Country pubs near Bristol

Here it is, the most requested guide I’ve done so far! People have asked me to write a list of country pubs near Bristol for years, and after visiting a fair few of these and also getting a handful of extra recommendations, here are some of my top picks.

Let me know if there are any others you think I should include, I’m always on the lookout for more places to visit and recommend!

South of Bristol: Somerset & Chew Valley

The Rising Sun, Pensford

Backdrops don’t come much more dramatic than the Victorian viaduct towering over the beer garden at the back of The Rising Sun. You’ll also find the River Chew running alongside the garden, giving it extra picturesque points. The interior is also rustic and cosy, with locally-renowned roasts every Sunday.

Pub garden with people and viaduct at The Rising Sun
The gorgeous views at The Rising Sun

The Angel Inn, Long Ashton

I immediately warmed to the proper village feel of this pub as soon as I walked in. The Angel Inn is popular with locals, ramblers and visitors alike, with untarnished old features inside (parts of the buildings are Grade II listed and date from 1495!), a big courtyard for outdoor drinking, and a menu of pub comfort grub.

The courtyard at The Angel Inn
The courtyard at The Angel Inn

The Ring O’ Bells, Compton Martin

Chew Valley is seriously spoilt with plenty of great pubs, one of my favourites being the family-friendly Ring O’Bells in Compton Martin (check your sat nav before you set off – there are a few different Ring O’Bells in the area). Boasting a huge garden overlooking fields, a big playground, high quality food, lots of room inside and plenty of parking, it’s a great choice for a weekend lunch visit or trip with a larger group.

Garden of The Ring O'Bells

The Blue Bowl, West Harptree

Located just a stone’s throw from Chew Valley Lake, The Blue Bowl is a relaxed pub housed in an 18th Century building and bigs up its ‘legendary’ burgers (13 options are available!) and hot sauce collection (including their very own Spitfire Chill Sauce). They also do a good value menu of pub classics and have a large garden out back. Proper job.

Exterior of The Blue Bowl

The Railway Inn, Sandford

I discovered this pub after a visit to the Thatchers cider farm and shop next door, so if you’re down this way, make a day of it with a cider tour followed by lunch! As you’d expect, you can find the full Thatchers range behind the bar at The Railway Inn, plus cider weaved into several menu items or pairings as an additional option. But there’s still plenty for cider dodgers to enjoy.

Exterior of The Railway Inn
Cider fun at The Railway Inn

The Druids Arms, Stanton Drew

Thought a viaduct in a pub garden was impressive? How about a series of stone circles dating from 2500 BC? The Druids Arms can probably boast the most historic pub garden features in the country, if not the world. The pub itself has a cosy fireplace to warm yourself in winter, or the aforementioned garden to enjoy in summer. Plus a range of pub staples to munch on, from rolls to ham, egg and chips.

Stone circle in the garden of the pub
Pints and ancient stones at The Druids Arms

Honorary mentions: The Ashton in Long Ashton, The Carpenters Arms in Stanton Wick, The Compton Inn in Compton Dando, The Talbot Inn in Mells.

East of Bristol: Bath & Wiltshire

The Quarrymans Arms, Corsham

The first time I stepped out from this small and unassuming pub into their back garden and saw the view, I genuinely gasped. The Quarrymans Arms has been brought into the Butcombe fold and so the menu and interior has had a spruce up, with rooms also available to book above the pub.

Sunset over the pub garden
Stunning views from The Quarrymans Arms

The Hare & Hounds, Bath

On to my favourite pub garden to date, and if you can find me a better view I’ll eat my pint glass. The Hare and Hounds is close to the top of Lansdown Hill just by Bath Racecourse, so a hefty climb from Bath city centre – definitely a bus or taxi! The food is great, the seating is plentiful and they now have an extra bar on the terrace for busier days. I will never stop being wowed by this view.

Thew view over the pub terrace and hills
The view at The Hare & Hounds, which my photo does no justice to.

