Here is a list that will bring you a guide to the 10 fantanstic country pubs in London. Let’s go pubing!
1. The Old Neptune, Whitstable
There is always a warm welcome for those looking for a pint of beer, a glass of wine or, on colder days, a warm drink after a bracing walk along the beach.
You can also enjoy live music Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Be sure to grab a window seat: The views of the sunset over the water are beyond gorgeous.
2. The Star, Leatherhead
It’s billed as the perfect meeting place for people heading to Chessington World of Adventures (it’s five minutes away), but once you’re in here, it’s near impossible to leave. Must be something to do with the book-laden walls and cosy fireplace. Because being whirled around in the air just doesn’t have the same appeal once you’re sat by a roaring fire with a pint in your hand.
3. Ye Olde Six Bells, Horley
Ye Olds Six Bells takes its name from the bells originally hanging at St. Bartholomew’s Church next door. With origins dating back to the 9th Century, the pub came about as a place needed by the Norman Lord to refresh himself after the lengthy services at the Church.
This country pub, by the River Mole, has been an important venue in Horley for over 700 years, and has operated as an eating and ale house for guests attending nearby Court Lodge Manor.
Here you can relax in the pretty garden on the banks of the Mole river, or take your repast inside the pub beside an enormous inglenook fireplace large enough to roast the biggest of oxen. Ye Olde Six Bells in Horley is a quaint country inn reputed to be the second oldest pub in the country with origins dating to the 9th century. With a charming riverside garden on the banks of the Mole and in the shadow of the historic St Bartholomew’s Church, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy hearty, seasonal pub food and carefully nurtured cask ales.
4. The Crown Inn, Berkshire
There’s no such thing as too many fireplaces. All pubs should have fireplaces. This one also happens to be part of the illustrious Heston Blumenthal group, but hot damn, that’s a hell of an open fireplace they’ve got.
5. The Smack Inn, Whitstable
Situated just off the High Street in Whitstable the Smack Inn is a charming traditional pub named after the historic single masted fishing boat that brought home Whitstable’s famous oysters in yesteryear.
Originally a pair of fisherman’s cottages built in the 1800s the large wooden pillared circular bar forms the centre piece of this cosy and friendly pub. To the rear is one of the best kept secrets in town: the beer garden. A log fire can be found roaring away in Winter months.
A selection of well kept local real ales and continental lagers are available on draught backed by a choice of bottled local real ales, lagers, ciders and a variety wines and spirits.
6. The Compasses Inn, Crundale
This pub has been likened to the infamous Sportsman in its early days, i.e. visit it now before it becomes near impossible to get a booking. It’s based in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the menu is a reflection of the surroundings. Herbs and vegetables come from the garden out back, while meat comes from as close as a quarter mile down the road.
It’s a bit of a trek to get here, but totally worth it. Make sure you set off early in the morning, catching a train from London Victoria to Canterbury. Then get on a bus towards Petham, and disembark at the Village Hall.
7. The Plowden Arms, Henley-On-Thames
Stepping into this beautiful 18th-century pub is like stepping back in time. Rather than try to modernise, the owners embraced the building’s heritage. Now they serve up forgotten dishes and drinks from bygone eras (using actual centuries-old books for reference) inside its old-world-y interiors.
8. The Hand & Flowers, Marlow
A casual and informal space but with no compromise on quality of food. A place where everybody should feel comfortable. The food style is strong and bold, with an emphasis on simplicity and service being professional but approachable.
9. The Hoop, Stock
The building was converted to an ale house some 450 years ago and remains in that line of business to this day. The wooden-boarded Hoop has an atmospheric pub on the ground floor – acres of beams, draught ales at the bar – and an upstairs restaurant that is opened up to the rafters to create a slightly more refined setting amid the exposed oak. The menu has been thoroughly brought up to speed though, with tandoori wood pigeon and twice-baked goat’s cheese soufflé on the menu.
10. The Jolly Cricketers, Seer Green
This pub is just ridiculously pretty. A Victorian freehouse tucked away in a picturesque village, it holds the title of “Best Pub in Buckinghamshire” and serves killer bangers and mash. It also has oodles of greenery, flower-bedecked doorways, and more countryside charm than you can shake a stick at. Jolly good, eh?