Pubs with gorgeous gardens in Wilts
Praise be, the pubs are opening – and just in time for summer weather! Here are some of the best pub gardens to enjoy a socially-distanced sip in across Wilts. Cheers!
The Beckford Arms, Fonthill Bishop
Set in the most gorgeous location in stunning parkland on the Fonthill Estate is The Beckford Arms, a traditional yet stylish country pub, and one that is right up our street. Think lovely summery garden, cosy bedrooms, #inlovewithlocal ales and gins, comfy sofas and a fab gastro restaurant. Take a stomp around the Fonthill Estate, take a lesson in fly fishing, cycle or horse ride on the many cycling trails and bridle paths, try your hand at deer stalking or shooting, check out Wardour Castle or Longleat Safari Park or – and this is me, obvs – hang back at the pub and pamper yourself with a Theravada Thai Massage. Yes please!
Three Tuns, Great Bedwyn
The Three Tuns is one of those rare beauties – it has a lovely, dog-friendly beer garden with a boules pitch for summer-tastic drinking but come winter, roaring fires will toast your toes while you glug your way through the jug of freshly-made Bloody Mary propped on the bar, small batch spirits from around the Southwest and, last but not not least, their homemade Mulled Cider. This freehold village pub has won accolades for Best Sunday Roast EVER and Favourite Local Pub, so it’s no surprise that great food is a biggie here, from small bites of cauliflower cheese croquettes to rare Bavette steak. The food is prepared by Chef Proprietor James Wilsey, who strives to serve honest, beautifully cooked, full flavour dishes. Ales come from around the Southwest, alongside a carefully selected wine list and a growing selection of small batch gins and other spirits. The bar is pretty lively too! tunsfreehouse.com
A big Muddy tick goes to The Bull at Hinton, a proper ‘pub’ pub – family friendly, dog friendly, a fab play area for kids, and really, really great grub. The building is handsome and traditional – ancient stone that dates back to the 17th century, formerly an inn, a farm and a dairy (and apparently it has its fair share of ghosts!). But it is the food that stands out here – think traditional pub food, the best it can be, and great value for money. Produce is local as much as possible, they use their own home grown seasonal fruit, herbs and vegetables from their allotment, and it’s all cooked with an obvious passion. www.thebullathinton.co.uk
The Lamb, Hindon
Rock up at the uber-gorgeous village of Hindon in the West Wiltshire Downs (an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty no less and a mere stone’s throw from mighty megolith Stonehenge) and you’ll find everything you need in a country pub with rooms. Food is innovative yet delicious, and rooms about as cool as pub rooms get. There are 18 to choose from, all boutique-style bedrooms, all with a funky yet home-from-home vibe, plus some seriously indulgent outside Garden rooms with their own private terrace. They also offer The Meddling Pike or The Wylye Duck, a pair of private rooms for hire. Head off to local attractions Old Wardour Castle, Salisbury Cathedral, Longleat Safari Park, Stourhead, the obligatory Stonehenge and of course a bucketload of glorious walks. www.lambhindon.co.uk
The Bell, Ramsbury
This gorgeous country pub in the oh-so-delightful village of Ramsbury sits in a picture-perfect spot over the River Kennet. A 300-year old former coaching inn, it has been voted AA Best Pub for the whole of blooming England. But really and truly, it’s the food and the lovely walled garden you come here for. Part of the Ramsbury Estate, they brew their own beer, press their own oils and grow their own veg. Sausages and bacon come from The Bell’s smokehouse, aged beef from the Estate’s heard of cattle, and the lamb is reared right here on the banks of the river. Pretty perfect for summer. thebellramsbury.com
The Old Ale and Coffee House, Salisbury
Want summer dining al fresco in a funky city pub? The Old Ale and Coffee House might have its roots firmly in town, but it has without a doubt the coolest garden in Salisbury (bookable beach huts, for goodness sake!), a garden bar, hell, even a ping pong table. If you ever make it inside, check out the full range of craft beers (they will bring them to you outside, promise), Bloody Marys to die for and over 30 different gins. Food is made from fresh ingredients, locally sourced, including Chalk Stream trout and Godminster cheese. With fun, eclectic artwork, it’s a pretty darn cool place for a party in 2019. oldaleandcoffeehouse.com
The Bath Arms, Horningsham
Just had the Mudlets dragging you around Longleat? Suffered enough of monkeys pooing on the car? Then you need to hot-foot it to The Bath Arms, a lovely summery hideaway tucked in the shadow of the safari park, the perfect place to relax and unwind in the sun. It’s a foodie pub but is also a lovely boutique retreat, and the 17 characterful rooms with furniture imported from India are a quirky twist on your typical country pub. The food is locally sourced and seasonal wherever possible – you can even hire their Shepherd Room for private dining for up to 50 guests. But, as it’s summer, we’ll hang out in their gorgeous garden, thank you. batharms.co.uk
The White Horse Inn, Compton Bassett
Set deep in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside, this gorgeous freehouse has not only 4 AA stars but also 2 rosettes, is perfect for visiting Bath, Chippenham and Marlborough, and is a great base for walkers looking to explore the spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. For all foodies out there the restaurant is impressive, serving local produce in great tasting dishes. Their weekday lunch offering is a great value set menu served alongside a full a la carte menu of pub classics and seasonal specials.
The King John Inn, Tollard Royal
It truly is the best of country living at this gorgeous inn, nestled inside the beautiful Cranborne Chase on the Wiltshire border. The King John Inn’s team are passionate about celebrating the heritage and sophistication of British countryside life, from its food to its fine traditions to country sports. Are you a dog lover? When it comes to doggie heaven, this shooting pub has it in bells and whistles. Their overnight package includes a dog bed, blanket and bowl in your room, and downstairs at the bar are doggy treats and pawsecco.
The George Inn, Longbridge Deverill
Nothing beats a cosy, classic pub – and The George Inn is exactly that. Situated on the banks of the River Wylye in the charming village of Longbridge Deverill, The George Inn is a traditional coaching inn with delicious food, a well-stocked bar and cosy rooms.
For foodies, this is heaven for the taste buds. Local suppliers are used wherever possible, and the menu is refreshed regularly, with plenty of daily specials (we’ve got our eyes on the homemade fish pie and the roasted butternut squash stuffed with quinoa). Book a table for their fab Sunday carvery – choose from three different roasts, and we promise you won’t go home hungry. Unusually, full English breakfasts are served Monday to Saturday.
The Dog and Gun, Netheravon
Located in the heart of Salisbury Plain, the Dog and Gun is everything a great country pub should be, plus it’s got a truly Muddy vibe with a really quirky atmosphere. A pub rescue project, it was set to be redeveloped in 2018 but the sale to the developers fell through and the a local family stepped in, carrying out a Grand Designs project with the help of friends and volunteers. And now – hey presto! It’s a rocking pub perfect for drinks, dinner, Sunday lunch and cosy overnights.
The Kings Head, Whiteparish
There’s nothing better for summer than keeping it local – a stroll down to the Kings Head for lunch in the sun, or sundowners at dusk…ah, lovely! A big Muddy thumbs up to this pub set in a 16th century old coaching house, loving restored without losing sight of the fact that this is a village pub, loved by locals. We love their gorgeous orangery and cosy courtyard, overlooking the garden. Chef Patron is Roux Scholar and Great British Chef Matthew Tomkinson, whirling up a storm of delicious modern British dishes using locally sourced ingredients. Fancy staying over? Their old barn houses eight lovely contemporary rooms with roll top baths, no less – this is very much a boutique high end B&B. Right see you there! thekingshead.co.uk