With the summer sunshine hopefully here to stay, what better way to spend a weekend afternoon or an early summer evening than enjoying a fabulous pub lunch in a beautiful setting with all the family? Here’s my round-up of the best pubs in Surrey to head to this summer.
The Bell, Fetcham
Based in the heart of Fetcham village, The Bell is a staple part of family life for many of its residents. A welcoming and friendly pub, they cater brilliantly for children – both in terms of food and facilities. I’m a regular in there myself, it’s my go-to venue to socialise my daughter most weekends 🙂
The William Bray, Shere
Shere is a idyllic quintessential English village, and family run pub The William Bray is set in the middle of this quaint oldy-worldy village. The kitchen uses locally sourced products and the kids’ menu is always a little more varied than the usual. It’s a great location for a countryside trip with the kids, and I love that the garden overlooks the tiny village, great for people watching.
The Plough Inn, Downside
The food at the Plough Inn is absolutely delicious. If you’re looking for excellent steak, this is definitely the place to come. The Plough Inn is a Grade II listed treasure, its interiors are beautiful and its outside garden perfect for a family meal. The kids menu offers the usual, but is just being revamped as we speak!
The Black Swan, Ockham
Also known more commonly to us locals as ‘The Mucky Duck’, The Black Swan located in the picturesque countryside near Cobham is the perfect venue for a Sunday afternoon with the kids. The Swan describes itself as ‘the local culinary hotspot’, and in summer, they often hold an outdoor BBQ, with a variety of entertainment for kids. Be warned – it’s always super-busy, so get down there early to bag your best spot.
The Fox and Hounds, Englefield Green
Based on the outskirts of Windsor Great Park, you can combine a morning’s walk with a delicious hearty lunch. The Fox and Hounds is family-friendly pub with a focus on fresh and delicious food for both adults and kids. I love their restaurant area at the back of the pub – or the sunny garden out front.
The Cricketers, Downside, Cobham
The Cricketers is family-friendly pub brasserie based on Downside’s village green. The green comes complete with a zip-line and a playground the kids will enjoy, while the adults can watch on from the front beer garden. They’ve just launched their spring menu – the pub grub for juniors and kids looks delicious, and makes such a refreshing change to the usual suspects you’d expect to see on a kids’ menu.
The Old Plough, Stoke D’Abernon
A favourite of my husband, The Old Plough in Stoke D’Abernon is always busy. An ideal spot for a lively Saturday or Sunday afternoon, The Old Plough hosts a great outdoor setting with gastropub menu. They do believe that ‘pubs are really for adults’ but welcome children during the day, and up until 8pm in the restaurant.
Duke of Wellington, Horsley
We’ve spent quite a few hours in ancient country pub the Duke this winter, it’s the cosiest place to while away those winter afternoons, sat by one of their open fires admiring the beautiful brickwork. The Duke was taken over a year ago, and ever since, the food has been even more delicious. It’s our go-to restaurant when the in-laws come down and treat us to steak. The staff are very friendly and the atmosphere is always really relaxed and chilled.
The Cock Inn, Headley
Winner of the 2017 Surrey Life Food & Drink awards, The Cock Inn is a great location for a family lunch, inside or out. Situated within easy reach of the M25, the pub is nestled amongst the stunning Surrey Hills. There’s a large outdoor seating area over looking beautiful fields, fantastic for families lunching in the sun.
The Stephan Langton Inn, Friday Street
Billed as the most secluded pub and restaurant in Surrey and nestled in the Hamlet of Friday Street (can anybody tell me if this place is the topic of Paul Weller’s song, Friday Street? I know he live(d)s in the area!), the Stephan Langton looks too good to be true. Family-friendly and located close to ancient woodland perfect for a walk to work up the appetite, the Langton also offers an afternoon tea, courtesy of their pastry chef. I cannot wait to book a lunch in here once the weather warms up.
The Wotton Hatch, Wotton
Perfectly picturesque, The Wotton Hatch overlooks the Surrey Hills and is the first pub I’ve come across in Surrey that offers a dedicated vegan menu in addition to its main offerings. We took a trip here in the Easter holidays, and I can confirm first hand, the vegan tart is absolutely beautiful, my 10 month old adored it! (As did we!) In fact, all of the menu is incredible, they do great deals on courses during lunchtime in the week. It’s a perfect destination for a truly special occasion. Unfortunately when we went, the weather was abysmal, another reason to go back when the sun shines.
