The loveliest pubs with rooms
Fancy a weekend away in the countryside? The Muddy editors across 19 counties know all the best spots for a relaxed overnighter.
Only one thing better than a pub. A pub with a place to rest your weary head! Here are 36 of the best, across the 19 Muddy counties.
BERKSHIRE BUCKINGHAMSHIRE CAMBRIDGESHIRE CORNWALL DEVON GLOUCESTERSHIRE HAMPSHIRE HERTFORDSHIRE KENT LEICESTERSHIRE NORFOLK NORTHAMPTONSHIRE OXFORDSHIRE RUTLAND SOMERSET SURREY SUSSEX WARWICKSHIRE WILTSHIRE
The Turtley Corn Mill, Avonwick
The achingly pretty Turtley Corn Mill at Avonwick in the South Hams is one for those in the know. This family-run pub is snuggled amidst six acres of countryside, with its own lake and has six luxury doubles, each named after the ducks and chickens that waddle about in residence. The pub will do its best to keep you within its clutches, but you’ll want to escape upstairs so you can make the most of the super-king beds draped in Egyptian cotton, punchy power showers and Nespresso coffee makers. Two rooms are in a self-contained part of the pub and can be configured as a family suite, but couples will love the charm and romance of the Turtley, too.
B&B rooms from £110 – £160. turtleycornmill.com
Beech House at The Olive Branch, Clipsham
The Olive Branch and its delicious food is no secret but have you stayed at their boutique B&B? Oh but you must! After all, they grabbed the gong for the Best Boutique Stay in the county’s Muddy Awards so you know you’re onto a winner. Situated opposite the pub in the village of Clipsham, Beech House is intimate and luxurious. Its six rooms – Apple, Berry, Biscuit, Aubergine, Chocolate and Double Cream – are are all individually decorated and come with gorgeous features including floral fabrics and antique furniture, but it’s the lavish Double Cream room that’s got our name on it. Kick off your stilettos and slip into the roll top bath and admire the views of the gorgeous green fields outside.
Dinner and B&B package from£220. theolivebranchpub.com
The Finch’s Arms, Hambleton
With beautiful views overlooking Rutland Water, you’ll be hard pushed to find a better location. Go for dinner in the stylish and modern restaurant and stay for breakfast. The ten rooms upstairs are all individually decorated but for a special treat, book the rooms with a view (there are only four so be quick) and if you’re lucky you can spot the local wildlife from your own balcony or bay window. Meanwhile the pub downstairs is based in a characteristic 17th century county inn which comes with a gorgeous sun-soaked terrace overlooking the reservoir. The kitchen is headed up by chef Mark Gough who strives to create delicious dishes using fresh, local seasonal produce.
B&B rooms from£130. finchsarms.co.uk
The Crown, Woodstock
An 18th century, Grade II-listed, Cotswold stone former coaching inn on genteel Woodstock high street, near Blenheim Palace. You think you know exactly what you’re going to get from The Crown – and then you walk inside. This five-bedroom boutique hotel is seriously stylish, with knockout, modern, Scandi-inspired interiors. The gorgeous bedrooms (from £175 per night) are all mid-century modern sofas, sculptural light fittings and green’n’groovy house plants. Add in Cowshed beauty products, fluffy robes and 300 thread count Egyptian cotton bed linen and basically you’ll want to claim squatters’ rights. The communal areas are pleasingly chintz-free too, with a kitsch ‘60s lounge and chic orangerie dining room, where the gastropub food is equally excellent.
B&B rooms for two people from £175. thecrownwoodstock.com
The Maytime Inn, Asthall
They had me at “outdoor gin bar with views over the rolling Oxfordshire countryside”. Hel-lo! Classically Cotswolds gastropub The Maytime is marvellous for a summer sleepover, especially if you’ve hit those 100 (yup!) different gins hard and can only manage a swift stagger home from the idyllic garden terrace. The six rooms are all individually styled but lots of warm oak, cosy Burberry check blankets and Cowshed bathroom goodies feature throughout. With the ridiculously pretty town of Burford close by (I once saw Kate Moss on its high street and she’s not going to hang around anywhere crap, is she?), it’s got romantic weekend getaway written all over it. Rooms from £130.
