Somerset’s cosiest winter pubs
Cosy nooks, roaring fires, locally sourced nosh, craft ales and ciders – and a warm welcome – in our pick of Somerset's countryside pubs
Eating, drinking and cosying up by an open fire in an atmospheric pub, ideally with walks nearby (you don’t have to actually go on one but you know it’s there if you want it and I won’t tell if you won’t). Sound good to you? Thought so…
The White Horse, Haselbury Plucknett, nr Crewkerne
Beams, dried hops, roaring log fires, flag floors and a Michelin-listed British/Mediterranean menu served up by chef Richard (Oxo Tower and The Dorchester). Excellent value prix fixe menus at lunch and early eves, sharing roasts on a Sunday. Read our review.
The White Horse, North Street, Haselbury Plucknett, Somerset TA18 7RJ. 01460 78873. thewhitehorsehaselbury.co.uk
The Bull, Hardway, nr Bruton
Sister to the renowned Roth Bar & Grill, this place is trad Somerset country pub through and through, complete with brasses and beams, Windsor chairs and wood-burning stoves, pints – and patterned carpet. Grub is very much cut-above pub classics. The Stourhead estate is close by for cobweb-blowing away walks around the lake and their spectacular illuminated trail. Read our review.
The Bull Inn, Hardway, Kingsettle Hill, Bruton, Somerset BA10 0LN. 01749 812200. thebullinn-bruton.com
The Packhorse, South Stoke, nr Bath
Saved from being turned into flats or offices by the community, the 17th century building is fabulously atmospheric and the food and drink (try Honey’s Midford Cider, made literally down the road), is totally awesome. Pick up a leaflet with info on nearby walks.
The Packhorse, Old School Hill, South Stoke, Bat, BA2 7DU. 01225 830300. packhorsebath.co.uk
Kingsdon Inn, Kingsdon, nr Somerton
Cosy up in a little nook with a bread oven or by the open fire in this little white-washed pub on the village green. Chef Adam cooks up everything from British comfort food to south Italian-influenced nosh (front-of-house wife Cinzia is Italian). The former cider house serves local ales and ciders, beers from Somerset’s Butcombe Brewery and interesting wines. Three lovely rooms for a sleepover. Read our review.
Kingsdon Inn, Kingsdon, nr Somerton, Somerset TA11 7LG. 01935 840543. kingsdoninn.co.uk
The Barrington Boar, Barrington, nr Ilminster
Trad pub atmos with an inventive, locally sourced and beautifully presented menu mixing Modern British comfort food with European cuisine, a combo that’s already won husband and wife team, Alasdair and Victoria, both Finalist and Gold Taste of the West 2018/19 awards. Three-course Christmas Feast menu, for tables of 6 to 26, £32/person. Read our review.
The Barrington Boar, Main Street, Barrington, nr Ilminster, Somerset TA19 0JB. 01460 259281. thebarringtonboar.co.uk
The Lord Poulett Arms, Hinton St George, nr Crewkerne
Seventeenth century pub, picture postcard village, with thatched roof, huge inglenooks, flagstones and thick hamstone walls but with added comfort and style. Eat and drink in the main bar, smaller side bar and a further dining room – expect Somerset twists on pub classics. Stuff to do nearby: walks from the village, historic houses (the Elizabethan Montacute House and Forde Abbey), cider makers and the Jurassic coast. Read our review.
The Lord Poulett Arms, High Street, Hinton St George, Somerset TA17 8SE. 01460 73149. lordpoulettarms.com
The Five Dials, Horton, nr Ilminster
Honest pub food, cosy rooms and a warm welcome at this family-owned village pub on the slopes of the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Beer, ale and cider, with an emphasis on the West Country including Otter, Doom Bar, Perry’s of Dowlish Wake and Burrow Hill ciders. Read our review
The Five Dials, Goose Lane, Ilminster, Somerset TA19 9QH. 01460 55359. thefivedials.co.uk
Prince of Wales, Stoke-sub-Hamdon, nr Yeovil
Former quarry worker’s cottage turned unpretentious pub perched up on top of Ham Hill with good hearty food, hot mulled cider, roaring fires and games of draughts and chess. Surrounded by extensive views, splendid walks and super fun mudslides created by the quarrying of yesteryear. Super, super dog-friendly.
