Best pubs in Somerset

Classic Fodder

Best pubs in Somerset

If there is something that good old Blighty does well, it’s the traditional pub. Whether it’s a 17th-century thatched beauty nestled on the edge of a village green that’s been the heart of the community since time immemorial or a Michelin recommended gastro pub that draws people from near and far, Somerset offers a tantalising mix of welcoming eateries.

Perhaps you’re looking for that perfect combination of well-tended ales and beers on tap supped with a hearty homemade pie; a good glug of unctuous red wine with crunchy snacks enjoyed next to an open fire, or vinegar-soaked chips with a cooling G&T in a sunny pub garden…whatever your idyllic experience looks like, dozens of charming pubs and inns pepper the county - providing pitstops aplenty after a bracing walk or day of activities in Somerset.

While it’s great to happen upon these hostelries by chance, sometimes it’s good to have a helping hand, so here are some of our favourite pubs to visit in Somerset to whet your appetite.

 

The Candlelight Inn, near Chard

A bench in front of the golden bricked The Candlelight Inn

Bishopswood, Chard TR20 3RS

This picturesque, award-winning 17th century inn lies in the heart of the beautiful Blackdown Hills, a National Landscape (formerly known as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) near Chard. The chef at The Candlelight Inn serves up classic pub grub, from a hearty ploughman’s to cider-battered fish and chips. As well as more refined dishes such as Brixham scallops, rump of Devon hogget or juniper salt baked beetroot. 

Their Sunday lunches are to die for too! To drink, there’s a great selection of ales, beers and ciders including Otter Bitter and Wildsider, while they are slightly obsessed with gin, to the point that they have created their own – Beau Gin, named after their dog. Wines and cocktails are plentiful, too. Totally dog-friendly, this is a perfect stop off when exploring the Blackdown Hills or nearby Forde Abbey with its stunning gardens.

 

The Talbot Inn, Mells

The golden bricked Talbot Inn in Somerset

Mells BA11 3PN

The Talbot Inn is a beautiful coaching inn that began life all the way back in 1480 in the historic village of Mells near Frome. You’ll find a cosy main bar stocking local craft ales (including their own Talbot Ale), beers, and ciders as well as craft gin and wine from The Beckford Bottle Shop in Bath, a separate restaurant and grill room, plus a garden and sunny courtyard for the warmer months. 

Hungry tums won’t be left disappointed either, with meat and game sourced locally, fish from Cornwall and veg harvested from their very own kitchen garden. Meals range from pub grub such as Talbot cheese steak hoagie roll to more fine dining such as whole Cornish plaice with seaweed and lemon butter, cockles and pink fir potatoes. Sunday lunches are pretty epic too, with three options including a veggie roast. Just 20 minutes from Bath, this is a lovely spot to stop off on your way home after a day’s exploring.

 

The Sheppey Inn, Lower Godney

The outdoor seating at The Sheppey Inn in Somerset

Lower Godney, Godney BA5 1RZ

Just five minutes up the road from Glastonbury, The Sheppey Inn is a fantastically quirky pub set alone by itself in the Somerset Levels, surrounded by peat moors and wildlife reserves. If you like your cider this is definitely the place for you, with plenty of casks available to try, as well as a revolving selection of beers and ales. Serving anything but the usual pub grub, there’s crispy sun-blushed tomato battered banana blossom and fish stew on the menu at this top-notch restaurant, followed by warm doughnuts with strawberry jam puree and bacon ice cream! 

For the traditionalists, there’s a great Sunday Lunch menu that includes roast leg of lamb and topside of beef, while kids have their own special menu too. Famed for its live music, if you’re after something a little different with a lively atmosphere, you won’t regret stopping here. Afterwards, head to the nearby pretty village of Wedmore for a look around, perhaps stopping at Hector’s Farm Shop for supplies to take back to your holiday cottage, or explore all there is to do in historic Glastonbury.

 

The Bath Arms, Cheddar

The golden bricked exterior of The Bath Arms, with plenty of outdoor seating out front

Bath Street, Cheddar BS27 3AA

Set in the heart of Cheddar and just a short walk from the famous Cheddar Gorge and Caves, The Bath Arms serves fabulous gastropub food as well as a la carte dishes in a warm and welcoming setting. 

Once seated in the cosy restaurant, enjoy such dishes as pan fried seabass with St Austell Bay mussels, slow roasted pork belly wrapped in Parma ham or courgette, sweet potato and onion Bhaji burger. There’s a great children’s menu for smaller appetites and of course a Sunday lunch menu with all the trimmings. If you’re looking for a refuel after an epic walk, this welcoming inn is sure to satisfy.

 

The Cotley Inn, near Chard

The traditional stone exterior of The Cotley Inn in Somerset, with outdoor seating and fields behind

Wambrook, Chard TA20 3EN

Set on the beautiful Cotley Estate nestled at the foot of the Blackdown Hills, The Cotley Arms lies on the side of a hill with views over rolling fields, best enjoyed sitting on the expansive lavender-edged terrace. If it’s a tad chilly, step inside and you’ll get a warm welcome and a cosy fire, just right after a brisk walk – and it’s dog friendly too! 

