Let’s face it – there’s really nothing better than a refreshing pint or two at a rustic country pub. From beachside spots in Whitstable to the United Kingdom’s oldest pub, here’s the Secret London rundown of the best country pubs near London:
1. The Jolly Cricketers, Seer Green
Tucked away in the picturesque village of Seer Green near Beaconsfield, The Jolly Cricketers is the epitome of a classic British country pub, oozing charm with its flower-adorned façade and sun-dappled beer garden.
Hosting a selection of cask marque accredited real ales, as well as their own ‘posh’ take on bangers and mash, this lovely little spot provides a real authentic experience which is just a stone’s throw away from London Town. It’s also dog-friendly and actually won an award for being the ‘best dog-friendly pub in the country’ in 2020, so make sure to bring your four-legged friend with you to this one – there are also some great country walks nearby too.
You’ll find The Jolly Cricketers at 24 Chalfont Road, Seer Green, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, HP9 2YG. Nearest station is Seer Green & Jordans and trains from London Marylebone take around 30 minutes.
2. The Coach & Horses, Rickmansworth
Set right at the end of the Metropolitan line, The Coach and Horses has it all – continental lagers, real ales, over 25 wines to pair with locally sourced seasonal dishes (including the best fish and chips in town) – all provided in a comfy and charming spot just a few hundred metres from Rickmansworth station and near the River Colne.
It’s a traditional spot dating all the way back to the 16th century, so you can be assured that there will be plenty of atmosphere here while you wine and dine. They’ve also got a spacious outdoor beer garden where you can slurp on refreshing pints all damn afternoon.
You’ll find The Coach & Horses at 22 High Street, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, WD3 1ER. Nearest station is Rickmansworth and trains from London Marylebone take around 25 minutes. You can also get the Metropolitan line here too.
3. The Anchor, Wisley
Within spitting distance of the M25 and right on the banks of the serene River Wey, The Anchor is a lovely spot to spend an afternoon. 30 minutes’ walk from the train station in West Byfleet, it’s a beautiful, hidden gem that offers an al fresco riverside terrace overlooking Pyrford Lock, a seasonal menu and a pretty banging roast if we say so ourselves.
Dog-friendly, it’s a great pit-spot post-pooch walk, and come the Winter months, it transforms into a cosy Winter wonderland with roaring log fires and real hearty food.
You’ll find The Anchor at Pyrford Lock, Wisley, Woking, Surrey, GU23 6QW. Nearest station is West Byfleet, and trains from Waterloo take around 35 minutes. From the station, it’s around a half-hour walk to the pub itself.
4. The Royal Standard of England, Beaconsfield
Definitely a contender for being one of the best country pubs near London here. By stepping through the doors of England’s ‘oldest free-house‘, you’re transported back through the ages to a land of flickering candlelight, roaring wood fires and hidden nooks and crannies.
This 900-year-old pub really has it all – friendly staff, top-notch beers and ales and home-cooked pub grub. For those who like to use culture as an excuse to drink, this is a must-visit spot. It’s also been featured in several high-profile films and TV shows, including ‘Hot Fuzz’, ‘The Theory of Everything’ and ‘Afterlife’.
You’ll find The Royal Standard of England at Forty Green, Beaconsfield, HP9 1XT. Nearest station is Beaconsfield and trains from Marylebone take around 25 minutes. From the station, it’s around a 30-minute walk.
5. The Black Rabbit, Arundel
From the same group behind The Anchor, The Black Rabbit is a scenic local country pub offering exquisite views of Arundel Castle, the River Arun and the surrounding countryside. If the sun is shining, there’s masses of outdoor seating by an alfresco terrace – come the Winter, there are plenty of cosy alcoves nestled by roaring log fires to stave off the cold weather.
In terms of food, they whip up some excellent seasonal dishes – the steak and tanglefoot pie and smoked duck salad are real standouts – and they also serve their own Badger Beer brand, brewed at a local brewery right in the heart of the Dorset countryside.
You’ll find The Black Rabbit at Mill Road, Offham, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 9PB. Nearest station is Arundel and trains from London Victoria take around 90 minutes. From the station, it’s around a 40-minute walk.
