With the impending bank holiday weekend just around the corner, there’s nothing we enjoy more than an afternoon spent in a country pub; hearty meals, a roaring fire and stunning surroundings make Britain’s rural pubs the best in the world (in our humble opinion). It was a difficult task, but we’ve narrowed Britain’s many pubs down to our five favourites.
The Dundas Arms
Where: 53 Station Road, Kintbury, Berkshire, RG17 9UT
What: A Grade II listed Georgian inn in the village of Kintbury. The Dundas Arms sits on the edge of the Kennet & Avon Canal and inside has all the components of a true country pub: a Victorian oak bar, wingback chairs, library, leather sofas and crackling log fires. The pub has won numerous awards over the years, renowned for its fine wines, real ales and traditional seasonal dishes. Visit the website here.
The Punch Bowl Inn
Where: Crosthwaite, Lyth Valley, Cumbria, LA8 8HR
What: A traditional pub and B&B in the heart of Cumbria’s Lyth Valley. Old slate, dark wood, and exposed beams make up the interior, while outside backs on to the stunning surrounding hills of the Lyth Valley. The food is incredible, offering traditional British meals (think hunks of steak or roast cod loin), and last year The Punch Bowl was awarded ‘Cumbria Dining Pub of the Year’ in The Good Pub Guide 2015 and 2016. Visit the website here.
The Village Pub
Where: Barnsley, Cirencester, GL7 5EF
What: All the components of a great village pub in the heart of the Cotswolds. West Country ciders, Costwolds craft ales and an abundance of wines are all available, as is some of the best locally-sourced food you’ll find in a pub. Inside, ceilings are low, beams are exposed and fabrics are rich, creating a cosy atmosphere to while away the afternoon. Visit the website here.
The Gunton Arms
Where: Cromer Road, Thorpe Market, Norwich, NR11 8TZ
What: A pub dating back to the 1800s in Norwich’s thousand-acre deer park surrounding Gunton Hall. History and tradition seeps out of every corner of this pub, with dark woods, rich fabrics and roaring fires in the many different rooms. Stuart Tattersall, ex head chef at Mark Hix, creates hearty, seasonal meals using local ingredients – the perfect accompaniment to its extensive range of beers and wines. Visit the website here.
Black Horse Inn
Where: 7 Lumley Lane, Kirkby Fleetham, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL7 0SH
What: A country inn full of character in the heart of the North Yorkshire countryside. Neutral colours and natural stone and woods make up the interior, with emphasis being on the excellent range of drinks and freshly cooked, traditional British pub grub. Visit the website here.
Words by Angharad Jones