The UK’s best gastro pubs with rooms

We know a good pub when we see one. Here are 10 of our favourites with rooms from across the UK

The Boot Inn, Repton, Derbyshire


The Boot is steeped in history. There has been an inn on this site, in the Derbyshire village of Repton, for several centuries, but this pub has a lot more going for it than timeworn character. New owner Heidi Taylor has transformed The Boot into an ambitious bar and restaurant, where respect for tradition is confidently reconciled with contemporary design flair. There is much to see and do locally – the Peak District, Calke Abbey, sailing on Foremark reservoir – if you can tear yourself away from the inn.

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The Hardwick, Abergavenny

Stephen Terry, owner and chef of Abergavenny’s The Hardwick, and proud adopted Welshman, has worked with the greats – including Michel Roux Jr, Alain Passard and a young Marco Pierre White – and pocketed Michelin stars, but there’s not a shred of show-off in him or his cooking. He and his brigade work with outstanding produce from Wales and the Marches, and turn out highly elevated pub food that never feels pretentious.

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The Anvil Inn, Sawdon, Yorkshire

In tiny Sawdon, on the North Yorkshire moors, The Anvil Inn seats 36 and sleeps four in two self-catering cottages – it’s a perfect destination for getting away from it all. A former smithy (hence the bar’s centrepiece being a forge), The Anvil is an atmospheric nook – exposed stone, glowing log-burners, gorgeous lighting – and a family affair. Mark and Alex Wilson cook, and their daughter Sabina is front-of-house. Little wonder it has become a hot destination for Yorkshire foodies and visitors to Whitby, Wykeham Forest or Castle Howard.

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Lord Crewe Arms, Blanchland

The bedrooms are spruce and the styling chic, but there is still a medieval feel to the Lord Crewe Arms in County Durham. This remote 12th-century abbey (later a hunting lodge and manor house) is, with its vaulted crypt bar, rugged stone walls and roaring open fires, a very dramatic setting. Even the prettified upper-floor dining room is suitably dressed with tartans and antlers. Not far from Hadrian’s Wall, this is shooting, walking and cycling country.

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The Talbot Inn, Mells, Somerset

In the Somerset village of Mells, close to arty Frome, The Talbot Inn is a pretty country pub that ticks so many boxes it’s in danger of getting repetitive strain injury: honey-coloured stone walls, mismatched wooden tables, brass-buttoned chairs, low-ceilinged bar, open fires, cobbled courtyard and a secret garden. And while it’s possible to drop in for just a pint and a posh sausage roll, it’s a destination retreat as much as a village boozer. Relaxed, affordable cookery classes and demos with food writer Joanna Weinberg also take place at the pub.

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The Malt House, London

While you can stay overnight very comfortably, food comes first at The Malt House. It’s arguably Fulham’s most elegant pub; the décor and menus are a cut above those of average gastro boozers, treading a carefully drawn line between formal and casual. Service is prompt but never rushed, and the place lights up with twinkling fairy lights in the evening.

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The Old Coastguard, Mousehole, Cornwall

On a hill overlooking Mousehole harbour, The Old Coastguard has one of the best sea views in Cornwall, with a bar that opens onto a huge summer terrace. The downstairs space is divided into an Upper Deck, which contains the restaurant and bar, and a Lower Deck, which is more loungy, with huge sofas and armchairs.

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The Assheton Arms, Downham, Lancashire

The Ribble Valley, Lancashire’s top foodie enclave, has many idyllic villages, but Downham is special. Its landowner, Lord Clitheroe, has banned road markings and satellite dishes to preserve this unspoilt hamlet. The pub, The Assheton Arms, is a warren of low ceilings and beams but, with its smart fabrics and on-trend fish cookery, it’s contemporary, too. From here, guests can walk in the Trough of Bowland, visit Skipton, or just eat.

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The Sun Inn, Kirkby, Lonsdale, Cumbria

If you want to avoid the tourist hordes in the Lake District proper – and who doesn’t – head into the Lune Valley on the other side of the M6 and make for The Sun Inn, in pretty Kirkby Lonsdale. Mark and Lucy Fuller have turned this 17th-century inn into a warm, lively hub of town life. Whether you want to browse in Kirkby’s independent shops, explore the Lakes or ramble in the neighbouring Yorkshire Dales, everything is on your doorstep.

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The Bridge Inn, Ratho, Scotland

The 18th-century Bridge Inn, in the village of Ratho on the Union canal is just a caber’s toss from Edinburgh. The field-to-plate concept is an easy one for owners Graham and Rachel Bucknall, who breed pigs and grow vegetables and herbs in the walled kitchen garden.

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