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A charismatic thatched pub in the heart of unspoilt Somerset, the Red Lion Inn has been restored by Charles & Clare Garrard into a place where locals and visitors mingle happily together. It's still very much a drinkers' pub with regional ales and local ciders at the pumps.

The place has been stripped back to reveal the very best of its original character - flagstone floors, real fires and lots of nooks and crannies. There's a leather sofa in front of the wood-burner in the main bar for those chilly winter evenings, while in the cosy village bar under low beams, a piano and table skittles await. The more formal dining area with its burnished dark-wood tables is watched over by a huge stone lion's head protruding above the open fireplace.

The garden has plenty of space for eating and drinking outdoors, and the revamped Den - a chic little converted barn for breakfasts and intimate weddings and family gatherings - has a smart paved terrace and a wood-fired pizza oven.

Room from

6 doubles: £115

Good to know

  • All major credit cards accepted
  • Disabled access
  • Alfresco & private dining
  • Wedding venue
  • Parking available
  • Dogs welcome overnight

Family favourite
With a slide, boules pit and giant Jenga, the garden is perfectly geared up for children, providing plenty of outdoor distraction in warmer months.

The inn is surrounded by beautiful local walks and a few famous trails, including the Macmillan Way, Leland Trail and Monarchs Way.

Events and celebrations
The Den is perfect for intimate weddings or family parties (20 seated), but add a pretty marquee and there's room for 100 seated wedding or party guests.

Quiet romance
The cosy bar, thatched exterior and real fires make this the perfect rural location for a quiet weekend getaway.


The six bedrooms are in the converted Grade II stable block in the pub's garden, which has been restored using original materials and is accessed via a pin code entry system for extra security.

Four rooms are on the ground floor and the other two - the larger options - are up on the first floor. The two bigger rooms have sofa beds, making them ideal family spaces, and one of the ground-floor rooms has disabled/limited mobility access and a wet room. Dogs are allowed overnight in all the rooms.

The classic/contemporary rooms have shaker-style shutters at the windows and artworks by Clare's sister, Jackie Rennie (impressionistic rural scenes which you can purchase if they catch your eye). The rooms are stylishly kitted out, with muted natural colours, low lighting, huge comfy beds with crushed velvet headboards and fake fur throws. Wooden floors in the smart bathrooms mean your feet don't get too cold! Breakfast is served in the pub's bar or across the courtyard in The Den.

Restaurant & bar

Having catered backstage for the WOMAD and Glastonbury festival, you can expect good food and interesting menus with plenty of pub classics and global flavours to suit all palates. ​

The kitchen likes to make use of the fine ingredients available in this part of the country, with plenty grown on their own vegetable patch. Fresh seafood is shipped up from Brixham in Devon and the cheese hails from the South West. Typically, tuck into devilled lambs' kidneys on sourdough, pan-fried salmon chorizo and butterbean stew and salsa verde, and passionfruit crème brulee with ginger shortbread. Their lunchtime sandwiches prove popular, as do the wood-fired pizza in the summer months. The Den is also used for slow-cooking lamb and for hog roasts over summer weekends.

The real ales come from the Otter Brewery just across the border in Devon and there's also Lawrence's traditional flat and cloudy cider from Corton Denham and Thatcher's from Shepton Mallet. Black Cow's pure milk vodka is a high quality tipple made in Dorset, and, when it comes to cocktails, you'll find the likes of Apple & Ginger Fizz, Babcary Bramble Espresso Martini and Bloody Marys up for grabs.

Private dining

The Den can be used for private dinners for up to 20. During the summer months, a marquee is added to the terrace outside providing space for up to 100 seated guests - perfect for weddings, party celebrations or festival-style gatherings.

Things to do

Head to beautiful Wells for a lovely day out, with plenty of things to see and do. The jewel in the city's crown is its historic cathedral, noted for its superb gothic interior. The famous West Front, with its intricate sculptures, is a real work of art. Look out for the moated 13th-century Bishop's Palace and a host of historic landmarks nearby.

It's cider country in these parts, so head to Wilkins Cider Farm and get to the bottom of why cider is such a big deal. Don't go expecting a fancy farm shop, simply pop into the barn and get cider straight from the barrel. You can also stock up on fresh vegetables, eggs and pickles as well.

You're twenty minutes from Clarks Village - a fabulous shopping experience. Here, you can shop in stylish surroundings comprising paved walkways and landscaped gardens. There are many designer and high street stores, a restaurant terrace for alfresco and indoor dining and a choice of all-important coffee shops.

Even closer is the Fleet Air Arm Museum, which represents the flying arm of the Royal Navy. Home to Europe's largest collection of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, aerial enthusiasts will be blown away!

Getting here


Nearest train station: Castle Cary
Taxi from station: 15min
Drive: Yeovil 5min; Glastonbury 28min; Taunton 45min


The Red Lion, Babcary, Somerton, Somerset TA11 7ED

Prices & availability