One of the Lake District’s oldest inns has reopened following a full-scale refurbishment.

The Pheasant at Bassenthwaite has opened its doors once again after a major restoration project to breathe new life into the 17th-century coaching inn.

The redevelopment has seen the inn’s dining and bar areas undergo a careful restoration, along with the transformation of its 20 bedrooms by owners, multi-award winning pubco, The Inn Collection Group.

The inn’s original listed bar remains the same, preserving The Pheasant’s venerable heritage as one of the Lake District’s oldest inns.

Cutting the ribbon to officially reopen The Pheasant was head housekeeper and grandmother-of-four Gillian Gaston, who has worked at inn for 25 years.

Gillian, 66, of Great Clifton, said: “It was such an honour to be asked to do this. The whole inn is just beautiful. They have done such a good job. I think we were all a little apprehensive as it is such an institution, but it looks really wonderful. It’s lovely to be back and I can’t wait to welcome people again – the regulars who have been coming for years and to seeing new faces after the pandemic.”

General managers husband and wife team Chris and Debra Adamson say the new refurbishment has been given the thumbs up.

Said Chris: “One of our customers has been coming here every day for 40 years – he even kayaked across the A66 when it was flooded to have his drink. He was one of the first regulars to come back inside. He was welling up because he was so pleased with how it looked. It touches us and the company that it meant so much and the refurbishment has been done well. That, to me, says it’s a job well done.

“The Pheasant has evolved to meet the needs of travellers over the centuries. Now, it’s been The Inn Collection Group’s turn to contribute to its development as the hospitality beacon it is known and loved for being in the Lakes.

“It’s great to see friendly faces - people who have been here previously and new faces who are stepping inside for first time and seeing their reaction. Understandably there was some apprehension about the place being changed, but the way it has been so sympathetically renovated and refurbished makes it look as if it has been like this the entire time.”