This post was first published Croydon Advertiser on 01/04/2017.
17 beautiful country pubs not far from Croydon which are worth a visit
If you’ve been working in the urban jungle all week then you are probably itching to escape to the country.
Fortunately, you don’t have to travel too far to find a gorgeous country pub and there are loads just outside Croydon.
Deborah Morris lists, in no particular order,17 that we think are well worth a visit.
The White Bear, Fairchildes Lane, Fickleshole, near Warlingham
This stunning country inn is only a couple of miles from Selsdon, Forestdale and New Addington but you would think it is in the middle of nowhere.
Botley Hill Farmhouse, Limpsfield Road, Warlingham
This 500-year-old country inn is at the highest point of the North Downs, so you’re guaranteed fantastic views.
From the terrace to the rear and side of Botley Hill Farmhouse you can spy the distant cityscape of London on a clear day. It’s also locally famed as the best spot for miles to watch glorious sunsets over the ridge.
The Harrow, Farleigh Road, Farleigh
There’s plenty of rustic charm and character here with a history dating back to the 18th century.
It’s not far from Winston Churchill’s home, Chartwell, so an ideal place to stop on your way back.
The Fox, Coulsdon Common, Old Coulsdon
This is a rural favourite of anyone who lives in the south of the borough.
The Fox is a stone’s throw from Happy Valley where you can work up a good thirst with a walk in the countryside.
The Tudor Rose, Coulsdon Road, Coulsdon
You’re sure to find a cosy corner and comfy armchair inside this Coulsdon pub.
Outside is a beautiful garden for al fresco dining and long summer evenings.
The Rambler’s Rest, Outwood Lane, Chipstead
With parts of this building dating back to the 14th century, there are plenty of low beams, flagstones, exposed flint walls, panelling and log fires but it is fitted out in a complementary contemporary way.
Outside there is a big garden and gorgeous terrace area. Children and dogs are welcome.
The White Hart, Hazelwood Lane, Chipstead
You’ll find this pup, built in 1731, during the reign of George II, in the heart of the village.
Sitting outside, you can soak up the views of countryside all round while inside expect a more traditional feel.
The Well House Inn, Chipstead Lane, Mugswell, near Kingswood
The pub building dates back to 1664 when it used to be three cottages.
If you stroll to the top of the large upward sloping garden you will get unspoilt views of the surrounding fields.
The Kingswood Arms, Waterhouse Lane, Kingswood
This is an award-winning pub and restaurant where you can enjoy a drink in the traditional bar or outside in the sun, or maybe dine in the Conservatory Restaurant.
As the weather warms up the beer garden comes to life – there is even an enclosed children’s play area.
The Bell – aka The Rat, Withybed Corner, Walton on the Hill
In the middle of the woods you will find The Bell – or The Rat as it is known locally.
The pub has two bars and from Wednesday to Sunday evenings you can satisfy hunger pangs with a hot pie, pasty or sausage roll and on Sunday you might even get a few roast spuds and maybe some live music.
The Woodman, Woodmansterne Street, Woodmansterne
In summer months you might want to catch a bit of the match on the village cricket pitch opposite.
It’s child and dog friend – children will be kept happy with the large garden and playground at the back.
The Mint, Park Road, Banstead
The Mint Inn first became a beer house in 1871, although Mint Farm, where it now stands, could date back to 1325.
If it’s traditional country décor and oak beams and pillars you’re after, this could be just the thing.
The Greyhound, Commonside, Keston
There is always something going on at this pub on the edge of a green and not far from Biggin Hill – live music, quizzes, charity drives and Morris men, are just some of the forms of entertainment.
On Easter weekend it hosts its annual beer and cider festival, so what better excuse do you need to visit?
The Fox Inn, Heathfield Road, Keston
The renovated family run gastro pub sits on a picturesque corner of Keston village common. Family friendly, there is a large beer garden and outdoor terrace.
The Kings Arms, Leaves Green
You might be able to see planes flying across from the Biggin Hill Air Show from the green out front if you go on the right weekend.
There is plenty of outdoor space to allow the kids to run around and if you’re into aviation history there are lots of pictures and memorabilia to admire.
The Aperfield Inn, Main Road, Biggin Hill
This attractive rustic-looking pub is built on land that once formed part of the Manor of Aperfield, which was one of the manors that William the Conqueror presented to his half-brother following the Norman invasion in 1066.
It’s surrounded by trees and there is plenty of outside space with welcoming garden tables.
It is not far from Down House where Charles Darwin once lived.
The Old Jail, Jail Lane, Biggin Hill
This is a picturesque looking pub set on a country lane. In the summer you can laze in the big garden and let the children enjoy the play area.
Dogs are welcome too. If the weather is a bit nippy then inside you can cosy up beneath the beamed low ceiling and admire the RAF memorabilia. You’ll need to book early if you want a Sunday roast.