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Royal Oak, Ambleside

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user reviews of Royal Oak, Ambleside

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

I haven't been in for a good few years and remember it as an average place for a sometimes iffy pint.

It is now an entry in the 2020 Good Beer Guide with the comment that it is "vastly improved since it became a Greene King Local Hero offering local ales" (oddly, in some areas GK is pretty much despised by the CAMRA faithful). The place is further described as "efficiently run by friendly staff". Time for me to give it another go the next time I am in Ambleside.

Stamfordian - 25 Sep 2019 17:04
A revisit, as we noticed they had a singer on a Sunday night. Good choice of unusual ales and I had to try thirst blood at 6%. It was superb. As was the singer.
Mappiman - 3 Nov 2014 20:34
Popped in here on a hot sunny Friday afternoon in July. The outdoor area is not that big but I just managed to get a seat outside (even if it was next to a dripping hanging basket). It is a bit of a shame (in my opinion) that the front area was covered by huge umbrellas. However it was still a warm and pleasant environment.

On entering the pub I was surprised how near the front of the building the bar was! There was a bank of four or five hand pumps, a fair selection to choose from, including a cider, and I went for the Thirst Oak (Keswick Brewery I believe) at 4.8%. A very pleasant pint, served by a friendly efficient barmaid. The pint cost £3.53 - not bargain basement but I guess to be expected in a popular tourist area.

If I'd had more time I could easily have worked my way through some of the other ales, especially as I had secured an outdoor seat, but sadly it was not to be on this occasion.

I would definitely recommend a visit. Nice pub, good location, decent pint, friendly service.
RealAleRobUK - 12 Jul 2014 13:33
1st of our ambleside tour. Black Sheep had run out. 20 mins to change a barrell, so an ok pint of bombardier. No food on an evening. An underwhelming experience to be honest.
Mappiman - 3 Feb 2012 20:42
This pub is like a tardis in reverse as it is a lot smaller on the inside. Sustantial list of hand pulls on offer, decent food at fair prices and efficient services. The only but, is that we were in on a Monday afternoon and less than a dozen people made the eating area almost cramped. The owners needs to look at the way this pub is set up. The outside area would be a feature draw in the summer months though, and perhaps that is when this place rakes in the dosh.
FARUPNORTH - 21 Nov 2011 12:35
The Royal Oak is a popular Ambleside pub, with a decent range of beers that have been well kept. The atmosphere is good, though the seating is very limited. There is free wifi and a covered outdoor smoking area. We didnít get to try the food though, as we werenít prepared to wait for forty minutes.
StephanB - 23 Sep 2011 17:23
For it's position in the centre of Ambleside this should be a landmark establishment but for some reason it only disapoints whenever I visit.

Better places close by
Ayresomeangel - 4 Aug 2010 13:54
Called in during a recent visit. Bustling as ever. Never been a fav, but itís good to stand outside. Didnít try the beers Ė was a bit worse for wear by the time we arrived so had a short. Worth popping in.
Mothbag - 21 Jul 2010 12:05
Went in here during a trip in July 09. Recently done up (basically) and always popular and busy particularly outside. Good service. Keswick beers on but not that well kept or perhaps I just didn't like the Keswick beers. It has a good atmosphere to the place and it's nice to stand outside on the main road, but there are better pubs such as The Queens Hotel, Unicorn or Golden Rule for real ale. Better than it used to be.
Mothbag - 27 Jul 2009 14:52
No this isn't a good pub. In the Eighties this was a traditional, unspoilt Lakeland pub. A few years ago it received the same cretinous treatment that is blighting pubs up and down the land and is now a bland, soulless bar. I doubt if many locals still drink there, and only a clueless 'tourist' like George XXIII could like a place like this. Go to The Golden Rule, if you want a proper pub.
holbornboy - 16 Apr 2009 11:43
This is a very good pub, always have decent beer on and a quality jukebox. I don't normally bother about jukeboxes because they are normally sh*t but this one isn't.Nice open fire, nice seating outside for when it's sunny.
There is a seperate hidden entrance for locals to a side bar so they can save themselves 5p a pint off the "offcomers" rate. They are welcome to their dingy dark hole, I'd rather pay the 5p extra and sit in the light and see people I wasn't interbred with.
GeorgeXXIII - 10 Oct 2008 19:55

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