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A Taste of the UK: the Best Pubs in Britain

September 5, 2014

At Pegasus Finance, we love motorhoming – almost as much as we love stopping for some good grub and a cheeky tipple when it’s time for a much-needed overnighter. We also love the Wild Camping community – and with their help, we’ve compiled the ultimate British booze breakdown. If you’re off on a stint around the UK and need a refreshment recommendation – or just want to make sure you don’t miss out on an unmissable establishments – you’ve come to the right place. What follows is a positively thirst-quenching guide to taverns, ale houses and everything in between – so motorhomers can always find somewhere cosy to take a load off.

Recommended by petechinnock:

The Bottle Inn, Marshwood, Bridport, Dorset, DT6 5QJ

Best British pubs: The Bottle Inn, Dorset

Original image by RNE

In this year’s Good Beer Guide, you’ll find the Bottle Inn – home of the world famous Nettle Eating Championship. On top of its noteworthy cuisine, this 16th century thatched country pub is a sanctuary of cosiness, complete with a wide array of ales and ciders. The Bottle Inn is motorhome and dog friendly, making an ideal rest stop for travellers on the hunt for some local delights.

The Kings Head, Cheddar, Somerset, BS27 3LE

Just about the most beautifully located pub in the country, the Kings Head is nestled in the heart of Cheddar – just a 10 minute walk from the world famous Gorge. A perfect combination of traditional architecture and modern touches, this motorhome friendly pub offers brilliant booze all week round – and live folk music on Thursday nights when you can soak up the atmosphere until 1am.

The Brewers Arms, South Petherton, Somerset, TA13 5BW

Taste of the West winner the Brewers Arms is an acclaimed inn with quite a menu. The locally sourced food you’ll find here ranges from a comprehensive tapas menu to some exceptional surf & turf – and with their extensive supply of ales, ciders and wines, you can wash down your fine dining with some brilliant booze. With two car parks within 100m, this is an essential rest stop that is anything but out of the way.

Recommended by DumnoniiNomad:

Tom Cobley Tavern, Spreyton, Devon, EX17 5AL

Situated in the gorgeous village of Spreyton, the Tom Cobley Tavern is a family friendly pub with all the trimmings of traditional 16th century architecture. The warm and welcoming atmosphere is complemented by its award-winning selection of real ales and ciders – and with dogs welcome, this is a spectacular local experience the entire family can enjoy.

“The best pub in the UK! OK – maybe my opinion, but I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. Give ‘The Tom’ a call during the evening and ask for Roger (landlord), as he may be able to help. There’s not much space at the pub, but I’ve used the village hall car park with permission several times.

Circa 16 local ales and 20 ciders. Brilliant home cooked food in man-sized portions! And to top the lot, a real pub atmosphere!

As for recommendations, it very much depends on your taste. Ask to taste before you buy – and ask for what you like to drink, i.e. light and hoppy, dark and malty, etc.”

Recommended by caledonia:

The Applecross Inn, Wester Ross, Highland IV54

“The Applecross inn for food, views, atmosphere, and hospitality.”

This Scottish marvel sits on the Applecross Peninsula and offers a winning combo of spectacular situation and mouth-watering meals. With all food locally sourced,including an array of scrumptious seafood and cheese from the West Highland Dairy, the Applecross Inn is a one-of-a-kind eatery which has more than earned its TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.

The Old Forge Inn, Knoydart, Mallaig, PH41 4PL

“The Old Forge Inn on Knoydart for its remoteness.”

Best British pubs: the Old Forge Inn, Mallaig

Original image by Ivan Hall

Knoydart’s Old Forge has no roads in or out, making it the single most remote pub in Britain. Adhere to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and you can wild camp absolutely anywhere on Knoydart – with the Old Forge offering a stunning variety of meat and seafood, as well as a commendable real ale selection and traditional ceilidhs featuring impromptu folk performances.

The Sonachan Hotel, Ardnamurchan, Highland, PH36 FLN

“The Sonachan Hotel on Ardnamurchan, because it’s so relaxing and friendly – owners couldn’t do enough for you.”

The most westerly pub on the British mainland, Sonachan is a gorgeous specimen nestled in the picturesque Scottish highlands. Situated on a working farm, this farmhouse pub offers everything from Gaelic coffees to local whiskies – and guarantees a warm and welcoming atmosphere on top. With breathtaking views of the North Atlantic Ocean, Sonachan is an unmissable stop for any wild camper.

