While it is impossible to narrow down the list of the top public houses, or pubs, there are a few that stand out, both for the craftmanship of their beer recipes and their folklore.
The Rising Sun, Southampton
For hardcore beer aficionados, this pub owned by Greene King chain is for you. It was built in the late 17th century and is extremely popular with the local crowd as well as distant travellers. They serve six of the most sought-after ale brands including Ringwood Best, Abbott, Old Speckled Hen, Green King IPA, Hanson Old Trip and Hardy’s. The terrace is the perfect spot to watch the magnificent sunset over the boats.
Harrow Inn, Hampshire
The Harrow Inn is not an easy place to find, but for those who dare to make the trek, it is truly worth it. Run by the same family for generations, it maintains a humble simplicity that shows off its proud heritage. Its down-to-earth vibe permeates throughout the menu, and guests are encouraged to stroll among the gardens full of wild orchards.
The Hyde Tavern, Hampshire
For those who like a little excitement, there are also haunted pubs to explore. Hailed as one of the U.K.’s most haunted pubs, The Hyde tells the story of a young woman who died hungry and frozen centuries ago after being denied entry. Patrons have reported hearing groans, and overnight guests of the inn have noticed bedcovers removed in the night.
The Dove, London
Listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the smallest pub in England, The Dove is a quaint little bar located right on the water’s edge. With only six tables inside and outside, it also has a cosy little outside nook that customers can enjoy. The addition of free blankets to borrow adds to this little pub’s personality. Not short on fame, this pub has been the rumoured rendezvous point of many an illicit affair among celebrities and royalty.
Coburg Bar, Mayfair
For those travellers who want a change of pace and like something a little fancier, like a cocktail, one can always visit the Coburg, located within the Connaught Hotel. The Parisian flair in the decor is proof of its luxury, as is the elaborate wine list available.