showcasing the best of the south west
Top 10 Pubs with Walks

Top 10 Pubs with Walks

The Tinner’s Arms. Zennor, Cornwall

We have a big place in our hearts for this atmospheric olde worlde pub (not trying to be, just is) in the heart of tiny Zennor, right next to the Coastal Path.  You can walk all the way to St Ives along this stretch of path, a few vertigo moments it’s true but with outrageous, life affirming views. Here is Cornwall as we most love it – stark, bare, elemental, nothing chi chi, it’s not for tourists. Back at the Tinner’s find beer from St Austell brewery, ploughman’s with 3 cornish cheeses and excellent crab sandwiches. We used to be fanatical about its lasagne back in the day. In the village St Senara’s church is worth a look, famous for its stone mermaid bench. You’re in the land of make believe here and all the better for it.

The Talbot Inn, Mells, Somerset

Hard to surpass the combination of a long walk through the old ironworks in Mells followed by a pint of Butcombe and a slice of homemade sausage roll at The Talbot. Both deliver on every level. Fussells Ironworks, once a hub of industry manufacturing tools that were exported around the globe, now a lost valley of exquisite wilderness. Antiquated machinery is photo shoot ready amongst a vale of trees, especially beautiful in springtime, with a fast flowing weir running through its heart. You can amble for hours here, take care with the stream. The Talbot is hands down probably our favourite pub and if we lived closer, we’d move in. Great food, drinks, service, atmosphere, perfect for a post-wallk pint or the full blown Sunday lunch.

The Square & Compass, Worth Matravers, Dorset

There are 3 well known walks which finish at legendary pub, (thatched, beamed, resolutely ungastro-ed) and our favourite is Chapman’s Pool which takes you onto the South West Coastal path for gobsmacking views. It’s around 4 miles more info here  and afterwards head to the Square, as its known, for a restorative pint of impeccable ale and a hot homemade pasty. That’s all they serve and it’s all you will want. A fave with walkers this one and pub lovers of every kind. Augustus John’s watering hole back in the day. It’s got Boxing Day written all over it.

The Cricketers, Shroton, Dorset 

The Cricketers lies at the foot of Hambledon Hill, an ancient hill fort, with arguably the most stunning walking in the whole county. A steep, heart-pumping incline (192 metres to the summit) and then views to fall into,  right across Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire.   This is one of the earliest settlements, predating Stonehenge and you’ll find ramparts, ditches  and terraces dating back to the Iron Age. Good bird spotting with skylarks, buzzards, kestrels, chiff chaffs and  willow warblers, as well as 28 species of butterflies including the Adonis Blue and the green hairstreak (we’ve never seen one either but we definitely want to) and then back down the hill for a rewarding pint. Food at The Cricketers is a high point so book in for a lunch of homemade pie or a burger with mustard mayo and posh chips.

The Queens Arms, Corton Denham, Somerset

Great, uphill walks right from the pub’s door though we tend to start 2 miles away at Cadbury Hill, site of Arthurian legend, ancient hill fort with views right across the Somerset Levels and Beacon Hill. On a clear day you’ll easily spot the Glastonbury Tor and you can easily reach the pub by foot from here or it’s a short 5 min drive. Either way the Queens Arms loves dogs, walkers, kids and high diners in equal measure. Fantastic ale and cider, scotch eggs made from hand-reared pork, open fires in winter, a big garden in summer and food we’ll travel for from the perfect ham, egg and chips or Ploughman’s with pork pie,  Montgomery cheese and home-made chutney.

Masons Arms, Branscombe, Devon

Start your walk in picture-pretty Branscombe, passing a historic forge before you hit the beach and begin your cliff walk along this stunning Jurassic stretch of the South West Coastal Path to neighbouring Beer (cream tea stops if you’re so inclined) and curving in a circle back to Branscombe. The walk takes around 2 hours by which time you’ll more than ready for cider, mussels and chips at the Masons Arms – its majorly trad in a good way think brickwork floors, settle benches, thatched roof and foaming pints of ale.

The Gurnard’s Head, Cornwall

A destination walk and pub in the sense that you are literally at the end of the earth here. The Gurnard’s sits high up above the Atlantic coast, offering walks along the most dramatic coastline in the country. The pub has made a virtue of its location, a refuge for walkers of pared back luxury, exquisite food and excellent drinks. What you’ll really want is to spend a night or two here, sampling the serious food – pork belly, hispi cabbage, potato and gruyere croquette or red gurnard, orange, anise, squid, samphire, ink dressing? – before collapsing into the Vi-Spring beds. You can paint or forage (guided tours) but mostly we think you’ll want to walk for hours along this stretch of coast with the promise of indulgent recovery at The Gurnard’s Head. If you can tear yourself away walk to St Ives for a spot of culture at the Tate.

The George Inn, Chideock, Dorset
Walk to the summit of Golden Cap with its extraordinary views over Dorset with a pint or two at the George afterwards is about as good as it gets. We’d highly recommend this for the Boxing Day pay back. Start off in Langdon Woods for a leisurely stroll which quickly becomes intense as the Golden Cap approaches. The George is an old school favourite – thatch, beams, slate, simple, seasonal food and spectacular wood fired pizza. Ale is delicious and comes from local brewer Palmers and the drop dead gorgeous white German Shepherd called Ramsay will win everyone’s hearts. We do love a pub dog.

The George and Dragon, Rowde, Wiltshire

A 16th century coaching inn, refurbed with that cool, grey-toned, scrubbed table look and reached via a long stroll along the Kennet and Avon canal then across fields to the pub. A gorgeous stretch of waterway with 29 locks (for the canal enthusiasts amongst you).  Settle in at the pub where seafood is a speciality with perfectly crispy whitebait, crayfish cooked in garlic, skate with caper butter and high end roasts on Sunday.

The Carew Arms, Somerset

For hardier hikers, an 8 mile walk over the top of the Quantocks to Crowcombe where you’ll find this 400 year old pub. At the top of the moor you’ll be able to see the Bristol Channel and the Welsh hills to your right. It’s said that Coleridge plotted his Ancient Mariner whilst walking these paths.  The pub has a huge open fire, flagstone floors,  steaks with various sauces and a really good veggie selection including a butternut squash lasagne which is never allowed off the menu.  Local ale from Otter, Quantock and Exmoor breweries.

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