From its dramatic coastline to its upland mountains, from its stirring moorland to its bucolic inland shires, Britain’s wildly diverse landscapes make for some of the world’s best walking.
Combine this with another uniquely British establishment, the pub, and you have the makings of a rather good day out. Here are ten of our favourite pub walks in the country.
1. Yorkshire’s coast: Whitby to Staithes
Distance: 18.5km; strenuous
Duration: 6-7 hours
Best boozer along the way: The Cod & Lobster, Staithes
Whitby and the cove-hidden villages along the North York Moors National Park’s coastline are some of the country’s most picturesque places. The wild North Sea batters the cliff edges, while the diverse array of birdlife battle the elements. This full-day walk follows the Cleveland Way north from Whitby to Staithes – and there’s no shortage of pubs along the coastline.
On arrival in Staithes, The Cod & Lobster hangs precariously onto the harbour (and has, on occasion, been a bit too close to the edge – just look at the pictures on the wall from after the 1953 storm). Out of the wind, this is a cosy, welcoming pub with a seafood-heavy menu.
Distance: 11km; moderate
Duration: 4 hours
Best boozer along the way: The Farmers Arms, St Davids
St Davids, Britain’s smallest city, provides the perfect starting (and ending) to an exploration of the dramatic Pembrokeshire Coast Path.
Take a footpath south to the coast and follow the route around the peninsula of Pen-Dal-aderyn taking in astonishing views over Ramsey Island. Head back to St Davids for a pint at The Farmers Arms.
3. Kinder Scout, Peak District
Distance: 14km, strenuous
Duration: 6 hours
Best boozer along the way: The Old Nags Head
Start out from Edale and follow the beginning of the 429km Pennine Way to the waterfall of Kinder Downfall, before returning along the National Trail and into The Old Nags Head. With flagstone floors, roaring fires and its own beer, the Old Nags Head is a pub full of the character you’d expect considering it dates back to 1577.
4. Ben Vrackie, Pitlochry
Distance: 12km; strenuous
Duration: 5 hours
Best boozer along the way: Moulin Inn
By the delightful town of Pitlochry, and the even more picturesque outlying village of Moulin, is the pleasingly pointy mountain of Ben Vrackie, an 841m monolith that dominates the area.
Start from Moulin following clear signs up to the mountain, before a sharp 300m pull to the summit. The first pub you arrive at is the Moulin Inn. It’s been welcoming visitors since 1695, so is pretty good at it by now. The fact that it has its own brewery makes it pretty much the perfect walking pub.
5. Sussex Downs: Alfriston to Litlington
Distance: 5km; easy
Duration: 2 hours
Best boozer along the way: The Plough & Harrow, Litlington
You’d be hard pushed to find a more quaint village in all of Sussex than Alfriston. It’s home to one of the oldest pubs in the country, The Star Inn, dating back to 1345.
From Alfriston, walk past the village green and the 14th-century church of St Andrew to the River Cuckmere. From here, the path winds along the river in the folds of the chalk Sussex Downs to the hamlet of Litlington and the 17th-century Plough & Harrow, before a genteel return.
6. Gordale Scar, Yorkshire Dales
Distance: 5km, easy
Duration: 3 hours
Best boozer along the way: Lister Arms, Malham
This short walk manages to include two of Britain’s most incredible geological wonders. Gordale Scar is a 100m limestone ravine riven by glacial meltwater. Walk out of Malham up the Scar, before returning to the road and then following the Dales High Way to Malham Cove, a tremendous limestone amphitheatre.
Back in Malham, the charming Lister Arms is a cosy old coaching inn with some seriously good food.
7. Thames Coast Path: Marlow to Windsor
Distance: 22km (can be shortened); moderate
Duration: 6-7 hours
Best boozer along the way: The Boatman, Windsor
Our favourite part is the partly wooded section from Marlow to Windsor Castle. After a long day out, the riverside Boatman in Windsor is an endearing sight. Grab a table on the terrace and watch the boats go by.
8. Tintagel to Boscastle, Cornwall
Distance: 7km; easy
Duration: 2-3 hours
Best boozer along the way: The Napoleon Inn, Boscastle
Tintagel on Cornwall’s Atlantic coast will forever be associated with King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table. But it’s also the striking cliff-top views from along the South West Coast Path that make this such a popular destination. The 7km coastal walk to Boscastle is one of the finest anywhere.
Finish your walk at The Napoleon Inn or return to Tintagel for a drink at the Ye Olde Malthouse Inn.
Distance: 6km; easy
Duration: 2 hours
Best boozer along the way: The Holyrood 9A
There are few cities in Britain where you can climb high above the city, yet remain in the very centre. Arthur’s Seat, in the middle of Edinburgh, offers majestic views, a dose of history and mythology, plus the convenience of being near loads of good pubs for afterwards. Start off at the Palace of Holyroodhouse and walk around the western side to Gutted Haddie, then around Arthur’s Seat to approach from the east.
The Holyrood 9A’s tagline is “good beer, good burgers” which is enticing enough itself, even if it weren’t for the friendly staff and unbeatable location just off the Royal Mile.
10. Langdale Pikes, Lake District
Distance: 9km; strenuous
Duration: 6-7 hours
Best boozer along the way: The Old Dungeon Ghyll, Langdale
Great Langdale is easily one of the finest valleys in the Lake District. It comes to an abrupt end at the Langdale Pikes that rise 700m high.
Climb high up to Stickle Tarn, and perhaps to Pavey Ark, before descending for a pint by the fire in a classic hillwalking pub, The Old Dungeon Ghyll. This is one for more experienced hikers.