B&B rooms for 2 people from £95. themaytime.com
The Litton, near Wells
A 15th century village pub (complete with suit of armour in the corner) reborn as a cool country destination in the Mendip Hills, close to Wells, England’s smallest city. Inside, quirky decor – plaid banquettes, reindeer hides, Moroccan poufs, vintage mirrors – with Modern British food in the main bar and dining area, a whiskey bar and 12 boutique bedrooms. Each bedroom is individually decorated and comes with the usual luxuries, including fluffy bathrobes and slippers – dogs are welcome in some. Outside, a sun-trap courtyard, festoon-lit riverside terrace and landscaped gardens. No wonder The Litton won Best Destination Pub in this year’s Somerset Muddy Stilettos Awards. thelitton.co.uk
The Red Lion Inn, Babcary
The village of Babcary’s only has a church and a pub. Can’t vouch for the church but oh, what a pub: great atmos and food in the restaurant, some rather swanky rooms and close enough to the A303 to make The Red Lion perfect for stopovers en route to Cornwall and Devon. Dating back to the 17th century, the inn’s picture postcard inside and out, with thatched roof, flagstones, open fires, leather sofas and pretty, sunny gardens with arbor, rosemary bushes and wood pit. Cut-above pub classics at the heart of their menu and a deserved reputation for their a la carte, Sunday roasts, burgers and yummy outdoor wood-fired pizzas. Six sleek guest rooms, with faux fur throws – twin, double or superior rooms (plus a sofa bed for children) and luxe toiletries – in a converted barn a few steps away from the pub. They do fabulous weddings, too. redlionbabcary.co.uk
The White Hart, Somerton
A former 16th century coaching inn, The White Hart in historic Somerton (the ancient capital of Wessex), has all the ingredients of rustic chic – stripped floorboards, leather sofas, wood-burning stoves and the like – and eight boutique en-suite bedrooms, three overlooking the town’s old market square and 13th century church. Decor is eclectic – antique trunks, 4-posters, claw foot baths – as well as smart TVs/wi-fi. You can enjoy a lie in here – breakfasts are served until a very civilised 11am. Chef Ashley Brill, under the tutelage of ex-River Cottage Tom Blake, turns fresh, local produce into upmarket pub grub throughout the day, to be enjoyed out in the courtyard or gardens on a sunny day. A brilliant base for discovering the famous Somerset Levels. whitehartsomerton.com
After a good night’s sleep in a properly stunning pub in a Hardy-esque village in the heart of rural Wilts? Gotcha. And once you’ve found it, you might never leave. Built in the 14th Century, The Compasses Inn has the obligatory flagstone floor, open inglenook fireplace and gorgeous wooden beams – honestly, it’s like stepping back in time. There is a concession to modern life though, in the form of four en-suite bedrooms and a separate three bedroom self-catering cottage, combining the relaxed charm of country living with a 21st century attention to detail.
Rooms from £95. thecompassesinn.com
The Lamb, Hindon
Rooms at The Lamb are about as swanky as pub rooms get. There are 18 to choose from, all with a funky yet home-from-home vibe, plus some seriously indulgent outside Garden rooms with their own private terrace. Make sure you stuff up on the Cote Du Boeuf before bed, washed down with a tipple or three from their impressive wine list. Of course, then all this gorgeousness will be wasted on you…!
Doubles/Twins from £109. lambhindon.co.uk
The Mayflower, Lymington
Slap-bang in the centre of buzzy Lymington, The Mayflower has six gorgeous, coastal-themed suites, expect roll top baths, balconies with sea views, Egyptian cotton linen, Bramley bath products and Nespresso machines; it’s dog friendly too. Elsewhere, there’s a recently spruced-up garden near the sea — all booth-seats, hammocks and a wood burner — plus really good food including a cooked or buffet breakfast in the morning. Read the full Muddy review.
The Red Lion, Odiham
The Red Lion feels daisy-fresh, from its interiors to its enthusiastic staff. No surprises then that, last year, Red Mist Leisure’s most recent venture had a facelift worthy of Joan Rivers. The rooms are airy and inviting: all soaring beams, posh smellies and deep pillows, perfect for a night a deux. If you want to bring children though, they are well catered for with travel cots and bath toys. Read the full Muddy review.