Recommended by hpold:

The Bluebell Inn, Spalding, Lincolnshire, PE12 6SN

“The Bluebell Inn has its own brewery. Great landlord and excellent food. Parking for motorhomes is £5 a night.”

Buried in the tiny village of Whaplode St. Catherines, the Bluebell Inn is an extraordinary dining experience catering to all tastes – with a range of vegetarian options for the herbivores amongst us. As well as its own on-site brewery, this impressive pub guarantees quality booze – which can be enjoyed in the Bluebell’s beautiful traditional English garden.

Recommended by sasquatch:

The Station Inn, Ingleton, North Yorkshire, LA6 3AS

The Station Inn’s cosiness alone should be enough to tempt any tired motorhomer. Dripping with traditional Yorkshire Dales atmosphere and boasting some unbeatable pub classics – don’t miss their bangers and mash – this motorhome-friendly establishment is ideal for a good old-fashioned knees-up, with wild campers welcome to stop over behind the inn for a delicious nightcap.

Recommended by Tow Itch:

The New Beehive Inn, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 3AA

This quintessential town pub sits in the heart of Bradford, built in 1901 and offering customers a taste of traditional English boozing. The New Beehive Inn is one of only 150 British pubs listed in CAMRA’s National Inventory of Outstanding Character Interiors – making it a rest stop with a reputation. And if that wasn’t enough to tickle your fancy, you’ll even find free Wi-Fi and free parking.

The Bhurtpore Inn, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 8DQ

“Cracking selection of real ales lagers and encyclopaedic collection of bottled beers.”

Located in the sensational South Cheshire countryside, the Bhurtpore Inn is an exceptional family pub and a regular feature in the illustrious Good Pub Guide. The community vibe you’ll find here is only complemented by the pub’s enormous catalogue of real ales, continental beers, wines and whiskies – and motorhomers can either take advantage of the Bhurtpore’s large car park, or negotiate some wild camping out back.

The Three Stags’ Heads, Wardlow Mires, Derbyshire, SK17 8RW

“Found this place by accident years ago. Only open Fri, Sat and Sunday. Normally three beers on and a small but excellent selection of bottled beers. Food is available of high quality, but not cheap. The landlord is a potter who sells some of his wares from the pub. Possible parking opposite in the forecourt of the abandoned petrol station (built under a corrugated metal barn), or you might work out something with the owner of the cafe (licensed). There’s also a farm a few hundred yards east that does very simple camping.”

Tow Itch

Best British pubs: the Three Stags' Heads, Derbyshire

Original image by Jon

“Get on the right side of Geoff & he will regale you with stories that will split your sides. Incidentally, the V&A exhibit some of his pottery, which is very quirky – but he is highly respected in the pottery world. Be careful of the 11% beer (I think it may be called Retribution). It is very quaffable, and the taste belies its strength.”


“The Three Stags’ Heads used to do a cracking music night/weekend and we slept in the barn across the way.”

Polar Bear

The epitome of rural civilisation, the magnificent Three Stags’ Heads buried in scenic Derbyshire is an unmissable pub experience, guaranteeing a classic combination of beer and banter. Geoff is a character not to be missed, with examples of his unique taxidermy and myriad colourful stories bringing life and character to this already beautiful, archetypal village pub.

Recommended by Louise:

The Orange Tree Hotel, Kirby Lonsdale, Cumbria, LA6 2BD

“No car park, but can you wild camp at Devil’s Bridge. Fantastic food, own brewed ales – and dogs are welcome.”

Cumbria’s Orange Tree Hotel offers warm open fires, intimate atmosphere and refreshing pints to boot. With a food menu promising mighty meals and a delectable array of beers, this pub’s reputation certainly precedes itself. If themed food nights take your fancy, get yourself over to the Orange Tree Hotel.

Recommended by Jo001:

The Falls of Dochart Inn, Killin, Perthshire, FK21 8SL

The heart of Scotland holds the ideally located Falls of Dochart Inn, home to breathtaking Loch Lomond landscapes and a food menu to die for. Steeped in history, the surrounding area of Killin boasts castle ruins, burial grounds and an infinity pool 40 minutes’ walk from the Inn – but make sure to ask staff for the secret to its location. Real ales and folk music also feature, as you might expect from a traditional Scottish establishment.

