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Ten of the best countryside pubs in Cheshire and North Wales

PUBLISHED: 23:01 15 June 2014 | UPDATED: 13:22 28 October 2017

The Pheasant Inn

The Pheasant Inn

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From rustic locals with comforting food and the perfect pint to stylish places to spend an afternoon, or night, Cheshire has a tempting choice of countryside pubs

The Yew Tree The Yew Tree

The Yew Tree Inn, Bunbury

What type of pub is it?

There is a reason The Yew Tree Inn has won a enviable amount of awards including The Good Pub Guide’s Cheshire Dining Pub of 2014 and Visit England’s Tourism Pub of the Year in 2013. Following an expertly done refurbishment, this fabulous village pub is a great place to spend an afternoon or evening. Character and history – it was built in the 19th century by The Earl of Crewe – mix well with a quirky, modern interior. With summer on the horizon, diners can take advantage of the terrace to enjoy those light evenings.

What is on the menu?

Fresh and locally sourced are at the heart of this menu, which changes every eight weeks. Much of the inn’s beef, lamb, pork and seasonal vegetables come from the Broster family farm in nearby Bunbury Heath with many other foods having low food miles. Expect dishes crispy belly pork, fish pie and spiced butternut squash tagines. They also take their beer seriously and you will find a good range of craft beers, lagers, stouts and porters.

What can I do nearby?

Work up an appetite with a walk at Beeston Castle, near Tarporley, experience the workings of one of the region’s last remaining watermills that has been corn milling since 1290 or watch the narrow boats go by at Bunbury Staircase Locks, just north of the village.

How do I get in touch?

The Yew Tree Inn, Long Lane, Spurstow, Bunbury, CW6 9RD, 01829 260274, www.theyewtreebunbury.com

 

The Badger Inn, Church Minshull The Badger Inn, Church Minshull

The Badger Inn, Church Minshull

What type of pub is it?

This fine oak beamed pub, once called The Brook Arms after the local lord of the manor, dates back to the 18th century. Once a regular place to see bare knuckle fighting, The Badger offers rather more quaint surroundings and pursuits these days.

What is on the menu?

Dishes include an 18 hour slow-cooked blade of beef, smoked haddock kedgeree and spiced vegetable braise. As well as golden syrup braised ham hock, a selection of sandwiches and delicious sharing platters. Vegans, vegetarians and gluten-free diners are also well catered for.

What can I do nearby?

Church Minshull offers everything you would want from a rural idyll. The conservation area has black and white timbered Tudor houses to look at as well a several walks in the surrounding countryside. Have a wander near the River Weaver, take in a section of the Weaver Way Walk or take a circuit from the Aqueduct Marina taking in Minshull Lock, the Darnhall Radio Telescope and through the village where you can enjoy the beautiful architecture of St Bartholomew’s Church, built in the 1700s.

How do I get in touch?

The Badger Inn, Cross Lane, Church Minshull, Nantwich, CW5 6DY, 01270 522348, www.badgerinn.co.uk

 

Pant yr Ochain, Gresford

What type of pub is it?

There is history abound in this pretty manor house turned pub. The current structure, dating back to the 1530s, was built the Cunliffe family, whose wealth was built on the slave trade operating out of Liverpool. There are lots of things to look at in this lovely venue, now owned by a farming family, including the original Tudor wattle and daub timbers. The Pant also has beautiful gardens as well as views across a lake and hills.

What is on the menu?

The menu here changes regularly with a vast choice of dishes including pan fried baby squid, king prawn and chorizo salad, puy lentil and aubergine no meat meatballs and chargrilled harissa marinated halloumi.

What can I do nearby?

Follow one of the walking routes around nearby Gresford Quarry or Nant Mill in Coedpoeth, explore National Trust property Erddig House in Wrexham or if you want something more energetic you can go mountain biking in Llandegla Forest. Children will also love the miniature railway located in the pub’s car park.

