The Best Waterside Pubs in Wiltshire

Stourton, Wiltshire © The Monkey / Flickr
Stourton, Wiltshire © The Monkey / Flickr
Photo of Marianna Hunt
28 October 2016

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.

Wiltshire, England | © JackPeasePhotography/Flickr

The White Hart, Ford

Pub, Pub Grub, $$$
Map View
The idyllic riverside garden of The White Hart pub, Ford
The idyllic riverside garden of The White Hart pub, Ford | Courtesy of Stefan Hunt
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

The Cross Guns, Avoncliff

Pub, Pub Grub, $$$
Map View
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

Bar, Pub, Restaurant, Pub Grub, $$$
Map View
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

Pub, Pub Grub, $$$
Map View
Stourhead Estate, Wiltshire
Stourhead Estate, Wiltshire | © Jack Pease / Flickr
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

Bar, Pub, Restaurant, Pub Grub, $$$
Map View
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 Old Mill Hotel, Harnham

Pubs with Rooms, Hotel
Map View
A 10 minute walk from bustling cathedral city Salisbury, The Old Mill Hotel at Harnham is a particular favorite with Wiltshire’s ramblers. With the River Nadder running alongside the establishment, and the garden’s spectacular views of Harnham Hills, The Old Mill Hotel lies in a truly idyllic spot. Once you’ve had your fill of breathtaking views and diverse wildlife, come and enjoy the excellent drinks and fabulous pub food here at The Old Mill. Their real ales are Cask Marque accredited and the pub was listed in the 2015 Good Pub Guide. The building has a fascinating history with its ecclesiastical roots, and was turned into a paper mill in the 1500s. A Grade I listed building with features that date from 1250, The Old Mill simply brims with history and beauty.

The Lock Inn, Bradford-upon-Avon

Cafe, Pub, British
Map View
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

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