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Picture of Hole In t'Wall
Image posted by Will Larter
Submitted on Friday, 4th March 2022
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Hole In t'Wall, Windermere

Postal town: Windermere
LA23 3DH
Phone: 01539443488
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Reviews of Hole In t'Wall (Average Rating: 8 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

John Bonser left this review about Hole Int Wall

In the heart of the Lakeside town of Bowness on Windermere is The New Hall Inn, seemingly better known to all and sundry ( and referred to as such in most guide books ) as The Hole in t’Wall, situated down a side road off the main road, but nevertheless easy to find.

As we approach, we see, high up on the external wall by the entrance, a fascia board telling us that it dates back to 1612 and that “it’s the oldest tavern in Bowness, frequented by Charles Dickens”. One wonders how long it took the said Mr Dickens to get here from London, without the benefit of the fast cars and the motorway network that we take for granted nowadays. We also see advertised “Hartleys finest draught ale as brewed since 1780”, which is of course not the case anymore. We learn that one Thomas Longmire, a champion wrestler of his time, was landlord between 1852 and 1862.

The entrance features a triangular entrance porch, akin to entering a church and similar gothic style features are noticeable inside – namely some woodwork forming part of the bar counter and a strikingly decorative ceiling just inside on the right.

The main bar area is traditionally furnished with a collection of chamber pots suspended from the ceiling, stuffed animal heads, a fine ornate fireplace and a comfortable, cosy, slightly old fashioned feel. It’s quite narrow in places directly in front of the bar. Reflecting this, people are discouraged from bringing buggies and prams in. Pleasingly, and definitely unusual in my experience to date of The Lake District, dogs have to remain outside.

Down a few steps on the right hand side is The Old Smithy Bar, featuring dark black beams, boarded wood panelling, a collection of plates on a high shelf, stone flagged floors, some old settles and red velour bar stools. Above a fireplace, we see an inscription in old style lettering telling us that “The blacksmith he did sweat in here and slake his thirst on Hartleys Beer”. This part of the pub was a former smithy which subsequently became part of the pub premises. The name “Hole in t’wall” refers to just that – a gap in the dividing wall through which the landlord would pass drinks to the smithy as he toiled away. This room also features a couple of fine large old style black and white photos of an elderly, distinguished looking couple, unnamed anywhere, but who I presume would have been Mr Smithy and his missus. Some old equipment hangs down from the ceiling. This room has a very small curved bar counter in one corner of the room, but, perhaps surprisingly, this remained unstaffed during my several recent mid – September visits, necessitating people to use the main bar to get drinks and place food orders. The Old Smithy Bar is the much nicer room of the two, but I got the distinct impression that management preferred people to use the larger, main, top bar.

There’s a fine seating area outside at the front, inevitably popular in the better weather.

Like most Lake District pubs that I visited during my September 2014 trip to the area, a major part of the trade is catering for the hordes of visitors and holidaymakers to the area – this means meals ( both lunchtime and evening ) with drinkers very much secondary. Had I rigorously applied my strict 3 minute service standard, I doubt that I would have successfully managed to get a drink in this pub. As we all know, it’s very frustrating waiting for people to finish placing food orders, particularly when half of them don’t appear to have made their mind up what they want. If you’re not dining, a more enjoyable visit can be had if you visit later ( generally 9.30 pm onwards ) when food orders have finished and the locals start to come into their own. Reflecting this, the pub was advertising live music on Fridays at 9pm. Sundays, between 12 and 5 pm sees the appearance of “Stan the Man “, who, was described to me as something of a local celebrity, and, who, is apparently “unmissable”. I did miss him as I was elsewhere on Sunday.

A former Hartleys pub, it’s now of course a Robinsons outlet. Beers on were Unicorn, Dizzy Blonde, Double Hop and Hartleys XB, of which the latter - £ 3.35p – was pretty good, and seemed to outsell the other beers.

This is a fine, characterful pub, which, despite my uncharacteristic grumblings above, I very much enjoyed visiting. Well worth seeking out when in the area

On 14th October 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Alan Winfield left this review about Hole Int Wall

This pub is in the town centre but hidden from view of most people walking round the town.
There is a nice seating area at the front of the pub but this was full on my visit,once inside the bar was facing and this room looked very nice with lots of wood panelling and beams on the ceiling giving the pub an olde worlde atmosphere to it,there were lots of things hanging from the ceiling including a lot of old chamber pots,to the right was another bar which was down a few steps this was called the old smithy bar the room was in use but the bar was not in use on our visit.
The pub is a former Hartleys house and it is now a Robinsons tied house there were three real ales on the bar i had a drink of Robinsons Unicorn bitter and this was a very nice drink the other beers were Hartleys XB and a mild which a car'nt remember the name of.
This was a really nice pub to have a few drinks in.

Pub visited 21/8/2011

On 21st August 2011 - rating: 8
[User has posted 6113 recommendations about 6113 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Gary Seymour left this review about Hole Int Wall

Very good pub as previous recommendations. Shame no dogs allowed other than in court yard. 3 good real ales.

On 30th May 2008 - rating: 8
[User has posted 38 recommendations about 38 pubs]

View more reviews of Hole In t'Wall (4)
External web links for Hole In t'Wall

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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Will Larter
Windermere, 1.52 miles, 29 min walk (show)
Staveley, 4.92 miles, 1 hr 35 min walk (show)
Burneside (Cumbria), 7.8 miles, 2 hr 30 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for Hole In t'Wall, Bowness-On-Windermere
4th Mar 2022, 22:09
Picture submitted by Will Larter approved
4th Mar 2022, 22:09
Picture submitted by Will Larter

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Dog Friendly : No last updated 30 May 2008 by hondo .
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 30 May 2008 by hondo .
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