How do I get in touch?

Pant yr Ochain, Old Wrexham Road, Gresford, Wrexham, LL12 8TY, 01978 853525, www.brunningandprice.co.uk/pantyrochain

 

The Pheasant Inn, Higher Burwardsley The Pheasant Inn, Higher Burwardsley

 

The Pheasant, Higher Burwardsley

What type of pub is it?

The award-winning country pub dates back to 1650. Traditional, cosy and elegant décor on the inside is a great combination with the spectacular, panoramic views that can be enjoyed outside. It’s popular with everyone from walkers and local farmers to wedding parties and other social occasions. It is a Michelin Good Pub venue and the recipient of an AA Rosette.

What is on the menu?

The large menu features mains of green herb and spring vegetable pappardelle, Gressingham duck breast and glazed blade of beef as well as pub classics of beer battered haddock with chips and mushy peas and a 10oz steak burger. There is also a celebration of local produce with food sources from many places including Tarporley, Malpas, Burland and Tattenhall

What can I do nearby?

If you can drag yourself away from the views there are plenty of local walks to try, as well as golf, angling and shooting.

How do I get in touch?

The Pheasant Inn, Higher Buwardsley, Tattenhall, CH3 9PF, 01829 770434, www.thepheasantinn.co.uk

 

The Plough Inn, Whitegate

What type of pub is it?

This traditional country inn dates back to 1869 and was previously a beer house. There is a lovely beer garden too bursting with colour that is ideal to enjoy on a sunny day.

What is on the menu?

Traditional pub meals are at the heart of The Plough Inn menu including whole-tail jumbo scampi, lamb’s liver and bacon and sausage and message. Those with a sweet tooth will love the extensive dessert menu. The Robinsons pub is also cask marque accredited.

What can I do nearby?

The Whitegate Way, which has walking, cycling and horse riding tracks, is a six mile route that leads near to Delamere Forest and has some fantastic views

How do I get in touch?

The Plough Inn, Beauty Bank, Whitegate, CW8 2BP, 01606 889455, www.ploughwhitegate.com

 

The Bells of Peover, near Knutsford The Bells of Peover, near Knutsford

Bells of Peover, Lower Peover

What type of pub is it?

This historic country pub is a Cheshire mainstay. It dates back to 1839 when it was named the Warren de Tabley Arms – take a look at the front wall and you can still see the Tabley family crest. You’ll spot an American flag alongside the British one. This is because Generals Eisenhower and Patton also made plans for the D-Day invasion over lunch here in 1944 when American soldiers were billeted at nearby Peover Hall.

Today, this stylish dining pub serves up excellent food in beautiful surroundings. It is surrounded by lovely countryside and the pub has nice gardens and patio areas.

What is on the menu?

Traceability and provenance is important on the Bells of Peover menus. Expect a wealth of food provided by the regions growers and farmers. Dishes include Cheshire sirloin steak, smoked haddock, prawn and mussel pie and roast chestnut, truffle and parmesan risotto.

What can I do nearby?

Take a look at the Grade I listed St Oswald’s Church which dates back to 1269 or experience the history of Peover Hall and Gardens, a Grade II listed Elizabethan family house, which also has beautiful gardens and grounds which are a haven for wildlife.

How do I get in touch?

Bells of Peover, The Cobbles, Lower Peover, Knutsford, WA16 9PZ, 01565 722269, thebellsofpeover.com

Swettenham Arms by Keith Meredith Swettenham Arms by Keith Meredith

 

The Swettenham Arms, Swettenham

What type of pub is it?

This quintessential country pub has been a favourite with Cheshire folk for many years with Frances and Jim Cunningham at the helm. The 16th century inn, tucked away in this picture postcard village in the Dane Valley, was a former nunnery as well as a welcome resting place for mourners attending funerals at the adjacent St Peter’s Church.

What is on the menu?

