The Times Britain’s 30 Best Summer Pubs

Great pubs with rooms: in the country, by the coast. Craft beer and cocktails, gourmet food and boutique rooms — many of Britain’s top places for a short break are now pubs.

The Merry Harriers – Hambledon – Surrey

Do you like old-fashioned pubs? Do you also like llamas? Then the Merry Harriers in the quiet village of Hambledon is for you. It’s possible to book a three-hour ‘llama trek’, during which you take one of the pub’s llamas for a walk, and have a picnic lunch (£70pp). There’s a good beer garden (the beer is by Surrey Hills Brewery) and a no-nonsense menu that offers burgers and sausage and mash. The seven smart rooms were redecorated this year. The Surrey Hills are close by for walkers and cyclists.

The King’s Head Inn – Bledington – Oxfordshire

Real ale lovers, pay attention. This is the holder of the Good Pub Guide’s pub of the year title. It’s in prime walking territory in the Cotswolds and comes with good rooms in a building at the back, set by a pretty courtyard. In the summer it’s lovely to sit by the village green with a pint of Butcombe ale, setting the world to rights. The main building dates from the 16th century. Dishes offered include steak and ale pie and pheasant schnitzel.

Crab & Boar – Chieveley – Berkshire

For those who stay overnight, the summer highlight of this pub is basking in one of the hot tubs in your private courtyard-style garden. Not all of the 14 rooms have a hot tub, so make sure you book in advance. There’s also a great beer garden, with a terrace for a la carte dining. Dishes include pub staples plus lobster spaghetti, Loch Duart salmon, and roast chicken with truffle gnocchi. Oliver Cromwell is said to have stayed at the inn in 1644 during the Civil War.

We are delighted to see many of our pubs featured in The Times Britain’s 30 Best Summer Pubs – click the link to read about the other pubs featured. Article by Tom Chesshyre.