The Best Waterside Pubs in Wiltshire

Another Place lets you explore the incredible English countryside in elegant style
Another Place lets you explore the incredible English countryside in elegant style | © Michael Lazenby
Marianna Hunt

The picture perfect county of Wiltshire boasts of some of the greenest, most luscious landscape in Europe, and the outstanding array of pubs in Wiltshire make for an ideal stop-off for a weary rambler, or simply any food and drink fanatic. Relax in the sunshine, and enjoy one of the fine local ales or artisan ciders available at these superb pubs, surrounded by the best of the British country.
Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.

The White Hart, Ford

Steak with truffle oil fries on the side

With its idyllic location in the tranquil hamlet of Ford, surrounded by green woods and a literal stone’s throw from the beautiful little Bybrook River, the The White Hart is a true hidden gem. But if the traditional exterior of The White Hart at Ford isn’t enough to take your breath away, dinner here is sure to do the trick. The pub offers delicious food and is famous for its steaks. Diners can scan the diagrams and fascinating facts in The White Hart’s ‘Guide to Steak’, detailing the cuts they serve and the charcoal cooking technique that gives the steaks their smoky, grilled flavour.

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10 am to 10 pm, Sundays 10 am to 9.30 pm

Located in the picture perfect English hamlet of Avoncliff, the building of The Cross Guns pub dates back to 1550, and is one of the oldest in this historic hamlet. A family-run business, The Cross Guns is loved for its welcoming atmosphere and family friendly feel. The pub’s historic gables, wooden beams, stone floors, and roaring fires make it a wonderfully cozy hideaway during the winter season. Its terraced gardens afford guests an exceptional view of the railway, canal, and river while they enjoy their drink, and are another of the pub’s many selling points. The Cross Guns’ exterior is a wonderful example of Cotswold stone and expert masonry.The pub is situated along the famously picturesque Two Valleys walking route from Freshford.

Opening hours: 12 pm to late

The Hourglass, Devizes

This modern bar and restaurant lies on the banks of Wiltshire’s stunning Kennet and Avon canal. Not far from the iconic Wiltshire landmark of Avebury stone circle, Stonehenge‘s slightly less famous brother, The Hourglass is a convenient stop-off for those exploring the fascinating landmarks this county has to offer. The sleek and contemporary interior, as well as the outstanding service, reflect The Hourglass’s commitment to excellence. The Hourglass’s extensive bar menu and monthly changing guest beer are sure to impress while the exceptional food is another secret behind the Hourglass’s success. Fresh ingredients are used to create a superbly diverse menu, ranging from traditional pub classics such as crispy beer battered cod and succulent Sunday roasts, to gourmet dishes such as 10-hour slow cooked lamb leg with a heavenly rich port jus.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 12 pm to 2 pm and 6.30 pm to 9 pm, Saturdays and Sundays 12 pm to 2.30 pm and 6.30 pm to 9pm

The Barge Inn, Honeystreet

Cheering with beer

The Barge Inn is a Georgian building constructed from Bath stone, but the pub is not simply a prime example of period architecture. Self-proclaimed: ‘Crop circle central’, The Barge Inn doubles as the world headquarters for crop circle fanatics. Located in an area known as a hot-spot for crop circles, many of these intriguing phenomena even surround the pub itself. Every summer photographers, researchers, scientists, academics, and enthusiasts flock to The Barge Inn to regale each other with supernatural tales. The pub also offers its own specialty ale: Honeystreet ales croppie, the official crop circle ale. Guests at The Barge Inn also benefit from the chance to watch the Devizes to Westminster International Canoe race from the pub’s garden. The race finishes by the Houses of Parliament in London. The Barge Inn was chosen as the Swindon and North Wiltshire CAMRA pub of the year 2012.

Opening hours: 12 pm to 8.30 pm

The Prince Leopold, Upton Lovell

Nestled on the banks of Wiltshire’s River Wylye, The Prince Leopold is surrounded by endless meadows. A short drive from Longleat Safari Park and Center Parks, The Prince Leopold is a popular place to refuel with a delicious dinner after a day-trip. The menu is made-up of high quality regional produce, and diners have the chance to gaze out onto the natural landscape from the pub’s terraced riverside garden. The Prince Leopold provides the perfect fusion of modern and and historic, housing stylish glass windows offering panoramic views of the river and a wood-paneled bar with artifacts from the period when the pub was first built.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 12 pm to 3.30 pm and 6 pm to 8.30 pm, Saturdays 12 pm to 9 pm, Sundays 12 pm to 8 pm

The Lock Inn, Bradford-upon-Avon

Family-owned since its very beginning, The Lock Inn boasts of many committed regulars, thanks to its exceptionally warm and welcoming atmosphere. A firm favorite with the locals, this canal-side pub is notorious in Wiltshire for its superb food menu. The Lock Inn transforms throughout the day: home-made cakes and aromatic coffees make it a beautiful tearoom in the daytime, whereas the early evening sees it transition into traditional English pub serving hearty meals. Diners even have the option of eating on the inn’s own boat, decked out with quirky chairs and tables -but do watch out if you’re prone to seasickness! The enormous Boatman’s Breakfast here is legendary, and attempting to finish the piled-high plate of sizzling treats is a popular local challenge. Linked to the Towpath Trail, visitors can benefit from the opportunity to rent a bike or a canoe to explore the vast natural surroundings. The pub is proud to welcome children, cats, dogs, and even the muddiest of wellies after a walk along this stunning stretch of canal.

Opening hours: 8.30 am to 9 pm

landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article