The 30 Best Pubs to Sneak Off to During Christmas

Get out of the house and enjoy a quiet pint at a historic tavern or cosy village inn with The Times 30 best pubs to sneak off to during Christmas week featuring some of our stunning pubs.

Shibden Mill Inn – West Yorkshire

They take Christmas seriously at this characterful converted 17th-century corn mill nestled in West Yorkshire’s stunning Shibden Valley. As well as lavish decorations and festive fare, the annual Twixmas Walk on December 27 is a two-hour guided stroll through surrounding countryside that arrives back at the pub just in time for lunch, or a pint or two in front of an open fire.

The Bull Ditchling – East Sussex

There are all the beams, exposed brick and open fireplaces you could wish for at this cosy South Downs village pub, nestled in the heart of English wine country. Have a glass of award-winning Ridgeview fizz that’s made less than two miles away, or a pint of the pub’s Bedlam Brewery pilsner, pale ale or porter. The modern British food menu uses a range of local produce, including some from the pub’s kitchen garden.

The Sun Inn – Essex

Opposite the parish church in the picturesque village of Dedham, the Sun Inn is ideal for a snifter before midnight Mass or a tipple after Christmas Day Communion. The ancient coaching inn has an elm bar, oak-panelled lounge, exposed timbers, original beams, open fires and ales from neighbouring Suffolk on tap, along with a selection of regularly changing guest beers from around the UK.

The White Swan – Warwickshire

Enjoy a pint at this recently restored, grade II listed, black-and-white, half-timbered Tudor inn. They may have spent £3 million updating, but the ancient character and warmth has been retained, with roughly plastered walls, exposed beams and roaring fires. Stay in one of the 41 contemporary bedrooms.

The Inn at Whitewell – Lancashire

It’s difficult to imagine a more picture-perfect Christmas setting than this handsome 18th-century rural inn in unspoilt Lancashire countryside. From the snug and comfortable bar and lounge areas, warmed by open fires, there are stunning views over the river, across the meadow to the fells. Locally shot game and superb beef and lamb feature on the award-winning menu.

The Devonshire Arms at Beeley – Derbyshire

Blow away the cobwebs on one of the many cycle routes through the Peak District, then repair to this traditional 18th-century village inn near Chatsworth House on the Chatsworth estate, with its stone walls, low-beamed ceiling and log-burner, for a pint of hand-pulled cask ale at the copper-topped bar.

The Trout – Oxfordshire

This idyllic riverside pub is taking the season seriously with a Christmas party menu, dinner on Christmas Day and a “Christmas Sleepover” offer in one of the pub’s six luxurious rooms. But there is everything you need if you have only a relaxing drink in mind, with leather wingback chairs, log-burner in a stone-built fireplace and selection of hand-pulled real ales.