The Swan Inn, Chiddingfold
An AA four star pub with a two rosette restaurant, The Swan Inn is situated in the beautiful Surrey countryside. Voted The Best Pub in Surrey by The National Pub and Bar Awards 2016, this pub is a fabulous location for a Sunday lunch outdoors, you can tell by the photo that they’re keen gardeners with their beautifully manicured lush-green plants.
The Queen’s Head, Clandon
The Queen’s Head pub garden is a much sought after sun trap during the summer months, and what better place to eat lunch than in the shade underneath one of their giant parasols? I love this pub as when it does get chilly, there’s always blankets on hand if you’re keen to stay outdoors. The Queen’s Head is nestled in the picturesque village of East Clandon, a quick five minutes drive from Guildford, and offers quality British food from locally sourced ingredients. One of my favourites.
The Swan, Walton-on-Thames
The Swan has recently been refurbished, and is practically unrecognisable from the pub I used to know. Now a truly beautiful riverside pub, its large garden overlooking the Thames is perfect for families looking to lunch, offering children a little space to run around. My best friend had her baby shower here in January, and with lots of little ones running around, it proved to be a fantastic place for family fun.
The Albany, Thames Ditton
I take a trip to The Albany at least once every summer, it’s a little out of my way, but it’s always worth the visit. The Albany is a riverside pub very close to Hampton Court. It’s the perfect location for al fresco dining, and having fun by the water. You can hire motor boats at Taggs Boatyard very nearby and park up outside the pub for lunch. A fantastic way to spend a summer’s day.
The Brickmakers, Windlesham
Gastropub The Brickmakers is a traditional red brick pub, with a big emphasis on great British food. The beautifully looked after garden offers families a great spot to lunch al fresco, and scores very highly on Trip Advisor. It’s on my list to check out this summer.
The Dog and Pheasant, Brook
The Dog and Pheasant is a roadside inn very popular with local families and visitors from further afield. The inside of the pub is very cosy, but it’s large back garden and front terrace are ideal for a delicious meal for all the family outdoors.
Duke of Cambridge, Tilford
A traditional English pub with a heated barn, large patio, garden and kids’ playground… need I say more?! This place is perfect for a long lunch with the kids – it’s completely geared towards keeping the little ones entertained.
The White Hart, Witley
My quest to find the perfect family-friendly pubs in Surrey bought my attention to The White Hart, in Witley. I’ve never been, but make no mistake, I will be there at that bar very, very soon. This pub actually made me look up house prices in the area. It’s a pub a village would be lucky to have, and perhaps on the face of it, most of its appeal is more adult – whisk(e)y, smoked meats and craft beers, but it’s outdoor area means it caters for all.
Botley Hill, Farmhouse, Warlingham
Botley Hill Farmhouse is a beautifully picturesque pub based on the Titsey Estate in the Surrey Hills. It was voted one of the best pubs in last year’s Surrey Life awards – high praise indeed. They’re passionate about providing locally sourced food and drink, and they’ve even established their own micro brewery! They’re very friendly, and welcome children of all ages.
Three Horseshoes, Cranleigh
The Three Horseshoes is a traditional, old fashioned pub in the heart of Cranleigh – England’s biggest village. Specialising in good old pub grub, they’ve got a fantastic pub garden perfect for families.
King William IV, Horsley
The King Billy is a brilliant venue for al fresco summer dining with the family. Located at the foot of the Surrey Hills, it’s a pub where children are always welcome, there’s lots for them to do. Check our their large selection of toys and board games and their purpose built kids’ playground area. It’s located in a fantastic spot with access to lots of lovely walks.
The Victoria, Oxshott
I spent my late teens and early twenties propping up the saloon bar with Roger, Mike (or was it Mick?) and their British Bulldog Winston at the helm. It’s long since been refurbished, (gone are the days with Wham!’s greatest hits on repeat) and is a newly polished restaurant and brasserie courtesy of Whites Brasseries. The Vic has always had a superb pub garden and terrace, great to enjoy all-day dining. The menu consists of traditional British pub grub, with a few fancy French options thrown in. I’ve yet to pop back in since the refurb, but it looks stunning, and will always be one of my favourite pubs.
