It’s hard not to be impressed by the provenance of the food at this enterprising pub just off the M6. Shorthorn beef, local lamb, rare-breed pork & free-range chickens all come from the nearby Lowther Estate – a 4,000-acre spread accommodating 70 tenanted farms. Charles Lowther, son of the Earl of Lonsdale, took on the pub with serious ambition, & has made it something special – a genuinely informal hostelry with terrific grub. Shorthorn sirloin steak with béarnaise sauce, Lowther venison with spring greens & wild mushrooms, or saddle of lamb with mash & glazed carrots should please the carnivores, but there are plenty of fish & veggie options too. The interior is a clever & convincing blend of natural materials – oak, coir, slate & wool & a palette of muted chalky colours. Families, children, walkers, cyclists & dogs all welcome.