Hearth lunches in cheerful pubs are one of many nice pleasures of the UK winter, and this rating of cushty venues all include someplace to remain in addition to cobweb-clearing walks from the door.
Crown & Punchbowl, Horningsea, Cambridgeshire
Horningsea is a thatched village simply up the towpath from Cambridge and 4 miles alongside fenland footpaths from Anglesey Abbey, whose winter backyard is legendary for its snowdrops. Villages with fewer than 400 individuals don’t all the time handle to save lots of their pub, however Horningsea has two. This one and the Plough and Fleece, with quiz nights and reside music. The Crown & Punchbowl’s weekday set menu would possibly characteristic tangy linguine puttanesca and raspberry and pistachio cheesecake. 9 bedrooms are named after well-known teachers and thinkers.
Doubles from £130 room-only, thecrownandpunchbowl.co.uk
Duke William, Ickham, Kent
With candles in wax-dribbled bottles and chalkboard specials over a brick-walled fire, this interesting nation pub is a muddy morning’s stroll (or quick bus trip) from Canterbury. Meals consists of roast venison, pan-fried mallard and Kentish cheeses. There’s Dockyard gin from Chatham plus Woolton Farm wine from Bekesbourne, a few miles away. 4 comfy bedrooms over the bar include a provide of contemporary milk and a free carafe of Rubis chocolate wine. The room I stayed in had double doorways on to a roof terrace providing views of sundown clouds and stubbled fields. A wonderful breakfast, served from 9am, consists of yoghurt from the East Kent Downs and toasted native sourdough.
Doubles from £110 B&B, thedukewilliamickham.com
Fullerton Arms, Ballintoy, County Antrim
In 2016, Storm Gertrude ripped up some centuries-old beeches from the avenue referred to as Darkish Hedges, (acquainted to Sport of Thrones followers because the Kingsroad). Ten doorways, customary from the fallen bushes, have been carved with scenes from the cult TV present and positioned in 10 pubs with Thrones connections in Northern Eire. A fierce dragon adorns the deep-brown polished door in Ballintoy’s Fullerton Arms. From the pub, it’s 20 minutes’ stroll down a dramatic winding street to the cliff-ringed harbour, used to movie scenes involving Theon Greyjoy within the Iron Islands. The steep climb again up will assist construct an urge for food for the pub’s rope-grown mussels or seafood chowder, and Northern Irish specialities corresponding to champ (mash with spring onions).
Doubles from £60 B&B, fullerton-arms.com
George III, Penmaenpool, Gwynedd
This whitewashed pub stands at one finish of a picket toll bridge over the River Mawddach, proper by the extensive water. After I stopped for a pint after strolling seven miles of the Mawddach Path from Barmouth, there have been wintering birds wading within the sundown river. In winter, there’s a forged iron log burner within the welcoming bar, which has tables product of barrels. Pizzas and doorstep sandwiches are the primary lunchtime providing, however Sundays are all about large roasts with splendid sides, from creamed leeks to pigs in blankets. Some rooms have views throughout the estuary to the Yr Wyddfa (Snowdonia) hills, and massive breakfasts might embrace native bacon and black pudding or avocado and mushrooms.
Doubles from £115 B&B, georgethethird.pub
The Bell at Charlbury, Oxfordshire
Inglenooks, bay home windows and high-backed picket settles make the revamped Bell a comfortable area for lunch. Opened this autumn after a complete renovation, it’s the most recent Cotswold pub to get an opulent makeover from Daylesford Natural. The bar is product of ash from the Daylesford property, its weathered gold prime reflecting the low lamplight. The menu options venison from the North Downs, fish from Cornwall, heritage greens and Daylesford’s personal artisanal cheeses. Puddings embrace roasted plums and Alfonso’s gelato from Oxford. The pub is 10 minutes’ stroll from Charlbury railway station with a well-served bus cease outdoors and the long-distance Oxfordshire Approach close by, making it a wonderful base for a car-free Cotswold break. The brand new bedrooms are each contemporary and olde worlde, with block-printed Oxfordshire wallpaper, embroidered hangings and names like Oak and Meadowsweet.
