The best pubs in the New Forest holiday cottages

The best pubs in the New Forest

Elianne Reed 23 July 2019

A guilt-free drink at the pub without having to worry about getting your morning commute to work is priceless when on holiday. After a long day exploring the magical delights of the New Forest, what better way to end the day than with a visit to one of the area’s loveliest pubs for dinner? Or perhaps pop in for a hearty lunch after a crisp morning walk through the beautiful woodlands. There are many routes set around popular pubs and they offer an ideal place to grab a bite to eat and warm your hands in front of a roaring log fire on a chilly day.

Most New Forest pubs are near excellent walking, cycling and riding routes and you can even ride your equine friend to some spots and tie them up outside with a bucket of water and some carrots! You don’t leave your canine chum behind either as most pubs are very dog-friendly and offer water, beds and biscuits to keep them happy. As well as being a beautiful place to visit for walks, the New Forest is a haven of gorgeous little villages and pretty towns just waiting to be explored so grab your boots and come to the New Forest to see what we have for you!

If you're looking to stay in the New Forest, you'll also find that several of our holiday cottages are near a pub, meaning a quality pint and a homecooked meal is just a short walk away.

The Drift Inn, Beaulieu

Cosy up in front of one of the log fires in the relaxing, laid-back Drift Inn, in Beaulieu, on the edge of the New Forest. It is open for morning coffee, bar snacks, lunch, afternoon tea as well as evening meals and offers a locally sourced menu of home-cooked seasonal fare. Enjoy a roast dinner on Sunday and choose something to accompany it from the long list of real ales! The chefs here really do have a passion for food that you can feel and it is no surprise that the pub is a member of the New Forest Marque which supports local producers and promotes great quality food and drink. Try one of the cheeses such as the Somerset Brie as well as other local goodies – their eggs, chutneys and seafood are highly recommended.

Everybody is welcome at this family-friendly pub which has large gardens with two safe play areas for children. They can then choose from a special children’s menu and the pub also has activity packs to keep little hands interested. Dogs are welcomed, even after a muddy walk, which being in the heart of the New Forest, it may well be! They provide an extra service with doggy towels to dry off wet pooches and your furry friend may even get a dog biscuit if he asks nicely!

You can discover even more fantastic pubs in the area in our guide to Beaulieu.

Muddy paws welcome? Yes, very much so. Towels and water bowls are also provided for thirsty hounds.

Opening times: Mon-Sat 10.30am-11pm, Sun 10.30am-10.30pm

For more information: 023 8029 2342

Stay at: Beaulieu River View (sleeps 2)

The Royal Oak, Fritham

The Royal Oak, near Cadnam, is a small thatched pub in the village of Fritham, with just three low-beamed rooms, one with a crackling log fire. Dating back to the 1600s the thatched part has a later addition which makes this award-winning pub a characterful place to visit. It makes up for its size however with its delightful garden which gazes unapologetically across the rolling countryside beyond. Here you can sit at the wooden tables on the lawned garden and just relax while drinking in the beautiful views. There is a scrumptious selection of traditional country food, using locally sourced produce as much as possible and real ales and home-brewed cider – top recommendations are the tasty homemade chutneys and the unusual garlic and nettle cheese.

Muddy paws welcome? Yes

Bar opening times: Mon-Fri 11am-11pm, Sat 12pm-10.30pm, Sun 12pm-10.30pm

For more information: 023 8081 2606

Stay at: Kingfishers (sleeps 5)

High Corner Inn, Linwood

There are not many pubs which offer accommodation for your horse but this hidden gem in the New Forest yet the High Corner Inn, in Linwood, is the place that many pub-goers halt when on a long hack. As it is tucked away down a gravel track, it is easier to reach with a trusty steed but you can also reach it by car too! Dogs and children are more than welcome and the lawned garden offers a playground to keep little ones busy while you relax at a wooden table nestled into the scenic woodland. If you are visiting during the winter, head inside to one of the inviting rooms and toast your feet in from of the warm and welcoming open fire. After exploring the wonders of the New Forest, there is no better place to dismount and enjoy a hearty meal.

