10 pubs with great views
Sit back with that favourite pint and enjoy
Looking over teal waters dotted with sailboats, the Mariners sits on the north bank of the Camel River opposite Padstow, which is just a hop, skip and jump away. Get here just before dusk, order a pint of Sharps Doombar – brewed in the village – and watch the day melt into night as the sun sets across the estuary. Alternatively book a table at the restaurant and tuck into freshly caught fish while looking out to sea. You can’t get much more Cornish than this.
Pop by this Jurassic Coast gem to soak up majestic views of the glittering sea peeking through the Purbeck Hills while sipping on a pint of home-brewed cider or tucking into a hot pasty. It’s been run by the same family for over a hundred years and is a charming seaside spot to while away a few hours. There’s also an onsite fossil museum, experimental theatre performances in the evening and mini music festivals held during summer.
What used to be the old deer keeper’s lodge is now a homely northern country pub, with seven miles dedicated to fishing along the River Hodder and views across the rich-green deer park to the brooding hills beyond. The outdoor terrace, riverside restaurant and private dining room all make the most of the rural vistas. The food is rustic and comforting as is the interior with its thick golden-rimmed mirrors, logs stacked up next to one of several open fires and handsome oak tables.
As you approach this little waterside pub you’ll spot its reflection dancing in Bow Creek – that’s if there isn’t a multi-coloured sailing boat moored outside. A couple miles up the River Dart from Dittisham, The Maltsters Arms was once owned by legendary bon viveur Keith Floyd and continues to be a haven for sailors, locals and foodies alike. There are quayside barbecues in summer and come winter you can perch next to the log fire while tucking into the local catch of the day.
Lodged between the Old Man of Coniston, Hawkshead and Ambleside, the Double D – as it’s known to hikers, has views for all weathers. When the sun beams down on Cumbria you can gaze up to the Langdale Pikes or down across glistening Windermere. And if it rains, inside you’ll find walls lined with nostalgic art and a hypnotising open fire to set up camp next to with a pint of award-winning ale in hand.
While Inspector Morse fans pack into the Trout, those in the know prefer Oxford’s other riverside hangout, The Fishes, a serious gastropub in an imposing Victorian building with a whopping three acres of gardens. Get here early on a summer day, order a jug of Pimms and your very own picnic basket from the bar – don’t forget to ask for a rug – and spend the day fooling about on the banks of Seacourt Stream.
From the motorway the White Horse doesn’t look particularly striking, which is just how aficionados of this Norfolk watering-hole like it. The best bit is actually hidden around the back, where the large terrace looks over Brancaster Marsh to the seabird colony at Scolt Head Island and perhaps some of the most sumptuous sunsets in the country. Stay the night and you can catch the sunrise too.
The best way to arrive at this pastel pink-painted pub is to cross the River Dart by, you guessed it, ferry boat. Teetering on the water’s edge, grab one of the cosy window seats dotted with nautical-themed cushions and gaze back across the Dart to the Greenway Estate, described by Agatha Christie as “the loveliest place in the world”. If you arrive by car you can park on the beach – just be sure to check the tide table in the pub first.
The clue is in the name with this endearing little pub, burrowed deep in the Herefordshire countryside on the peaceful River Lugg. Take a seat in the riverside garden simmering with wildlife and you’ll see dragonflies and damselflies fluttering by, leaping trout, pretty butterflies, kingfishers and maybe even an otter. There are plenty of local Herefordshire ciders to savour as well, including Wye Valley Ale from Stoke Lacy and artisan brews from Much Marcle and Wigmore.
A former hangout for a princess and A-list actors, The Prospect of Whitby is one of London’s oldest riverside inns, dating back to 1543. By night, step outside for views of the illuminated Canary Wharf, a bold contrast to the pub’s age-old flagstone flooring and the eerie hangman’s noose you’ll see dangling from scaffolding lodged in the Thames, left there in memory of former local Judge Jeffreys, aka the Hanging Judge.
London 2012 Games, the Cultural Olympiad and Dickens Bicentenary...2012: The year to be in England