10 best summer pubs

Somerset pubs with groovy gardens and other cool outdoor spaces

A pick of the best Somerset pubs with groovy gardens and other cool outside spaces. Any to add to the list?  Let me know in the comments box below. Tally ho!

The Ring o Bells, Compton Martin, the Chew Valley

Walks up to the Mendips behind, Chew Valley and Blagdon lakes nearby, shady places to sit, fab food and live music in the gardens – what more could you ask for?

Hare & Hounds, Bath

Just a mile or so north of the city centre (spot of shopping or culture beforehand?) with a Modern British gastropub menu, massive garden and spectacular views 10 miles across the Bath countryside.

The Lord Poulet Arms, Hinton St George, nr Crewkerne

One of Somerset’s prettiest pub gardens, with French wire furniture, pebbles, lawns, lavender,  vines and boules – ooh la la! And of course there’s the award-winning food.

The Halfway House, Pitney, between Somerton and Langport

Rustic pub with a suntrap garden out front, run by three generations of the same family. Hearty, home-cooked food and beers, ciders and ales straight from the barrel.

The Red Lion, Babcary, nr Sparkford

Wrap around garden with slide for the young ‘uns, a little arbour and fire pit alight of an evening. Well loved for its atmosphere and great food – see my review.

The Blue Ball Inn, Triscombe, nr Bishop’s Lydeard

Thatched roof and all, dating back to 1708 with pretty tiered gardens in the beautiful Quantock Hills. Currently being run by Tim Young and Jane Bishop while The Farmer’s Arms in Combe Florey is being rebuilt after fire damage last year, so expect the food to be as good as the views.

The Swan, Wedmore

Picnic tables on the terrace and spacious lawns, with a wood-fired pizza oven and BBQ just out of shot. Wedmore’s stylish gastropub has Tom Blake from River Cottage at the helm in the kitchen. Nice.  See my review.

The Devonshire Arms, Long Sutton, nr Langport

Former hunting lodge turned cut-above-gastropub perched on the edge of a picturesque village green. Eat in the courtyard, large terraced walled garden or out front. Games on the lawns too.

 Tarr Farm Inn, Tarr Steps nr Dulverton, Exmoor

When I say gardens, I mean grounds – 40 acres of them – and the stunning mediaeval clapper bridge and river Barle to boot. One of the UK’s top 50 Gastropubs.

The Prince of Wales, Stoke-sub-Hamdon, nr Yeovil

Former quarryman’s cottage perched on top of Ham Hill in the middle of the 400 acre Ham Hill Country Park. Bring sledges or IKEA bags to slide down the steep spoil heaps from the old ham stone quarry. Tables overlooking Iron Age terraces and a large lawn to the rear. Sunday lunches are especially good. Live music.

 

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Somerset