11 Great Country Pubs With Walking Routes
11 Great Country Pubs With Walking Routes

11 Great Country Pubs With Walking Routes


The perfect pint requires the perfect thirst. A pub lunch also always tastes better after a long walk. So, here are 11 great pubs worth a day trip from London – and 11 ways to work up the right appetite for them…
Photography THE HARE & HOUNDS

The Pepper Box Inn

Harrietsham, Kent

The Pepper Box Inn is a great spot at the end of the route from Yalding to Sutton Valence in Kent. Think of this route, which is clearly marked for the most part, as a relaxed stroll through apple orchards and countryside lanes. Passing four ancient churches and three pubs, there are plenty of sights to see along the way. Start at Yalding station and head towards the nearby George Inn and Walnut Tree pub. Following the signposts, you’ll reach Buston Manor, Linton and a small woodland area. The route ends at Harrietsham station, a short walk from The Pepper Box Inn, where you can choose from mains like baked cod fillet with steamed clams in garlic and white wine, Thai fish curry or beer-battered fish and chips. If you’re there on a Sunday, don’t miss the pork loin with sausage and apple stuffing.

Visit ThePepperBoxInn.co.uk

The Ram Inn

Firle, East Sussex

From the chalk cliffs around Beachy Head to Eric Ravilious hotspots such as Cuckmere Haven there are dozens of well-known scenic routes in this beautiful part of East Sussex. If you’re feeling fit, walk to Firle Beacon to enjoy panoramic views of the sea and down to the castle at Lewes. Much of the area is associated with the Bloomsbury group: Charleston in Firle is the former home of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, and is now a museum and art gallery. If you’re after a decent country pub in pretty surroundings, you want The Ram Inn down the road. It serves hearty mains like fish and chips and decent Sunday roasts in wood-panelled surroundings. If you’re into wine, there are plenty of vineyards worth exploring – we can recommend Rathfinny EstateRidgeview and Nyetimber.

Visit RamInn.co.uk

The Horse Guards Inn

Tillington, West Sussex

If you’re after a gentle walk through wildflowers in the West Sussex countryside, Petworth and its neighbouring village Tillington is a good option. Starting in Tillington, head west along Cemetery Lane and follow the road towards the vineyards. From there, turn right and walk towards Upperton Common – a good place to stop for some of the best views. You’ll then pass a cluster of beech trees before reaching the National Trust’s Petworth House where you can spot fallow deer in the park. Head across the deer park and back to the Horse Guards, an excellent gastropub with one of the nicest suntrap beer gardens we’ve come across. In terms of food, expect seasonal dishes like pan-fried hake with Jersey Royals, local fish and shellfish stew, and veal fillet with wild mushrooms and spinach, potato and cauliflower gratin.

Visit TheHorseGuardsInn.co.uk

The Pepper Box Inn, Harrietsham, Kent
The Pepper Box Inn, Harrietsham, Kent
The Horse Guards Inn, Tillington, West Sussex
The Horse Guards Inn, Tillington, West Sussex

The Tiger Inn

East Dean, East Sussex

East Sussex is home to one of the most scenic walks in the UK. There are a few routes to take across Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters, but for a relaxed 90-minute stroll, follow the path between Birling Gap and the Tiger Inn – you can pick up a beermat with the route on it from the pub and stop for a refreshing drink when you get back. The circular coastal route begins at the inn and continues to Belle Tout lighthouse and Friston church. Follow the National Trust signposts to Baileys Hill, the second of the Seven Sisters, and Went Hill. Be careful not to get too close to the cliff edge, then walk down the steps by the beach at Birling Gap for one of the best vantage points. On the way back, follow the signs which lead back to the pub. Quintessentially British, the Tiger has an open fire, low-slung oak beams and plenty of comfort food, including fish and chips and homemade pies.

Visit BeachyHead.org.uk

The Coach

Marlow, Buckinghamshire

For many, the Thames-side town of Marlow is all about the food, and the famed Hand & Flowers in particular. As the UK’s only pub with two Michelin stars, it offers bold yet unpretentious reinterpretations of pub classics: think slow-cooked duck breast with crispy duck-fat chips. But Tom Kerridge also has The Coach and The Butcher’s Tap in town – and we think The Coach is the best spot for a low-key lunch after a decent walk. Away from Kerridge’s empire, the Georgian town offers all the charm of nearby Henley and Windsor. Just north of Marlow, you’ll find the Chiltern Hills, officially an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. From the town centre, there are two circular walks, as well as Cliveden if you fancy wandering around the estate.

