Britain’s best autumn pub walks

Head into the British countryside this autumn for a seasonal ramble through golden forests and woodlands, before dropping into a country pub for a well-earned meal 

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Walks are made all the better with a midway break at a cosy country pub, especially in the autumn months.

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We’ve gathered some of our favourite walks in the UK for experiencing autumn colour, from rusty-hued riverside rambles to brilliant beech woods, each starting, ending or pausing midway at a traditional country inn.

Birks of Aberfeldy in autumn
Birks of Aberfeldy in autumn ©Getty

Rydal and Grasmere, Cumbria

A stroll in the footsteps of the Wordsworth family offers exquisite reflections of autumn colour in the still waters of Rydal Water at Grasmere in the Lake District
A stroll in the footsteps of the Wordsworth family offers exquisite reflections of autumn colour in the still waters of Rydal Water at Grasmere in the Lake District ©Getty

On this six-mile walk in Wordsworth country, the Lake District’s autumn hues rival those of New England. This six-mile route starts and finishes at Rydal, home to the Badge Bar – the perfect conclusion to a day on the trail. Route and map.

Padley Gorge, Derbyshire

Abandoned millstones are an incongruous sight in the woodland glades of Padley Gorge
Abandoned millstones are an incongruous sight in the woodland glades of Padley Gorge ©Getty

Enjoy an absorbing woodland amble en route to a striking post-industrial landscape veiled by Peak District trees, pausing midway along the route at the cosy Sir William inn. Route and map.

Burnham Beeches, Buckinghamshire

Burnham Beeches thrives with wildlife throughout the year – autumn is one of the busiest months, with many animals foraging for food for winter
Burnham Beeches thrives with wildlife throughout the year – autumn is one of the busiest months, with many animals foraging for food for winter ©Getty

Take a walk through the historic Burnham Beeches National Nature Reserve – one of the best examples of ancient woodland in Britain. The forest is best explored in the autumn months with a midway lunch stop at a traditional country pub – pick from the Blackwood Arms or the The Jolly Woodman. Route and map.

Brockweir and Tintern, Monmouthshire

Beautiful autumn colours of the Wye Valley, best considered over a pint of ale at The Brockweir Inn
Beautiful autumn colours of the Wye Valley, best considered over a pint of ale at The Brockweir Inn ©Getty

Climb high above the village of Tintern and its ancient ruined abbey through autumn woodland to a viewpoint wreathed in legend, then return to a cosy inn at Brockweir for a celebratory pub lunch. Route and map.

Grizedale Forest, Cumbria

Weatherlam and The Old Man of Coniston in Autumn (Fall) viewed across Grizedale Forest
View of the Old Man of Coniston across Grizedale Forest ©Getty

Find magical sculptures among the trees on this eight-walk through hilly Lake District forest. The Eagles Head offers hungry walkers a chance to refuel before continuing not he trail. Route and map.

Church Stretton, Shropshire

Church Stretton landscape ©Getty
Church Stretton landscape ©Getty

History surrounds you in this ancient pocket of Shropshire, inhabited since Saxon times. Walk its age-old tracks, root around in its cavernous antiques market and end the day at a tradition country pub – why not try  the Kings Arms or the Bucks Head. Route and map.

Highmeadow Woods, Gloucestershire

Look out for wild boar on the path verges ©Getty
Look out for wild boar on the path verges ©Getty

Thread through the Forest of Dean’s autumnal trees, stopping off half way at the White Horse Inn, before winding back on a woodland path. Route and map.

Monsal Dale, Derbyshire

This walk takes you through the River Wye's twisting, wooded gorge, deep in the White Peak ©Getty
This walk takes you through the River Wye’s twisting, wooded gorge, deep in the White Peak ©Getty
Ramble the high tracks and waterside paths of Monsal Dale in the Peak District National Park. The walk starts and finishes on the edge of Little Longstone where autumn walkers can refuel with drinks and food at one of two delightful pubs – the Monsal Head Hotel or the Packhorse InnMap and route.

Birks of Aberfeldy, Perthshire

The gorge was once known as the Den of Moness
The gorge was once known as the Den of Moness ©Getty

Experience a jaw-dropping gorge path that inspired Scotland’s national bard, ending the walk at an Aberfeldy Pub. Route and map.

Delamere Forest, Cheshire

Autumn leaves in Delamere Forest
Autumn leaves in Delamere Forest ©Getty

Experience striking autumn contrasts on this gentle walk in Cheshire’s ancient green heart, stopping of for a half-way pint at The Carriers Inn. Route and map.

Forge Valley Woods, North Yorkshire

The woodland supports a wide variety of bird species, including, blackcaps, treecreepers, nuthatches and kingfishers
The woodland supports a wide variety of bird species, including, blackcaps, treecreepers, nuthatches and kingfishers ©Getty

The beautiful nautre reserve on the banks of the River Derwent in the North York Moors National Park was once home to iron smelting. Today it’s a peaceful spot – go quietly and you may see an otter or kingfisher on your way to East Ayton, where there are two country pubs – the Denison Arms and Ye Olde Forge Valley Inn. Route and map.

Gosforth, Cumbria

Wordsworth, Coleridge and Dickens all stayed at the Easdale Head
Wordsworth, Coleridge and Dickens all stayed at the Easdale Head ©David Robinson

The venerable Wasdale Head Inn, hidden within the valleys and mountains of the Lake District, has housed some of Britain’s best novelists and poets – find out what inspired these great writers with a five-mile walk. Route and map.

Ratho, Edinburgh

Bridge Inn, Ratho ©Getty
Bridge Inn, Ratho ©Getty

The great thing about this pub walk is that you don’t need a map. Simply step put of the Bridge Inn pub door, cross the river on the old stone bridge and join the towpath. The canal stretches east to west and offers miles and miles of miles of trail. Autumn is a great season to visit, as the trees’ rusty leaves cast rippled reflections on the surface of the canal.

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