The delicious food is made even better by being sourced as locally as possible – much of the produce comes from the farm on the Cotley Estate and they even rear their own pigs. The a la carte menu includes Cotley Estate venison and wild garlic Yarg croquette, Cotley Estate Ruby Red beef burger and sweet potato and vintage barber cheddar mac and cheese. Sunday lunches are equally impressive with slow roasted leg of Wambrook lamb and topside of beef on the menu.

 

Ring O’ Bells, Compton Martin

The black and cream exterior of Ring O' Bells pub in Somerset

The Street, Compton Martin BS40 6JE

This cosy village pub lies in the heart of Compton Martin and dates back to the 16th century. Step inside The Ring O’ Bells and you’ll find oodles of original features from the wooden beams to the large inglenook fireplace, a perfect refuge after a morning walk in the Mendip Hills. A Butcombe Brewery pub, it prides itself on its fine selection of award-winning craft beer and cask real ale as well as a large selection of wines and cocktails. 

Food is local and seasonal, with the likes of British charcuterie platters to snack on followed by Ston Easton Farm lamb chop or sweet pea and mint tortellini, finishing up with Cheddar Valley strawberries with whipped lemon cream and pistachio shortbread. There’s a children’s menu too, and on Sundays it’s all go with roast dinners, such as rump of beef, pork belly or butternut squash, lentil, and kale Wellington. This award-winning pub also has a lovely pub garden with a play area to keep little ones entertained.

 

King’s Arms Inn, Montacute

The golden bricked exterior of the King's Arms Inn in Somerset

Bishopton, Montacute, Yeovil TA15 6UU

Just steps from the National Trust’s Montacute House, the 17th century Kings Arms Inn near Yeovil is a wonderful place for a bite to eat and a drink. Step inside the honey-hued building and you’ll discover a characterful hideaway with wooden floors, exposed stone walls, wood burning fires and a pretty garden for the warmer months. 

It’s even said that the carvings in the bar come from Coventry Cathedral after it was bombed during the Second World War! To eat, you can choose from pub classics such as a hearty ploughman’s with honey glazed ham and pork pie and finer dining such as butter roasted hake fillet and roasted lamb of rump.

 

The New Inn, near Taunton

Outdoor tables in front of a red bricked exterior at The New Inn in Somerset

Halse, Taunton TA4 3AF

This 18th century former coaching inn offers a warm and friendly welcome in the tiny village of Halse, just west of Taunton. A community pub that’s collectively owned by the village, step inside The New Inn and you’ll find an excellent choice of drinks to choose from while the menu promises the choice of pub classics such as venison, port and bacon pie or more unusual dishes such as tandoori cod fillet with tiger prawn biryani. 

Their puddings are particularly tasty, and the coconut rice pudding with poached plums and granola certainly hits the spot! After you’ve eaten, pay a visit to nearby Fyne Court, a delightful National Trust property whose celebrated owner is said to have been the inspiration behind Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or if you’re a fan of cider, a visit to Sheppy’s Farm Shop is a must for some goodies to take back with you.

 

The Foresters Arms, Beckington

A bowl of soup from The Foresters Arms in Somerset

58 Goose Street, Beckington, Frome BA11 6SS

Set in the quiet streets of Beckington near Frome, The Foresters Arms is another lovely 18th century village inn. Whether you’ve spent the day looking at the animals at nearby Longleat or stretching your legs at Cley Hill, pop into the Foresters for draft ale, cider, and beer and a good selection of spirits and wines. 

For a bite to eat, dishes are hearty and huge, so you’ll want to bring your appetite with you! Choose from thick slices of Wiltshire ham with eggs and chips, ‘Foresters’ chicken curry or homemade steak and ale pie, while there’s also a grill menu and a children’s menu for smaller tummies. Stone floors, beamed ceilings and a cosy wood burner mean you’ll not want to leave this oh-so-comfortable spot.

 

The Masons Arms, Odcombe

The golden bricked and thatched exterior of The Masons Arms inn Somerset

41 Lower Odcombe, Odcombe, Yeovil BA22 8TX

This pretty, thatched Grade II listed inn lies nestled in the hamstone village of Odcombe just a few miles from Yeovil. With its own microbrewery that produces five ales, The Masons Arms is definitely one for those who like an excellent pint or two. Serving a wide variety of dishes from dirty fries and scampi through to confit duck leg and braised pig’s cheek, there’s something for everyone including good options for veggies and vegans and a dedicated children’s menu. 

Dogs are welcome both inside and outside, ensuring everyone can enjoy the welcoming vibes. It’s worth noting that this pub gets busy as there’s a campsite next door, so we recommend booking ahead if you can. Afterwards, walk off your dinner at nearby Ham Hill Country Park, a beautiful natural haven centred around an Iron Age hillfort.

