Best winter walker’s pubs in Britain

After a bracing winter hike, there can be no better reward than a pint in a cosy inn. Here is our pick of the best rambler's pubs for a winter warmer

Wasdale Head Inn in Wasdale, Cumbria @Alamy

Wrap up warm this winter and head for the hills, then end the day with food and drink by the fire at a cosy country pub.

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From Cumbrian classics to Welsh watering holes, here’s our round-up of the UK’s best rural pubs for winter walkers.

Pub in winter with fire ©Alamy
Pub in winter with fire ©Alamy
1

The Old Dungeon Ghyll, Langdale, Cumbria

The Old Dungeon Ghyll, Langdale/© Geograph
​The Old Dungeon Ghyll, Langdale/© Geograph
The fun atmosphere of this pub is sure to warm you up after a chilly day in Ambleside. The Hikers Bar  has long been the haunt of exhausted fell walkers and climbers, serving good beer, a range of scotch whisky’s, and wholesome, healthy food. They also hold live music nights. www.odg.co.uk
2

The Hare Arms, Stow Bardolph, Norfolk

The Arms Public House - Stow Bardolph King's Lynn Norfolk.©Alamy
The Hare Arms, Stow Bardolph, Norfolk.©Alamy

This recently refurbished pub in the centre of West Norfolk not far from King’s Lynn offers a fresh menu with a selection of cask ales. Call in after a day on the coast for a heart meal. www.theharearms.co.uk

3

Queen’s Arms pub and Hotel, Hawkshead, Cumbria

Queen's Arms pub and Hotel, Hawkshead, Lake District at Christmas time with decorated lights ©Alamy
Queen’s Arms pub and Hotel, Hawkshead ©Alamy

The Queen’s Arms pub has be offering refuge for winter walkers since the 17th century. With guest rooms, food and an open fire, it’s the perfect base for exploring the southern Lakes. queensheadhawkshead.co.uk

4

The Dolphin,  Robin Hoods Bay, North Yorkshire

The Dolphin pub in the village of Robin Hoods Bay ©Alamy View your orde
The Dolphin pub in the village of Robin Hoods Bay ©Alamy

Ye Dolphin is appropriately only 50 yards from the sea, and a real smugglers’ pub, with low ceilings, cosy open fires, real ales and a fish-dominated menu. And if you visit on a Friday night, you’re bound hear some sea shanties, as the Robin Hood’s Bay Folk Club meets here. whatpub.com/dolphin-robin-hoods-bay

5

Wasdale Head Inn, Wasdale, Cumbria

Wasdale Head Inn in Wasdale, Cumbria @Alamy
Wasdale Head Inn in Wasdale, Cumbria @Alamy

Buried in the far reaches of one of the most remote valleys in Britain stands the warm and welcoming Wasdale Head Inn. Found nestled at the very end of the valley whose name it bears, this stunning little Lakeland outpost is well worth the pilgrimage. Enjoy a walk from the pub.

6

Lion Inn, Blakey Ridge, North Yorkshire

Lion Inn an isolated pub on Blakey Ridge in the North Yorkshire Moors ©Alamy
Lion Inn an isolated pub on Blakey Ridge in the North Yorkshire Moors ©Alamy

Located on the highest point of the North York Moors National Park, this rural inn is a fitting refuge for a winter pint. www.lionblakey.co.uk

7

The Tors Inn, Belstone, Dartmoor

The Tors Inn, Belstone, Dartmoor/© Geograph
​The Tors Inn, Belstone, Dartmoor/© Geograph
One of few remaining old fashioned village pubs, The Tors is central to the best walking to be found on Dartmoor. A CAMRA pub, it serves many locally brewed ales and a mighty whisky selection, and is surrounded by some of the most dramatic open moorland in Britain. whatpub.com/tors-inn-belstone
8

The Old Nags Head, Edale, Derbyshire

The Old Nags Head, Edale, Derbyshire
​The Old Nags Head, Edale, Derbyshire ©George Tod

Built in 1577, the Old Nags Head sits at the start of the challenging Pennine Way, and there is plenty of great walking to be found in and around the area. The fires burn throughout winter, and to accompany the generously sized meals their rich and malty ‘1557’ ale is a winner. www.dorbiere.co.uk/the-old-nags-head

9

Cwellyn Arms, Gwynedd, Wales

Cwellyn Arms, Gwynedd © Eirian Evans
​Cwellyn Arms, Gwynedd © Eirian Evans

For those exploring Snowdonia, this traditional Welsh pub sits at the foot of the areas great mountain. Amid such famed walking country, the Cwellyn Arms strives to provide just what tired ramblers need; great beers, simple, hearty food and log fires by which to warm cold and weary feet. snowdoninn.co.uk

10

The Royal Oak, Cardington, Church Stretton, Shropshire

Royal Oak, Cardington, Shropshire ©Philip Pankhurst
​Royal Oak, Cardington, Shropshire  ©Philip Pankhurst
Deep in the South Shropshire Hills, this gem is one of the oldest pubs in Shropshire to have been continually licensed. Offering fine real ales and local fare such as the famous ‘Fidget Pie’ of gammon and apples, the inglenook fireplace is a welcoming treat after a brisk country walk. www.at-the-oak.com
11

Red Lion, Llanbedr, Monmouthshire

The Red Lion, Llanbedr, Black Mountains © Geograph
The Red Lion, Llanbedr, Black Mountains  © Geograph
A hugely welcome and very cosy stone-built pub deep in a Black Mountains valley – the perfect target after a cold blow on the tops of some of the Brecon Beacons’ least known ridges. Open fire, real ale, and home-cooked food. Make sure you leave muddy boots outside though. thegoodpubguide.co.uk/red+lion
12

The Twice Brewed Inn, Northumberland

Twice Brewed Inn ©Geograph
Twice Brewed Inn ©Geograph

The Twice Brewed Inn is long, thin and welcoming. The menu features spicy burgers hewn from vast Northumbrian sausages, and the ales are drawn from the area’s countless microbreweries. As John Scott, of the Hadrian’s Wall Trust, once said, “the pubs around here know their audience – they lay on big fires, big meals and big beers”. That sums up the Twice Brewed perfectly. twicebrewedinn.co.uk

13

Square and Compass, Dorset

Square and Compass Dorset ©Geograph
Square and Compass Dorset ©Geograph

When the festivals are over and only the hardiest hikers tread the frozen turf of the South West Coast Path, there’s nowhere more inviting to hunker down than the Square and Compass.

Set on a hill in Worth Matravers, with views of the English Channel, this is a great way to while away a lazy Sunday afternoon. squareandcompasspub

14

Smugglers Inn, Osmington Mills

Smugglers Inn, Osmington Mills ©Geograph
Smugglers Inn, Osmington Mills ©Geograph
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This tradition pub overlooking the Isle of Portland in Dorset was originally built in the 13th century. It’s roaring winter fires make it an irresistible lure for wind-blown walkers. smugglersinnosmingtonmills.co.uk

15

Kings House Hotel, Highland

Kings House, Highland ©Geograph
Kings House, Highland ©Geograph
The cosy Kings House Hotel  sits at the gateway to mighty Glencoe beside the West Highland Way. It caters almost exclusively for hikers, bikers and outdoor enthusiast, offering an opportunity to share tale beside a crackling log fire. kingshousehotel.co.uk