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Twelve of Britain’s oldest pubs you can stay the night in

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Don’t let a bland hotel blight your staycation break – book somewhere smothered in character as an alternative. Like certainly one of these ancient taverns. 

Here we present 12 of the oldest pubs in Britain you can stay the night in. 

Our list of enchanting gems includes an ancient Wiltshire inn that appeared in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, a Cambridgeshire pub with an Eleventh-century gravestone in the ground of its restaurant and a boozer in Wales that you simply ‘fall off the world’ to succeed in. The list has been curated by accommodation website Stay in a Pub, which lists around 1,500 inns with rooms. A lot of them are steeped in legend, but none more so than these historic boozers. 

The Porch House, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire

The Porch Home is positioned at 1 Digbeth Street in Stow-on-the-Wold – and there was an inn on this spot since 947 AD, making the pub a contender for the oldest in England 

Stay In A Pub says that there are 13 'unique and charming bedrooms brimming with classic country charisma' at The Porch House

Stay In A Pub says that there are 13 ‘unique and charming bedrooms brimming with classic country charisma’ at The Porch House

The Porch Home is positioned at 1 Digbeth Street in Stow-on-the-Wold – and there was an inn on this spot since 947 AD, making the pub a contender for the oldest in England.

Stay in a Pub says: ‘The Porch Home is a historic inn split into two stylish parts. On one side is a standard, whitewashed constructing that houses a trendy and formal restaurant, whilst on the opposite is a comfortable, low-ceilinged pub, stuffed with twisted beams and featuring a toasty open fireplace, in addition to a chic, light-filled pavilion extension.

‘The Porch Home is renowned as certainly one of finest places to eat locally, serving traditional British pub cuisine with sophisticated twists.’

It adds that there are 13 ‘unique and charming bedrooms brimming with classic country charisma’.

A room for 2 at The Porch House costs from £160 and includes breakfast. 

The Highway Inn, Burford, Oxfordshire

If you're in the market for a pub housed in a rambling old timber-and-stone building with original fireplaces, The Highway Inn, parts of which date back to 1400, will prove to be just the ticket

When you’re available in the market for a pub housed in a rambling old timber-and-stone constructing with original fireplaces, The Highway Inn, parts of which date back to 1400, will prove to be just the ticket 

The Highway Inn has a 'splendid medieval courtyard', ales from Hook Norton Brewery, bedrooms with 'a whole host of little luxuries' and food on offer that includes fresh fish and chips

The Highway Inn has a ‘splendid medieval courtyard’, ales from Hook Norton Brewery, bedrooms with ‘an entire host of little luxuries’ and food on offer that features fresh fish and chips

When you’re available in the market for a pub housed in a rambling old timber-and-stone constructing with original fireplaces, The Highway Inn, parts of which date back to 1400, will prove to be just the ticket.

Stay in a Pub notes that there is also a ‘splendid medieval courtyard’, ales from Hook Norton Brewery, bedrooms with ‘an entire host of little luxuries’ and food on offer that features fresh fish and chips. The homemade desserts, it adds, ‘are particularly popular with guests’.

A room for 2 at The Highway Inn costs from £140 and includes breakfast. 

The Bowl, Almondsbury, Bristol

The lauded Bowl Inn sits in the picturesque village of Almondsbury, near Bristol, and has an intriguing history that dates back to the 12th century

The lauded Bowl Inn sits within the picturesque village of Almondsbury, near Bristol, and has an intriguing history that dates back to the twelfth century 

A room for two at The Bowl Inn costs from £132.60 and includes breakfast

A room for 2 at The Bowl Inn costs from £132.60 and includes breakfast 

The lauded Bowl Inn sits within the picturesque village of Almondsbury, near Bristol, and has an intriguing history that dates back to the twelfth century.

The current constructing became a licensed inn in 1550, nevertheless it’s thought that a part of it originally comprised three cottages constructed in 1146 as accommodation for monks working on the Church of St Mary round the corner. Thrillingly, there are said to be secret tunnels between these cottages, the church and the priory (now a farmhouse), built to supply the monks a way of escaping from marauding invaders.

