2018 – What a year for the Sun Inn!

The end of the year is naturally a time for reflection, and here at the Sun Inn, 2018 has truly been a wonderful year.

As always, we’ve enjoyed the changing seasons from our location in the stunning market town of Kirkby Lonsdale. This year kicked off with some spectacular snowy scenes…



Just one of the gorgeous four-legged friends who enjoyed their time at the Sun Inn this year.

Charlie certainly enjoyed the snowy weather too! 

Speaking of Charlie, he welcomed a flurry of furry friends to the Sun Inn throughout 2018. Charlie said: “I’m always on hand (or should I say, paw) to welcome guests when they stay with us.

“It has been lovely to see some fellow furry friends enjoying their time at the Sun Inn. And they seem to especially enjoy living the life of luxury in our dog-friendly dining area!”

We are so dog-friendly at the Sun Inn, in fact, that we were named one of the top 10 most dog-friendly dog hotels in the country by Country Life magazine. This is what they said about us: “Set between the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks, the Sun Inn is an understated pubs with rooms style destination, dating back to the 17th century. Despite its modest nature, this inn holds many an award for its warm welcome and carefully considered details, such as carpets woven from local wool.”

They added: “A favourite amongst walkers, dogs are welcomed with a complimentary ‘pooch pack’ on arrival, including a towel, dog bowl and special doggy treat and a dog trail map provided, including a short walk immediately from the door.”

Our doggy theme continued throughout the year, as we announced our partnership with Kendal-based Animal Rescue Cumbria as our official charity partner for the next year.

Iain, who owns the Sun Inn with his wife, Jenny, said: “The decision to support Animal Rescue Cumbria as our official charity was an easy one. Jenny and I are both dog lovers ourselves and the Sun Inn itself is doggy heaven for guests who want to bring their four-legged friends with them on holiday or out for dinner, thanks to our dog-friendly guest rooms and dining area.

“Animal Rescue Cumbria does an incredible job in rescuing and re-homing dogs and cats in Cumbria, and we’re looking forward to helping them raise vital funds over the course of the next year. We’re sure all of our guests who bring their beloved pets along with them when they visit us will certainly join us in supporting this fantastic charity.”

Amanda Hall, general manager of Animal Rescue Cumbria, said: “We were really pleased to be contacted by Iain, it’s an ideal partnership because the Sun Inn is such a dog-friendly venue. Raising funds as a small charity is always a challenge, so any support is extremely appreciated. Our priority as an animal shelter is rescuing and re-homing dogs and cats – so far this year we have found new homes for 59 dogs and 75 cats. But of course, our work is always ongoing, so any support and fundraising will always have a huge impact on what we do.”

Iain Black, owner of the Sun Inn in Kirkby Lonsdale, pictured with Amanda Hall, general manager, and Tammie Ashton, animal carer, at Animal Rescue Cumbria, along with rescue dog, Dylan, and Iain’s Labrador, Charlie.

Our fundraising efforts have so far included two guided walks, both of which were great fun. After fuelling up on bacon butties and tea & coffee, we enjoyed a lovely 10k walk around Kirkby Lonsdale and up to Casterton and Barbon on our first walk. The second walk took us to the charming village of Whittington, before we looped back down through High Biggins. The sun certainly shone on us for the second walk of the year – which was much drier than the first! But the rain didn’t dampen our spirits anyway and we all agreed it was a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon AND raise money for a superb cause. 

The first group of walkers who enjoyed our guided walk for Animal Rescue Cumbria. The drizzle didn’t dampen our spirits!

The walkers on our second guided walk enjoyed glorious sunshine and blue skies!

Another of our fundraising efforts for Animal Rescue Cumbria has proven especially popular with the furry guests to the Sun Inn. We never want our four-legged friends to feel left out when their humans enjoy a tasty tipple and yummy bar snack when they visit us. That’s why we decided to put our heads together, led by our expert kitchen team, and create our very own dog treats!

These scrumptious snacks are totally homemade and wheat-free. They’re available in two different shapes – bones (£2.50) and Labradors (£1.50) and for every biscuit sold, we’ve donated a percentage to Animal Rescue Cumbria. 

One of the most important and exciting aspects of 2018 for us was welcoming our new head chef, Joe Robinson!

Joe creates the seasonal menus and leads the kitchen team at the Sun Inn. Joe took the position from his previous role as sous chef at Hipping Hall. His impressive cooking career has seen him working in kitchens all around the world – in Edinburgh, France and Sydney, together with two Michelin star restaurants.

Speaking of the appointment, Sun Inn owner Iain said: “We are really pleased to welcome Joe to the team. He is an incredibly talented and experienced chef who lives by the same food ethos as us – we believe in only using fresh, seasonal produce and making the most of what the local area and our local suppliers have to offer.”

Joe prides himself on maximising the seasonal flavours with both classic and experimental combinations.

Joe said: “The best bit about my job is being able to create new things and being flexible, depending on what produce is in season. I’ll be working months in advance to research the menus and play around with ideas. I’m passionate about foraging and that will play a big part in the menu changes. It will always be season-dependent because that is the only way to use the best produce – it’s the best way to cook in my opinion.”

Joe has certainly made his mark on the kitchen, with some absolutely mouth-watering dishes that our restaurant guests have thoroughly enjoyed. 

We’re also ending the year on a high with a fabulous review by Taste magazine! You can read all about their glowing review here


We would like to wish all our customers, new and old, a very happy New Year. Here’s to 2019!

Best wishes, 

Iain, Jenny and the Sun Inn team. 

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