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Best cosy pubs for Autumn

Although there's still warmth in the sun, the first frosts have already arrived and that only means one thing...time for a cosy pub with a roaring fire. Here's where to hunker down with a glass of red till Spring.

Best for a deep sofa: The Kings Head, Letheringsett

This handsome, multi-award-winning Georgian pub in the countryside near Holt has Chesterfields by the open fire and two stylish wood burners covering every nook and cranny of the country-smart interior, meaning you’re never far away from a warming flicker. Serving local ales, great red wines and hearty locally-sourced grub, you’ll be delighted to know this cosy cocoon also has 4 bespoke bedrooms so you can settle in for the night. More information right here.

Best for epic beach walks: The Victoria, Holkham

Do as the locals do, wrap up warm and blow away the cobwebs with a long windswept walk on one of the world’s most glorious beaches, then nab a table by the roaring fire, order some of Norfolk’s finest food and talk through the evening over a glass of red or local ale. Stay as long as you like – they have 20 lovely bedrooms too. Read more here.

Best for fine dining: The Ingham Swan, Ingham

Gluggle jug!

Head Chef Daniel Smith – of The Great British Menu fame – concocts gorgeous British dishes triumphantly embracing both fine dining and hearty feasting, changing daily according to seasonal ingredients from the pub’s own farm. Rustic brickwork, wood floors and beamed ceilings create the cosiest atmosphere and 7 bedrooms means you get to stay for one of the best breakfasts around. Find out more here.

Best for gourmet doggies: The Crown, Pulham Market

Norfolk boasts many gorgeous villages but none quite compare to Pulham Market, with its central green surrounded by period houses. Take a leisurely Sunday afternoon drive and stop for lunch at The Crown. Everything a country pub should be – thatched, comfy, warm and inviting. The Crown is full of warmth and style. And fur baby families take note – there’s an incredible Doggy Menu including Bottom Sniffer Beer, Sunday roast and Puppacinos. Quite fancy it ourselves, frankly. Find out more here.

Best for game: The Dabbling Duck, Great Massingham

Just outside Kings Lynn, The Dabbling Duck is everything you dream a winter pub could be. A grand building decorated with ivy and an interior cosy as they come, with themed rooms, open fires and shelves of classic books. Food is stylishly served on boards or in paper and the menu’s rich in game (pheasant, partridge, pigeon, woodcock, rabbit and venison). There’s even their own house gin! So you’ll be glad to know there are 9 cosy rooms (one’s a family room) and a self-catering cottage because no-one will want to drive home. More info here.

Best for board games by the fire: The Brisley Bell, Brisley

Poised on a pretty common in the mid-Norfolk village of Brisley, this is one of the snuggliest winter hide-outs with inglenooks merrily ablaze on cold dark nights. The is classy cosiness, with plenty of awards including that most prestigious accolade a Muddy! Set in almost two acres of grounds, there are six very comfortable individually designed en-suite bedrooms. Nostalgic luxury in the heart of Norfolk. Here’s some more info.

Best for stylish decor: The White Hart, Hingham

This welcoming community boutique hotel & country dining pub near Wymondham is run with loving respect for its beautiful medieval building and champions produce harvested from farms around the pretty market town of Hingham. The décor nods to Scandi chic with antlers wrapped in twinkly fairy lights and cosy boutique rooms (we love The Aviary with its carnival mirror). Hearty food and a good wine list make it a perfect winter pub. More information here.

Best for copper baths: The Crown, Wells-next-the-Sea

Located on The Buttlands (bare with us!) Sounds a bit behind, but is actually a lovely tree-lined square surrounded by Georgian houses. The Crown’s a former coaching house, with interiors making the most of its historic features. Beamed ceilings, wood burners and battered leather armchairs – plus a menu rich in fish sourced from Wells itself – The Crown is worthy of its name. Check out Rooms 14, 20, 21 and 23 which all have luxe copper baths – 3 of them alfresco – I say! More here.

Best for English charm: The Rose & Crown, Snettisham

White-washed, covered in roses…an idyllic dream of England. The Rose & Crown has open fires and wood burning stoves, snug beamed ceilings, cosy furniture; and several higgledy-piggledy rooms. Delightfully it’s still a proper drinking pub – hard to find these days – with top quality classic food (The Good Pub Guide’s Dining Pub of the Year 2020) and 16 comfortable rooms. Dogs and children made very welcome! Want to know more? Check here.

Best for jaw-dropping views: The White Horse, Brancaster

You might think coastal pubs are best visited in the summer, but there’s nothing quite like staring out at a moody sea across the wild salt marsh, while you’re warm and cosy inside. Clued up Muddy readers (is there any other kind?!) named The White Horse Norfolk’s favourite Destination Pub in the Muddy Awards 2021. The view is so intoxicating, there are outside drinks to match all year round (blankets and heaters too!) And inside roaring fires, steamed mussels and fantastic seafood from the on-site Staithe Smokehouse. You’ll kick yourself if you don’t book one of their 15 cosy bedrooms and make a weekend of it. You know what we do though? Sneak off midweek, go on…see you there. Book here.

Best for massive horns: The Gunton Arms, Thorpe Market

Surrounded by a 1,000-acre historic deer park The Gunton is famed for slabs of meat cooked on the massive Elk Room fire and a wild art collection, I mean who doesn’t have a Lucian Freud in the loo? Basically it’s like a night in Valhalla with Tracey Emin and Helena Bonham Carter. THE place for long boozy winter feasts under huge fossilised elk horns (amazing what you find in an Irish peat bog). Restaurant full? Cosy up in the pub or commandeer a sofa by the fire in the snug and order bar snacks. Chuck another log on for me, there’s bottle of Merlot calling. Oh have a tumble upstairs like society beauty Lillie Langtry and her lover The Prince of Wales did in the 1890s. Yes, you can stay the night. Scandalous! Info here.

Best for spontaneity: The Dun Cow, Salthouse

Just like pubs should be, The Dun Cow only reserves tables in the back bar so disorganised carefree types can take their chances in the first come, first served front bar. If you’re lucky you’ll get the cosy seat by the woodburner coupled with a gorgeous view over the wintry salt marshes. Great food and a good selection of smaller plates, particularly tempting for an impromptu lunch after a morning stroll out to the wild sea. More info just here.

Best for a cosy corner: The Wiveton Bell, Wiveton

The Wiveton Bell is the kind of country pub that hugs you after a blustery winter walk. People sigh ‘ooh, this is nice isn’t it’ as they thaw by the roaring fire over balloon of gin and a warming red. Only a mile from the coastal village of Blakeney and a short drive from Georgian market town Holt. You’ll want to book dinner too – it’s one of only 2 Michelin Bib Gourmand pubs in Norfolk and has many more awards besides. Six rather lovely rooms make it the perfect bolthole for cosying up together. Book here.

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