While I can only personally recommend the pubs and farm shops of the South West, I find they are rather wonderful pit-stops while traveling the countryside. I discovered some of my favourites while jaunting about local beauty spots. Finding such a space is always something to look forward to, as well as supporting a local farm shop or pub. All the places mentioned use local farmers and Bath businesses to supply their food and drinks.
– The George Inn, Norton St. Philip –
A pub full of history and even a few ghosts if the legend is to be believed.
The George Inn is a historic 14th-century Grade I listed Tudor inn, situated right in the center of Norton St. Philip a charming village a few miles from the city of Bath.
On a sunny day, there is nothing like sitting outside on the patio, overlooking the village green and the hills beyond. On colder winter days the inside of the George is just as charming with rich woodcarvings and roaring fireplaces, as well as swathes of traditional decorations for Christmastime.
– The Packhorse, Southstoke –
Boasting a lovely hedged garden and wonderful gastro-fare.
The Packhorse for example is a village-run pub and was lifted from the ashes of former glory by a community who wanted a local hub. On a walk to Southstoke, which isn’t far from my village, my family and I popped in for a drink and to survey what they had done with the inside. I was thrilled to see a garden of tables, brimming over with colourful plants and of course, the ever-elusive British sunshine made an appearance too. Not only were their staff friendly and helpful they also had a nice knowledge of the local beers and ciders on tap.
– The Wheatsheaf, Combe Hay –
A cheery hearth in the winter and a lovely patio view in the summer.
The Wheatsheaf pub was originally a farmhouse built in 1576 that was converted into a pub in the 18th century, several parts of the building you can now sit in date back to the 16th century. My family and I visit often and take family when they visit us to see how lovely a countryside pub can be. With local drinks on tap and gourmet food to offer, the Wheatsheaf is worth visiting after a long walk in the countryside. Polite dogs are welcome to visit too.
It is a very busy place so if you’d like to have a meal you need to book ahead to avoid being disappointed.
– Newton Farm Foods, Newton St Loe –
Wonderful seating indoors and outdoors as well as a selection of organic and locally produced food.
Newton Farm Foods, I came across just a few weeks ago while exploring new places to walk. Inside the building is more seating for the colder months, as well as a farm shop, butchers, display space for local businesses, and a wall of bees.
Each time I visited, I was welcomed with warm service, wonderful tea time cakes, and even bought some produce to take home. With charmingly mismatched crockery and excellent tea from Bath’s own independent Tea Emporium, it was a wonderful visit for all (You have not visited until you try a tub of Purbeck ice cream.)
– The Hope & Anchor, Midford –
A good selection of local ciders on tap and lovely interiors.
When a lovely pub lies at the finishing line of your afternoon walk, it certainly makes plodding along even more exciting. At the end of one of my favourite countryside walks is the Midford Hope & Anchor, settled next to what was once Midford train station. With nice service, cozy interiors, and a seasonal menu this pub makes for a wonderful pit stop.