Serene Swan celebrates successful first year back in Grasmere

A pub with rooms in the Lake District is reflecting on a successful twelve months of trading as The Swan, Grasmere completes its first year with an exciting new look, following a multi-million-pound refurbishment.

Launching under sunny skies last April, it has been a year of adventures for the venerable inn which dates to the 1650s, which has seen the pub and its team support national charity challenges, contribute to the local community, and welcome an impressive number of guests.

Since reopening. more than 18,500 guests have opted to rest and be thankful in the former local of William Wordsworth, which featured in his 1806 composition The Waggoner.

The new look of The Swan has returned it to the look and feel of a coaching inn from that period and refreshed the 48 letting bedrooms to bring the property right up to date.

The Swan, Grasmere. Photograph: Stuart Boulton.
The Swan, Grasmere. Photograph: Stuart Boulton.

With stunning views over the surrounding fells, the superior rooms at The Swan have proved particularly popular with those choosing to stay in the loveliest spot man hath ever found, accounting for more than a quarter of all bookings.

The Swan has also proved to be a popular spot for food with more than 41,000 meals enjoyed, with the pub classics of Fish and Chips (4238 dishes) and The Swan burger (3242 dishes) proving to be the most popular choices, totalling almost a fifth of all covers served.

Liquid refreshment has also been partaken regularly, with more than 14,000 pints of Madri, seven and a half thousand pints of Staropramen and five and a half thousand pints of Guinness enjoyed at the inn and its glorious beer garden.

Away from the day-to-day hospitality business, general managers Nellie Buxton Brown and Nigel Brown have also been striving to be a force for good, supporting several initiatives with donations of time and money.


In the height of summer, they supported inspirational eight-year-old Tony Hudgell as he conquered his first Lakeland fell for a fundraising challenge in support of the Bendrigg Trust, Crohn’s & Colitis UK, Fix the Fells, and his own eponymous Foundation.

Hosting Tony and his family throughout the week, The Swan then put on a post-climb party for more than 100 supporters and treated them to nibbles from the Inn’s pub classic menu and for the adults, a complimentary glass of Grasmere Gold, generously donated by Tirrell’s Brewery.

Included in that number were legendary mountaineer Sir Chris Bonnington and Hari Budha Magar, who in 2023 became the first double, above-knee amputee to summit Mount Everest who had taken a keen interest in the efforts that ended up raising more than £30,000.

The community spirit of Nellie and Nigel also extended to Grasmere itself, with donations to local causes including the Grasmere Red Squirrels group and the RAOB Lamb & Lion club totalling £4,000 as part of The Inn Collection Group’s Give Inn Back initiative.

They have also worked with Age UK South Lakeland to re-establish the village’s lunch club, as part of the Reconnecting Cumbria project, a vital outlet for isolated members of the community to combat loneliness and one that had been lost since the end of 2019.

With many highlights to look back on and more planned for this summer, the team at The Swan are eager to build on an impressive inaugural 12 months.

Nellie said: “It’s been an incredible first year for us at The Swan, from our big reopening to a very busy New Year’s Eve and a good summer season, we’ve been delighted to be back.

“Getting back to being a more traditional pub with rooms there has been a good split between accommodation, food and drink trade and we’re determined to build on the foundations that we’ve laid.

Nigel added: “Getting involved with the community has been a big focus for us and helped us get to know our locals and get our name out.

“We’ve started things like our Sunday night quiz and our first gin festival last August to make us a pub that people want to come to and we will once again be using our Give Inn Back fund to help support causes in and around the village.”