As hotels become more expensive, visitors look for good value alternatives. Coaching inns are natural candidates, so here’s our Guru’s collection of top 10 great UK country inns.
Our great UK country inns are all surrounded by wonderful, unspoilt countryside, and most have been welcoming travellers since the days of horse-drawn carriages.
The Felin Fach Griffin in the Brecon Beacons, not far from charming Hay on Wye, is a a great, seven room gastropub surrounded by excellent walking and some very decent fishing opportunities. Or there’s the Wasdale Head Inn, a famous climbing inn just below Scarfed Pike! The food is hearty, as needed, and the views are magnificent.
The West Arms Hotel in Denbighshire, North Wales is in the foothills of the beautiful Berwyn Mountains, and offers superb food and 15 charming, traditional rooms, or, if you’d prefer to escape to the coast there’e the Gurnard's Head Hotel, a seven room gastropub surrounded by spectacular views and excellent walking. Or there’s the atmospheric, four room Tower Bank Arms, a mile from Lake Windemere and right next door to Beatrix Potter’s former home.
The White Swan Inn in Pickering, Yorkshire is an imaginatively updated 16th Century coaching inn with 21 comfortable, modern rooms and a decent bistro, and you’re close to the North Yorkshire Moors, Castle Howard, Buncombe Park and Helmsley Walled Garden.
The Kingham Plough in Chipping Norton is a traditional pub with five boutique-y rooms and an acclaimed restaurant, which has a room rate starting from around £90 a night, or, in the same price bracket there’s the Lord Poulett Arms in Hinton St. George, Somerset, which has just four quirky rooms and a delightfully eclectic, rustic feel.
The Star Inn in Harome, Yorkshire, is a relaxed, eight room pub with plenty of charming features - like a thatched roof and beamed ceilings, but they also have a Michelin star. If the idea of fine dining takes your fancy you might also like the Yorke Arms, near Harrogate, which is a cosy but elegant spot right by the rolling Yorkshire Dales.
Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog, Denbighshire, North Wales
Unspoiled 16th Century Inn nestled in the foothills of the Berwyn Mountains. Traditional aspects maintained with the original features and antiques. Rooms are cosy and unique, with modern bathrooms. Seasonal menus, daily specials and a fully stocked bar entice locals and guests alike.
Powys, South and Mid Wales
An award winning gastro pub in an outstanding location. Ideally situated for all manner of country pursuits. Feather soft beds welcome weary walkers. The rooms are cosy and traditionally dressed. The restaurant serves up excellent food with locally sourced produced. A real winner.
Classic and atmospheric Lakeland village inn, next to Beatrix Potter's former home. Good local food and ales, just four rooms, fine walks from the door. A mile from Lake Windemere.
A charming Cornish Inn surrounded by breathtaking countryside. A magnet for walkers, the traditional rooms are designed to afford every comfort to these weary travelers. An informal coastal gastropub serves up the best local ingredients, cooked to perfection. Simple, characterful and homely.
near Gosforth, Cumbria
Famous climbing inn at the head of Wasdale, spectacularly sited below Scafell Pike with magnificent views. Satisfy your stomach with hearty pub food or enjoy the finer things in the wood-panelled Dining Room. Rooms are simple but extremely comfortable and all boast breathtaking views.
Traditional Georgian coaching inn, overlooking the market square, with creaky floors and low ceilings, a smart dining room and a choice of traditional or contemporary bedrooms. Great location and a genuinely friendly Yorkshire welcome.
Michelin-starred gastropub-with-rooms in a peaceful farming village, close to the North York Moors. Comfortably rustic rooms in hunting-lodge style, free-ranging hens plus warm, friendly service create a genuinely relaxed atmosphere.
near Harrogate, Yorkshire
Michelin-starred food at this superb traditional village inn in the rolling Dales. Cosy, traditional rooms, some with mahogany four poster beds. An outstanding location for trekkers or 'view admirers' alike. Food to impress even the harshest of critics. A rural abode in full perfection.