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Best cosy Wiltshire pubs to snuggle up in this winter

There’s nothing quite like a Sunday afternoon spent in front of a roaring fire, sunk deep into the sofa with a drink in hand. Here’s where we’ll be holed up for the next few months (mulled wine optional)

Best for quintessential Cotswold vibes: The Potting Shed, Crudwell

A stone’s throw away from the much-loved (and ultra-fancy) Rectory Hotel, sits this charming bolthole, a favourite of Prince William and Kate Middleton when they were dating. If it’s good enough for them… The Potting Shed is undeniably lovely all year round, but it really comes into its own as the frost sets in, with thick Cotswold stone walls and flickering log burners keeping you snug under the high, beamed ceilings. Our advice? Try the twice baked double Gloucester soufflé to start. We haven’t stopped thinking about it since we had it last month. Find out more here

Best for intimate date nights: The Wheatsheaf, Oaksey

We have a secret tip for this one – when you’re booking, ask to be seated in the snug. It’s a tiny private alcove in the corner of the pub, set deep into the stone walls that makes for the ultimate romantic date night spot. The rest of the space is equally delightful, with nooks and crannies galore, all set against the back drop of a roaring log burner. Discover The Wheatsheaf here

Best for a post-dinner nightcap: The Tuppenny, Old Town, Swindon

tuppenny swindon review

You might not expect to find one of Wiltshire’s cosiest pubs nestled on a busy road in Swindon’s Old Town, but among the microbreweries and trendy restaurants sits this gem of a drinking-hole. It has the deepest sofas in town, a stellar selection of ever-changing ales, weekly live music and one of the warmest atmospheres in the county. On more than one occasion we’ve been most definitely on the way home but powerless to resist popping in for a swift-half, swayed by the combination of welcoming lights glowing through the sash windows and the sound of comforting chatter. Find out more

Best for dog-friendly pubbing: The Somerford Arms, Little Somerford

We discovered this pub in April this year, when they somehow managed to make the outdoor marquee ultra-cosy, with bookshelves separating diners rather than clinical plastic sheets. We fell in love with both the unpretentious, tasty pub food as well as the two resident pub dogs, Fred and Snoop, two bouncy bichon frise that immediately befriended our labrador Belle.

We’re happy to report the interiors are just as nice as the temporary marquee. Think rustic wooden tables, cosy bench seats padded with plush pillows and traditional flag stone flooring, all kept cosy by a central log burner that heats even the furthest reaches of the pub. Book your visit here

Best for an impromptu drink: The Pear Tree, Whitley

pear tree whiley review

As well as serving fantastic, locally sourced food, The Pear Tree also hosts comedy nights and is in the process of building some very cute glamping pods – ideal if you get a bit carried away with the impressive wine selection and want to stay the night (guilty!).

There’s plenty of space in the pub too; they don’t take reservations in the snug, so turn up unannounced at your leisure. The mocktails are highlight on the menu, garnished with edible flowers for the most Instagrammable drinks around. Take a look for yourself

Best for a post-walk pint: Methuen Arms, Corsham

The Methuen Arms won the Muddy Stilettos 2021 award for Best Boutique Stay and it’s just as lovely for a drink. We like to call in after a brisk walk around Corsham Court, which it sits right next to. There are cosy outdoor areas abound, with sheepskin throws to keep you warm, while inside we recommend ordering the Methuen Beef Burger with maple and bacon relish. Who needs a Sunday roast when the burgers are this good? Find out more

Best for a Sunday Roast: The Crown and Anchor, Ham

Speaking of Sunday roasts, if your weekend isn’t complete without one, book in here. Alongside exceptional food, The Crown and Anchor has eclectic decor, making it cosy and casual – we felt right at home among the printed rugs, mismatched cushions and snug window seats. The walls are awash with local memorabilia and quirky antiques while the oak panelled bar gives it an old world vibe we’re very on board with. Take a look for yourself

Best hidden gem: The Vine Tree, Norton

Just outside Malmesbury, The Vine Tree is one of those places you have to know is there to find it. Anyone lucky enough to stumble across it will return time and time again for the incredibly friendly staff, the comfort food with a gourmet twist and the sheer secluded feel. It has low, beamed ceilings, a bar well-stocked with gins and rustic wooden bench seating and comfy window seats that you’ll never want to get up from. Find out more

Best for impressive views; The Rising Sun, Lacock

On a steep hill just outside Lacock (you’ll have earned that drink if you’re walking here), the Rising Sun is set among some of the most picturesque scenery our county has to offer. It has crackling fires for keeping warm in the winer, while the clear private dining pods in the garden make for a perfect special occasion booking. Watching the sunset from them while nibbling on a sharing platter is one of the highlights of 2021 for us.  See for yourself

Best for forest walks: The Royal Oak, Wootton Rivers

Whether you’re traversing the Kennet and Avon canal or foraging in Savernake Forest, we implore you to call into this thatched-roof pub. It serves uncomplicated classic pub food, set against a backdrop of ramshackle furniture and locals who’ve obviously been drinking there for years. It’s got charm and character in abundance and adds a fairytale feel to whatever walk you’re on. Find out more

Best for atmosphere: The Compasses Inn, Tisbury

For old-world atmosphere, it doesn’t get much better than this pub. It has low ceilings for the ultimate cosy feels, flickering candles and flagstones that you just know have seen a few things over the years. It’s tucked away down a winding lane so you feel like you’re on a secret mission when you’re on the way there, plus it’s run by Ben Maschler, who was director of food at Soho House Group, so you know the food will be exceptional every time, no matter what’s on the rotating menu that day. Find out more

Best for an open fire: Beckford Arms, Tisbury

 We love a log burner, but sometimes you just want an open, roaring fire and that’s what you get at the Beckford Arms – with a side of classic cocktails and wood-fired pizza. It’s on the edge of the Fonthill Estate and is decked out in all the chicest paint colours inside, while the outside is adorned in ivy. Call in at Christmas and soak up all the festive vibes on offer starting with the wreath on the door. Find out more

Best for stylish interiors: The Bradley Hare, Warminster

Relax in the Bradley Hare’s ultra-casual lounge post-walk and admire the interiors. The whole space was decked out by Soho House’s ex-European Design Director, so you can imagine the style credentials behind this place.

It’s laidback luxury at its finest but with a traditional, pub feel. Plus they have a zero-waste policy, which ticks our sustainability boxes. It feels more like you’re in your very chic friend’s house rather than a pub and it’s easy to lose a few hours lounging on the sofas. Find out more

5 comments on “Best cosy Wiltshire pubs to snuggle up in this winter”

  • rachelle December 12, 2021

    The Harp & Crown in Corsham is a delight – super cosy, beuatifully done out and the food is top-notch…highly recommend!

  • john bruce merritt November 30, 2021

    Agree – a Map is essential.

  • Clodagh Hayes November 30, 2021

    For a proper village pub with real ale, fire, locals, gossip, dogs, pub grub – the works – try the Ship at Upavon in the heart of the Pewsey Vale. Thatched roof and all the trimmings!

  • edinchief October 26, 2021

    Thanks so much for this idea – we’ll have to talk to the techy people and see what they can do!

  • CW October 24, 2021

    I love your recommendations but often it’s a village I’ve not heard about so i take a guess where it is or have to look it up. How about you have a ‘map’ section at the top so people can click on that view so they can see what’s near them, or might be a half way point between friends? Wiltshire’s such a big county it makes a big difference!


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