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.
From Cumbrian classics to Welsh watering holes, here’s our round-up of the UK’s best rural pubs for winter walkers.
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. The original pub building was built during the Napoleonic wars, and it was transformed into an inn when Captain Thomas Hare offered it to three soldiers. After becoming an inn, the Hare Arms became the heart of local celebrations for wartime victories, coronations and jubilees. Today, you can call in after a day on the coast for a hearty meal. www.theharearms.co.uk
The Queen’s Arms pub has been offering refuge for winter walkers since the 17th century. Hawkeshead itself was once home to William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter, and is closed to traffic, making it the perfect quiet place to explore after a long day of walking. The hotel and pub, with guest rooms, food and an open fire, is the perfect base for exploring the southern Lakes. queensheadhawkshead.co.uk
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. 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
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. For more information about the pub visit the website, or see our handy walking guide which takes you from the pub through hidden valleys.
Located on the highest point of the North York Moors National Park, this rural inn is a fitting refuge for a winter pint. The 16th Century freehouse stands at an elevation of 1,325 feet and looks over Rosedale and Farndale, and ancient fireplaces burn all day. The pub offers hearty, traditional pub grub and has 13 rooms if you decide to stay. Find out more about the pub on their website at www.lionblakey.co.uk.
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
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
Refresh, relax and recharge with home-cooked food and our artisan cask ales at Twice Brewed Inn this weekend. Learn more about what we offer here: https://t.co/xGEiQnO7kU #NorthEast #HadriansWall pic.twitter.com/DlImnte3Zf
— Twice Brewed Inn (@twicebrewedinn) September 6, 2019
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
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
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