From rustic locals for hearty grub and perfect pints, to stylish inns with signature cocktails: here’s our pick of the best country pubs near Bath…

  1. The Inn at Freshford
    Where is it?
    On the banks of the River Frome at Freshford, not far from Bath.

    What’s on the menu?
    This is gastro pub fare at its finest with melt-in-the-mouth house smoked chicken and lamb both currently featuring on the menu (The Inn has its very own smoke house tucked away in a corner of the garden). The sides make pretty good reading too: grilled summer veg, truffled Parmesan fries, purple sprouting broccoli with chilli and sesame seeds, not forgetting The Inn’s trademark bar snack: shards of crispy pork crackling, dunked in cider and apple sauce. Sunday brings a choice of roast beef, lamb, chicken or fish, Yorkshire puddings, crispy, duck fat roast potatoes and lashings of gravy. Veggies are well catered for, with options that include the buddha bowl: a happy marriage of spiced butterbean, roasted sweet potato, broccoli, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, radishes, charred shallot and a carrot sambal.

    What do we love about it?
    Great food, local guest real ales, a beer garden with a view, plus open fires as the nights draw in …what’s not to like? 15 September sees Folk by Candlelight with authentic folk tales and live acoustic music to welcome in those autumnal evenings. Kick start your night with a house cocktail – we especially love the Freshford Fizz, made using lemon-and-thyme-infused gin.

    top 6 country pubs near Bath

  2. The Hope and Anchor, Midford

    Where is it?
    Tucked away in the Cam valley and just a 10-minute drive from Bath – or for the more energetic, a scenic ride along the Colliers Way cycle path.

    What’s on the menu?
    Old favourites such as steak, ale and mushroom pie sit happily alongside Cajun-spiced chicken salad and deep-fried whitebait. Quality ingredients are the order of the day here, with a daily changing specials board designed to celebrate locally sourced produce.

    What do we love about it?
    There’s a catch of the day, delivered regularly straight from the Cornish coast; we especially love the Provençal fish soup, served with a classic French rouille, cheese and croutons.

  3. The Sign of the Angel, Lacock

    Where is it?
    A timbered, 15th-century coaching inn in picturesque Lacock, which once doubled up as the Babberton Arms in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

    What’s on the menu?
    The beautiful, beamed dining room bears testament to the inn’s historical past, but the menu here is firmly in the 21st century with modern British classics such as lamp rump and smoked garlic potato cake, and monkfish with pomegranate, shrimps and a sesame seed dressing. For dessert, try the peach crumble made with honey oats, almonds and served with milk ice cream, and then retire to the oak-panelled sitting room with its antique furniture and huge, inglenook fireplace to recover.

    What do we love about it?
    The setting alone is hard to beat, but the menu here really is sublime. Elegant and hearty: you won’t go wrong.

    Top 6 country pubs near Bath

  4. The New Inn, Westwood

    Where is it?
    The pretty little village of Westwood, a few minutes from Bradford on Avon.

    What’s on the menu?
    Proprietor and chef, David Philpott, has worked under Pierre White and Tom Kerridge in the past, so you know you’re in good hands here. Highlights on the seasonal menu include everything from pan-fried Megrim sole with caper butter to pub classics such as Ploughman’s and fish and chips.

    What do we love about it?
    The location is ideal – Westwood Manor and Iford Manor are both just a short stroll away – and there’s a pretty little sun-drenched garden, tucked away round the back and perfect for a glass of cider or two. Real ale lovers will also appreciate the Bath Gem on tap.

  5. The Pear Tree, Whitley

    Where is it?
    A hidden gem, tucked away in the village of Whitley and about a 25-minute drive from Bath city centre.

    What’s on the menu?
    Start with the Pearing board (it’s all in the name), ideal for sharing with its melt-in-the-mouth mini chicken and chorizo pasties, lemon and herb fish goujons, traditional Middle Eastern taboleuh and homemade dipping pots, chutneys and breads. For mains, there’s a 28-day chargrilled, dry-aged steak with roast shallots, wild mushrooms and fat chips, or our favourite, the Pear Tree burger, complete with gooey cheese, pickled cucumber and rosemary and sea salt skinny chips. There’s even a take out menu when you’re on your way home from work and just can’t face the kitchen…

    What do we especially like about it?
    As much as possible is grown or made on site here, from the garden herbs in your gin cocktail to the homemade biscuits next to the bar. We especially love the quaffing menu, a perfectly curated wine list designed to showcase small, independent vineyards (16 of the wines are also available by the glass). For dessert, there’s cherry baked Alaska with maple almonds, or try the chocolate and rock salted caramel tart with clotted cream – and that’s before we even get to the homemade ice cream…delicious.

    top 6 country pubs near Bath

  6. The Long Arms, South Wraxall

    Where is it?
    Right in the heart of beautiful South Wraxall and only seven miles from Bath.

    What’s on the menu?
    Owner-chef Rob Allcock certainly knows his way round a kitchen. We’re talking sweet cured herrings with cucumber and radish, crispy pork belly with peanut and chilli pickle and lamp rump, broad beans, hazelnuts and mint. Sunday roast is a celebration of local produce, the real star of the show, the roast potatoes (crunchy, fluffy and pure heaven), while the puddings include an impressive list of homemade ice creams. Turkish delight, liquorice, apple pie or marmite anyone?

    What do we love about it?
    The pub has won countless awards, most recently the coveted title of Licensee of the Year in The Good Pub Guide 2018. And it’s easy to see why: fresh, carefully chosen ingredients treated with imagination and flair under Rob’s discerning eye, there is just so much to sing about here. Family get-together or quiet meal for two: whatever the occasion, if you haven’t been already, then put it to the top of your list. You won’t be disappointed.

    Escape the city and plan your next country pub excursion! Any favourites we’ve missed off our list? Share them with us on Facebook and Twitter – we’d love to add to our repertoire of country pubs near Bath!

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