Overnight guests, says Stay in a Pub, are accommodated in ’12 luxurious bedrooms that include bundles of charm’.

Wondering concerning the name? It derives from the form of the land surrounding the Severn Estuary, which may be seen from the pub. 

A room for 2 at The Bowl Inn costs from £132.60 and includes breakfast. 

Sign of the Angel, Lacock, Wiltshire

The 15th-century Sign of the Angel in Lacock featured in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince as the Babberton Arms in the fictional village of Budleigh Babberton

The Fifteenth-century Sign of the Angel in Lacock featured in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince because the Babberton Arms within the fictional village of Budleigh Babberton

Muggles will be delighted to hear that this pub is a magical place to stay, with five 'unique' bedrooms

Muggles can be delighted to listen to that this pub is a magical place to remain, with five ‘unique’ bedrooms 

Sign of the Angel has a two-AA-rosette restaurant and a garden in which cream teas are served

Sign of the Angel has a two-AA-rosette restaurant and a garden by which cream teas are served

The spellbinding Wiltshire village of Lacock has made multiple appearances in several Harry Potter movies.

Its Thirteenth-century abbey has been used for corridor scenes, Professor Snape’s potion room and Quirrell’s Defense Against the Dark Arts class, while three notable buildings within the village pop up within the movie franchise as locations within the fictional village of Budleigh Babberton.

A quaint stone cottage was used as Harry’s parents’ house, a red-brick house there became Horace Slughorn’s abode in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and the Fifteenth-century Sign of the Angel pub also featured within the film, as Budleigh Babberton’s Babberton Arms boozer. Professor Dumbledore and Harry walk right past it on their quest to influence Slughorn to develop into the Hogwarts potions master.

Muggles can be delighted to listen to that this pub is a magical place to remain, with five ‘unique’ bedrooms that Stay in a Pub says are ‘full of quirky features from architects of centuries past’. There’s also a two-AA-rosette restaurant and a garden by which cream teas are served.

A room for 2 at Sign of the Angel costs from £120 and includes breakfast. 

The Guy Fawkes Inn, York, North Yorkshire

York's Guy Fawkes Inn occupies an early-Georgian terrace, but an older cottage behind - now part of the pub - lays good claim for being the birthplace of would-be revolutionary Guy Fawkes in 1570. This picture was taken by Kevin Bailey and posted to Flickr. Published courtesy of Creative Commons licensing

York’s Guy Fawkes Inn occupies an early-Georgian terrace, but an older cottage behind – now a part of the pub – lays good claim for being the birthplace of would-be revolutionary Guy Fawkes in 1570. This picture was taken by Kevin Bailey and posted to Flickr. Published courtesy of Creative Commons licensing

The inn has an AA Rosette kitchen lit by candles and gas lamps and 13 en-suite bedrooms, six with four-poster beds

The inn has an AA Rosette kitchen lit by candles and gas lamps and 13 en-suite bedrooms, six with four-poster beds 

York’s Guy Fawkes Inn occupies an early-Georgian terrace, but an older cottage behind – now a part of the pub – lays good claim for being the birthplace of would-be revolutionary Guy Fawkes in 1570.

Fast forward to the current day and guests will discover a pub full to the brim with character.

There’s an AA Rosette kitchen lit by candles and gas lamps, and 13 en-suite bedrooms, six with four-poster beds and a few with views of York’s Minster and St. Michael le Belfry Church, where Fawkes was baptised.

A room for 2 on the Guy Fawkes Inn costs from £125. 

The West Arms, Llangollen, Denbighshire

The West Arms is 'perfectly situated in an idyllic setting in the scenic village of Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog in the foothills of the Berwyn Mountain'

The West Arms is ‘perfectly situated in an idyllic setting within the scenic village of Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog within the foothills of the Berwyn Mountain’

The pub has 16 bedrooms with 'unforgettable views', an award-winning restaurant and a history that dates back to the 16th century

The pub has 16 bedrooms with ‘unforgettable views’, an award-winning restaurant and a history that dates back to the sixteenth century 

This ‘charming and historic’ pub – which dates back to the sixteenth century, when it was a farmhouse for the landed gentry – has ‘bundles of character’ and is ‘perfectly situated in an idyllic setting within the scenic village of Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog within the foothills of the Berwyn Mountain’, says Stay in a Pub. 

