Warm-up this winter next to these roaring pub fires
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CAMRA has revealed some of the cosiest pubs with a roaring fire to visit so you can keep warm this winter season.
From roasting chestnuts on an open fire to charming country inns and Tudor fireplaces, all recommended are word of mouth and – coming directly from CAMRA members across the country.
Many on the list can also be found in this 2020 Good Beer Guide, so rest assured you will find a good pint to sip in as you escape the winter chill!
The list forms part of the Love Pubs, Join CAMRA campaign which will see individual pub recommendations released each month to encourage more beer-drinkers and pub-goers to support the cause. Full descriptions and photos are available at https://camra.org.uk/pubs/learn-more/love-pubs-join-camra/roaring-fires
1. Ring O’Bells, Cumbria* – a little pub with a roaring fire and a big heart! The fire is kept stoked up throughout the winter even for a solitary drinker. It offers a range of well-sourced beers, as well as an unusual selection of cider, perry and gin.
2. The Bulls Head Pub, Cheshire – a quintessentially English pub offering great food and atmosphere. With three open fires including an old back-to-back fireplace, it is often listed as one of the cosiest pubs in the area.
3. King Charles Tavern, Berkshire* – The two front bars in this town-centre pub feature open fireplaces. The KC or KCT, as it’s known to locals, is a former local CAMRA Pub of the Year and serves up to eight beers, often from XT, Saltaire and Hop Back breweries.
4. Fox and Goose, West Yorkshire* – A roaring log or coal fire in the main bar really warms the cockles on a cold winter’s day. It’s also great for drying out wet dogs and people, as well as for toasting crumpets! The first community cooperative pub in West Yorkshire, it is local CAMRA Pub of the Year 2019, as well as one of the Guardian’s Top 50 Pubs in Britain. It has an excellent selection of ales including at least one vegan beer and a dark ale.
5. Hillend Tavern, Kingdom of Fife – Chestnuts roasting on an open fire… is a regular (albeit informal) event at Hillend Tavern. Another regular local CAMRA Pub of the year and Scottish Pub of the Year runner-up, there is an open fire at each end of the pub, and four or five real ales are regularly on offer.
6. Flower Pot, Oxfordshire – A charming country inn set in the heart of the village of Aston. With a vintage wood burner in the public bar, the Flower Pot offers traditional pub fayre and an eclectic collection of aquatic taxidermy throughout the pub. A great place to warm up with a pint, it is located just a five-minute walk from the River Thames and provides beautiful views of the countryside.
7. Forest Arms, West Wales – The Forest Arms is located in the centre of Brechfa, an ancient village dating back to the 6th Century, situated between Llandeilo and Carmarthen. There are two rooms with open fires and plenty of cosy areas to sit and relax. The Huntsmans Bar has a cavernous fireplace with a wood burner, while the double-height St David’s Room also boasts an open fire and is available for private hire. Dylan Thomas, the King of Saudi Arabia and George Bernard Shaw, among others, have frequented the Forest Arms in their day.
8. Blackbird Inn, Northumberland – Offering rustic charm, this is a great place to cosy up on a cold winter’s day in front of a roaring fire in the Tudor fireplace. Part of the pub is made up of remains from Ponteland Castle, and it is central to the village. As well as being dog-friendly it offers excellent food and local ales. The legendary Ponteland Wheelbarrow Race starts and finishes at the pub every New Year’s Day too.
9. Nobody Inn, Devon* – A splendid village inn, full of old beams and antique furniture, that dates back to the 15th century, but formally became an inn in 1837. Situated between the Haldon Hills and the Teign Valley, it has a vast inglenook fireplace and a warm welcome is guaranteed. The pub offers local produce, real ales, more than 250 wines and 240 whiskies, as well as accommodation.
10. Queen’s Head, Cambridgeshire* – This village local is one of only a handful of pubs to have appeared in every edition of the Good Beer Guide. The cosy lounge has a welcoming fire, which may have warmed the King and Kaiser who reputedly stopped here for a pint in the early 1900s. Ales are served direct from the cask on a stillage behind the bar and include guest beers from Adnams or a smaller local brewery.
11. Westford Inn, Highland and Western Isles* – Situated on the beautiful island of North Uist, this cosy, traditional pub has a loyal following of locals and visitors alike. Popular with cyclists, walkers and shooting parties, the peat-fuelled stove is always welcome to all. Ales are supplied from the Isle of Skye Brewery.
*featured in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide 2020, available to purchase at shop.camra.org.uk
Full descriptions and photos are available at https://camra.org.uk/pubs/learn-more/love-pubs-join-camra/roaring-fires
CAMRA membership is just £26.50* a year (£18* for Under 26s) and now includes £30 of real ale, cider and perry vouchers accepted at over 1400 participating pubs including Wetherspoons, S.A. Brains, Stonegate Ltd and Castle Rock pubs, (If you run a pub and would like to join the scheme email us at CAMRAvouchers@camra.org.uk ) and membership discounts at a further 3000+ pubs nationwide. Members also receive free or discounted entry at over 180 beer festivals including Great British Beer Festival events, and CAMRA’s monthly newspaper What’s Brewing and award-winning BEER magazine.
* Direct Debit rate. Full details at camra.org.uk/join