Doubles from £195 B&B, thebellatcharlbury.com
George Inn, Norton St Philip, Somerset
Reopened on 5 November after a significant restoration, the half-timbered George Inn is a Grade I-listed constructing relationship from the 14th-century and, having served beer for greater than 700 years, considered one of a number of taverns vying for the title of England’s oldest. The bar, with its vintage tables, majolica jugs and pewter tankards, has been moved to an even bigger space, furnished with cosy ingesting corners and zhuzhed up with classic paints and grand materials. The wood-floored eating room has an enormous unique stone fire, repurposed pews and cushioned benches, the place diners can tuck into native pigeon or Butcombe beer-battered fish and chips, leaving room for sticky figgy pudding and native cheeses. The 13 luxuriously redecorated bedrooms are all completely different, some in a timber-framed gallery above the inn’s outdated courtyard.
Doubles from £115 B&B, georgeinnnsp.co.uk
The Feathers, Ledbury, Herefordshire
Orchard-ringed Ledbury was a staging put up on the street from Hereford to London and the excessive road is lined with outdated teaching inns. The refurbished Feathers is without doubt one of the oldest, and the placing black-and-white Sixteenth-century home that’s now a part of the Feathers kickstarted the city’s eye-catching pattern for half-timbered structure. Inside, there are daring colors and wing-backed armchairs underneath beams and chandeliers. Fancy lunches provide tasty twists corresponding to fishcake with seaweed and fennel mayo, or a rhubarb and ginger creme brulee. Twenty trendy bedrooms embrace a deluxe suite in an outdated brick cottage off the courtyard.
Doubles from £115 room-only, feathersledbury.co.uk
The Three Horseshoes, close to Leek, Staffordshire
Winter lunches on the Three Horseshoes, on the sting of the Peak District, provide severe ballast. There are large roasts, curries, lasagnes – and syrup sponge with custard for afters. After I stayed, in stormy December, I loved wealthy, hazelnut-topped cauliflower soup. On the coronary heart of the fairylit eating room is a flaming faux-charcoal fireplace with an anvil. The commercial theme continues within the Mill Wheel spa subsequent door, which gives a Christmas bundle with mulled wine. Some bedrooms have their very own scorching tubs.
Doubles from £90 room-only (spa is additional), 3shoesinn.co.uk
Golden Fleece, York
In a metropolis riddled with spooky tales, the Golden Fleece is York’s most ghost-infested inn and is nicely positioned for pub-crawling by means of cobbled medieval streets. Half a dozen other-worldly inhabitants embrace Girl Alice Peckett, who allegedly wanders the corridors and strikes furnishings at night time. One in every of York’s 22 cat sculptures, a spectral white feline, may be seen rising from the wall of the pub. There’s nothing insubstantial concerning the meals, although. From a carnivorous combined grill to a rhubarb and custard sundae, the menu, with day by day pie and crumble choices, is a hefty counterweight to the pub’s resident wraiths. Probably scarier than the rest listed here are the £3 Jägermeister photographs and all-day 2-for-1 cocktails. Upstairs, the wonky-walled bedrooms are a must-stay for ghosthunters.
Doubles from £80 room-only, greatukpubs.co.uk/the-golden-fleece-york
The Bell in Ticehurst, East Sussex
A set of birdboxes, a silver pig, a stuffed peregrine falcon on a perch … there are curious objects filling nearly each nook of the Bell. The gents’ loos even sport brass horns as a substitute of urinals. However the Bell isn’t just quirky. Its award-scooping meals reinvents pub classics: potato salad with horseradish or a venison burger with Sussex cheddar and pickled pink onions. Upstairs, the luxurious eccentricity continues. With names like Hush of Bushes and The Moon Wild, every bed room is adorned with a silver birch tree trunk, and there are attic beams, arched home windows and classic tiles.
