Our guide to the best pubs to get cosy in this winter
Christmas is upon us and it’s time to warm up with a pint of ale in a cosy country pub. After a bracing Boxing Day walk, wrapped head to toe in your new winter wears, it’s only right and proper to pop into a local, kick back by the fire and warm the cockles. If you’re away from home this Christmas, find out the best winter pubs across the country to get your cheeks glowing and fill your post-turkey tummies.
If you’ve never happened to chance upon this place, make a beeline for it as soon as you can. The 18th century building appears largely unchanged with wooden tables and alcoves and an intimate bar. It’s perfect for a cosy after-work drink with friends. Plus the ales are unrivalled: branch out from the norm and sample their cinnamon and apple, or lemon and ginger beer.
This lovely, remote, waterside pub, is reached by a beautifully scenic drive. Once you settle down by the shoreside get ready to tuck into some excellent and reasonably priced fresh seafood. There’s a friendly mix of locals and visitors so you’ll have to mustle in to get a much-coveted place by the woodburning stove.
Nestling in the heart of Glencoe, with the spectacular mountains of the Scottish Highlands as a backdrop, Clachaig Inn is everything you’d hope for in a country pub. With three lively bars, good food is on tap throughout the day, including popular favourites like local venison, prime Scotch beef and Scottish salmon.
If it’s not too chilly outside, it’s worth taking in a little air on the lovely big terrace and casting your eye over the beautiful gardens, before tucking into some food. With a mix of large arches, flagstone floors and traditional furniture, settle in and enjoy the impressive whiskey menu with over 100 malts, 30 bourbons and 30 Irish whiskeys. Probably best to walk home!
The beautiful views across the River Hodder from the Inn at Whitewell are the biggest draw. Think a civilised hotel with a smart, pubby atmosphere with gorgeous furnishings and antique settles. A piano sits in one corner, should you fancy a tinkle on the ivories and there’s even an art gallery to take in some culture between pints.
This is somewhat of a Lake District institution, set in beautiful countryside surroundings. The perfect place to take a pit stop in between hiking, there’s a huge fire to warm your socks on in the snug Hiker’s Bar and although the food isn’t inspirational, it’s certainly good walking fodder (think sausages, baked potato and the like).
Whether you’re a local or its your first time inside the Lord Nelson, the welcome when you step in will warm the cockles. The nearest pub to the sea front in Southwold, you can fill up on simple, home-cooked pub grub in front of the fire before taking a bracing walk along the shore.
Set in a tiny Wiltshire hamlet and originally a watermill, think large oak beams, flagstone floors and a big log fire and you should be halfway to understanding the charm of The Vine Tree. The menu changes every couple of weeks and the kitchen does an admirable job of sourcing local and seasonal produce.
This rather smart country inn serves fabulous fish dishes accompanied by super wines. Visitors from far and wide make a bee line for the place, so booking ahead is key. Once in residence, kick back and enjoy the small bar with its carved beams and high ceilings.
This really is the best place to be on a cold winter’s day. It ticks all the boxes heaped in history at nearly 400 years old, a roaring fire in the range and a genuine local, with villagers a permanent fixture. Don’t feel like a stranger however, its unique charm means the place is welcome and warm for any out-of-towners.