 

The Fountain Inn, Wells

The cream exterior of The Fountain Inn in Somerset

1 St Thomas Street, Wells BA5 2UU

Fantastically located in the heart of Wells and within a short walk of the cathedral and Vicar’s Close (the oldest continuously lived in street in Europe), The Fountain Inn is a fantastic gastro pub that’s well worth popping into when you’re exploring the city. If you’re hungry, you’ll not be disappointed by the expansive menu, whether you’re after a grilled steak baguette or a main meal such as the duo of award-winning local sausages or a halloumi burger. 

They do a cracking Sunday roast, and their children’s menu is pretty diverse too. To drink, there’s a fantastic selection of local beers and ciders, as well as cocktails, a carefully curated wine list and hot drinks. Afterwards, take a stroll through the city, so picturesque it’s even appeared on the silver screen.

 

The White Hart, Trudoxhill

The stone exterior of The White Hart pub in Somerset with creeping plants growing along the walls

Trudoxhill, Frome BA11 5DP

Located in the small village of Trudoxhill near Frome, The White Hart dates back to 1688 when it was a traditional coaching inn. Interestingly, during the Second World War, it was also used as a dance hall for the locally based American GIs. Today, it’s a lovely dog and family friendly country pub, complete with a sunny pub garden. 

Food is a big thing here, serving traditional pub grub such as homemade pies and burgers, as well as a great selection of veggie and vegan options. Their pies and pancakes are something of a speciality here, so make sure you’ve worked up an appetite. They also offer an excellent Sunday roast, where you can choose from mustard glazed beef, roast pork, roast ham and roast chicken – why not combine it with a visit to The Frome Independent, Frome’s celebrated monthly market that takes place on the first Sunday of the month from March to December?

 

Wookey Hole Inn, Wookey Hole

The black and white Tudor style exterior of Wookey Hole Inn

Wookey Hole, Wells BA5 1BP

If you’ve been exploring the caves at nearby Wookey Hole and worked up a thirst trying to find the resident witch, take yourself to the Wookey Hole Inn for a drink and a bite to eat. You’ll find local beers and ales such as Cheddar Ale, Potholer or Exmoor Ale, while cider lovers might like a pint of Haze to cool down. 

Being a laid-back gastro pub, there’s plenty to eat too. With an ever-changing menu to suit the seasons and using the best local produce, choices include the ‘Wook’ burger, honey and mustard glazed ham and a summer salad, while we’re not sure we could resist the west country cheese platter with chutney and homemade lavosh crackers. Afterwards, take a stroll on the Mendip Hills or explore nearby Cheddar Gorge.

 

Apple Tree Inn, Glastonbury

Looking down a lawn full of tables and benches at the quaint Apple Tree Inn in Somerset

West Pennard, Glastonbury BA6 8ND

The Apple Tree Inn is a warm and welcoming country pub dating back to 1674 and is a must-visit when out and about near Glastonbury. Think log fires, flagstone floors, beamed ceilings and even a skittle alley – in other words, as traditional a country pub as you could get! 

Whether you’ve been exploring the town, climbing the majestic Tor or even enjoying a ride on the East Somerset Railway, a stop at this pub is well worth it. If you’re hungry, you’ll not be disappointed with their wholesome, tasty menu featuring the usual classics such as steak, fish and chips and burgers, but there’s also an ever-changing specials menu to choose from. Sunday roasts are very popular with a three meat option as well as vegetarian and vegan choices – it’s worth booking ahead for this to avoid missing out.

 

Cat Head Inn, near Yeovil

The golden bricked exterior of the Cat Head Inn in Somerset

Cat Street, Chiselborough, Yeovil TA14 6TT

Dating from 1580, the Cat Head Inn is a historic honey-coloured inn near Yeovil, boasting a pretty country garden and sumptuous interiors with welcoming open fires, perfect for cosy moments with your pup in tow. With plenty of draft beers, ciders, wines and spirits you’ll never go thirsty, while the food is tasty and home cooked, offering seasonal specialities a little different to the usual pub grub such as chicken souvlaki and Sichuan beef and vegetable noodles, as well as an extensive grill menu. 

If you’re dining at lunch Wednesday to Saturday, there’s a very reasonable three-course set menu on offer too, while on Sundays there’s a two or three course menu available, which includes an excellent roast dinner. They put on a pretty incredible spread at Christmas, so it's definitely worth popping in during the festive season! Afterwards, head to nearby Barrington Court and its gorgeous gardens for a gentle amble.

 

Pebbles Tavern, Watchet

A selection of beer taps at Pebbles Tavern in Somerset

24 Market Street, Watchet TA23 0AN

If you’re a lover of the apple then head to the award-winning Pebbles Tavern in Watchet, a unique establishment that has only one thing on its mind: cider. You won’t find food here, instead a characterful long, thin pub that’s sometimes pretty packed with people sipping on a scrumpy or two. 

Not keen on cider? No worries – there’s lots of other drinks to choose from and if you’re hungry the owners are happy for you to bring in fish and chips from next door. Intimate and friendly, there’s often live music here and it makes for a wonderful evening out after a day out exploring Dunster Castle and the coastline of Exmoor. Check out their Facebook page for details on their upcoming events.

 

If we’ve made you work up an appetite, take a look at our beautiful holiday cottages in Somerset and start planning your foodie break today.

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