Doubles from £145 room-only thebellinticehurst.com
Pheasant Inn, Tattenhall, Cheshire
The award-winning all-day menu on the Pheasant takes lunch to a cheerfully elevated stage. Puddings, usually served with ice-cream from a farm down the street, are value leaving room for. The inn sits excessive on the Sandstone Ridge with views so far as Liverpool on a transparent day. The within is inviting, particularly in fairy-lit winter. There are open fires and beamed ceilings and the restaurant gleams with copper pans and horse brasses. As I walked by means of the woods close by, pheasants startled noisily out of holly bushes, making the pub’s title really feel apt. And people birds usually find yourself as crispy sous-chef parcels on diners’ plates. Beers embrace regionally brewed Pheasant Gold. After I visited, there have been feathery pheasant decorations among the many Christmas wreaths. Outbuildings home 12 good bedrooms, named after native hills and castles.
Doubles from £180 B&B, thepheasantinn.co.uk
Seagate, Appledore, Devon
Above this outdated tavern – and in a former sail loft close by – are tasteful rooms in contemporary maritime colors. Within the bar, there’s fireplace and lantern mild and wonderful breakfasts. Native components for lunch embrace Brixham crab and West Nation beef and there’s a day by day board of seafood specials. The epic South West coast path runs previous the door, looping around the sandy seashores in the direction of Westward Ho! There are views from the Seagate throughout the Torridge estuary: tall white egrets may even be noticed from the home windows of sea-facing bedrooms.
Doubles from £89 B&B, theseagate.co.uk
Silverdale Resort, Silverdale, Lancashire
After a January afternoon spent watching starlings swirl over the reedbeds at RSPB Leighton Moss down the street, the family-run Silverdale is a welcoming haven. It’s a heat, conventional pub with actual ales and a beneficiant menu. Richard and Tom’s do-it-yourself pies may be full of hen, leek and mushroom at some point or lamb and roast veg the following. There may be additionally wonderful sticky toffee pud. Come for a pint and pudding; keep for the wild pine-topped headlands on the marshy fringes of Morecambe Bay.
Doubles from £90 B&B, thesilverdalehotel.co.uk
Unfold Eagle, Wandsworth, London
From the skin, the Unfold Eagle seems unpromising, with 4 lanes of site visitors passing the home windows, however the opulent Victorian inside is surprisingly peaceable, with unique etched glass and moulded ceilings. Camra calls it a pub inside of outstanding nationwide historic significance. It was immaculately renovated in 2022, with floorboards stripped, fireplaces restored, and the darkish picket bar polished to a shine. Mirrors replicate globe lamps in intimate corners and partitions are full of historic maps and watercolours. A altering all-day menu of fashionable pub grub gives pumpkin soup with a cheese straw or plum-and-quince-glazed ham. The steps as much as 22 vibrant new bedrooms are lined with modernist abstracts and topical prints. I stayed in an entertaining characteristic room with views of the outdated brewery from a gleaming copper bathtub.
Doubles from £90 room-only spreadeaglewandsworth.co.uk
Lord Crewe Arms, Blanchland, Northumberland
The poet Philip Larkin used to dine right here, Benjamin Britten as soon as stayed the night time, WH Auden performed Brahms on the piano, and a Jacobite basic hid within the fire. The Lord Crewe Arms, as soon as the guesthouse of a Twelfth-century abbey, stands within the remoted North Pennines village of Blanchland, with chickens within the churchyard and a welcoming scent of wooden smoke. After I arrived after a blustery 12-mile hike from Hexham, the lantern-lit doorway and glowing home windows appeared like one thing from a folks story. The Lord Crewe’s log fires and deep baths are a placing distinction with the wild moors outdoors. The elegant lunchtime menu of simple-sounding dishes corresponding to wild mushrooms on toast or apple and blackberry crumble, champions cautious cookery and flavour. The onsite candlelit pub is a vaulted medieval crypt serving Crewe Brew and different Northumberland actual ales together with gourmand bar snacks.