6. The Hind’s Head, Bray
Another solid addition here to this roundup of the best country pubs near London, The Hind’s Head in the picturesque village of Bray is a Michelin-starred gastropub that dates all the way back to the 1400’s. First established as a hunting lodge, then later a coaching inn, it has seen its fair share of change over the years, and has been a pioneering British pub since famous chef Heston Blumenthal bought it back in 2004.
This being a Blumenthal establishment, expect deliciously-inventive dishes made from the highest quality ingredients, combined with an array of real ales sourced from local microbreweries and topped off by a short, but equally as inventive, cocktail list (we recommend the ‘Breakfast in Bray’). The Hind’s Head is a true experience, and whilst it is slightly pricey, the bang is thoroughly worth the buck here.
You’ll find The Hind’s Head at High Street, Bray, Berkshire, SL6 2AB. Nearest station is Maidenhead and Elizabeth line trains from Paddington take around 45 minutes. From there, it’s a quick taxi ride or a half-hour walk.
7. The Old Neptune, Whitstable
Situated in Whitstable, Kent, The Old Neptune is a must visit for anyone who likes to enjoy a cold one or two whilst watching the sun set over the English Channel. Boasting live music every Saturday and Sunday from 6pm, sumptuous daily seafood specials to dig into and even silver screen fame in the movie ‘Venus’, the Old Neptune – or ‘The Neppy’ as it’s affectionately nicknamed – is a seaside gem which really has something for everyone.
Slap-bang right on the beach – and we mean within steps of the actual sea – it’s a great place to come if you’re looking for some fresh sea air and, in the Summer months, even a bloody beach barbecue! Sign us up.
You’ll find The Old Neptune at Marine Terrace, Island Wall, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1EJ. Nearest station is Whitstable and trains take around 90 minutes with a change at Faversham.
8. Stag on the River, Eashing
The Stag on the River sits along the banks of the winding River Wey near the chocolate box village of Godalming, and it makes a quaint spot for a pint or two with a view! The historic inn, located in the small village of Lower Eashing, dates all the way back to the 17th century, and has got character and charm in abundance (obviously).
While away a sunny summer’s day exploring the peaceful Surrey countryside, and if you fancy an overnight stay, you can book yourself into one of the seven beautiful hotel rooms in the accompanying B&B.
You’ll find the Stag on the River at Lower Eashing, Eashing, Godalming, GU7 2QG. Nearest station is Godalming and trains take around 40 minutes from Waterloo. From there, it’s around a 40-minute walk.
9. The Wellington Arms, Stratfield Turgis
The penultimate addition on our roundup of the best country pubs near London, The Wellington Arms is a beautiful pub and hotel – dating back to the 18th century – located within the stunning Wellington Estate in Hampshire. The food here is all about championing the best of British, and all the ingredients here are sustainably sourced from local suppliers.
After you’ve enjoyed a refreshing beer and a delicious pub lunch here, check out Stratfield Saye House at the centre of the Estate. This elegant building has been the historic home of the Dukes of Wellington since 1817, and you can have a gander around the house and gardens for an intriguing insight into the intriguing life of the Great Duke of Wellington.
You’ll find The Wellington Arms at Basingstoke Road, Stratfield Turgis, Basingstoke, RG27 0AS. Nearest stations are Hook and Basingstoke, and trains take around 65 minutes from London Paddington. From there, you’ll need to get a taxi. Alternatively, you can take your own car – parking is available.
10. The Thatcher’s Arms, Great Warley
Rounding off this list of the best country pubs near London is The Thatcher’s Arms – a cosy, family-run pub located right in the heart of Essex. The actual pub building has been here since the 16th century, so it’s seen its fair share of patrons over the years, and they serve a whole host of real ales, hearty roasts and traditional pub grub too.
Pre- or post-meal, definitely take a wander around the Warley Place Essex Wildlife Trust Reserve which is just next door. A 25-acre protected area, it’s the site of a stately home and once-famous Edwardian gardens belonging to the famous horticulturist Ellen Willmott. During the Spring months, there are some spectacular flowers here, and you may also spot a range of different bird species as you wander too.
You’ll find The Thatcher’s Arms at Warley Road, Great Warley, Brentwood, Essex, CM13 3HU. Nearest station is Brentwood, and trains take around 35 minutes from Liverpool Street. From there, it’s around a 30-minute walk.