From £159
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In the heart of handsome Sedbergh, the Black Bull offers a contemporary take on a classic coaching inn yet without losing its market-town pub credentials. There are still banquettes, fires and real ales but also fine-dining food and sleek, restful bedrooms. Throughout there's a subtle Asian influence due to the Japanese heritage of the head chef and co-owner, Nina.

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Rooms available from £159 per night

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With a central position on Sedbergh's narrow and attractive Main Street, it's easy to find and less than ten minutes from the M6. Midway between the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District, it's handy if you're looking for a base from which to explore both, although expect a 30 to 40-minute drive. Sedbergh is a handsome town of independent shops, in particular bookstores and an arts and crafts centre, while the Howgill Fells are on the doorstep.

By car: 25 minutes from Kendal, just under 2 hours from Newcastle, 2 hours from Leeds and 5 from London. There is free parking at the hotel.

By train: Oxenholme Lake District and Garsdale stations are both a 20-minute drive from the hotel, with services from Leeds (1 hour 30 minutes), Carlisle (1 hour), London Euston (3 hours) and Edinburgh (2 hours). Book trains.

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The bar and dining areas are stripped-back, with a slightly austere modern take on traditional coaching inn style with dark wood floors, leather banquettes and stools, wood-burning stoves and pale grey or exposed stone walls. Ferns, simple flowers and pots of succulents give a fresh, airy feel and exposed light bulbs add a modern, industrial touch. Original Victorian tiling, oak dados and staircase are a reminder of the building's origins.


Despite the handsome cooking, at the end of the day it's a pub-with-rooms, so don't expect fancy extras. There's no sitting area apart from the two bar areas plus a small beer garden at the rear. Books, games and maps are available to borrow, while staff clearly love their work and are keen for guests to enjoy their stay.

  • Restaurant
  • Pub
  • Children's menus

  • Nearby walks
  • Sun terrace

  • Garden

  • Room service

  • Free Wi-Fi


Bedrooms reflect both the smudgy colours of the local landscape and the Japanese influences of co-owner, Nina. Bespoke fitted furniture is neat and carpets and blankets are Cumbrian wool, while both landscape photographs and porcelain cups are from local artists. Panelled walls add a touch of class.

Room types: Classic Doube, Luxury Double, Superior Double, Suite Double

Key amenities: ensuite bathroom, TV, ironing facilities, hair dryer, free Wi-Fi


Food is inspired, but never pretentious, and combines Nina's Japanese heritage with rigorously sourced local produce: perhaps choose a starter of pork belly with yuzu and kimchi followed by roasted Lancashire cauliflower with aubergine and lentil. The wine list is non-standard, many from small producers and the bar has real ales.

The Black Bull: Bright, modern feel. Fresh, local produce, inspired presentation. Japanese-influenced dishes are crafted from classic Yorkshire produce. Open for dinner Wed- Sat, lunch Wed - Sun. Mains from £14.95.

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