Doubles from £204 B&B, lordcrewearmsblanchland.co.uk
Ship Inn, Elie, Fife
I got here throughout this pub whereas strolling the spectacular Fife coastal path with my brother. We appreciated the Ship a lot we went again subsequent day for one more meal. I’ve afternoon-sunshine reminiscences of a chilli-flecked crab linguine, a board of Scottish cheeses with quince paste, and a souffle. The altering seasonal menu now options Isle of Seil hand-dived scallops with seaweed and steak and Elie ale pie. With the ocean simply outdoors, wood-burning stoves warming the bar, and 6 good bedrooms upstairs, the Ship’s recognition is not any nice thriller.
Doubles from £140 B&B, shipinn.scot
The Boat Inn, Penallt, Monmouthshire
On a steep, wooded financial institution of the River Wye, the little Boat Inn has a roaring wooden burner within the flag-floored bar and a waterfall in its terraced backyard. After I final visited, on a cold February lunchtime, some shepherds have been discussing what number of lambs had been born that day. “You will need to make sure that they’ve had their colostrum,” suggested an older farmer, nursing a pint on the bar. Later, I crossed the spectacular Victorian footbridge outdoors and walked alongside the frosty Wye valley, having fun with astonishing views and shiny inexperienced shoots of untamed garlic. The present menu consists of smoked salmon salad, and house-made vegan hotpot, to go together with native beers and ciders. My diary from the time features a barely legible note-to-self about avoiding beers that decision themselves Blinder. The higher ground of the pub is a toasty two-bedroom vacation let with kitchen-living room and riverside firepit.
From £100 an evening (three-night minimal), theboatpenallt.co.uk
Inn at Ravenglass, Cumbria
With distinctive meals and views throughout the estuary, this little waterside pub is value reserving forward. I found it by probability with a buddy and we ate our means by means of 5 memorably good small plates. Dishes, principally altering specials, make considerate use of components corresponding to wild garlic, Herdwick mutton or Loch Fyne smoked mussels, with equally unique veggie choices that would embrace contemporary herb koftas with roasties or barbecued broccoli with baba ganoush. Rooms upstairs and close by can be found by means of Pennington Inns (doubles from £107 room-only). A log fireplace and nice actual ales make the Inn an unbeatable place to heat up after tramping by means of the woods to Muncaster Fort or alongside the stony shore of the Esk, with views throughout the water to the Lakeland fells.
The Ship at Dunwich, Suffolk
On the cliffs above the gray North Sea, Dunwich is a tiny village with a handful of cottages. Medieval Dunwich was a busy port with a dozen inns and several other church buildings till catastrophic floods swept away greater than 400 homes. The Ship’s weathered brick partitions and casement home windows encompass a beamed bar with a wood-burner. In winter, when the Suffolk coast is at its most dramatic, the meals feels seasonally applicable, together with a black pudding scotch egg and creamy Baron Bigod cheese from up the street in Bungay, served with fig chutney. The signature lunch is haddock and chips with a pint of Adnams, brewed a few miles up the coast in Southwold. One nice native stroll leads north alongside the shingle seashore and again by means of windmill-studded reedbeds.
Doubles from about £90 B&B, shipatdunwich.co.uk
Previous Bridge Inn and Bunkhouse, Aviemore, Highland
It’s value reserving nicely forward for lunch on the Previous Bridge, 10 minutes’ stroll from Aviemore station: the eclectic seasonal menu at this candlelit Cairngorms pub by the River Spey is deservedly well-liked. As are its wooden burner, Highland antiques and uncovered beams, and the walks alongside the loch-rich Speyside Approach or by means of evergreen pine forests. There’s a selection of such Scottish classics as cullen skink or ingenious dishes like open crab sandwiches with sea buckthorn, adopted by sustainably culled venison from Cairngorms Join, or a Buddha bowl of roasted autumn veggies and falafel. The bunkhouse subsequent door has well-insulated dorms, en suite rooms with underfloor heating and a brand new self-catering kitchen.
Doubles from £60 room-only oldbridgeinn.co.uk