25th October 2023

#Hotels #Young's Rooms

7 of the cosiest countryside pubs to bed down in

25th October 2023

A whistle-stop tour of the cosiest country pubs

Country pubs really come into their own in these Autumn-y, wintry months. Picture the beckoning glow through the windows, the hug of warmth as you step across the threshold, and the happy hum of punters inside. Imagine flickering log fires in the grate, steaming plates of hearty goodness coming from the kitchen, and foaming fresh ale (we’ll have a pint of deliciously malty Young’s Winter Warmer, please). When the weather’s bleak and blustery, there really is no better place to be.

And if you’re looking for the ultimate winter country pub experience, we’ve really do have it nailed. Here are seven heavenly historic pubs with rooms in rural southern England, from Gloucestershire down to Wiltshire, into Sussex and beyond.

We start our journey in the stunning Cotswolds at The Bell on the edge of tranquil Stow-on-the-Wold. Stay in this rustic yet super-stylish country pub, and you can curl up like a mole in a hole (one of the Boutique rooms at Stuart House might also be known at the Mole – and is a real beauty). The bar downstairs is just as welcoming with its toasty wood-burning stove and as-old-as-the-hills stone floors.


Just ten miles down the A429, you’ll find the Wheatsheaf Inn in the quaint town of Northleach. This old-old-old creeper-covered building screams period charm, and it’s easy to conjure a vivid sense of its past life as a coaching inn. Our best bits are the oil-painting-hung Gun Room and the soak-away-your-cares free-standing bathtubs.

Jump back on the A429 and head south (35 miles or so) and you’ll reach the White Hart, in the beautiful hamlet of Ford (near Castle Coombe). It’s a true hidden gem surrounded by lots of leafy loveliness with the babbling By Brook meandering through its gorgeous gardens.  Every nook and cranny of this 16th-century gem holds a piece of history oozes character and charm. 


Now we head south through the scenic chalk downlands of Berkshire’s famed Valley of the Racehorse and come to the Pheasant Inn in the village of Shefford Woodlands. This splendid pub has been providing an idyllic haven for travellers for 450 years. Especially glad of a seat, a pint, and a hearty meal are the weary hikers of our local hills and the worn-out walkers of their dynamo dogs (remember, all our pubs are pooch-friendly).

A little further south, and we reach to Carnarvon Arms, just outside Newbury (famous for its racecourse) and right next to Highclere Castle (star of the Downtown Abbey series). Its setting among endless rolling hills makes it a spot-on base for all manner of country pursuits. Favourite pursuits in the pub include reading the paper with a pint by the fire, playing something from the impressive stack of board games, and gorging on the magnificent Sunday roast.


Now we’re headed to Sussex, to the true olde-wordle charmer that is the Griffin Inn, which overlooks the beautiful Ouse Valley (or Sussex Serengeti as the locals call it) in the sweet village of Fletching. This is a seriously characterful 16th-century pub, with bags of charm and original features (that you dare not touch) and the most breath-taking garden views, ever – like ever.

The final stop on our time-for-a-pint-and-a-pit-stop journey takes us to the Kentish countryside, and the Carpenter’s Arms, which sits just outside the pretty market town of Tonbridge (4 miles north of Royal Tunbridge Wells). This gloriously charming pub has had a top-to-toe makeover and she’s sparking, inside and out. There are warm welcomes by the barrel-load, super-indulgent seasonal eats and fireside board games to boot.


Now, that whistle-stop countryside-to-countryside tour has you all fired up for planning your very own cosy winter break, right? Be sure to take advantage of our Cosy Nights stay package. A topped-up two-night night stay for two with breakfast both days, a fabulously foodie meal (on either night), and welcome cocktails from £239.

Featured Pubs


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