The Blue Ball Inn, Grantchester
As if you needed another reason to visit Grantchester, The Blue Ball Inn is the oldest pub in the village and celebrated it’s 250th anniversary in 2017. Another fun fact is that this pub has had just 24 landlords since 1767, one fewer than the number of vicars the village has had in the same period! Overlooking Grantchester Meadows with views of the Cambridge college rooftops, this beautiful pub relishes its history and celebrates its location; traditional games are on offer (Shove Ha’penny, anyone?), there’s a log fire and the pub is likely to be filled with cricketers from the local club, cyclists, dog walkers (and dogs), or a television crew filming the latest series of Grantchester. Inside there are two light and spacious rooms, both of which enjoy views over the countryside and there is a selection of award wining East Anglian ales on tap. blueballgrantchester.co.uk
The Lodge, Old Hunstanton
The Lodge is an award-winning bar, restaurant and pub with rooms set in Old Hunstanton village. Spend the day on the beach before tucking into fish and chips by an open fire, or out in the pretty garden. Or why not order a cheeky cocktail, glass of hand-selected wine or pint of local ale in the relaxed bar? There are 16 bedrooms ranging from cosy and comfy to pretty special – book the Courtyard room for access to a pretty outside area or The Attic suite for a roll top bath. Quote ‘MUDDY STILETTOS’ when booking for a FREE bottle of fizz, too. thelodgehunstanton.co.uk
The White Horse, Brancaster Staithe
The family-owned White Horse is one of those places that has it all: the most incredible views of north Norfolk’s coastline (I challenge you to find better, frankly), wonderful food (oysters are grown in the rivulets at the bottom of their garden), a bar serving craft beer, fine wines and local Gin, and an interior that screams ‘cool’ without being poncy. But did you know that it also has 15 bedrooms? The Room at The Top has a telescope to take in that panoramic view; others are housed in an architecturally-designed garden extension, with grass and sedum roofing to blend with the marshland beyond. whitehorsebrancaster.co.uk
The Kings Head, Letheringsett
You have to love a pub full of character, set in picture-perfect countryside yet located just outside a quaint town. Drive up the gravel driveway of the family-owned Kings Head, just a mile outside Holt, and marvel at the handsome Georgian, Grade II listed building. There’s a large beer garden with a children’s playground and a ‘Summer shack’ BBQ or – if it’s chilly – head inside for two warming fires and a snug. Meals are traditional pub grub with a twist (curry or Quiz Night?), while bedrooms are cosy, modern havens. The wonderful Norfolk coastline is just a few miles away. kingsheadnorfolk.co.uk
The Mash Inn, near Radnage
Sexy and cool are not words often associated with the deepest, darkest Bucks countryside but The Mash Inn has totally got it going on, baby. It only opened in 2016 but has swiftly built up quite the reputation. Charismatic ex-London restaurateur Nick Mash offers superior modern British cooking, created before your very eyes in the extremely open kitchen, alongside slick interiors and even slicker service. And you can sleep over in one of the six rooms (£110 to £210 per night). They’re bijou but beautifully done, with stylishly muted modern décor, kingsize beds, digital radios. and croissants and granola delivered to your room the next morning. Children under 16 aren’t allowed (yippee) making it a grown-up, romantic treat perfect for anniversaries.
B&B rooms for 2 people from £110. themashinn.com
The Pointer, Brill
Sunday Times Hotel Of The Year 2017 no less – but The Pointer has been a long-term Muddy favourite (we’re early adopters like that). This quaint 500-year-old pub has four B&B rooms (from £130 per night) and every detail is en pointe. They’re in a separate cottage across the road from the pub so you’re not kept awake by bar noise, the décor is more 5 star boutique hotel than country B&B and you get fresh, chilled milk for your tea and Hunter wellies for stomping around the pretty hilltop village. The simple, hearty food is exquisite too, with the meat, veg and fruit sourced from the owner’s farm. The morning fry-up is one of the best we’ve ever scoffed – and the breakfast buffet comes complete with a Bloody Mary kit and paracetamol. They know us too well.
