The Two Brewers front view (Ellie Kinsella)
List Words : Wanderlust team | 28 November

10 cosy (and quirky) British pubs, from horse carriage inns to seaside escapes

With open fireplaces, locally-brewed beer and room at the inn for pets (including ponies), receive a warm welcome to remember at one of these British pubs this winter...

1: The Yard of Ale, Kent

A stone's throw away from the coast, this renovated stable has been transformed from a crumbling stone relic into an award-winning micro-pub. Grab a spot at the wooden bar and enjoy the community atmosphere under the ceiling of overgrown vines and beer mats, or head outside to the hay bales for a friendly encounter with pet ponies.

Best of all, the Yard serves a mean homemade pork pie and cheese board, accompanied by locally-brewed cask ale.

The Yard of Ale, Kent

The Yard of Ale, Kent

Don't be surprised to meet a customer in the garden with their pony who pulled them to the pub for a Sunday afternoon pork pie and pint.

– Becky 

2: The New Forest Inn, Lyndhurst

Located in the heart of the New Forest, this characterful pub attracts an array of visitors – from ponies to pigs and even the occasional cow. But it's safe to say they don't come for the locally-sourced menu, or for their fish friends that headline the Specials board from Friday to Saturday.

Perfect for a post-wintery walk visit or a pit stop after shopping in Lyndhurst’s boutiques, the New Forest Inn will welcome your whole family, including the dog.

The New Forest Inn, Lyndhurst

The New Forest Inn, Lyndhurst

An 18th-century inn with wood panelled décor. We spent three snowy days here in the winter and even had hot soup and crusty bread waiting for us on our arrival.

– Nandini

3: The Highwayman Inn, Dartmoor

Tucked away on the edges of north Dartmoor, this unique pub is stuffed with weird and wonderful objects - and the exterior is just as quirky, with a horse and carriage at the front entrance and a gigantic black boot at the back. As if first impressions weren't intriguing enough, the bar is crammed with dusty curios, artworks and historical oddities - so it feels more like sitting in an antiques emporium rather than a mere pub. Pull up a stool to become acquainted with the area's legendary smugglers and highwaymen...

The Highwayman Inn, Dartmoor

The Highwayman Inn, Dartmoor

A cosy, if not eerie, traditional pub that brings an Arthur Conan Doyle novel to life.

– Ellie 

4: Red Lion, Clovelly

Set right on the North Devon coast, the Red Lion is a charming spot to feast on fine seafood. Wander down the traffic-free alleyways of Clovelly to reach the pebble beach, before heading to the Red Lion's Harbour Bar for freshly-caught fish or a seafood platter to share. Once you've filled up on food, get cosy by the fire at the Snug Bar with a pint of Devon cider and mingle with the locals, listening to their stories.

Red Lion, Clovelly

Red Lion, Clovelly

It's particularly good at Christmas when the RNLI deliver presents to the old and young residents, whilst carol singing down the narrow cobbled street.

– Alison

5: Ty Coch Inn, North Wales

Ty Coch Inn is a gem hidden in the treasure of Porthdinllaen, wedged between towering mountains and coastal shores. Its bar may be small, but it's well-stocked and convivial. Grab yourself a gin and tonic and head out front to enjoy views of those Welsh peaks and ocean waves. But be aware that low season opening hours are reduced and don’t expect the pub to be open on a Sunday night or food to be served in the evenings.

Ty Coch Inn, North Wales

Ty Coch Inn, North Wales

Following a brisk walk and seal spotting along the Llŷn Peninsula, it's the perfect beachside hideaway to warm the cockles.

– Jess 

6: The Greyhound Inn, Longford

Saunter alongside Coventry's canals and peek through the doors of this traditional inn. With wooden barrel chairs by the open fire, colourful 1940s posters and a collection of vintage beer bottles for decoration, The Greyhound Inn is as characterful as it is cosy. Except your four-legged friend to receive a very warm welcome and make sure you try a traditional, homemade pie. You'll soon understand why it has been voted the best pub in Coventry and Warwickshire four times.

The Greyhound Inn, Longford

The Greyhound Inn, Longford

Always a warm welcome from staff and a real fire burning. There is a good selection of traditional cask beers, so every visit is like the first time at the pub.

– Dave 

7: The Crown Liquor Saloon, Belfast

With its stained-glass windows, Italian hand-crafted woodwork and dazzling mosaic floor, the Crown Liquor Saloon certainly creates an impression. Though it was first founded in 1826, the new National Trust owners have recreated the same warm welcome and atmosphere that customers enjoyed centuries ago, with mahogany booths, Belfast lager served from wooden barrels, and original features from its gin palace past.

The Crown Liquor Saloon, Belfast

The Crown Liquor Saloon, Belfast

It was renovated as a Victorian interior design with a banquet of fine ceramic woodwork.

– Rain 

8: The Butt and Oyster, Pin Mill, Suffolk

A meander through the black mud river bed and past the moored-up barges will take you back in time to the smugglers haven this pub once was. Stoop through the ancient door frame and snuggle up by the fire. Look out at the boats along the river and you’ll soon see why Arthur Ransome chose this very same view for the setting of his book 'We Didn’t Mean to go to Sea'. See the mark on the walls from when the Butt and Oyster was flooded and if you’re lucky when the tide is up, you may even witness a sailor in his boat getting served a pint through the window.

The view from the Butt and Oyster (Jo Rose)

The view from the Butt and Oyster (Jo Rose)

Rain or shine, you can’t beat the river view from the Butt and Oyster – and the atmosphere and the food are always great, too.

– Matt 

9: The Belgian Monk, Norwich

From the plait-headed waitresses to regional favourite dishes such as Gehaktballekes, this timber-cladded pub provides all the comfort you need – not forgetting a fine selection of Belgian beer. Pootle around the shops of Norwich’s cobbled lanes before warming up at the bar with a Ter Dolen Kriek (cherry beer) – it’s the only place in the UK to sell the award-winning beverage. More must-tries are the 30 variants of mussel dishes and a waffle shot that tastes as sweet as it sounds.

The Belgian Monk (www.ruskidot.com)

The Belgian Monk (www.ruskidot.com)

Whether you want to back halves of high-strength blonde beer, or sample its sumptuous cuisine, look no further than the Belgian Monk.

– Lucas 

10: The Two Brewers, Windsor

Neighbour to Windsor Castle and located on Park Street – one of the oldest streets in Windsor – The Two Brewers boasts English heritage in a prime location. While it is lovely in summer too, it is in winter that the Brewers really comes into its own, with candles and fires adding to the atmosphere. Take a stroll down the Long Walk to see the King George III statue (a deceptive two and a half miles from the castle) and spot herds of deer roaming in the Great Park, before marching back to the Brewers for a well-earned pub lunch and pint. We recommend the ham, egg and chips - a simple dish done well. Well behaved dogs are welcome, but no children.

The Two Brewers (Ellie Kinsella)

The Two Brewers (Ellie Kinsella)

It's hidden in the shadow of the castle and right by the gates to the Long Walk and Great Park, so brilliant for a drink or meal after a walk.

– Lyn