Monday, 12 November 2018

The joys of the countryside

I was recently looking at one or two lists people had compiled of their favourite pubs, or ones that had impressed them recently. One thing that struck me was how the pubs chosen were exclusively in urban locations. Now, people can only report on what they’ve personally experienced, and that tends to be where the action is in terms of beer innovation. However, it is a somewhat partial view of the overall pub landscape, so to redress the balance here’s a list of fifteen pubs in rural or village locations that I have enjoyed visiting in the current century. I’m sure you will have your own suggestions to add to the list.

21 comments:

  1. What about the Craven Arms in Appletreewick? Set in the heart of Wharfedale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, it is indeed "Gateway to the Ales"

    https://whatpub.com/pubs/SKI/APPL-1-CRAV/craven-arms-appletreewick

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    1. The Stafford Mudgie12 November 2018 at 18:44

      Ron,
      Maybe anywhere north of Cheshire and Derbyshire is ineligible.

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  2. Excellent list. Some proper BBB in them as well !

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  3. Great list!! Holly Bush and Yew Tree are two of the best pubs in the UK. I would add:
    1.Druid Inn, Birchover, Derbyshire
    2. St Kew Inn, St Kew, Cornwall
    3. The Ship Inn, Itchenor, West Sussex
    4. Black Lion, Connsall Forge, Staffs
    5.Nags Head, Bunbury, Cheshire
    6. White Lon, Barthomley, Cheshire
    7 Druid Inn, Goginan, Ceredigion
    8. Pack Horse, Little Longstone, Derbys
    9. Red Lion, Litton, Derbys
    10. Blacksmiths Arms, Broughton Mills, Cumbria

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    1. The Black Lion has quasi-legendary status, but I have to say I was a bit underwhelmed when I visited a couple of years ago. Amazing setting, but the pub itself seemed a bit ordinary. Maybe I caught it on a bad day when it had a beer festival on in a tent.

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  4. One problem with country pubs is that many of them do not open during the day. I do a lot of country walking and an often disappointed to find that every pub I pass is closed.

    And, given the parlous state of public transport, visiting a country pub in the evening involves driving which is a no-no for me.driving

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  5. Sounds like a heritage pubs list! Can I add Elis at Huish Episcopi, Cock at Brent Eleigh. Went in Limeburners Arms Nether Kellet this summer landlord an absolute card, and the one beer on fantastic form! (sadly I would love to suggest Red Lion at Ampney St Peter, and Eagle at Skerne but they are closed and gone) For the South I would suggest Harrow at Steep and Bridge at Topsham are classics

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  6. First one that came to my mind - the Square and Compass in Worth Matravers, Dorset.

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  7. Can you tell me what the ale was on at Nether Kellet?

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  8. The Holly Bush is excellent and I've not tried The Barley Mow as yet....can I throw into the pot the King William in Milford and The Old Eyre Arms in Hassop...
    Excellent post

    Britain Beermat

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  9. Yes, in terms of their material and historic aspects, there are countless fantastic rural pubs. As to whether a visitor's experience of being in one of them is likely to make it a favourite of theirs, is a different question, however.

    They're likely to be among strangers, and to feel conspicuous. Especially, as is so soften the case, the pub is quiet. It's quite understandable, but the locals are inevitably going to weigh them up, and probably to pigeonhole them. Not many people like that.

    There are bound to be be other reasons for other people, but for me, that's why few of Britain's fine and otherwise interesting rural pubs would feature among my favourites.

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    1. Many of these pubs deliberately set their stall out to attract outside custom, so the idea that they're going to be unwelcoming to casual visitors is pretty wide of the mark. It's a myth that rural pubs are often like the Slaughtered Lamb.

      Of course, you might not get such a warm welcome if you're wearing a hunt sabbing T-shirt.

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    2. No, the staff are generally fine. But as you often remark, people go to pubs for social reasons, and they're not going to see many familiar faces at rural destination pubs as a rule.

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    3. So why ain't they on many folks lists of fave pubs then?

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    4. The Stafford Mudgie14 November 2018 at 08:50

      Yes, choice of T shirt is one aspect of behaving appropriately.
      From a review of a proper old country pub ;
      "Later on 3 of us decided to pop back for a nightcap BIG MISTAKE. Again we got in got beer and sat down no problem. Until one of the lads decided to take a photograph of one of the regulars asleep. All hell broke loose. The land lady and barman who upto this point had been pleasant to us turned nasty in a nano second. Beer was snatched from us and we were kicked out".

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    5. When I visited the Barley Mow, Kirk Ireton, Derbyshire - exactly a year ago today, as it happens - the only people present were the landlady and a middle aged man who had been going in the pub since he was about 16. It was very quiet, but we had a converation rather than sitting there being embarrassed. We were joined by two walkers and the atmosphere was friendly and welcoming. As a consequence I had rather more of the excellent Whim Hartington IPA 4.5% than I normally do when I'm cycling (but made it home safely).

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    6. "So why ain't they on many folks lists of fave pubs then?"

      Because they never venture outside the beer bubble? Or maybe because they don't sell 20 varieties of enamel-stripping craft IPA?

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    7. "But as you often remark, people go to pubs for social reasons, and they're not going to see many familiar faces at rural destination pubs as a rule."

      Neither will they in any urban pub where they are not a regular. And the "social reasons" often amount to no more than being in a place where there are other people, and getting a friendly greeting from the bar staff.

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    8. It looks like the Slaughtered Lamb from the film-set has been slaughtered: knocked through, all interior removed, and whitewashed walls at right angles:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHItywaQVi4
      https://whatpub.com/pubs/KIN/6913/black-swan-martyrs-green
      Preferred it before.



      The case is altered in Warwickshire is worth a look is anybody is down that way.

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  10. Not Cookie either15 November 2018 at 09:47

    Another Barley Mow, at Bonsall in the White Peak is a cracking pub, but doesn't play on rural charm it's just lively. It does well especially in summer because it's full of daytrippers, holidaymakers and the like. You could wear any T-shirt you like in there. TSM puts his finger on something with a fair few country pubs though. We like to feel free to be ourselves, even if that's a bit silly at times.

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  11. Pub Finder General11 December 2018 at 00:37

    May I suggest the Anchor Inn on the Welsh/Shropshire border. Slowly falling to bits, but a truly unforgettable experience.

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