The Prince of Wales, Ham Hill, Stoke-sub-Hamdon TA14 6RW. 01935 822848. princeofwaleshamhill.co.uk
The Old Crown Inn, Kelston, nr Bath
Dating back to the 1600s, the pub combines age-worn flagstones, whitewashed stone walls, beams, leather club chairs, fires in three cosy rooms including this one, called The Morgue, with top notch food and drink. Plus there’s a cosy lodge in the garden with beanbags, faux animal skins and woodburner. Ideal for pub/walk combos with your dog with footpaths criss-crossing the village including a walk up to Kelston Roundhill, a prehistoric barrow with breathtaking views. Read our review.
The Old Crown Inn, Bath Rd, Kelston, Bath, Somerset BA1 9AQ. 01225 423032. oldcrownkelston.com
The Litton, Litton, nr Wells
Laid back country pub dating back to the 15th century with eclectic decor – plaid banquettes, reindeer hides, Moroccan poufs, mismatched chairs and vintage mirrors – and a bar made from an original elm ceiling beam from the old pub. 12 boutique rooms. Voted Somerset’s Best Destination Pub in the Muddy Stilettos Awards 2018. Read our review
The Litton, Litton, near Wells, Somerset BA3 4PW. 01761 241554. thelitton.co.uk
The King’s Arms, Charlton Horethorne
Bar, cosy snug and restaurant for a drink, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner. Owner Sarah and head chef Wayne Greenfield’s extensive classic/modern British menu has a soupçon of international flavours and everything’s made in house – even the pasta. Surrounded by gorgeous countryside walks and wildlife with lots to do close by: the Jurassic coast, Stourhead House & Gardens and historic Sherborne. Rooms if you want to stay. Read our review.
The King’s Arms, North Street, Charlton Horethorne, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 4NL. 01963 220281. thekingsarms.co.uk
Exmoor White Horse Inn, Exford
Ditch the car for the weekend, and head out onto the moors for WiFi-free wildlife-spotting (and who knows, maybe even the fabled Beast!) followed by a drink in the friendly bar (200 whiskies, in case you;’re interested) and extensive menu. Read our review.
Exmoor White Horse Inn, Exford, Exmoor National Park, West Somerset TA24 7PY. 01643 831229. exmoor-whitehorse.co.uk
The Swan, Wedmore
Easy-going comfort with leather sofas, flagstone floors, wood-burners and bare wooden tables. Fantastic food served all day, every day, with the kitchen overseen by executive chef Tom Blake, formerly head chef at River Cottage. Outside, Wedmore’s menagerie of quirky independent shops await.
The Swan, Cheddar Road, Wedmore, Somerset BS28 4EQ. 01934 710337. theswanwedmore.com
The Candlelight Inn, Bishopswood, nr Chard
17th century inn nestled in the village of Bishopswood in the beautiful Blackdown Hills (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), just off the A30, with cosy atmos, good food and walks aplenty nearby. Dogs and wellies welcome. Best Destination Pub in the Somerset Muddy Stilettos Awards 2019. Read our review.
The Candlelight Inn, Bishopswood, Chard, Somerset TA20 3RS. 01460 234476. candlelight-inn.co.uk
Redan Inn, Chilcompton
Almost more of a restaurant than a pub (though you can still perch at the bar on a stool if you like), this is a sister to the award-winning Pumphouse in Bristol and The Bird in Hand in Long Ashton. Food, woodburner, games and rooms.
The Redan Inn, Fry’s Well, Chilcompton, Radstock, Somerset BA3 4HA. 01761 258 560. theredaninn.co.uk