All sailors and boaters know the value of a good waterside pub. We've picked 10 of the best to visit in Britain
The Mermaid Inn, St Mary’s, Isle of Scilly
Just a stone’s throw from the picturesque St Mary’s Harbour Quay on the Isles of Scilly, The Mermaid Inn is steeped in nautical heritage.
Its traditional main bar attracts locals, visitors and salty sea dogs alike, where stories are shared over pints of local brewed real ale.
The walls are decked out with local artefacts including the name board of a wrecked fishing boat, gig paddles and pictures of gig crews, model ships and flags.
The Mermaid is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner – making it ideal for those moored at the quay.
Expect traditional pub fare made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients such as prime Cornish pork chop with garden peas and a choice of potato and burgers made with hand ground prime Cornish beef mince.
There is also a daily specials board ranging from prime cuts of Cornish meats to freshly landed fish and shell fish from Scillonian fishermen.
For more information visit www.mermaidscilly.co.uk
The Pandora Inn, Restronguet Creek, Cornwall
This creekside thatched inn has been serving the needs of thirsty Cornish sailors and fishermen since the 13th Century.
Its charming location makes it a popular spot with today’s sailing crowd, who come to escape the relative bustle of Falmouth.
Small boats can moor up alongside the inn’s pontoon – but remember to check the tide times as this is only available around 2-3 hours each side of the high tide.
The Pandora inn has an extensive food and drinks menu featuring local seasonal produce: Cornish fish and seafood is a speciality.
Diners can eat in the beamed, cosy rooms of the pub or out on the popular pontoon if the weather is fine.
There is a fantastic selection of locally brewed real ales, Cornish cider, as well as wines and spirits.
For more information visit www.pandorainn.com
The Swan, Pangbourne
The terrace of The Swan overlooking the river Thames was made for lazy summer days.
Watch the river life while sampling a glass from the pub’s extensive wine list (different wines are featured weekly)
There are plenty of dining options to choose from with The Swan offering brunch, a working lunch menu, à la carte, Sunday menu and a children’s menu.
Expect seasonal European cooking such as Suffolk chicken breast with chorizo, spinach, sautéed potatoes and saffron aioli, as well as more traditional fare like beer battered haddock and chips.
If it does cloud up, retreat indoors to the beautiful 17th century listed pub, which has a traditional setting with oak beams, and even three open fires if the temperature dips too low.
For more information visit www.swanpangbourne.co.uk
The Ramsholt Arms, Suffolk
This Michelin Guide recommended riverside pub on the River Deben in Suffolk lures people in from miles around.
The only south facing pub on the river, it becomes busy with those wanting to make the most of the sun-soaked terrace, neighbouring beach and crab fishing jetty.
There are plenty of deep-water moorings here too – making it an ideal stop over for the night – just make sure that you check with the harbour master.
In the summer, a real American barbecue is held every weekend with locally sourced prime cuts of meat. Diners can also enjoy locally caught fresh seafood, sharing platters, and pub classics like the Ramsholt open fish pie.
The Ramsholt Arms has even had the seal of approval from the YBW forum, with one member writing: ” The Deben is known as the jewel of Suffolk and I love it there. The Ramsholt serves good food and good ale. Enjoy!”…what more of a recommendation do you need!
For more information visit www.theramsholtarms.com
Butt and Oyster, Pin Mill, Ipswich
Arguably one of the most famous pubs for sailors on the East Coast.
The Butt and Oyster is on the south bank of the River Orwell, and was the haunt of bargemen in days gone by.
It is still popular with sailors. With visitor moorings on the river in full view of the pub, you can enjoy a drink with peace of mind.
The Butt and Oyster has an extensive menu ranging from nibbles and starters – like pan seared scallops and crevettes – to super food salads with quinoa and alfalfa sprouts and the 8oz Proctors pork and apple burger.
Dine alfresco on the patio area, or make use of the additional restaurant area which is upstairs in the pub.
As well as its nautical heritage, the pub also features in Arthur Ransome’s seventh book in the Swallows and Amazons series – We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea.
For more information visit www.debeninns.co.uk/buttandoyster
Griffin Inn, Dale, Pembrokeshire
This award winning pub is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the best places to eat fresh seafood in Pembrokeshire.
It even has its own fishing boat – Griffin Girl – which goes out regularly, the catch making it from sea to plate in just a few hours.