B&B rooms for 2 people from £130. thepointerbrill.co.uk
Stag on the River, Lower Eashing
This relaxed and friendly country pub sits on the banks of the River Wey a few miles out of Godalming, pleasantly tucked away from the rest of the world in the pretty village of Lower Eashing. There are seven rooms – three are in the original part of the 18th-Century inn, and four newer rooms. All are beautifully appointed, and a cut above bog-standard pub B&B rooms. The beds are The Business – enormous sleep-inducing slabs dressed with crisp white linen, huge plump pillows and throws. There’s also proper, chilled milk and real coffee, big fluffy towels and dressing gowns, and luxury ESPA toiletries. Oh, and excellent wi-fi. And for families, two of the rooms are connected by a hidden door to create a family suite. Food-wise you’re also onto a winner. There’s a great seasonal menu, and an extensive drinks menu. stagontherivereashing.co.uk
Sands at Bleak House, Horsell Common
Sands sits at the eastern edge of Horsell Common – a walker’s and nature lover’s paradise – near Woking. There are seven luxury bedrooms and one exclusive suite, with the rooms are charming and cosy, each stylishly decorated in a contemporary and relaxed way. The bathrooms feature luxury toiletries and power-showers which will go some way to clearing your fuzzy head if you get carried away by the drinks menu the night before. The restaurant at Sands is a cut above your average gastropub, offering eclectic and exciting menus. And the cooked breakfasts are definitely worth getting out of bed for. sandsatbleakhouse.co.uk
The St Tudy Inn, St Tudy
Simple and rustic is the overarching theme at Bib Gourmand-winning pub The St Tudy Inn. Beside the Camel River on the edge of Bodmin Moor, this is Cornwall without the crowds but it’s still within easy reach of north coast hotspots, Padstow and Rock. This classy village local is owned up by super-chef Emily Scott and has become a buzzed-about foodie destination, known for its fresh, seasonal fare, real ales and fine wines. The 17th century inn has been sensitively renovated, with pared-back, neutral décor, comfy chairs and a big open fire. The newly opened rooms are housed in a converted barn and echo the elegant, relaxing interiors of the pub. The Inn’s wholesome breakfasts will set you up for a day on the beach or moor and star homemade granola, seasonal fruits, fresh bread and home-cured bacon. sttudyinn.com
Star & Garter, Falmouth
I’m a massive fan of historic Falmouth gastropub, Star & Garter and especially on a Sunday, when they serve the most delectable smokey, slow-cooked roasts.The pub has a fab foodie rep, stylish city feel and boasts stunning views across the harbour to Flushing. A year or so ago, owners Becca and Elliot converted the upstairs rooms into three chic apartments, where you can watch the harbour traffic go by to you hearts content. If you’re planning a weekend stay, I’d recommend extending it slightly so you can indulge on ‘Dirty Mondays’, when you can expect live music and a menu of blow-the-calories creations – think salt caramel chicken wings and brisket and chips – and a few fancy cocktails to match. starandgarter.squarespace.com
The Porch House, Stow-on-the-Wold
The oldest inn in England not only has a rather fine dining area complete with antler chandeliers and gastro-level food, the rooms are rather splendid too. Especially The Suite (pictured). Spread over two levels, it comprises a living area with fold-out sofa bed, king-size bed (looks bouncy!), olde worlde beams and a knockout en-suite with roll-top slipper bath and walk-in shower. Added extras include a Roberts radio, handmade toiletries, bathrobe and slippers, hair straighteners (love that) and, get this, a small decanter of port delivered to your room at bedtime. Sweet dreams! B&B from £180 a night. porch-house.co.uk
The Duke William, Ickham
Sitting deep in the chocolate-box depths of the Kentish countryside, this pub has a big-name chef behind it, Mark Sargeant, who is ex-Ramsay, so expect decent food. Low timber ceilings, a wood-burning fire, candles burning in old ceramic beer bottles, mismatched wooden tables and chairs – they’ve gone for the classic and quirky vibe. Being just 10 minutes outside the historic City of Canterbury or the Kent coastline in the other direction and surrounded by some beautiful country walks this pub is particularly well situated for exploring. There’s a brilliant beer garden for glorious summer days and, better still, there are 4 stylish rooms, including the Stein, which has direct access onto a sun terrace through its own private double patio doors, and looks out over the garden and rolling countryside. Or the Ramsay which can accommodate a pooch if you’re pushed after a pint. thedukewilliamickham.com
The Barrow House, Egerton
