Top 10 pubs with rooms ideally situated to make the most of National Walking Month
8 May 2019
To the walker, pubs, beer and beautiful countryside go hand in hand, providing the essential ingredients for a great day’s ramble, especially on a glorious Spring day. So, why not make the most of May and ‘National Walking Month’ by escaping to a cosy country pub with rooms, taking your boots and discovering the glories of the British countryside, with its local footpaths and stunning landscapes. We have taken the hard work out of deciding where to go by selecting 10 classic walking areas and showcasing a cracking inn in each for that perfect walking weekend away.
If you can bring yourself to leave this truly inspiring eco-inn run with passion and offering good food, luxury lodges, a market garden and its own Dark Sky Observatory, you will find yourself ideally placed to explore the 84 mile long Hadrian’s Wall Path, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and part of the Pennine Way.
The Forest of Bowland is the most stunning countryside in the north-west of England and you can savour the spectacular views from almost every room at the wonderfully laid back Inn at Whitewell standing in splendid isolation beside the River Hodder. Strike out through the wild and breathtaking beauty of the Trough of Bowland before returning to great food, superb wines, grand bedrooms with stunning views of river and moorland, and a cosy, lived-in country-house feel.
From spectacular wide open moorland to more secluded and sheltered tree-lined river valleys, Dartmoor has much to offer all year round and the Rock Inn a traditional old inn with a classic bar located just a short walk from Haytor Rock provides both charming accommodation, and top notch dining. A great base from which to explore South Devon too.
You really are spoilt for choice in terms of where to walk in the idyllic Cotswolds countryside, think the Heart of England Way, the Wychwood Way, the Oxfordshire Way and the magnificent Cotswolds Way, all of which can be easily adapted for length and strength. Base yourself at the Kings Head in Bledington, a Cotswold idyll set beside the village green, with stylish, cosy bedrooms and great pub grub.
A walk along The North Norfolk Coast Path National Trail is the perfect way to lose yourself in a magical land of sand dunes, wildlife-rich saltmarsh, sea air and even a Roman fort. Seek out this rustic-chic foodie pub with rooms just yards from the coast path for local seasonal food drawing on the rich local larder of top-notch ingredients and contemporary-smart rooms.
The Duke William set in sleepy Ickham, with its rustic-smart interior, classic pub food (with a twist), fabulous summer garden, and stylishly simple rooms is a great base for exploring the stunning Stour Valley and the 58 mile Stour Valley Walk with its route through the Low Weald and North Downs. The South Foreland Lighthouse Walk is easily accessible too.
A vast network of woodland paths and tracks awaits you from the door of the White Buck in popular Burley in the New Forest. Stay at this informal inn set within a grand house deep in the New Forest, a haven for country lovers looking for good pub food, a relaxed vibe and stylish country-chic bedrooms.
High up on the North Wessex Downs, just a stone’s throw from the Ridgeway and tucked away in an isolated village, is the country-rustic Royal Oak, owned by local organic farmer Helen Browning. The ancient Ridgeway trail dissects her farm (which you are welcome to explore), and the glorious rolling landscape is fabulous walking country whilst the far-reaching views from the ridge across swathes of Oxfordshire are stunning.
Walking is certainly the best way to see the Yorkshire Dales and stunning walks through gorgeous Malhamdale radiate from the door of the 17th-century ivy-clad Lister Arms where muddy boots, dogs and bikes are all welcome. Expect to be looked after you from the moment you step into the big stone-flagged bar with its comfortably upholstered settles by a splendid inglenook – kick back with a pint and a plate of warming food after a walk round mighty Malham Tarn.
Rescued and refurbished in country-rustic style, this community local is hidden deep in the Shropshire Hills AONB between Bridgnorth and the foodie town of Ludlow. A cracking rural base offering a big welcome, good country cooking, and three comfortable rooms – a ramble up Brown Clee Hill, the highest point in the Shropshire Hills at 540m (fantastic views) is the perfect prelude to lunch or dinner.
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