The drive there, based on the pub, will feel like ‘falling off the world’.

Need to stay the night? There are 16 ‘characterful bedrooms with unforgettable views’ on offer, starting from singles to ‘luxurious suites’. Fancy a meal there? The award-winning restaurant ‘serves only the freshest, locally sourced produce’ and a ‘wonderful cooked breakfast may be enjoyed within the cosy lounge, garden room or within the panoramic beer garden’.

A room for 2 at The West Arms costs from £165 per night and includes breakfast. 

The King’s Arms, Dorchester, Dorset

The King Arm's, housed in a building that dates back to 1720, has strong ties to writer Thomas Hardy, who wrote much of The Mayor of Casterbridge there

The King Arm’s, housed in a constructing that dates back to 1720, has strong ties to author Thomas Hardy, who wrote much of The Mayor of Casterbridge there

Visitors will find a 'gorgeous, inviting' bar, 'stunning restaurant', and bedrooms with 'super-comfortable beds', according to Stay in a Pub

Visitors will discover a ‘gorgeous, inviting’ bar, ‘stunning restaurant’, and bedrooms with ‘super-comfortable beds’, based on Stay in a Pub 

Here’s an old pub with the write stuff.

The King Arm’s, housed in a constructing that dates back to 1720, has strong ties to author Thomas Hardy. He lived in Max Gate, a house on the outskirts of Dorchester, however the pub’s website notes that it’s believed he wrote much of The Mayor of Casterbridge on the pub, between 1883 and June 1885.

The inn’s literary connections are further strengthened by Robert Louis Stephenson having stayed there in 1885 while visiting Hardy.

Today’s visitors will find a ‘gorgeous, inviting’ bar, ‘stunning restaurant’, and bedrooms with ‘super-comfortable beds’, based on Stay in a Pub. 

A room for 2 at The King’s Arms costs from £130 and includes breakfast.  

The Bell, Ticehurst, East Sussex

The Bell's history stretches right back to 1296. It was built in that year, says the pub's website, as a dwelling house connected to the church of St Mary the Virgin and home to monks who it's thought brewed ale

The Bell’s history stretches right back to 1296. It was in-built that 12 months, says the pub’s website, as a domicile connected to the church of St Mary the Virgin and residential to monks who it’s thought brewed ale 

There are seven rooms, some with deep copper baths 'and all [with] sinfully comfortable kingsize or super-kingsize beds... with handmade Somnu mattresses'

There are seven rooms, some with deep copper baths ‘and all [with] sinfully comfortable kingsize or super-kingsize beds… with handmade Somnu mattresses’ 

The Bell’s history stretches right back to 1296. It was in-built that 12 months, says the pub’s website, as a domicile connected to the church of St Mary the Virgin and residential – probably – to monks who practiced their faith on the church.

When the home was sold a few years later a brew-house was included within the inventory, so those monks may possibly have been the primary to serve up ale on the positioning.

By 1645, the constructing was a registered inn. And today it is a pub that is ‘warming, comfortable and with a touch of quirk’, based on Stay in a Pub.

There are seven rooms, some with deep copper baths ‘and all [with] sinfully comfortable kingsize or super kingsize beds… with handmade Somnu mattresses’.

A room for 2 at The Bell costs from £165.  

The Three Blackbirds, Woodditton, Suffolk

When The Three Blackbirds was built in Woodditton in 1642 the village, population 275, had 12 inns

When The Three Blackbirds was in-built Woodditton in 1642 the village, population 275, had 12 inns

Stay for a drink and you can choose from 'an eclectic wine list and a great range of beers', stay the night and you can cosy-up in the barn in one of nine 'gorgeous contemporary bedrooms'

Stay for a drink and you’ll be able to pick from ‘an eclectic wine list and an excellent range of beers’, stay the night and you’ll be able to cosy-up within the barn in certainly one of nine ‘gorgeous contemporary bedrooms’ 

When The Three Blackbirds was in-built Woodditton in 1642 the village, population 275 on the time, had 12 inns.

Now there’s only one excellent one, and searching higher than ever after a full refurbishment following a devastating fire in 2018.