This gorgeous pub in Egerton (previously The George Inn) had been sitting empty when it was recently taken over by husband and wife Dane and Sarah Allchorne, the team behind ever popular The Milk House in Sissinghurst, and it benefits from the same foodie credentials. It’s named after the ancient burial mounds dotted around the local landscape which is great walking (or cycling) territory – spot the historic landmarks as you ramble. The building boasts bags of original character while being thoroughly modernised throughout so you can enjoy a comfortable stay in one of the beautifully furnished boutique rooms upstairs. This one’s a real rural retreat. thebarrowhouse.co.uk
The Fox at Willian has everything you could want from a pub. It’s in a beautiful village surrounded by real countryside for walking; the interior is light and contemporary in summer but it also excels at proper cosy in winter. Owned by the Nye family, The Fox is part of Anglian Country Inns, a group which has its own brewery in Brancaster – and also has pubs in Norfolk, including the White Horse in Brancaster Staithe and The Kings Head in Letheringsett. At The Fox you can expect a variety of interesting beers; and excellent fish, oysters, mussels and game. The Fox hosts great events, including a beer festival in July and regular wine and food pairing nights. It’s close to the vibrant market town of Hitchin, full of independent shops; Letchworth, the world’s first garden city; and the must-see spectacle of Hitchin Lavender. After a delicious meal, hearty walk or day out, The Fox has eight comfy and stylish rooms where you can sleep it all off in preparation for breakfast. foxatwillian.co.uk
The Townhouse, Stratford-upon-Avon
Handy for exploring Stratford-upon-Avon, this attractive, lively 400-year-old historic town centre pub-restaurant could not be more central. It’s just across the road from Shakespeare’s Tudor schoolroom and The RSC Theatre is only a 5-minute walk away. Rest your head in one of 12 individually designed en-suites with blackout blinds, Nespresso coffee machine and free breakfast if you book direct. Two rooms can be joined together to create family rooms. Dinner B&B rates, Sun – Thurs, two-for-one cocktails on a Thursday, 2 or 3 prix fix set menu every day and live piano every Friday. stratfordtownhouse.co.uk
The Punchbowl, Lapworth
A stylish boutique gastropub with 11 beautifully designed bedrooms in the scenic Warwickshire countryside close to two National Trust properties, Baddesley Clinton and Packwood House. All en-suite rooms include Freeview TV, unlimited free WIFI, breakfast and onsite parking. The restaurant has a superb selection of interesting choices both day and night ranging from home-baked sourdough bread to rare breed heritage meat and daily fresh fish specials. Another perk is the Gin Bar and ‘Gin of the Week’ celebrating some of the UK’s finest artisan distilleries. Outside there’s a lovely new terrace and garden room.
Rooms from £95. punchbowllapworth
The Fuzzy Duck, Armscote
Not only Best Boutique Stay in The Muddy Awards for two consecutive years, The Fuzzy Duck set in a picturesque, rural hamlet near Stratford-upon-Avon, has just scooped Best Pub in the GQ 2018 Food & Drink Awards. Four luxury en-suite boudoirs, appealingly named after a species of duck, are designed with art deco touches and boast a flat-screen TV, Frette Linens, bath robes and an additional loft bed in family rooms. Run by sibling business partners, Tania and Adrian Slater, who own Baylis & Harding, rooms are also kitted out with the family’s finest toiletries range. Enjoy dinner in the bar, restaurant, The Garage or outside in the Pimms Garden. They create diverse seasonal menus, daily specials and fabulous desserts working with the best local suppliers. A creative cocktail list too! fuzzyduckarmscote.com
The Dolphin, Newbury
Having undergone a massive refrurb, The Dolphin has gone from tired old boozer to artisan pub with rooms. It’s like going to stay with your coolest mates – interior envy everywhere. You’ll find The Dolphin slap bang in Newbury’s town centre, so ideal for Newbury Races and exploring the Berkshire countryside, with five reception rooms for eating, drinking and meeting with lush orange velvet sofa, blue leather banquette and clever, quirky art and collectibles. The five rooms have a mid-century vibe: simple, elegant with white linens, pillow menu, and funky coloured grout in the bathrooms. Love love LOVE. Prices from £90. dolphinnewbury.com
The Winning Post, Winkfield
Rural spot, great food, newly decorated Insta-worthy rooms (I mean, seriously, how lush is that green velvet?)! Giddy up to The Winning Post Winkfield, an historic inn that’s a favourite with anyone that’s hot to trot for horses (lots of big name polo clubs and Ascot and Windsor Racecourse are all nearby), foodies and city escapees longing to be surrounded by green stuff. Despite being just 40 minutes from London and 20 mins from Heathrow, this is the perfect country bolthole with 10 boutique bedrooms. Prices from £100.