The Stag On The River, Eashing
Based near Godalming, this historic riverside pub overlooking the River Way is a fantastic venue for a summer’s afternoon, with a brilliant kids’ menu that supports the Rainbow Trust charity, donating 50p from every kids’ meal ordered. What I love about their kids’ menu is that they look after those children with allergies.
The Anchor, Pyrford Lock
Another riverside pub further up the River Wey is The Anchor at Pyrford Lock. I have memories of going there with my friend’s family as a kid in the summer holidays. Serving traditional pub grub, the children’s menu takes into account dairy allergies, giving burger options without cheese. It’s a fantastic venue for young ones to explore, and the riverside path just outside takes you all the way to Byfleet. Tip – why not park at Byfleet and hire a rowing boat to row the whole family to the pub? Boats can be hired at Byfleet Boat Club.
Barley Mow, Tilford
The Barley Mow is a traditional riverside pub nestled in the Surrey Hills, overlooking the picturesque Tilford Green. Reported to be the post photographed pub in the UK, this place is a brilliant destination for families – oh, and dogs! This is definitely on my to-visit list this summer!
Bel & Dragon, Churt
The Bel & Dragon is a gorgeous and newly restored Country Inn situated between the historic town of Farnham and the Devil’s Punch Bowl, nestled within the beautiful Surrey Hills. Offering fantastic food for all the family, its huge garden and brilliant all-year-round play area for kids makes it a really desirable destination for Sunday lunch.
The Dolphin, Betchworth
Located in a picturesque village in the North Downs of Surrey, and local to Box Hill, Polesdon Lacey and Headley Heath, The Dolphin is a great location for a family lunch. A traditional 17th century pub welcoming cyclists, dog walkers and families – there’s room for everybody!
The Donkey, Tilford
The Donkey describes itself as Surrey’s ‘best kept secret’, so it may be now that the secret is out! (Sorry guys). The kids will love lunch in the garden of The Donkey on a warm summer’s day, as they may be lucky enough to dine near its two friendly resident donkeys, Pip and Dusty. A reasonably priced gastro grub pub situated close to the village of Elstead, it’s a venue packed with charm and character.
The Fourhorse Shoes, Chobham
The Fourhorse Shoes is located on a village green in the lovely village of Chobham (not Cobham, take note!). An independent pub and dining room with a fairly large outdoor seating area, all in all it’s a pretty funky establishment. It’s a quintessential English pub welcoming families and dog walkers alike. With excellent reviews on the food and the decor, it’s definitely one to check out this summer!
The Jolly Coopers, Epsom
Billed as one of Epsom’s oldest pubs serving traditional home-cooked British pub classics, using locally sourced seasonal products. They have a gorgeous sheltered and sunny beer garden perfect for all the family.
The Talbot Inn, Ripley
I have a real fondness for The Talbot as I got married there in May 2016, and it was most definitely the party of the year. They have a beautiful courtyard for drinks in the sun, and a large grassy garden for kids to run around in. The food is delicious, and the staff are always incredibly attentive. A must-go!
The Park Hatch, Cranleigh
Awarded pub of the year 2017 by the National Pub and Bar Awards, family owned pub The Park Hatch is a 17th century rural pub serving the most delicious fresh food. You only need to check out the mouth-watering food gallery on their website to know you’re in for a treat. There’s a beautifully large outdoor area perfect for families, with tables for dining, and sofas for chilling.
The Percy Arms, Chilworth
Chilworth is a picturesque village in the Surrey Hills and home to country pub and grill house The Percy Arms. What’s on offer? British cuisine with a South African twist – sounds tasty! The gardens are perfect for children, and families are met with a warm welcome. There’s lots to do nearby, so a fantastic location for a day out, especially if you’re visiting from further afield.
The Volunteer, Surrey Hills
The Volunteer is located in a beautiful little hamlet with outdoor seating outside the front – perfect for catching the last of the evening sun, and a beautiful green garden to the side of the pub. I haven’t been back to visit in a couple years, and the pub is now under new management, so I’m excited to take a trip there this summer to see what’s new. It’s a beautiful place to visit.
Feeling left out? Email me firstname.lastname@example.org if we’ve missed out your fabulous pub, and we’ll pop down and check you out!