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Pubs with autumn walks

Autumn is the time to walk – there’s the crackle of leaves underfoot, the air is fresh but not frozen and the darkness of winter is yet to set in. Follow it with a pint in a cosy pub and you’ve got yourself a perfect day out. Here are our pick of 10 pubs with great walks nearby.

The Plough Inn, Coldharbour

Photography by Amber Evans

With Leith Hill, the highest point in south-east England, on the doorstep and plenty of beautiful woodlands, The Plough Inn is blessed for walking opportunities. And as well as offering great food, the pub also has its own microbrewery on site, so you’ll be well-looked-after when you return. If you wanted to make a weekend of it, there are six boutique rooms to overnight in.

The Mulberry Inn, Chiddingfold

This family and dog-friendly pub, just on the outskirts of Chiddingfold puts you in the perfect place for a romp within the South Downs National Park, as well as the beautiful Ramster Gardens (which open from Fri 12 Oct – Sun 4 Nov for their autumn season). If you want to sleep over, book into one of the three boutique rooms.

The Running Horses, Mickleham

Box Hill is just a short hop, skip and jump from this pub in the pretty village of Mickleham, so you can work up an appetite on one of several walks that start and end at the National Trust site.  The pub serves great food – classic pub favourites with a dash of sophistication. There are also rooms, if you want to make a weekend of it, and a bike shed for those who’d rather been on wheels than legs.

The Fox and Hounds, Englefield Green

Literally just seconds from the Bishopsgate entrance to Windsor Great Park, spend as little or long as you like taking in the sites of the 2000ha parkland. The pub is cosy and unpretentious, although if you you’re after something a little more formal, the restaurant at the back is elegant and a tad more formal than the bar area at the front.

The White Horse, Hascombe

Winkworth Arboretum and all its autumn splendour is just two minutes’ drive from this lovely pub in the village of Hascombe. It’s a fabulous local pub that also caters perfectly to those who go out of their way for it. Expect great food and a warm welcome. Dogs are welcome in the bar and on the outdoor terrace (as well as at the Arboretum if they’re kept on a lead. Winkworth Arboretum is also hosting guided Autumn Colour Walks on Oct 16 and 23. Book for those

The Cricketers, Cobham

Take a meander across Downside Common from The Cricketers in Cobham, or for a more structured walk try this 6-mile circular iFootpath walk  through the countryside around Downside. It starts and ends at the Hollyhedge Road pay and display carpark about a mile from the pub. While you’re in the area, the gardens at Painshill are definitely worth a look, with their gorgeous grotto and other follies. If you’d rather be on horseback, there are plenty of stables in the area, and The Cricketers welcomes offering water and treats. Dogs, too,are welcome. Foodwise, you’ll get top-quality French influenced grub, and there’s a good selection of wine and beers.

Sands at Bleak House, Horsell Common

Discover the area made famous by the author HG Wells in his sci-fi novel War of the Worlds. Horsell Common has several marked walks of various lengths and difficulty levels. Find them here. And after you’ve worked up an appetite, cosy up at the Sands for good food. On Sunday, it’s all about the roasts, and during the week you’ll find quality pub classics. The evening menu is more sophisticated – but whenever you dine, you’ll get warm welcome.

The Stag on the River, Lower Eashing

The Stag sits in a pretty location on the River Wey and, handily, has assembled an itinerary for this 4.5 mile walk around the local area. It’s another good gastropub with lovely boutique rooms. Nothing at all not to like here folks.

The Grantley Arms, Wonersh

Like its sister pub, The Onslow Arms in West Clandon, the emphasis at The Grantley Arms is on quality food – which is just want you want after a bracing autumn walk. It’s a friendly pub – and there are plenty of walking options nearby. The pub is a short hop from the Pilgrims Way and the North Downs way. Or you could try this 4-mile circular iFootpath walk.  The National Trusts’ Winkworth Arboretum and Shalford Mill are also just a short drive away.

The Abinger Hatch, Abinger Common

Found down leafy lanes, near beauty spots such as Holmbury St Mary and Friday Street, The Abinger Hatch is a gorgeous pub with a large garden bar. There’s some lovely countryside to explore nearby, including an easy out-and-back romp from the pub, through the church yard opposite and along a country footpath. The views are fab. You’ll get quality pub food at The Abinger Hatch. You can read my review here. Dogs are welcome, and if you’re venturing there on a Sunday I’d suggest booking ahead.

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