There’s nothing better than a good pint, especially when you’ve well and truly earned it after a day-long hike. These off the beaten track drinking pubs are perfect for thirsty (or hungry) cyclists, walkers or canoeists and the perfect way to celebrate a Great British Summer.
Team OAG has scoured the UK in pursuit of those remote pubs that are hidden from the hustle and bustle of every day life but may well be on your beaten track. So ditch the car, pack your rucksack, pump your tyres, or grab your paddle and head out for one (or two) very well earned pints!
The Old Forge is officially mainland Britain’s remotest pub. There’s no roads in or out, just a casual 18 mile hike over some of Scotland’s taller mountains – talk about a well-deserved pint! If you consider the hike a tad far you could always kayak the seven miles across Loch Nevis, or jump on the not-so-oft ferry from Mallaig.
Attempting the Pennine Way or Coast to Coast? Why not pop into the Tan Hill pub high in the Yorkshire Dales for a bit of “rumpy pumpy steak”. The pub is conveniently located (well, if you’re on foot anyway) close to the halfway points of both long distance paths, making it a real walkers pub. And it just happens to be the highest pub in Britain at 1,723ft above sea-level.
A quiet little pub on the Exe estuary. So quiet in fact, that it doesn’t have any road access. Ditch the car a little way down the river at Powderham Church and walk or cycle to the Turf Hotel. It’ll only take 30 minutes or so (more on the way back after a cheeky drink) so makes for a great day trip with the kids.
Kayak, row or canoe out to Sherkin Island, on the southern tip of County Cork and spend the day exploring the isle (That shouldn’t take too long – it’s only 3 miles long) before kicking back on local Irish music at the Jolly Roger in the evening. If you’re paddling skills are rusty, there’s a regular ferry between the Island and Baltimore on the mainland.
A pub complete with its on train station – what more could you want? Well a more regular service for one thing. Only four trains a day visit this request stop (cue frantic waving at the train driver.) But then again, all there is only a pub and mill there. Best bet is to hike the 3.5 miles across the marshes from the nearest road or boat along the River Yare.
6. The Bounty, Cookham, Berkshire
One of those pubs that only “those in the know” know (so don’t go telling everyone), despite overlooking the Thames. The roads don’t make it here, so get the rucksack on and hike from the National Trust car park in Cookham. The circular walk takes in woodland, open fields and riverside views and lasts around four hours (plus however long you feel like spending in the pub, of course.)
Skirrid Mountain Inn sits in Breacon Beacons park, with views of Black mountains. Although you can get to it fairly easily on four wheels, the gnarlier folk take to the Offa’s Dyke Path which passes nearby. The inn also happens to be the oldest in Wales and is said to be haunted (by ghosts, not lost hikers)
8. Birch Hall Inn, Beck Hole, North York Moors
This isn’t the kind of pub you’ll just stumble upon. Hidden close to the Mallyan spout waterfall, the tiny pub has become something of a legend among walkers visiting the area. Best not let it get too popular though, it can only squeeze 30 people inside. Order a Beck Hole Butty before heading back out onto the moors.
At the end of a no-through road (or an eight mile cycle from the nearest station)West Coast of Scotland, the Glenuig Inn is a mecca for outdoorsy types. You can stay there and use it as a base for kayaking the lochs or exploring the hills (powered by some traditional Scottish Porridge)
The tidal island is only approachable by foot at low tide, and even then it means a sandy trip across the beach from Bigbury-on-Sea. When the tide’s high, you can always take the sea-tractor across. Yeah, a sea tractor. If that’s not off the beaten track what is?