12 fantastic pubs to stay at whilst on a cycling holiday

21 March 2019

Cycling, as well as being a fun and healthy activity, makes for a tremendous holiday and is a great way to appreciate the great British countryside and its wildlife. So, now Spring has sprung, get fit in 2019, load up the bikes and escape to one of these fabulous country pubs with rooms, all are in perfect cycling areas, close to forest and downland trails or a network of peaceful country lanes, and all are geared up to welcome cyclists.

The Sun Inn – Dedham, Essex

The Sun Inn, Dedham, pub with fine dining in Essex

Deep in the heart of Constable country on the Suffolk/Essex border is this historic 15th century inn noted for delicious Italian-inspired food, decent wines and charming period rooms. With much to see and do in the area, take off for the day on one of the pub’s bikes, which come complete with helmets and maps (and a picnic if you would like one), and explore the peaceful Stour Valley lanes that lead to the National Trust’s Flatford Mill.

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Dorset Arms, Withyham, East Sussex

Estate owned treasure deep in the Ashdown Forest, worth finding for traditional charm, menus brimming with estate produce, and gorgeous rooms in the refurbished old school house. The Forest Way, a 10-mile off-road trail (former railway) linking Groombridge to East Grinstead, passes close to the pub. Deer’s Leap, south of East Grinstead, has 240 acres of mountain bike tracks and family friendly trails. Bikes can be hired from Forest Row Cycle Hire, Forest Row.

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The Hero, Burnham Overy Staithe, Norfolk

A rustic-chic foodie pub with rooms renowned for local seasonal food and contemporary-smart rooms, just yards from the coast path and bird-rich salt marsh. Hire a bike at Holkham Hall and explore a mix of private estate roads and peaceful lanes en route to Wells-next-the-Sea, the 10-mile circuit returning along a section of the Norfolk Coast Path close to Holkham Beach.

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The Maytime Inn – Asthall, Oxfordshire

Spruced up inn hidden away in the Windrush Valley – worth finding for seasonal modern pub food, a brilliant drinks list, comfortable rooms, and its fabulous summer terrace. The waymarked Oxfordshire Cycle Way is minutes away, or follow the glorious Windrush Valley cycle route that links Witney and Northleach. For something a bit different, try a combination of bike and train, using the nearby Cotswold Line. Bikes can be hired from Tycycles.co.uk.

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Charlton Arms, Ludlow, Shropshire

Fabulous riverside location for this revitalised foodie inn offering stunning river views from terraces and contemporary rooms – just a short stroll from Ludlow town centre. For a cycling holiday there is extensive choice – explore the unspoilt Teme Valley on quiet lanes, head off road through the beautiful Mortimer Forest, or follow the Shropshire Castles Cycleway north towards Shrewsbury, taking in Stokesay Castle, Bishops Castle and the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre. Bikes can be hired from Wheelie Wonderful Cycling, Ludlow.

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The Bell Inn, Bramshaw, Hampshire

This classic New Forest inn which has been refurbished in country chic style, is perfectly placed for a cycling holiday and exploring the miles of off-road trails that cross-cross the unique landscape of ancient woodland and open heathland. You will find secure bike storage and washing facilities, emergency bike and puncture repairs kit, clothes drying area, and route maps and books to borrow. And if a member of your party isn’t a keen cyclist, they can try their hand at a round of golf at the inns own golf course.  Bike hire is available nearby at The Woods Cyclery, Lyndhurst.

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The White Swan, Pickering, North Yorkshire

In the centre of Pickering, yet perfect for exploring the Moors, you will find this grand old inn with its quirky, immaculate rooms.  There is a huge welcome for cyclists eager to tackle the tracks and trails in the Dalby Forest. It’s cycling holiday heaven, you’ll find a secure bike shed with cleaning facilities, drying racks and a workbench, and if you have travelled without your own bikes, partners Big Bear Bikes in the town offer bike hire, advice and help.

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Timbrell’s Yard, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

Timbrell's Yard, Bradford on Avon, near Bath, best pub accommodation

A cool, revamped riverside inn oozing quirky style, with swish bedrooms, a cracking bar serving local ales and ciders, and an open kitchen serving good food all day. Explore the 23-mile Colliers Way cycle trail south to Frome, or peddle along the peaceful towpath beside the Kennet and Avon Canal to the heart of Bath for lunch. Bikes are available to hire at Towpath Trail, Bradford on Avon.

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The Felin Fach Griffin, Brecon, Powys

Felin Fach Griffin Brecon Wales Pub with Rooms

Great cycling country and a great destination pub – bring your bike or hire one (maps included) from Drovers Holidays in Hay-on-Wye and explore the canal towpaths, peaceful Wye Valley lanes or for the more adventurous, the hillside tracks across the Brecon Beacons. Fabulous, daily-changing menus, comfortable sofas to relax in and eye-catching bedrooms await you at the Griffin after a day in the saddle.

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The Fountaine Inn, Linton-in-Craven, North Yorkshire

Fountaine Inn Yorkshire Dales family dog friendly accommodation

A Dales gem of a country inn in a beautiful village setting, popular for great beer, hearty food, the timeless bar, and contemporary rooms. The cycling fraternity love this pub, arriving in their droves for pints and sandwiches following a circuit through some stunning countryside, and the pub is very much in tune with its surroundings, with a lockable bike shed for cyclists staying overnight. Bikes are available to hire: at Dave Ferguson Cycles in Skipton.

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The Olive Branch – Clipsham, Rutland

Long-established and well-loved village inn close to the A1, with seasonal menus bristling with local produce and country-chic bedrooms in the Beech House across the lane. Rutland’s essentially flat terrain and pleasant countryside make this region cycle friendly and around Stamford and Clipsham you’ll find plenty of enjoyable routes. Pedal beside Rutland Water and you’ll find peaceful paths and tracks well away from busy roads and the 17-mile route never strays far from the water’s edge.  Bikes can be hired from Rutland Cycling, Whitwell.

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The Bull, Ditchling, East Sussex

The Bull at Ditchling is a cracking village inn set below the majestic South Downs – freewheel off Ditchling Beacon for real food, craft beers, candlelit bars and boutique-style rooms – you won’t be disappointed. It’s also the last place to rest and refuel before pedalling up the Beacon on the London to Brighton bike ride, when riders can expect a real party atmosphere at the Bull. If you are looking for somewhere to hire a bike for your cycling holiday, consider Hassocks Community Cycle Hire, Hassocks.

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Thank you for visiting our blog – this is where we have the latest on what our pub industry expert David Hancock has been up to including his discoveries when searching for Britain’s best pubs with rooms. We’ve also got insider tips and extra updates to share about what makes our handpicked inns such wonderful – and individual/unique places – to help you find anything from the cosiest corner, to a special room with a view or even the heartiest breakfast.