There's one problem with The Tickell Arms south of Cambridge, once you find it, you may never want to leave. The egg-shell blue building is hiding a treasure trove behind its doors, including a sculpted garden, grand dining room, stove fireplace, and quirky touches such as church pews for seating.
The Best Country Pubs In The UK
Along with Sunday roasts, cups of tea, and whinging about the weather, there's one thing this rainy little island is famous for: its country pubs. Fireplaces, wooden beams, and pints of frothy ale are ingrained in our national culture, and with more than 50,000 pubs in the UK, the competition is tough. Whether you're looking to refuel after a bracing walk or searching for the best roast in a ten-mile radius, we've rounded up some of the best country pubs in the UK.
You'd be hard pressed to find better views than at this former mill. Built in the 15th Century, The Wiremill sits on the side of a huge lake, with a large outdoor terrace perfect come summer. Even when the sun isn't shining this spot is worth a visit, with snug interiors, a great Sunday roast, and bedrooms if you fancy making a night of it.
Set in the heart of the New Forest, White Buck Inn is perfect for those who like a stroll or cycle near their country pub. The former country house has been converted into a homely pub, complete with 20 stylish and modern bedrooms. If you're popping by for Sunday lunch, the bar is only three minutes away from the village of Burley, and to top things off, it's dog friendly.
After a long bracing walk through the Surrey Hills, The Abinger Hatch is the perfect place for some respite. Opposite a historic church and down a teeny tiny country lane, the independent pub is a home away from home. Grab a seat by the fire, stroke the pub bulldog, Stella, and tuck into dishes such as smoked haddock and cheddar fondue, and BBQ pulled pork scotch eggs.
Only 15 miles from Bletchley Park, this red brick building is set in the little village of Houghton Conquest. With a menu that changes every two months, the food is constantly evolving and changing, while the real ale selection includes pints from Bedford-based Charles Wells.
Find this chocolate box-cute spot on the edge of the New Forest for classic pub food such as fish and chips and a top choice of real ale. And if you end up enjoying the thatched roof spot a little too much? There's a selection of smart bedrooms to crash in upstairs.
With an AA Rosette under their belts, The White Horse in Otterbourne creates menus using local food. The southern pub sources meat from the nearby Hampshire and the New Forest, while fish is caught by day boats from Lymington. There's also the staples of country pubs, with comfy armchairs next to roaring fires and a large beer garden when the sun is shining.
Roaring fire place? Check. Wooden beams throughout? Check. The Five Bells in Leighton Buzzard has got country charm stamped all over it. Along with a more than cosy inside, the spot also has a huge beer garden, perfect for working your way through their long list of real ales.
Perfect for watching barges float along the canal, this water-side cutie is a traditional boozer stocking Fuller's beers, including London Pride. Go for a stroll along the Grand Union Canal, before filling up with a crowd-pleasing menu of burgers, Sunday roast, and rich puddings.
A thatched roof, airy conservatory, and hefty oak bar set the scene at The Three Horseshoes, three miles outside of Cambridge. It's won a clutch of awards for its seasonal menus, with dishes including the likes of whole local partridge with honey roasted parsnips and carrots.
Set in the gorgeous South Downs, The White Horse is a charming country pub that prides itself on its gastro food. Ingredients are sourced locally by and large, including from the nearby Goodwood and a blue cheese from Brighton.
Whether you cycle, walk or drive there, Oak Inn is the perfect spot for a lazy Sunday. From the red phone box through to the low beamed ceilings, the pub is a popular spot in the New Forest, with a hearty menu that will keep even the fussiest eaters happy.
Add this spot - just outside of Bristol and Bath - to your summer drinking list. With a rolling beer garden and riverside location, The Lock Keeper is ideal for sunny days, with a Petanque pitch if you're feeling restless.
One of Kent's best pubs, this charming spot on Westerham Road boasts gorgeous Tudor architecture and oodles of character. Surrounded by stunning countryside, with no less than nine private hire spaces, it's as perfect for a post-walk pitstop as it is for weddings and parties.
Set in the cute village of Woodstock, King's Arms is perfect for a mini break, with cosy upstairs rooms and a charming locals feel in the downstairs pub. When you're not busy snuggled up against the fire, wander around the area's antique shops or head over to the gorgeous Blenheim Palace.
This award-winning pub in Hemingford Grey is only a few miles outside of Cambridge, and is well worth the drive to try some of their signature dishes. From homemade sausages to catch of the day, the cooking is renowned in the local area, and top things off, the pub is right next to the River Ouse.
In a little village tucked six miles outside of Oxford sits the The Fox, a 20th Century pub that sticks to its country roots with wooden beams and roaring fires. When it's sunny, nab a space on the large wooden terrace for sterling views of the rolling countryside.