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As the nights draw in and the air turns crisp, there is a joy from escaping to a country hideaway with roaring log fires, low-beamed ceilings and comfy armchairs you can sink deep into. Top that with scenic doorstep walks and delicious plates brimming with local ingredients, and you've got the perfect cosy retreat. Here we've rounded up eight of the cosiest pubs-with-rooms in our Collection which offer just this.
The handsome 17th-century Royal Oak, in the storybook Cotswold village of Ramsden, has been a local favourite for seriously good food and wine for many years. After visiting glamorous Blenheim Palace or the Cotswold Wildlife Park, grab a table beside the fire and order a native lobster brioche roll or a local bavette steak, marinated in garlic and thyme.
In the sleepy village of cottage-lined Ham in Wiltshire, find heritage hues and fun funky lamps splashed throughout the rooms at the Crown & Anchor. Head out on long country walks along the North Wessex Downs, or pay a visit to Downton Abbey's Highclere Castle, before hunkering down in the wood-panelled bar with a deck of cards and a pint of local Ham 1840 Bitter from nearby Penton Park Brewery.
Smack dab in Peak District country, ramblers are spoilt for choice with doorstep walks from the Old Hall Inn in the sleepy village of Chinley - one of our favourites being up to the Kinder Plateau, passing the open moorland of South Head and Jacob's Ladder along the way. After an invigorating hike, the place to be is beside the blazing fire with a plate of in-season butternut and chervil tortelloni or pork tenderloin with wild mushroom, caramelised celeriac apple and chestnut.
Set beside a babbling trout stream, in the lovely Cotswold village of Ampney Crucis, is Wild Thyme & Honey - a peaceful retreat which reopened last December following a year-long refurbishment inspired by the surrounding landscape. The bedrooms radiate understated luxury, with roll top baths, organic soaps and lotions, and a decanter of sloe gin found in the riverside suites.
Meet Norfolk's coolest place to stay - a flint-built pub-with-rooms set within the 1,000-acre deer park of Gunton Hall. Inside, find an impressive collection of world-class art splashed across the walls, from a signature Tracey Emin neon and print by David Bailey to Damien Hirst's butterflies. Stuart Tattersall's dishes brim with fresh local ingredients, including venison from the deer park, crab from Cromer and samphire which has been foraged along the coast.
Soft warm tones, slate floors and low-beamed ceilings add rustic charm to this unspoilt pub-with-rooms in the quaint Welsh village of Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog. After a visit to nearby Pistyll Rhaeadr, the highest waterfall in Wales, wine and dine amongst the enchanting Berwyn Hills with a glass of Kent-made Chapel Down sparkling or Three Choirs still wine from the Cotswolds.
In the peaceful Teesdale village of Romaldkirk, next to the 12th-century church of St Romald, find glowing antique lanterns, exposed brick walls and pretty countryside views at the creeper-covered Rose and Crown. Head out on long country walks taking the Teesdale Way across fields and moorland, plus pay a visit to the spectacular High Force Waterfall, Eggleston Hall Gardens and Barnard Castle.
With a rustic French-style design, Mediterranean inspired dishes, and relaxed bistro feel, the charming Roebuck Inn feels closer to France than Cheshire's rolling countryside. Downstairs, find red and black tiled floors, stripped brick walls and leather banquettes, whilst upstairs, freestanding copper tubs and delicately beautiful glass chandeliers create a calming milieu.
Last updated: 25.10.22