America may have massive canyons, looming mountain ranges with snow dusted peaks and incredible, rugged vistas covering all kinds of biospheres – but they’ll never do a country pub quite like the English. Across Britain’s wild and open National Park spaces, dozens of picturesque and small communities can be found. And what’s the first thing a small British village needs? Why, a public house of course. Today many of these rustic countryside pubs do a roaring trade with tourists and hikers, on top of the dependable local business.
So, what are the few of the best? From inspiring locations to sumptuous locally sourced beverages or food, these country pubs are a perfect stop off after a fulfilling hike through one of the UK’s many awe-inspiring National Parks.
The Rugglestone, Widecombe in the Moor, Peak District
Surrounded by a bubbling freshwater stream and named after a local standing stone, you can’t get much more Peak District than this inn which was converted to a tavern in 1832. With original beam-work and a working log fireplace, The Rugglestone offers a countryside vibe. During better weather, a small footbridge allows visitors to cross the stream and enter a gorgeous picnic area with great views of Widecombe village.
The Britannia Inn, Elterwater, Lake District
The hamlet of Elterwater has only two dozen or so houses, and roughly a quarter of them are holiday lets that are unoccupied throughout most of the year. The Britannia Inn then is perfect for those looking some seclusion and peace with their post-walk pint. Only 10 minutes’ stroll from the popular and picturesque Elterwater Lake in the Great Langdale valley, the Britannia Inn also hosts a range of locally brewed beers – including exclusive brews you won’t find anywhere else. Oh, and they also host a local beer festival every year too, with up to 35 Lake-District-brewed beverages available.
The Rockford Inn, Brendon Valley, Exmoor
About as remote as you can get this one – since the Rockford Inn doesn’t even have a nearby village to call home. Situated all by itself in a plush and wooded valley, the nearest (relatively) large settlement to The Rockford Inn is the village of Lynmouth, with a positively bustling 100 or so year-round inhabitants. This amazingly secluded 17th century inn also offers Bed & Breakfast facilities as well as a stunning location. The nearby East Lyn River is famed for its salmon fishing, and The Rockford are licensed to offer fishing permits – meaning it is a popular destination for anglers during the Summer months.
The Byre Inn, Brig o’ Turk, Trossachs
Situated on the Eastern border of the Trossachs National Park, The Byre Inn is part of the area colloquially known as the ‘Highlands Gateway’. Brig o’ Turk is a tiny hamlet, of just a few buildings, in a gorgeous river valley. The Byre Inn is a classy gastropub serving locally-sourced and fresh produce in a contemporary style. This includes venison hunted on the grounds of the local Inverlochlarig Estate and vegetarian friendly options. Although, be warned – it can be fairly expensive.