6 historic countryside pubs you must visit

One thing Britain has certainly mastered is its pubs, inns, local haunts and watering holes. Now a national institution, the tradition of the pub dates back hundreds of years with 400-year old taverns surviving to this day. Head out to the countryside for a refreshing ramble before heading to one of these historic haunts – the perfect activity for an autumn day.

1. Ye Olde George Inn



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Located in the heart of Hampshire's countryside and dating back to the 15th century, this historic coaching inn is bursting with character and still retains its open fires and wooden floors. Situated in the South Downs National Park, Ye OIde George Inn is an ideal base to enjoy a countryside ramble and can be found in East Meon village, regarded as one of the loveliest places in the valley of the River Meon. The inn offers free-range and organic produce-cooking, with most of its suppliers on its doorstep.

With an ever-changing menu, the team prides themselves on making all of the dishes on the premises, except the hand-made ice cream, which is made at the local farm. If you find yourself not wanting to leave the comfort of the George Inn, there's also five comfortable en suite bedrooms to choose from.

Getting there: Ye Olde George Inn in Hampshire is a 25-minute drive from Portsmouth.

Ye Olde George Inn

2. The Spinners Arms



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Frequently lauded by real ale enthusiasts, The Spinners Arms in Cumbria is an ideal haunt for those who appreciate the culinary complexities of a good pint. Housed in a Grade II-listed building, the pub has many of its original features, including open fires, tiled fireplaces, wooden panelling, and quirky, decorated gutters. What’s more, it’s almost equidistant to the North Pennines, the Lake District National Park, and Northumberland National Park, so it’s an ideal spot to rest those weary legs after a day of countryside rambles.

Getting there: The Spinners Arms in Cumbria is a short drive from the city of Carlisle. 

The Spinners Arms

3. Clachaig Inn



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Famed for its natural beauty, Glen Coe in Lochaber, is known as the outdoor capital of Britain. Priding itself on its towering mountains, stunning views and rich heritage, the area is a rambler's paradise and what better way to refuel than at a traditional Scottish inn, where travellers, hikers and climbers alike have rested and dined for more than 300 years. The Clachaig Inn has three separate bars; the Boots Bar, the Snug and the Bidean Lounge, each of which serve locally-sourced food, Scottish cask ales, more than 300 malt whiskies and 40 Scottish gins. The inn boasts 23 en suite bedrooms and self-catering chalets that offer stunning mountain views.

Getting there: The Clachaig Inn is a three-hour drive from Edinburgh, which is a 70-minute flight from London.

Clachaig Inn

4. The Drovers Inn



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Boasting over three centuries of Scottish hospitality, The Drovers Inn is a hidden gem just a stone's throw from the still waters of Loch Lomond. Guests can expect a warm welcome and a roaring fire, and can dine on traditional Scottish comfort food, from mince 'n' tatties and haggis to steak pie. Head to the Loch Lomond Bar to enjoy live music and sample a dram or two from the extensive range of whiskies, or sip a pint of the inn’s own Drovers Blonde. 

Getting there: The Drovers Inn is a two-hour drive from Edinburgh, which is a 70-minute flight from London.

The Drovers Inn

5. The Stackpole Inn



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Tucked away in the far reaches of South Wales, the Stackpole Inn is exactly the sort of quaint, cozy pub you'd expect to find in the British countryside. For over ten years, the Stackpole Inn has been serving traditional Welsh food and drink, most of which is produced locally. With a roaring log fire creating a relaxing early evening dinner experience, it's easy to see why the Stackpole is winning national awards.

Getting there: The Stackpole Inn is just down the coast from Pembrokeshire National Park, and takes about an hour and a half to drive to from Swansea.

The Stackpole Inn

6. The Bushmills Inn



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Found between Ireland's famous Giant's Causeway and the Royal Portrush Golf Club, The Bushmills Inn has been a spot for saddle-weary travellers heading to the causeway since 1608. Not only is the inn a 41-bedroom hotel, it also houses its own award-winning restaurant and, of course, features its own pub: the Gas Bar. With Old Bushmills four century-old whiskey distillery only a stone’s throw away, the Gas Bar, fitted only with traditional gas lamps for an extra-cosy atmosphere, is one of the best spots to sip a smooth glass of this locally distilled malt. Pull up a chair by their roaring peat fire with a pint of Guinness, or get cosy and enjoy a bar nibble, or two.   

Getting there: The Bushmills Inn is an 80-minute drive from Belfast.

The Bushmills Inn
27 Mar 2020(last updated)