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15 Pubs You Must Visit Before You Die

Let's go pubbing.

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1. The Sportsman, Kent

The Sportsman

Where to start with the Sportsman? The food is out of this world, the pub is right on the Faversham coast, and you can even walk there along the Saxon Shore Way from Whitstable. Plus, get there for sunset and sit outside for the dreamiest view.

2. The Crooked House, Staffordshire

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This eccentric Black Country pub is like an optical illusion. The walls slope at an angle, making for some vibey Instagram shots. But there's more to the pub than the architecture – they cure their own fish and smoke their own pastrami, and they serve a mean pheasant kiev.

3. Felin Fach Griffin, Brecon Beacons

Felin Fach Griffin

This cosy hideaway is located right next to the Brecon Beacons, and offers all you could want for a cosy weekend away. The rooms are luxurious, and the food will make your mouth water. And how can you not love a pub that invites you to relax as thoroughly as this: "If you’re staying with us and have had a tiring day out and about, remember to take a glass of wine or a gin upstairs with you for your bath."

If you want to explore, the town of Hay-on-Wye is close by: aka a village of books.

4. The Hand and Flowers, Marlow

The Hand and Flowers

Tom Kerridge's flagship pub is well known – it's the first pub to have held two Michelin stars. Which unfortunately means that it's jolly hard to get a booking. But if you do get a booking, then the set lunch is an amazing deal: £15 for two courses, featuring dishes like Smoked Brisket of Beef with English Mustard Mash and Beer Pickled Onion.

If you're in the area, why not try hitting up another Michelin-star pub. If you drive 20 minutes down the road, you're find Heston Blumenthol's Hind's Head. It's surprisingly easy to get a table at, and it's truly delicious (try their shepherd's pie, it's out of this world).

5. Plockton Inn, Scotland

ps://Flickr: terekhova Creative Commons

Plockton is a charming fishing village, not too far from the Isle of Skye. So it only makes sense to dig into some seafood at the Plockton Inn. Explore Wester Ross (the nearby Attadale Gardens are pretty) or just snuggle up with a whisky.

6. The King's Arms, Lake District

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The village of Cartmel is a foodie hub thanks to the staggeringly good L'Enclume (honestly, the best meal I have ever eaten), Cartmel is also the home of STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING. Tuck into a fine pie and a pud at the King's Arms, then walk around the corner to friendly local brewers Unsworth's Yard for a pint.

(This photo is of Cartmel village, but not of the pub btw).

7. The Jamaica Inn, Cornwall

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Dramatic and moody, the Jamaica Inn has buckets of history. It was a base for smugglers in the 1700s! Daphne du Maurier based a novel there! But putting the past aside, there's plenty still happening. From Murder Mystery parties to Ghost Hunts, you can while away a wet weekend.

8. The Stein Inn, Skye

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Skye is legit magical, and the Stein Inn is the perfect place to base yourself. If the weather is good, try some local seafood while gazing out across Loch Bay. And if the weather's bad, then take solace in the fact that the Stein offers 130 types of malt whisky.

9. The Compasses Inn, Kent

The Compasses

This pretty 18th century pub near Canterbury won't stay a hidden gem for much longer. It trades in seasonal dishes (here's a sample: Roast and Confit Duck with Roast Onions, Onion Puree and Crispy Duck Fat Potatoes) and a solid bar (they're with Shepherd's Neame so they stock the excellent Spitfire). The food's had rave reviews and the Kent downs await you to walk up an appetite for lunch.

10. The Crown Inn, Somerset

The Crown Inn

This gorgeous country pub backs onto the Mendip Hills (an area of outstanding natural beauty, FYI) and has more log fires than you can shake a stick at. The food is solid pub grub that's been locally sourced (from the cheese to the beef), and the portions are hearty too.

11. The Mash Inn, Buckinghamshire

Mash Inn

Firstly, this pub is located on a street called "Horseshoe Road". If that's not enough for you, then also know that all the food is cooked over a wood-fired grill, and everything comes from their kitchen garden. And you're close to the Chiltern Hills if you want to walk off a heavy lunch after.

12. The Duke of York, Whitby

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A bracing seafront walk, then a homemade chicken and mushroom pie, followed by treacle sponge? Whitby's Duke of York is traditional but not stuffy – just slightly out of time. A perfect base for exploring all of Whitby's charms.

13. The Turk's Head, Suffolk

The Turk's Head

The Turk's Head is perfect for a chill Sunday outing, it's open to all: "Dogs, muddy boots and muddy children welcome". There are plenty of East Anglian beers on tap, and the menu is secretly genius, with lots of Anglo-Indian touches (like tiger prawn pakora, tamarind jam, pickled lime). Worth a visit for sure.

14. Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem, Nottingham

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Now, I'm not saying this is a country pub, but it IS one of England's oldest inns, so technically at one point it was a country pub. If you want to be pedantic about things, then just read on, but you'll miss out, pal.

The Jerusalem is built into the stone caves, beneath Nottingham castle. And some of the caves are used as bar space. In fact, the cellars beneath the pub lead a secret route into Nottingham castle. But enough about the caves. The food's also decent (pub grub like burgers and fish and chips), and the wine list's long as your arm.

15. The Grog and Gruel, Fort William

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If you're hiking Ben Nevis, you may pass this lovely and unassuming village pub. It's not as pretty as the other pubs on this list, but it's got heart and charm and hearty meals. Which you'll need after a big ol'd clim. Also, seeing as you're in the area, check out The Old Forge nearby. It's the most remote pub in the UK!

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