloma in 2016 after a long illness.

2017

2017. Good Hotel Guide
2017. Sawdays Special Places Guide to Pubs and Inns of England

2017. AA Dinner and Breakfast Award
2017. AA 4 Star Gold Award
2017. Good Pub Guide

Other Awards

In 2016 the Black Swan was one of three winners of the Sawdays Nicely Priced Award. More than 300 hotels were featured in the guide, so winning this award was a fantastic achievement. Tom Bell, editor of Sawdays, presented the award. In 2016 we were also included in the Independent Newspaper 10 Best Beer Gardens.

See what makes us special here: www.sawdays.co.uk/theblackswan

2016. Independent. 10 Best Beer Gardens
2016. Sawday’s Nicely Priced Award
2016. Good Hotel Guide Editor’s Value Choice
2016. Good Beer Guide
2016. Good Pub Guide
2016. Sawdays Special Places Guide to Pubs and Inns of England
2016. Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Award

2016. AA Dinner and Breakfast Award
2016. AA 4 Star Gold Award
2016. Michelin Eating out in Pubs
2015. Good Hotel Guide
2015. Good Pub Guide
2015. Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Award
2015. Sawdays Special Places Guide to Pubs and Inns of England

2015. Good Beer Guide
2015. Michelin Eating out in Pubs
2015. Good Hotel Guide
2014. Good Pub Guide
2014. Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Award
2014. Sawdays Special Places Guide to Pubs and Inns of England
2014. Good Beer Guide

2014. Good Hotel Guide
2014. Michellin Eating out in Pubs
2013. Good Beer Guide
2013. Good Hotel Guide
2013. Good Pub Guide
2013. Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Award
2013. Sawdays Special Places Guide to Pubs and Inns of England

2013. Michelin Eating out in Pubs
2012. Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Award
2012. Good Beer Guide
2012. Good Pub Guide
2012. AA Pub of the Year 2012/2013
2012. Good Hotel Guide Cesar Award
2012. Sawdays Special Places Guide to Pubs and Inns of England

2012. Michelin Eating out in Pubs
2012. Westmorland CAMRA ‘Pub of the Year’
2011. Sawdays Special Places Guide to Pubs and Inns of England
2011. Good Beer Guide
2011. Michelin Eating out in Pubs
2011. Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Award
2010. Good Hotel Guide

2011. Good Pub Guide
2011. Good Hotel Guide
2011. Sawdays Special Places Guide to Pubs and Inns of England
2010. Sawdays Special Places Guide to Pubs and Inns of England
2010. Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Award
2010. Michelin Eating out in Pubs

2010. Good Beer Guide
2010. Good Pub Guide
2009. Michelin Eating out in Pubs
2009. Good Beer Guide
2009. Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Award
2009. Sawdays Special Places Guide to Pubs and Inns of England

2009. Good Pub Guide
2009. AA 4* Inn with food commendation
2009. Best Community Pub. Sawday’s Special Places to Stay
2009. Cask Marque certificate
2009. AA 4 star Highly Commended Inn
2009. North West Hospitality Awards Pub of the Year Finalist

2008. Publican Pub of the Year Finalist
2008. Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Award
2008. Sawdays Special Places Guide to Pubs and Inns of England

2008. Michelin Eating out in Pubs
2008. Good Beer Guide
2008. Publican Pub of the Year Finalist
2008. Good Pub Guide
2007. CAMRA Pub of the Season

2007. Sawdays Special Places Guide to Pubs and Inns of England
2007. Good Beer Guide
2007. Good Pub Guide
2007. Publican Newcomer of the Year Finalist

Book A Table

It is always best to call us to make a table reservation. Please call us on 015396 23204 or alternatively email us on enquiries@blackswanhotel.com and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Thank you Louise & Team

Complete Your Job Application

Need some further information?

Please do call us on 015396 23204 or email us on enquiries@blackswanhotel.com for an informal chat.