As the cold, dark nights draw in and the rain gets more frequent, I figured it was time to round up some of the best places to get comfy until the sun reappears!
Here are the best places to snuggle up with a mulled beverage whenever it gets nippy…
The Hare on the Hill, Kingsdown
This gem of a pub has steadily climbed the ranks to become one of my favourites in recent years, and once you step inside you’ll see why, with it’s cosy corners, great beer selection and regular events. If you’ve not been, add this one to the top of your list (plus, as you’ll see from the rest of this guide, you’ll only be a stone’s throw from several other great pubs!)
The Three Tuns, Hotwells
Not only does this friendly pub have plenty of seats inside or in its covered outdoor area (surprisingly warm even in winter), but there’s regular live music and always a good vibe any day of the week. I’ve stayed way too late at this pub many a time and if that’s not testament to its cosiness I don’t know what is.
The Golden Guinea, Redcliffe
Proudly describing itself as ‘Bristol’s best backstreet boozer’ (a title it could go head-to-head with against the formidable Bank Tavern), the Guinea is unassuming enough from the outside but has plenty of character and comfy seating inside, as well as a sunken covered terrace at the back.
The Portcullis, Clifton
Possibly the smallest pub on this list, this mini boozer still manages to pack in a fantastic selection of UK and international beers & ales, and would be one of my top contenders for where I’d want to hole myself up during some sort of mega storm.
The Lion, Cliftonwood
This one always gets a mention whenever I ask people for their favourite pubs in Bristol. Tucked away on a side street in colourful Cliftonwood (worth an autumnal stroll in its own right) – this is the epitome of local, traditional pub loveliness, complete with a roaring fire on colder days. Top roasts too.
Inn on the Green, Horfield
Another historical gem, this sprawling pub has a mighty selection of ales and a top notch menu of pub food favourites. Choose to sit at a table by the bar, or in one of their snug booths nearer the fireplace. Lush garden too, for when it warms up again!
Barley Mow, The Dings
Another great hidden pub, just a hop, skip and jump from Temple Meads and the Bristol to Bath Cycle Path (and the Moor Beer Brewery Tap – less cosy but worth a visit for the lush beers). There’s always something going on in this small local – from tap takeovers, to quizzes, to the Bristol Beer Factory 12 Stouts of Christmas every December. Yum.
Volunteer Tavern, Old Market
Or Volly #1 if you prefer (probably not). Find it behind the Future Inn near Cabot Circus, serving up a dazzling selection of drinks & dishes for such a dinky pub. The cute back yard has heaters, they have special offers throughout the week, and it’s dog friendly. Winner.
The Bell, Stokes Croft
Slightly more raucous than the other pubs on this list (not surprising given the location), this friendly pub is tucked into a side street off Jamaica St but still manages a decent crowd throughout the week due to the decent prices, tasty menu and regular music nights.
The Hillgrove, Kingsdown
Another place that gets a mention not just for its fine selection of ales, but also a tasty roast (which they don’t start seving until 4pm, for those of you needing some recovery time on a Sunday). They also play host to food pop-ups during the week (check their Twitter for latest updates) and have events on throughout the week. A proper old-style, traditional boozer, laaavly.
The Famous Royal Navy Volunteer, King St
A lush pub set across 3 floors (although you probably won’t want to make use of the roof terrace in bleak midwinter), Volly #2 (according to me) is a bit of a mission trying to decide from their extensive list of beers, wines and ciders, but there’s plenty of room to find a cosy corner and enjoy their impressive menu of sophisticated pub favourites such as burgers, sandwiches and fish & chips.
The Green Man, Kingsdown
Another teeny gem of a pub, this time up on the hill just behind the BRI. The roasts are legendary (as are the burgers to be honest), the gin selection is epic, and the staff are super friendly. Plus they have a good selection of games, which always goes down well in my book.
If you’re looking for other ways to get through the chillier days, here are some other guides you might like:
- Bristol’s Best Roast Dinners
- Bristol Pub Crawls
- Bristol’s Best Burgers
- The Top 12 Brunches in Bristol
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