Stay in a Pub says: ‘Today it’s crammed with bundles of charm and personality, along with a couple of modern twists and bursts of color.’

Stay for a drink and you’ll be able to pick from ‘an eclectic wine list and an excellent range of beers’, stay the night and you’ll be able to cosy-up within the barn in certainly one of nine ‘gorgeous contemporary bedrooms’ with rainfall showers within the bathrooms.

A room for 2 at The Three Blackbirds costs from £157 and includes breakfast.  

The Castle Inn, West Lulworth, Dorset

The Grade II-listed Castle Inn is located in the pretty village of West Lulworth, mere minutes from breathtaking Lulworth Cove on the Jurassic Coast

The Grade II-listed Castle Inn is positioned in the beautiful village of West Lulworth, mere minutes from breathtaking Lulworth Cove on the Jurassic Coast 

Guests can drink beer in the bar from the brewery that owns the pub, Bristol-based Butcombe Brewing, and sleep in '12 elegant bedrooms'

Guests can drink beer within the bar from the brewery that owns the pub, Bristol-based Butcombe Brewing, and sleep in ’12 elegant bedrooms’ 

The Grade II-listed Castle Inn is positioned in the beautiful village of West Lulworth, mere minutes from breathtaking Lulworth Cove on the Jurassic Coast, deemed by Unesco to be of ‘outstanding universal value’.

The thatched pub dates back to 1660, with Stay in a Pub declaring that the interiors are ‘beautiful’ and ‘cleverly have fun the constructing’s heritage’ while meshing in ‘modern, chic touches’.

Guests can drink beer within the bar from the brewery that owns the pub, Bristol-based Butcombe Brewing, and sleep in ’12 elegant bedrooms’.

A room for 2 at The Castle Inn costs from £194 and includes breakfast. 

The Old Ferry Boat, Huntington, Cambridgeshire

The Old Ferry Boat Inn is one of Britain's oldest pubs - alcohol was reputedly sold on the site in the 6th century - and also one of the spookiest. It's said to be haunted by the ghost of a 17-year-old girl who committed suicide on March 17, 1050, heartbroken that her love for a local forester went unrequited

The Old Ferry Boat Inn is certainly one of Britain’s oldest pubs – alcohol was reputedly sold on the positioning within the sixth century – and likewise certainly one of the spookiest. It’s said to be haunted by the ghost of a 17-year-old girl who committed suicide on March 17, 1050, heartbroken that her love for a neighborhood forester went unrequited 

Stay in a Pub notes that there are seven 'spacious rooms... with bags of character' and 'hearty food served in the bar'

Stay in a Pub notes that there are seven ‘spacious rooms… with bags of character’ and ‘hearty food served within the bar’ 

The Old Ferry Boat Inn is certainly one of Britain’s oldest pubs – alcohol was reputedly sold on the positioning within the sixth century – and likewise certainly one of the spookiest.

It’s said to be haunted by the ghost of a 17-year-old girl who committed suicide on March 17, 1050, heartbroken that her love for a neighborhood forester went unrequited.

Her gravestone may be present in the bar, and it’s said that each March 17 she rises from the river nearby and floats towards her grave.

Phantoms aside, Stay in a Pub notes that there are seven ‘spacious rooms… with bags of character’ and ‘hearty food served within the bar’.

A room for 2 at The Old Ferry Boat costs from £68. 

The Boat Inn, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire 

The Boat Inn dates back to 1720 The Boat Inn offers rooms with panoramic views of the River Dee and has a restaurant that sources ingredients from local suppliers

The Boat Inn dates back to 1720 and offers rooms with panoramic views of the River Dee and a restaurant that sources ingredients from local suppliers

The Boat Inn has stood on the banks of the River Dee since 1720 and has retained many original features, Stay in a Pub notes, equivalent to exposed granite fireplaces and internal pine work.

The inn has ‘eight stunning en-suite bedrooms, many with panoramic views of the River Dee’ and uses locally sourced ingredients within the restaurant from the likes of the Finzean Estate, Devenick Dairy and McWilliams Butchers.

Rooms at The Boat Inn cost from £145. 

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