Visit TheCoachMarlow.co.uk

The Coach, Marlow, Buckinghamshire
The Coach, Marlow, Buckinghamshire

The Hare & Hounds

Newbury, Berkshire

From the group behind Wild Thyme & Honey in the Cotswolds, The Hare & Hounds opened its doors last year. In the scenic town of Newbury, the pub is set in a 17th-century Georgian building featuring traditional country interiors and an atmospheric barn dining room. Build up an appetite on the Donnington Castle and Snelsmore Common circular route, which takes around 90 minutes to complete. Once you’ve reached the pub, expect farm-to-table menus that change with the seasons and champion local suppliers and producers. Dishes include hot-smoked salmon on sourdough crumpets with hollandaise sauce, chicken and ham pie with truffled mash potato and greens, Cornish crab cakes, and lemon and blood orange tart with crème fraiche. Highclere Castle is also a short drive away.

Visit HareAndHoundsNewbury.co.uk

The Mutton

Hazeley Heath, Hampshire

The Mutton is a family run pub in the small village of Hartley Wintney in north Hampshire. Newly opened in a restored 19th-century building, it’s close to the village’s nature reserve. For a leisurely walk, follow the Hartley Wintney and Hazeley Heath circular walk which takes around two hours to complete, passing through woodland and farmland – it’s a popular route with dog walkers. For a shorter route, skip the first part and walk around the heath, which takes about an hour. Back at the pub, diners can tuck into classics made with local produce, including mutton crumpets with pickled red cabbage; torched mackerel pakoras; venison with salt-baked celeriac; and mushroom risotto with sweetcorn, blue cheese and crispy kale. There’s also a Sunday lunch menu and plenty of well-kept local cask ales.

Visit TheMuttonAtHazeleyHeath.co.uk

The Star

Alfriston, East Sussex

For an afternoon out that combines some of the South Downs’ many highlights – i.e. views, art and local wine – look to picture-perfect Alfriston. From the team behind Hotel Endsleigh in Devon and Hotel Tresanton in Cornwall, glossily refurbished pub-with-rooms The Star is set in a 16th-century building in the heart of this medieval Sussex village. The property has been overhauled with 30 contemporary bedrooms and bathrooms, and lunch in the courtyard is a must in the summer. The Seven Sisters cliffs and the South Downs are both nearby, and are absolutely worth exploring before afternoon tea at Badgers Tea House and a browse through the impressively stocked Much Ado Books.

Visit ThePolizziCollection.com

The Star, Alfriston, East Sussex
The Star, Alfriston, East Sussex


The Hare & Hound, Newbury, Berkshire
The Hare & Hound, Newbury, Berkshire

The Unicorn

Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

For a country pub crawl, follow the rambling route through Henley to Pangbourne in the Oxfordshire countryside. Starting and finishing by the Thames, you’ll pass several woodland areas, ancient streets and pubs. Start at Henley station and follow the river until you reach Deanfield Avenue. From there, continue to St Nicholas’s church and the Maltsters Arms pub. About halfway through the route, stop off at The Unicorn for lunch, before continuing on to Bozedown alpaca farm – a great stop if you’ve got kids in tow. The Unicorn serves stylish British fare ideal for a special meal with friends and family. Dishes include grilled lobster with truffle fries, beer-battered fish and triple cooked chips, beef wellington with seasonal veg, plus five Sunday lunch options, including brie and walnut stuffed Yorkshire puddings. 

Visit UnicornKingwood.co.uk

The Dog & Pheasant

Brook, Surrey

Brook is a small hamlet in Surrey which is well worth exploring of an afternoon. The main draw is the pub, and there are a few walking routes to choose from. The circular route starts at Bowlhead Green Road, before continuing through a nearby field and meadow. On the other side, you’ll reach Cosford Farm House and Bowlhead Green. At the end of the route, which takes around two hours, reward yourself with lunch at The Dog & Pheasant. Ask about the daily special or enjoy one of the signature pies on the menu – we rated the squash, spinach and vegan feta pie.

Visit DogAndPheasant.com

The Hatch Inn

Hartfield, East Sussex

For a short and leisurely woodland walk, Ashdown Forest is a great option for families and dogs. There are several routes to take, but for a day out, follow the Pooh Walk which begins at Gills Lap car park and follows a circular route around Wrens Warren Valley. The country views can be appreciated year round, though the pine trees in the forest look particularly striking during the summer months. There are several dog-friendly country pubs in the area, including the 15th-century Hatch Inn. Alongside a cracking pint of Sussex’s finest Harvey’s, it serves classic and contemporary dishes like cod and chips; seafood linguine with king prawns, mussels, cod and haddock; crispy Thai beef noodle salad; and duck breast with roasted new potatoes and braised red cabbage.

Visit HatchInn.co.uk

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