The Lock Keeper, Keynsham

Tucked in just behind a busy A road, The Lock Keeper still manages to be a tranquil pub, with a garden leading down to the River Avon, perfect for sunny days. Being a Young’s pub, you can expect a decent selection of ales and some reliable pub classics on the menu. If you fancy a stroll to another excellent riverside pub, The Chequers Inn and The Old Lock & Weir in Hanham are only half an hour away along the river path (one for summer or autumn when it isn’t waterlogged!).

Pub garden at The Lock Keeper
Lots of room at The Lock Keeper

The Inn at Freshford

Located just by where the River Frome meets the River Avon, this 16th Century gastropub is surrounded on all sides by stunning countryside and walking routes. The Inn at Freshford also has an award-winning pub garden which is perfect for soaking in the views.

The exterior of the Inn at Freshford

The Longs Arms, Upper South Wraxall

Named as one of the Top 50 Gastropubs in the country, The Longs Arms is an ambitious gastropub putting food first without taking itself too seriously. Alongside the fancier menu items such as venison and oysters, you’ll also find a Pub Grub section including cod and chip, burger and chips and ham, egg and chips.

The building at The Longs Arms

The Cross Guns, Avoncliff

Another pub situated in a seriously picturesque location, but a bit of a git to get to. The best way to get to The Cross Guns is by train to Avoncliff station (directly next to the pub), or walk along the river or canal from Bradford on Avon. It’s worth it for the lush multi-tiered riverside garden overlooking a weir and the Avoncliff Aquaduct though. The food is okay, really the main attraction here is the setting and the character of the pub itself (which dates from 1610, and some parts of the buildings from the 1490s!). Gorgeous inside and out.

Overhead photo of The Cross Guns and river
The setting of The Cross Guns – lovely stuff.

The George Inn, Norton St Phillip

If you wanted to see the most haunted-looking pub I’ve ever come across, I’d send you straight here. The George Inn is oooold, with parts of the buildings dating back to 1397, making it one of Britain’s oldest pubs. The whole place is ridiculously well preserved, from the exterior to the courtyard, outbuildings and the gorgeous rooms inside. Their beer garden also has lovely views to the surrounding countryside. Again the food is decent but really the main draw here is the history and the lush beer garden.

Exterior of The George Inn

Honorary mentions: The Old Crown in Kelston, The Swan at Swineford. I’d also recommend checking out this guide to the Best Pub Walks Near Bath.

North of Bristol: South Glos & The Cotswolds

The Bell Inn, Old Sodbury

Hard to miss with its yellow exterior, The Bell Inn is a popular gastropub for locals, visitors and guests staying in one of their rooms above. Their menu has a range of popular classics including steak and chips, fish and chips and a mega vegan burger, plus a free flowing Prosecco brunch on weekends. They’ve also got a pretty garden out the back.

The Garden at The Bell in Sodbury
The garden at The Bell Inn

The Royal Oak, Tetbury

A charming and lovingly restored Cotswold pub, The Royal Oak has plenty of space for you to either find a cosy corner or spread out in the sunshine. It’s won plenty of awards over the years and has several rooms (three of which are dog friendly) that you can book to stay in if you don’t fancy the drive home.

The courtyard at The Royal Oak
The courtyard at The Royal Oak

The Kings Arms, Didmarton

A traditional village pub with bundles of character and a warm welcome, The Kings Arms manages to be a great gastropub, chic guesthouse and a centre of the community all at once. It also has an expansive garden out back.

The Crown Inn, Frampton Mansell

Nestled in a quiet and idyllic part of the Cotswolds, The Crown Inn isn’t a pub you’ll stumble across, but inside it has plenty of traditional features, a large fireplace and a great selection of ales. The menu is a mix of predictable favourites (pork pie & chutney, curger & chips) and more unusual pub options (tempura vegetables, Jamaican style sweet potato curry). There are also nice gardens out the front and back of the pub with views of the surrounding countryside.

Get cosy at The Crown Inn

Honorary mentions: The Squire Inn at Chiping Sodbury, The New Inn at Frampton Cotterell, The Mount Inn at Stanton (quite far, but great views), The Beaufort Arms in Hawkesbury Upton.

Don’t forget to tell me your favourite country pubs over on Twitter or Instagram, or you can follow A Life Less Organised on Facebook for more food news.

If you liked this, you might also like…


13 thoughts on “Country pubs near Bristol”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s