You are in for a treat at this fmaily friendly venue. The menu is bursting with the freshest seasonal produce, including some from Cheshire farmers. There are many classic dishes to choose from and during the summer you can enjoy a pot of afternoon tea in the beautiful surroundings. It’s also a regular in the Good Pub Guide and ales from small micro-breweries are put in the spotlight here.

What can I do nearby?

This lovely inn has its own lavender and sunflower meadow that provides a beautiful place to spend time in the summer where you can spot wildlife. There is also a croquet lawn, ideal for some quality family time. This area is also popular with local walkers and cyclists - the pub is at the heart of a number of bike routes. There is also the renowned Quinta Arboretum, beautiful gardens created by Jodrell Bank’s Sir Bernard Lovell, and now managed by Tatton Garden Society.

How do I get in touch?

The Swettenham Arms, Swettenham Lane, Swettenham, near Congleton, CW12 2LF, 01477 571284, www.swettenhamarms.co.uk

Swan With Two Nicks Swan With Two Nicks

Swan with Two Nicks, Little Bollington

What type of pub is it?

Rustic beams, roaring log fires and alfresco drinks, The Swan with Two Nicks offers a fantastic Cheshire welcome. This dog-friendly country pub dates back many centuries and got its name from when a swan census was being established.

What is on the menu?

Delicious, comforting food with an a la carte or snack menu to choose from. Sustainable fish and shellfish specials are well regarded at The Swan with Two Nicks. They will have been at that morning’s markets.

What can I do nearby?

Take a walk along the Bridgewater Canal, spot deer and take in the history at the Dunham Massey estate or stroll around the pretty village. D

How do I get in touch?

The Swan with Two Nicks, Park Lane, Little Bollington, Altrincham, WA14 4TJ, 0161 928 2914, www.swanwithtwonicks.co.uk

 

Shrewsbury Arms, Little Budworth

What type of pub is it?

This cosy, rustic country pub is a must visit. It was taken over by first-time landlords Jackie and Malcolm McLuckie in 2011. The couple, who formerly worked as teachers and on cruise ships, offer a very warm welcome. They have done their research too. Before taking on the Shrewsbury Arms the couple travelled around the country searching out pubs in their own campervan.

What is on the menu?

Good pub food and real ales from Robinsons. The menu includes pan-friend lambs liver with bacon, steak and ale pie and scampi and chips.

What can I do nearby?

Enjoy a day at Oulton Park, a walk at Little Budworth Country Park or the nearby Whitegate Way or you can explore the beautiful Delamere Forest. Equestrian enthusiasts can also indulge their hobby as there are a number of rising stables nearby and Cheshire Polo Club. If you can’t face the drive home, Malcolm and Jackie have an adults only touring campsite at the back of the pub.

How do I get in touch?

Shrewsbury Arms, Chester Road, Little Budworth, Tarporley, 01829 760240, www.shrewsburyarms.com

 

The Sun Inn, Llanengan

What type of pub is it?

This traditional Welsh pub, built in 1850, is in a pretty little village near Cardigan Bay and Pwllheli. It had a major refurbishment just a few years ago and the family run place is popular for locals and visitors to the area. In the summer, there is a large beer garden and games area to take advantage of where customers can play darts, cribbage and cards. There are also several board games to enjoy.

What is on the menu?

Quality, home cooked evening meals, a tasty Sunday carvery and bar snacks as well as guest ales, lager, wine, spirits and cider.

What can I do nearby?

Pull on your comfortable shoes as there are many superb coastle walks along the Welsh Coastal Path towards nearby Abersoch and the beautiful Hell’s Mouth Bay. The Llyn Peninsular is also within striking distance and golf enthusiasts could enjoy a round at Morfa Nefyn.

How do I get in touch?

The Sun Inn, Llanengan, Pwllheli, Gwynedd, LL53 7LG, 01758 712660, www.thesuninnllanengan.co.uk

 

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