Muddy paws welcome? Yes, your pooch can accompany you inside

Opening times: Mon-Fri 11am-3pm and 6-11pm, Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 11am-10.30pm

For more information: 01425 473973

Stay at: Jenny Wrens (sleeps 2, 1 dog welcome)

The Oak Inn, Bank

The Oak Inn, in Bank (near Lyndhurst), is the quintessential village pub, a cosy little place to rest your legs after a long walk. With a wood fire in the winter and a large garden in the summer, it is an ideal place for walkers, riders and cyclists, and dogs are very welcome too. Sit under the low wooden beams and snuggle up to the fire or sit at the bar on one of the milk-churn stools. The highlight of this pub is its selection of hearty meals, using local produce where possible. It specialises in local game, free-range eggs from a local farm and venison and trout that come from local suppliers; the pheasant and chestnut gnocchi are much recommended. The friendly staff and comforting atmosphere make this a lovely place to stop to take stock.

Muddy paws welcome? Absolutely – dogs are more than welcome here

Opening times: Mon-Sat 11.30am-11pm, Sun 12-10.30pm

For more information: 023 8028 2350

Stay at: Clares Cottage (sleeps 2, 2 dogs welcome)

The Three Tuns, Bransgore

For the largest pub garden for miles only matched by a cosy ambience inside, the thatched 17th-century inn, The Three Tuns in Bransgore is a real find. Try one of the award-winning cask ales and lots of original food such as Dorset snail pie – it’s not just pub grub here! If the weather is mild, eat on either on the terrace with its pretty water feature or on the lawned gardens surrounded by fields of ponies and open countryside. Owned horses are also welcome and can be tethered with a nice bucket of water and if you are up for a bit of action, there is a petanque court next door.

Muddy paws welcome? Yes, dogs are welcome here

Opening times: Mon-Sat 11.30am-11pm, Sun 11am-11pm

For more information: 01425 672232

Stay at: Border Cottage (sleeps 4, 2 dogs welcome)

The Chequers Inn, Lower Woodside

This pub has the ambience of a typical old-style pub – you can imagine yourself back in time in the 16th century as you soak up the lovely atmosphere with one of their real ales. You can sample one of the great selection of wines as you choose something off the a la carte menu, filled with seasonal produce. Situated on the edge of the historic salt marshes, it has nautical links and is now the clubhouse for the Lymington Marinas. There is a beer garden and courtyard as well as a grassy area walled garden and there is music on the front patio on summer weekends as well as a barbecue. The pub is an ideal base for a circular walk along the sea wall so make sure that you are up for a brisk coastal walk if you visit this pub.

Muddy paws welcome? Yes

Opening times: Mon-Sat 11-10.30pm, Sun 12-10.30pm

For more information: 01590 673415

Stay at: Jobber's Retreat (sleeps 2, 1 dog welcome)

The Crown Stirrup, nr. Lyndhurst

This family pub is named after an ancient object that was used to decide which villages were allowed to take their dogs hunting in the New Forest in the 11th century. As the story goes, if your dog fitted through the stirrup it was allowed but if it didn’t, it was considered dangerous. There are no such restrictions in this dog-friendly pub now which welcomes all sizes of pooch as long as they are on leads! Interestingly, the stirrup still hangs in the Court of Verderes, part of the 17th century Queen’s House in Lyndhurst.

There are grills, bar snacks, light bites and classic homecooked food as well as a carvery and a good selection of real ales to enjoy in front of the roaring open fire. The brisk walk that you were enjoying only moments before will seem like miles away! There is a footpath at the back that leads to Brockenhurst so this one is ideal for a pub lunch before you get going again. It is set back from the road and surrounded by stunning scenic woodland which you can admire from the large beer garden.

