THE owner of a Lake District hotel, which is the former home of the naturalist and Arctic explorer Sir John Richardson, has opened a new family-friendly café bar following an extensive makeover.

The refurbishment at Lancrigg, in the Easdale Valley, near Grasmere, has created a showpiece bar inspired by area's long association with influential writers, poets and artists.

Poets' Bar is located in a room that was originally Sir John's library.

Sir John, who made Lancrigg his home from the 1860s, grew up with the famed Scottish poet Robert Burns.

He accompanied Lt John Franklin on the first two expeditions to the Artic and was also a close friend of Charles Darwin.

Lancrigg owner Simon Wright said: “I am delighted with our latest addition to Lancrigg and the Poets' Bar beautifully reflects what we want to achieve here and how we want to shape the future of the hotel.

"The Poets' Bar is already becoming popular with locals and tourists alike thanks to our friendly staff and welcoming atmosphere.

"When you couple that with the stunning views of the surrounding fells, the result is an idyllic pub venue in the heart of Grasmere and we look forward to welcoming many more guests to try it for themselves.”

Today the new Poets' Cafe Bar is open providing a relaxed atmosphere for couples, friends and the whole family including a new playground.

Mr Wright added: "The new menu includes everyday favourites all using the best quality ingredients and locally sourced fresh produce.

"What is even better is the free car park with immediate access to famous walking routes to both Helm Crag and Easdale Tarn."