One of the reasons families give for moving out of London is their desire to find a local community with excellent pubs on the doorstep so they can enjoy country walks in the fresh air with the family, a welcoming pint and great food.
So we have taken on the arduous task of checking out local pubs that have featured in the recently released Good Pub Guide 2018 and also in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide 2018. My dear husband is an avid real ale fan and member of the Rebellion Brewery (Marlow). He is a frequent visitor to both Chiltern Brewery (Nash Lee) and Eton and Windsor (Eton) and he knows a good pint when he tastes one so the research has been very thorough and totally enjoyable!
See below our personal favourites:
The Kings Head Aylesbury
Stepping into this pub in the middle of the bustling modern High Street is a bit of a cultural shock as it dates back to 15th century. The wooden floors and mismatched furniture adds to its charms. The local Chiltern Ale is served here and a happy hour was whiled away enjoying a pint and baguette.
The Pheasant Brill
Aim for the sun setting with a beer in your hand on the decking overlooking the Brill Windmill a sight to behold. They serve food that brings punters back time and time again. While in Brill take a walk around the pretty village which is well worth it.
The Pointer still in Brill
Still in the village of Brill this is a great location for pub walks to take in the windmill. The Pointer has high credentials and is often featured in the Sunday papers as ‘a pub to leave London for’. This pub has its own livestock and the food is Michelin star quality.
The Russel Arms Buttlers Cross
Enjoy the sunny seating area outside where you can watch the world go by or inside the family friendly pub has bench seating for larger groups. The welcoming landlords make you feel relaxed as soon as you step inside. Stop for lunch the take a hike up Coombe Hill to walk it off!
Harte and Magpie Coleshill
This pub has had many incarnations and the current owner has worked wonders as we see a full car park each time we pass. The pub is filled with mismatched furniture such as old church pews etc and is warm and inviting. There is a great play area outside in the summer for children. Food is good and portion size – especially on the fish and chips – are generous!
The Bel and Dragoon Cookham
This is another character pub with low ceilings situated on the High Street. Parking can be challenging but it is worth it because the welcome, food and beer are great. Friendly staff give a warm welcome and there is a real sense of space inside. It’s great to see so many groups of different age ranges as it appeals to all (including chalkboard tables for children to draw on!).
Red Lion Dagnal
This pub is often a good stop off after a visit to Whipsnade Zoo. It offers a warm atmosphere, good beer and Monday night quizzes. Tuesday night is curry night so what more can you want! Beer keeps well according to Paul.
Mole and Chicken Easington
An unusual name for a pub but this is a little gem, set in a delightful location with country views from the decking which is great for the summer. As a winter pub it is warm and inviting. Food is excellent and they offer a good variety as well as Chiltern Ale being served.
Stag and Hounds Farnham Common
This pub is snugly sat in the middle of Farnham Common and on good walking routes through Burnham Beeches. There is a newly built external seating area on the front which is a great spot to catch the sun going down. On our last visit there were 10 real ales to choose from so a big tick from Paul.
This perfect country pub nestled in the Hambleden Valley offers wonderful outside summer dining with country views and is also a delightful winter pub. Photos with snow covering the pub are Christmas card perfect. Great food and beer here.
Royal Standard of England Forty Green
Well we are biased because this is our local and being one of the oldest Ale Houses in England it is very special. We often bring our clients from overseas to see a traditional English pub and they have difficulty putting their cameras down because it is so picturesque! It has been used in lots of filming for example; The Theory of Everything, Hot Fuzz, Midsummer Murders and many more. The food and beer is consistently good and my favourite is the warmed Ginger Pig chilli cider in the winter!
The Black Horse Fulmer
A very classy pub for great food, sophisticated dining and family focused with the garden in the summer. This is an ideal stop if you plan a romp around Burnham Beeches and work up an appetite. Finally they keep good beer according to Paul.
The White Horse Hedgerly
This pub is like walking back in time. It enjoys a tiny bar with a huge selection of beer that you can see in casks through to the back of the bar. True beer fans love it here as the landlord knows how to keep beer according to my husband! The summer garden is popular with BBQ’s and Beer Festivals This pub hasn’t changed in the twenty years we’ve been going here and we wouldn’t want it to either.
Bootlegger High Wycombe
The Bootlegger boasts a most attractive brick and flint exterior and is situated directly opposite High Wycombe station. It is known for its craft beer and live music and good atmosphere and in summer their garden offers welcome calm from the bustling town of High Wycombe.
The Crown Inn Little Missenden
This is often used as a stop off for cyclists in the Chiltern Hills – it is a traditional English pub with beautiful gardens and very cosy inside. It is what people call ‘a proper pub’ as several cask ales are on tap. Enjoy their popular ploughman’s or pies while you peruse the black and white photos.
The Blackwood Arms Littleworth Common
This is a real hidden gem and well worth searching out. It is the perfect winter pub with fires and great beer. Marry that with a fantastic garden with open country views to the rear this is an excellent find – if you can find it! Popular with walkers in Burnham Beeches and also dog friendly pub it is worth booking ahead for a table.
The Eight Bells Long Crendon
Long Crendon is a village well worth visiting with beautiful thatched houses and village shop/café etc. The pub has few steps up and you feel like you’re walking into someone’s cosy front room. It is warm, inviting and friendly. We visited at Christmas and their mince pies are legendary. Beer gets thumbs up from Paul too.
Pink and Lily Princess Risborough
This is a family friendly pub with roaring fire situated in the centre of the Chilterns and an ideal Sunday walking pub. You’ll need to work up a big appetite as the food is generous in particular the fish and chips! The exposed brickwork is attractive and the staff very helpful.
The Squirrel Pub Penn Street
Enjoying a great location directly opposite an active cricket pitch you can sit out the front with a pint – what is better on a summer’s day! During the winter they have two roaring fires so all seasons are covered here! Good food from light bites to full meals. Look out for the Beer Festival in the summer a buzzing event.
George and Dragoon Quainton
This is a pub and tea room combination that works well, we stop here for a coffee break on Viewing Days and it always offers good service and food. The beamed building adds a lot of character and it is popular with regulars and visitors alike.
The Bull Sonning
Well worth a visit especially to coincide with a walk along the Thames for a great day out. This is a character pub with low ceilings and a great atmosphere. They offer high quality food and beer. It is very child friendly with books and children’s play area out the back.
The Rising Sun Thame
A lovely old pub with real ales and fire, but the secret is out the back with a fantastic Thai restaurant hidden away. They offer excellent food but you’ll need to book to get in Friday/Saturday nights as it’s so popular.
The Packhorse Wendover
This is a great pub on the brow of the hill overlooking the attractive town of Wendover. We often pop in here after a bracing walk in Wendover Woods. Proper hearty food and a wide selection of beers available. A great friendly traditional pub.
The Two Brewers Windsor
Neighbouring Windsor Castle this is a must visit pub – small but packed with character. Food is beautifully presented and the Sunday roast is what they are known for. Children are not allowed in the pub but there are benches outside. After a delicious lunch you can walk it off with a walk down the world famous Long Walk – it’s only seven miles!
The Queen and Albert Wooburn Green
This attractive looking pub is directly opposite Wooburn Green and has delightful country views. It has been recently refurbished and the owners receive many warm reviews from the patrons. It serves Rebellion beer too – my husband’s favourite.
The Royal Standard Wooburn Green
This pub is situated close to the famous Odds Farm Park so after a visit with the children to see the racing pigs or tractor ride why not visit this pub to enjoy a good bite of food accompanied by a well-kept pint. Family and dog friendly with a warm reception it is a must visit.