Let’s face it: Cornwall is going to be full of wet weekends this winter, but don’t let that stop you from braving the elements. With local ales, home-cooked grub and open fires, cosy Cornish pubs are the perfect antidote to those bracing winter walks. Cornwall is not short of a cheery inn or two, but where to go is the question. Fret not, we’ve rounded up some of our personal favourites below. Take your pick and prepare to snuggle up!
Heralded as ‘Pub of the Year’ at both the Cornwall Tourism Awards and the South West Tourism Awards (2015/16), The Ship Inn is one of the oldest pubs in Wadebridge. The food and service doesn’t miss a beat - as expected when you learn it’s run by Rupert Wilson, former General Manager to Rick and Jill Stein’s businesses in Padstow and beyond. The intimate interior is steeped in maritime history; the white stone walls are decked with gilt-framed pictures and its astonishing open-raftered back room comes complete with brass ship lights and a captain’s table. There’s bar snacks, books, board games, brilliant Sunday roasts, Surf and Turf nights (Thursdays) and great music nights too. It even has a wine club. The food is delicious (great for kids too!) and even the pooch is welcome. It’s the perfect place to whittle away an afternoon beside the log fire, or to warm up after a walk along the Camel Trail. Need we say more?
Everything a proper pub should be, this gem is worth the short trek down to The Gurnard’s Head on Cornwall’s Atlantic coast, nestled quietly between St Ives and St Just. It’s the perfect place to switch off and unwind, taking in the rugged, awe-inspiring landscape – one that has little-changed over centuries. Its deliberately shabby-chic interior, with stripped wooden floors, ancient maps on the walls and log fires, only makes this gem of a pub even more appealing, as if the range of ales, cider and top notch grub wasn’t enough. The walk from St Ives is hard to beat, but if it’s too far west, check out their sister inn The Old Coastguard in Mousehole's iconic fishing harbour. Arguably just as good!
Perched above the cliff edge on rocky Pentire Head, the glass-fronted Lewinnick Lodge has gob-smacking views of the Atlantic ocean. Just a stone’s throw from the South West coast path, it can be found at the quieter end of Newquay and is the polar opposite of a traditional Cornish pub. It is light and bright with modern open spaces, ceiling to floor windows and a huge timber deck out front hanging over the sea like the bow of a ship. The food is great, locally sourced and there’s an eclectic mix of wine, cider and ales on offer. Sink into snug sofas by the open fire whilst gazing out towards moody skies and wild winter seas. Perfect.
The Pandora Inn boasts an award winning menu and an excellent location. The building itself is special – a traditional 13th Century thatch with panelled walls, snug alcoves, low wooden ceilings and log fires. It is actually named after the Pandora, a naval ship sent to Tahiti to capture the mutineers of Captain Bligh's Bounty, and there are maritime momentos throughout. There is a creekside path, perfect for mid-week winter walks, followed by a pint in the pub.
Some other lovely pubs in Cornwall:
- The Cornish Arms, St Merryn
- The Two Clomes, Quintrell Downs
- The Wheel Inn, Tresillian, Truro
- The Blue Peter Inn, Quay Road, Polperro
- Cadgwith Cove Inn, Cadgwith
- Old Quay Inn, Devoran
- Old Custom House, Padstow
Images by David Griffin