Britain’s best pubs have been revealed in a brand new guide by the AA – and we’re about to pour a pint and open a packet of crisps whilst we share the gossip with you,
Whether you’re looking for dog-friendly pubs, quirky pubs, cosy pubs, or even some top-notch pub grub, there’s a place for everyone in this definitive guide to drinking and dining in true British style.
The 21st edition of the guide features 2,000 establishments from around the UK, all chosen for their atmosphere, good beer and great food.
Take a look at some of our favourites that topped the bill:
The Bricklayers Arms, Hemel Hempstead
Just from looking at the exquisite exterior, you can tell Bricklayer’s Arms in Hemel Hempstead is a good pub.
And according to the AA, it also has an ‘immaculate interior with low beams, exposed brickwork, open fires and candlelight’.
It evolved from early 18th century cottages that Benskin’s Brewery part-converted into an alehouse in 1832. Boasting an AA rosette for its food and offers traditional English and French cooking, it has nearly 140 wines and champagnes on offer.
The Fleece Inn, Worcestershire
It’s just a stone’s throw from the Cotswolds in Worcestershire, and is described as an ‘inn steeped in history’. Take a trip back in time and visit The Fleece in.
It’s been a public house for 500 years and was owned by the same family until 1977 when it was bequeathed to the National Trust.
According to the AA, it has ‘beautifully timbered building remains largely unchanged’. There’s something pretty spooky here, too. The pub has chalk-drawn ‘witch circles’ on the floor in front of each fire to ‘prevent witches entering through the chimneys’. Creepy!
King’s Arms Inn, Oakham Rutland
The King’s Arms Inn in Oakham, Rutland has two AA rosettes and is home to Jimmy’s Rutland Smokehouse – serving up some succulent smoked fish and meats.
For those who just fancy a snack, the King’s Arms Inn offers a homemade selection biltong and home-smoked cashew nuts.
Gin lovers will be delighted to know it also makes its own sloe gin, elderflower vodka and mulled wine. Not only that, but its real ales and ciders, and a bin-ends blackboard of fine and specialty wines are also known to be just as delicious.
The Boat House, Shropshire
The Boat House in Shrewsbury gets a thumbs up for its huge riverside terrace and ‘beamed, rambling airy interior’. Ideal for those long summer afternoons with a cold beer and a tasty lunch, the AA praises the pub for its real ales from Shropshire’s best microbreweries and its dishes from the grill that feature local produce.
It describes The Boat House as having ‘riverside ambience and serious Shropshire fare’. It’s a must visit!
Chequers Inn, Norfolk
The adorable Chequers Inn in Breckland is a long and low, thatched 17th-century pub. During the 18th century, the building was a manorial court, transformed into a drinking den for local villagers in the late 19th century.
According to the AA, the interior of the Chequers Inn has ‘skew-whiff wall timbers, squat doorways and rustic old furniture’.
Outside there are picnic tables in the rear garden, where dogs are welcome and will be served a big bowl of water after a long walk.
Black Boy Inn, Gwynedd
The Black Boy Inn in Caernarfon is housed inside a gabled inn that was built in 1522, it is one of the oldest pubs in Wales – and is filled with magic.
With over 20 tap cask and keg beers available from a range of independent breweries, beer lovers will feel right at home here.
With ‘fire-warmed, low ceiling rooms that remain in place thanks to beams rescued from old ships’ diners can cosy up and enjoy some food on the pub’s menu including deep fried fishcake, lamb pie and slow-cooked blade of beef.
For those who don’t want to go home, The Black Boy Inn also has bedrooms for those keen to head to Mount Snowdon or ride the Welsh Highland Railway.
The Anchor Inn, Monmouthshire
The Anchor Inn lies next to Tintern Abbey in Monmouthshire and was once a grain store which dates back to the 12th century.
With the centrepiece being a real log fire, the warm and cosy bar boasts locally brewed ales as well as ciders made in the Wye Valley.
The fine-dining restaurant showcases local produce with popular dishes being burgers, grilled steaks and three-bean chilli.