Recommended by Cliffy:

The Ferry Tavern, Warrington, Cheshire, WA5 2UJ

“A historical pub between the river and canal – good real ale, 100 different whiskies, regular indoor and outdoor events and fabulous fish and chips on a Friday. The car park would be big enough for one or two vans (except during one of its outdoor music events – Glastonferry, for one – or when the Mersey floods.”

One of Warrington’s oldest remaining pubs, the Ferry Tavern is nestled between the River Mersey and St. Helen’s Canal – a spectacular setting for a relaxing rest stop. Nationally known for its unbeatable whisky selection and belting fish and chips, the Ferry Tavern delivers on a glorious beer garden, and can certainly provide the beverage for the job.

British Pubs: Ty Coch Inn, Porthdinllaen

Original image by Ian Warburton

Ty Coch Inn, Porthdinllaen, Gwynnedd, LL53 6DB

The most remote pub in Wales, the Ty Coch Inn was named the third best beach bar on the planet, beaten only by Germany and Jamaica. Looking out on to the Irish Sea and sitting comfortably atop the sands of Porthdinllaen, this ideally situated pub offers glorious views and a formidable reputation.

Y Mochyn Du, Sophia Close, Cardiff, CF11 9HW

Nestled in the very heart of Cardiff, Y Mochyn Du is a pub with the whole package. On top of its award-winning selection of wines, lagers and ales, this fine Welsh specimen offers locally sourced foods and a beautiful, humble setting guaranteed to soothe any tired traveller. The name Y Mochyn Du is derived from Welsh folklore – and with a history like that, this is a rest stop that can’t be missed.

Recommended by nevb:

The Fox & Hounds (Coalies), Greenside, Tyne & Wear, NE40 4JN

“Folk music on Sunday night, home made Sunday lunches, a proper pub!”

The Fox & Hounds, better known as Coalies, is one of Tyneside’s greatest offerings – with an intimate pub experience complemented by its array of delicious local ales. Situated in Coalburns, Gateshead, Coalies is a traditional North East experience that guarantees local hospitality and excellent entertainment throughout the week.

The Tan Hill Inn, Swaledale, North Yorkshire, DL11 6ED

In the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, you’ll find the Tan Hill Inn – the highest pub in Britain, at 1732 ft above sea level. Bursting with quality real ales and offering some unbelievable countryside views, the inn is home to regular live gigs and some good old-fashioned pub grub. Motorhome parking is available, making this a unique and essential spot for travellers with a thirst for altitude.

The Admiral Wells, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE7 3PH

We couldn’t reach Britain’s peak without visiting the other end of the spectrum. The Admiral Wells is the lowest pub in the British Isles, tucked in the beautiful corner that is Holme, Peterborough. With a food menu ranging from English classics to exotic delights, this is a pub to suit all tastes. And if that wasn’t enough to tempt you, maybe their exquisite guest lagers and Sunday night poker will tip the scales.

The Cat & Fiddle Inn, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 0AR

The country’s second highest pub is a perfect way to conclude our Great British guide. The Cat & Fiddle Inn is a dog friendly travellers’ sanctuary with everything you could possibly want in a pub. With assets ranging from outdoor adventures like bushcraft, kayaking and mountain biking to a menu that splits at the sides with fresh food and constantly rotating ales, this pub is utterly unmissable. The Cat & Fiddle loves wild campers, so pitch a tent or park your motorhome and embrace the glorious wilderness.

Best British pubs: the Cat & Fiddle Inn, Cheshire

Original image by Jonathan Wakefield

If you feel ready for your next adventure but need the motorhome for the job, Pegasus Finance can sort you out. We’re specialists in motorhome finance, and we can fix you up with the travel companion of your dreams – no matter what budget you’re working with. Try out our online loan calculator now for an instant quote – or apply today to get yourself on the road to Britain’s greatest rest stops. And if you just can’t wait for your next swig of tasty travel tips, the good news is you don’t have to. By subscribing for the Pegasus Finance newsletter today, you’ll unlock access to motorhoming matters, wild camping guides and expert features galore. You know what to do.

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