The Bell, Ticehurst
If it’s quirky country style you’re after, look no further than The Bell, a 16th century pub with humorously decorated rustic rooms where you may find a tree branch ‘growing’ from the floor beside your bed. In the garden, clustered round a fire pit, are lodges including the special Love Nest – a circular suite with a copper bath. Enjoy dinner and breakfast in the cosy beamed bar where a stack of books appears to support the ceiling, and look out for dates when there’s comedy from the likes of Stephen K Amos and Zoe Lyons in the converted stable. The village of Ticehurst is a pretty spot close to Kipling’s former home Bateman’s. Newly trendy Hastings is also within reach. thebellinticehurst.com
The Ship, Rye
Wood floors, beams and shutters give something of an old galleon feel to the Ship Inn which was established way back in 1592 and has a past as a smugglers’ hangout. It’s now related to the Hush Heath vineyard over the border in Kent. Locally caught fish is a feature of the menu. Upstairs, the rooms include Nespresso machines, some allow dogs, and if you are staying over as a family there’s a suite with a sofa bed. Emerge in picture-perfect Rye with its cobbled streets and antique shops. There’s an annual jazz festival in August and a scallop festival in February. Lovely Camber Sands are around 10 minutes drive away. theshipinnrye.com
The Dorset Arms, Withyham
Ashdown Forest, AA Milne’s home village of Hartfield and family-friendly Groombridge Place are attractions near this pub in the Sussex Weald. It is actually part of the historic Buckhurst Estate on which the ‘100 Acre Wood’ from the Winnie the Pooh stories now sits. Organically-reared meat and game from the Estate appears on the pub menu, including a Buckhurst Bar Steak and popular sausages made to Lord De La Warr’s own recipe. A garden room with retractable roof is among spots to perch. Six recently refurbished ensuite bedrooms with nice touches like robes and Nespresso machines are available in a separate cottage. One room has an adjoining lounge and the cottage can be rented as a whole if you bag it early. dorset-arms.co.uk
The Red Lion, East Haddon
The Red Lion is a little gem nestled in East Haddon, one of those idyllic villages you hope to move to when the kids finally leave home. Surrounded by picturesque Northamptonshire countryside, you’d never know you were just a few miles from Northampton town. This cosy pub has an intimate lounge area, large dining room & lovely gardens – making it year-round destination spot – either as a hideaway from the cold winter’s weather or somewhere to bask in the sun with a cold Chablis… It’s well known for its tasty British food, cooked using seasonal produce sourced where possible, from local suppliers within the county. And there’s no need for a designated driver with lovely rooms available, I always like to ask for the one with the bath near the bed, even easier to stumble into at night! Attached to the pub is the Shires Cookery School if you want to make a proper weekend of it, either way though, it’s a pub that always seems to hit the right note. redlioneasthaddon.co.uk
The Bewicke Arms, Hallaton
Housed in a charming Grade II listed building, this pub is a modern take on a traditional inn in the heart of this pretty village where you’re sure to find lively local village folk. There’s three perfectly put-together bedrooms in the pub – two downstairs and one upstairs. All rooms are beautifully decorated, with exposed brick work, simple white furnishings and one comes with French-inspired windows which floods the room with natural light. The Hare Pie Café (also part of the pub) sits adjacent to the pub in a converted stable block and enjoys wonderful views across Hare Pie hill from the terrace and serves everything from a full-English to delicious cake.
B&B rooms start from £85. thebewicke.com