For more great places to eat and drink in Lyndhurst, head to our complete guide to Lyndhurst.

Muddy paws welcome? Yes.

For more information: 023 8028 2339

Stay at: Holmfield House (sleeps 7, no dogs)

The Foresters Arms, Frogham

The Foresters Arms, in Frogham (near Fordingbridge), is a wonderful place to stop when you need to rest your weary legs at the end of a long day of walking and exploring. Being on the doorstep of a brilliant 7-mile circular walk which takes you to another great pub, The Royal Oak at Fritham, you can also factor it into your day if you need to stop off mid-walk! Known by locals as ‘the donkey pub’ on account of the sweet equines who greet you as you arrive, it has recently been redecorated and has a rustic-chic style, with leathers and tartans surrounding mesmerising log burners.

You will feel as though you are still part of the forest with the lovely green décor and the various woods used in the furniture and panelling. Antlers heads take pride of place on exposed brickwork, giving it a country lodge feel - you really do feel part of an experience here, rather than it being somewhere that you just stop for a quick drink. The food is wonderful – from typical pub food to quick lunchtime sandwiches, you won’t be disappointed. Wash it down with an award-winning beer served by the friendly staff or head to the garden which has a great barbecue and outside bar that you can enjoy on long summer evenings.

Muddy paws welcome? Yes, you can take your dog as long as it is on a lead – they are also allowed into the bar area.

Opening times: Mon-Fri 12-3pm and 6-10.30pm, Sat 12pm-11pm, Sun 12-10pm

For more information: 01425 652294

Stay at: The Woodgreen Old Chapel (sleeps 4, 2 dogs welcome)

The New Forest, Ashurst

The New Forest in Ashurst is not a quaint little village pub but rather a large traditional English country pub which gives a warm welcome after a long brisk walk. It has a spacious conservatory restaurant that allows you spectacular views of the New Forest while you are eating, and you can also have a bite to eat in the cosy and snug dining room. The wooden benches, open log fires and sofas invite you to take the weight off your feet while you have a warming drink.

Real ales and fine wines complement the menu which has typical pub fayre including a Sunday carvery; there are also special dishes of seasonal produce which the chef sources such as local game and fresh fish. There are healthy options for children and while they are waiting, they can head to the playground; there are lots of outside tables to sit at to keep an eye on them if the weather is nice. The terrace area is particularly lovely to enjoy a meal and if you are lucky, you will visit when they have some fabulous live music on.

Our guide to Ashurst features even more wonderful pubs to visit in this quaint village.

Muddy paws welcome? Yes, very. Water is provided as well as beds and biscuits!

Opening times: Mon-Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 11am-10.30pm

For more information: 023 8029 2721

Stay at: The Coach House Cottage (sleeps 4, 1 dog welcome)

The Musketeer Pub, Pennington

The Musketeer in Pennington (near Lymington) is an old-fashioned pub in that it has friendly regulars, good beer and a chatty atmosphere, you must head here to feel a sense of what it is like to live in the New Forest. It is not a typical country pub but great for a nice basic friendly experience amongst local people. It has fantastic reviews and no wonder – there is a range of wonderful home-cooked classic pub food with steak nights a regular occurrence, and a selection of good beer and real ales that you can drink by the open fires next to your (or somebody else’s!) dog. It is cheap and friendly and you will always receive a warm welcome whether you come from near or far.

Muddy paws welcome? Yes

Opening times: Mon-Sun 11am-11pm

For more information: 01590 676527

Stay at: The Sail Loft (sleeps 2, 1 dog welcome)

Where to find these pubs

Discover the New Forest

If you've been inspired to embark on some of these pub walks or perhaps stay somewhere in the New Forest with a pub a little closer by, our choice of New Forest cottages near pubs is sure to offer you the perfect holiday. What could be better after a day exploring the New Forest than wandering down the road for an evening in a cosy country pub?

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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