There’s nothing quite like the atmosphere of a genuine English village pub.
Many of them are so steeped in tradition that people actually talk to each other around the bar, instead of tapping away at smartphones.
However, a lot of these wonderful old pubs are finding the going tough, as essential services continue to shrink in the villages around them.
As part of our series on English villages, we thought it was about time we celebrated these traditional pubs by showing some of the best that we’ve been fortunate to visit.
George Inn, Lacock, Wiltshire
This medieval inn dates to 1361 and is a highlight of a picturesque village brimming with charm. See our review of Lacock.
The King Arthur, Reynoldston, Gower, Wales
There’s more than a touch of magic to this inn on the beautiful Gower. Good food, great ale and a fabulous atmosphere. See our review of Gower
Porch House, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
Situated in one of our favourite villages in the gorgeous Cotswolds, parts of this building are said to date to 947 AD. This is another contender for the label of England’s oldest pub.
Pant-yr-Ochain, Gresford, Wales
Another Welsh gem, this pub is known for the high quality of its meals – and we can only agree. There has been a structure on the site since the 13th Century. The building as it now stands dates from the 1530’s, but was enlarged in 1785.
The George, Stamford, Lincolnshire
Situated on the famous Great North Road, this inn is part of one of England’s finest stone towns. The structure is believed to date to 947 AD. See our review of Stamford.
The Eagle, Cambridge
While not exactly in a village, this 17th Century coaching inn, in the charming city of Cambridge, is notable for its RAF ceiling. See the details.
The Bingley Arms, Bardsley, Leeds
Set in a tranquil position away from busy roads and near a trickling stream, this wonderful old pub, in the picturesque village of Bardsley, is said to date to 953 AD.
Wellington Hotel, Boscastle, North Cornwall.
One of Cornwall’s oldest former coaching inns, this striking hotel dates to the 16th Century and is situated in the lovely coastal village of Boscastle. See our review of the hotel.
Old Ferry Boat Hotel, Hollywell, St Ives,
With its thatched roof and white stone walls, this pub looks right at home in the hamlet of Holywell in rural Cambridgeshire. Overlooking the Great Ouse River, a building is thought to have been on this site since 560 AD.
The Green Man, Denham, Buckinghamshire
With its attractive frontage, great food and fine ales, the Green Man catches the eye in the picture postcard village of Denham. It’s believed that the inn dates to about 1895.
The Fighting Cocks, Horncastle, Lincolnshire
We visited Horncastle largely for its array of antique shops, but this old pub, which has been operating since 1720, also caught the eye.
The Brocket Arms, Ayot St Lawrence, Hertfordshire
Another gem in a stunning and historic little village, the Brocket Arms oozes charm. It was built in the 14th Century.
Watch for a detailed review of this hotel later in the year.
Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, Nottingham.
Not far from Sherwood Forest, this pub is another with claims to the title of England’s oldest, possibly dating to 1189 AD.