From quaint country hideaways to slick city centres, pubs have been the cornerstones of communities in the UK for hundreds of years – but it’s not always easy to identify those that are worth a visit at first glance.
However, a new list of accolades from Bristol-based travel company Sawday’s has highlighted some of the best pubs in England and Wales, in categories including Best Pub with Rooms, Best Pub for Seasonal and Organic Produce and Best Community Pub.
Whether you’re after great food, a lively atmosphere or a place to stay for more than an evening, here are their top picks across the countries.
Voted: Overall winner
The ‘dreamy’ Stackpole Inn took the number one spot in Sawday’s round-up, thanks to its warm, friendly environment, picturesque setting and excellent service. According to the judges: ‘The food is tasty, the bedrooms are super, kids and dogs are welcomed. You won’t want to leave and it really wasn’t difficult to choose our best all-rounder.’
Voted: Best Pub with Rooms
Sawday’s describes The Swan Inn as ‘The sort of inn we all love – open fires, original beams, ancient flags, tasty food, with lovely bedrooms thrown in for good measure’. Unsurprising, then, that their cosy accommodation landed the best room prize.
Voted: Best Community Pub
Another triumph for the county of Oxfordshire, the Abingdon Arms was ‘bought back’ by the local community last year and now boasts a roster of events including coffee mornings, quizzes, live music and literary evenings.
Voted: Best Pub for Seasonal and Organic Produce
Looking for a pub meal with a difference? Head to The Holdford Arms, where the menu bursts with delicious seasonal options. Options include everything from perfectly-spiced Thai curry to traditional bangers and mash – wash them down with a choice of six local real ales, a vast wine list or their own traditional cider.
Voted: Most Authentic Pub
This 18th century pub is a local institution, serving tasty food and carefully-pumped ales to the residents of the local village and beyond. Nearby sights to see include Savernake Forest and The Kennet & Avon Canal.
Voted: Favourite Newcomer
While heritage plays a part in many of the best pubs in England and Wales, new isn’t always a bad thing, as The Litton proves. This cosy pub and boutique hotel is a home away from home, with every little detail taken care of. As Sawday’s says: ‘The Litton shines out as special.’