Britain’s top country pubs named

Rural inns among UK's best 16 real ale pubs

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Seven country inns have been named a list of the 16 best real ale pubs in the country.

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The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) declared the 16 as regional winners in its annual awards today.

All 16 now go on to compete for the coveted title of National Pub of the Year, to be announced in early 2018.

The winners…

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The Drover’s Rest Pub, near Carlisle
Best in West Pennines

The Drovers Rest: Monkhill, Cumbria

Close to Hadrian’s Wall path, with a cosy bar area and log fire in winter, plus lots of choice for real ale drinkers.

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The George and Dragon in Hudswell was CAMRA’s National Pub of the Year in 2016
Best in Yorkshire

George & Dragon, Hudswell

Yorkshire-brewed beers, the Camra judges enjoyed the ‘great food’. The pub also boasts a library, shop and allotments. Enjoy views over the Swale Valley from the large beer terrace.

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One of the smallest pubs on the list is The Office in Morpeth, a half-hour drive north of Newcastle-upon-tyne
Best in the North East

The Office, Morpeth, Northumberland

This tiny pub in the handsome market town of Morpeth is a back-to-basics experience: no food or music but five handpulls, all of local origin, and three real ciders.

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The Bridge Inn at Peebles is the half-timbered building tucked beneath the church. Picture: Getty Images
Best in Scotland and Northern Ireland

The Bridge Inn, Peebles, Tweeddale

A single-roomed town-centre pub overlooking the Tweed. Camra praises the ‘bright, comfortable bar’ decorated with jugs, bottles, memorabilia of outdoor pursuits and photos of old Peebles.

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The Salutation Inn at Ham is close to Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire
Best in the South West

The Salutation Inn, Ham, Gloucestershire

Seven real ales, nine real ciders and perries, an on-site microbrewery (Tiley’s), three bars, skittles alley, plus food at weekend lunchtimes. Folk nights and singalongs. Camra’s national pub of the year in 2014.

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The Druid Inn at Goginan has been included in Camra’s real ale pub guide for 43 years
Best in Wales

The Druid Inn, Goginan, Ceredigion

A family-run pub offering guest beers and a range of bottled real ales and ciders. Occasional music nights and beer festivals. Seven miles east of Aberystwyth.

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The Wonston Arms is in a pretty hamlet seven miles north of Winchester
Best in Wessex

Wonston Arms, Wonston, Hampshire

Serves a choice of four beers – often from local breweries such as Flowerpots and Red Cat. Look out for folk music nights, too.

Other winners…

• Merseyside and Cheshire: The Cricketers, St Helens

• Greater Manchester: Wigan Central, Wigan

• East Midlands: Just Beer, Newark, Nottinghamshire

• West Midlands: The Weavers Real Ale House, Kidderminster, Worcestershire

• East Anglia: Stanford Arms, Lowestoft, Suffolk. No website. 94 Stanford St, NR32 2DD. Tel 01502 587444.

• Surrey / Sussex: Anchored, Worthing

• Central/south: Nag’s Head, Reading, Berkshire

• Kent: Flower Pot, Maidstone

• London: The Hope, Carshalton

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• More information about the awards, and help finding good real ale pubs near you, from Camra.