Dishes range of turbot and mackerel to lobster, crab, razor clams and hand dived scallops.
Home cooked traditional pub food is also available and much of the produce is locally sourced, with the meat coming from a nearby farm in Dale.
Welsh real ale is served at the bar, along with award winning Gethins Pembrokeshire Cyder. Sip a pint on the pub’s terrace, overlooking the tranquil Dale Harbour.
Sheltered from westerly winds, the harbour has an anchorage and pontoon.
For more information visit wwwgriffininndale.co.uk
The Ty Coch Inn, Porthdinllaen
Nestled in the Welsh fishing village of Porthdinllaein on the Llŷn Peninsula, the Ty Coch has been a pub since 1842.
Its remote location means that access is only by foot or by boat.
Cars can be parked at the National Trust car park before a 15-20 minute walk to the pub, while boats can anchor in the bay.
The effort is worth it though, with the inn offering spectacular views across to Yr Eifl and Snowdonia.
Grab a spot outside on the beach, soak in the atmosphere and enjoy a tipple.
The inn stocks a range of draft lagers, real ales, ciders and wine.
Food is served daily during high season. Expect traditional pub fare like homemade chilli, local sausages and Ploughman’s salad.
For more information visit www.tycoch.co.uk
The Bridge Inn, Ratho, Edinburgh
Situated directly above the Union Canal, The Bridge Inn prides itself in using locally produced food.
It even employs its own gardener to tend the produce in the pub’s walled vegetable garden and rears its own pork – the Gloucester Old Spot pigs graze outdoors before giving up their delicious bounty.
During the shooting season, there is also plenty of freshly-shot game on the menu.
Diners can feast on dishes such as seared loin of Scottish roe deer with squash, chard, truffled mushrooms, blackberry gel and jus or a pork trio (smoked bacon rolled loin, braised picked and pressed collar) with crispy black pudding, honeyed carrot and jus.
The pub also offers an extensive gluten free menu and a regular specials board.
You can dine on the terrace or there is the refurbished barge for more private dining.
As you would expect from the winner of AA Pub of the Year Scotland 2014, it stocks a range of Scottish ales brewed across the country, as well as an extensive range of malts.
For more information visit www.bridgeinn.com
The Old Forge, Inverie, Scotland
Only accessible by boat or by foot, The Old Forge is the most remote pub in mainland Britain.
It regularly makes the top 10 lists as THE place to drink and eat in Scotland.
Located on the Knoydart peninsula, it serves exceptionally good real ale which you will certainly need after the 18-mile hike over The Munros mountains.
Alternatively you can take the seven-mile ferry crossing from the fishing village of Mallaig.
The Old Forge is ideal for sailors, with 10 private moorings in the Bay of Inverie, as well as facilities such as a shower – book a table on VHF channel 12.
The effort to get to the Old Forge is certainly worth it.
All the seafood on the menu is locally sourced, sustainably caught and from a 7 mile radius of Knoydart.
The famous Knoydart seafood platter is a must have – fresh creel caught Loch Nevis langoustines, local mussels, hand dived Loch Nevis scallops, crab claws and Glenuig smoked salmon served with a market garden salad leaves and bread or chips.
Music is a central part of the Old Forge and the pub has its own collection of instruments – including a cello – should any visitor be inspired to play them.
For more information visit www.theoldforge.co.uk
Daft Eddy’s Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland
Situated in its own grounds on the shores of Strangford Lough on Sketrick Island, County Down, Daft Eddy’s is a bar, restaurant and coffee house.
Access is via car – although you will have to drive over a causeway to get here – or by boat. It is just a few minutes walk from Strangford Lough Yacht Club, which can give the best advice on where to anchor.
Daft Eddy’s is renowned for its fresh food – especially its oysters and lobster.
It has an extensive lunchtime menu including dishes such as Strangford Lough crab claws, hot oak smoked salmon served with homemade wheaten bread, guacamole and pickled carrot salad or homemade steak and Guinness pie.
In the evening, choose from the likes of pan fried organic Glenarm salmon served with fried crispy greens and soy, chilli and sesame dressing or braised shoulder of lamb with savoy cabbage, salsa verde and red wine and rosemary jus.
On a sunny day, Daft Eddy’s beer garden really comes into its own, offering stunning views across the lough as you sip your pint.
For more information visit www.daftyeddys.co.uk
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