Cosy pubs in Suffolk: 15 with great beer and open fires
PUBLISHED: 09:30 12 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:18 09 July 2020
As the colder weather starts to creep in, there isn’t a better place to spend a chilly evening than a cosy pub. We pick 15 of the best places in Suffolk where you can warm up next to the fire while trying a pint of local real ale
This charming village pub can be found nestled in the small hamlet of Sweffling, halfway between Framlingham and Saxmundham. Behind the bar there are a range of ever-changing ales and ciders from small local breweries that taste wonderful with a freshly made Farmcafé pie from the winter menu.
During the colder months both the lounge and bar are heated by large wood burning stoves. So sit back, relax and savour the warmth of this wonderful pub with a pint in hand and the pooch at your feet.
2. The King's Head, Laxfield
The King's Head at Laxfield, or "The Low House" as locals often refer to it, is the perfect spot to while away a sleepy Sunday afternoon. The cosy interior of the pub has retained many of its original rustic features and there is an open fireplace to curl up next to in winter with the latest issue of Suffolk Magazine.
Ale lovers will enjoy the traditional tap room where beer is poured straight from the barrel and a pint is best consumed alongside a delicious three course supper from the locally sourced menu. Open seven days a week, The King's Head is absolutely worth a visit.
3. The Ship, Dunwich
Thought to have once been a popular spot for smugglers, The Ship is tucked away in the peaceful village of Dunwich only a stone's throw from the sea. Inside, the friendly atmosphere, real ales and roaring open fire make The Ship an ideal place to huddle away from the blowing wind and rain.
On the menu you'll find all of the traditional favourites: from pie of the day and fish and chips, to pork belly and Ploughman's lunch - there is plenty to please the whole family. And if there's room, we love to squeeze in the warm strawberry bakewell tart for dessert.
4. The Star Inn, Wenhaston
Set back amongst the rural countryside of Suffolk, The Star Inn truly is the quintessential village pub. Whether you're after simple home cooked food that utilises many of the wonderful local ingredients found in Suffolk, or you're looking to warm your feet in front of the roaring open fire, The Star Inn is a popular choice for locals and visitors alike.
Bring the family to enjoy a tasty long lunch and a game of backgammon by the fire or huddle in the corner with friends, catching up over real ale and a delicious supper.
5. The Crown, Stoke-by-Nayland
This traditional village inn and privately owned boutique hotel prides itself on a welcoming atmosphere, a fantastic menu and luxurious accommodation.
Located in the idyllic village of Stoke-by-Nayland it offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and a toasty log burner to take away the chill of a winter night. With a glass of wine in hand, it's a wonderful location for a Sunday lunch in the winter with all of the seasonal trimmings.
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6. The Bull Inn, Cavendish
After a day spent walking the bucolic Suffolk countryside, is there anything more inviting than a cosy country pub? At The Bull Inn, you'll be welcomed with the crackle of an open fire, big comfy armchairs and a traditional bar selling real ales and an extensive list of wines.
On the menu there is scrumptious home cooked food made to be enjoyed in the warmth of a charming pub with fantastic company. Finish the meal with The Bull's renowned cheeseboard and a nice glass of red.
7. The Buxhall Crown, Buxhall
Situated in the small village of Buxhall just outside Stowmarket, you'll find the reigning gem of Suffolk that is The Buxhall Crown. With an extensive menu that covers anything from a-la-carte and light lunches to mouth watering Sunday roasts, there is plenty to keep bellies full on cold winter days.
The Buxhall Crown makes all of its food in-house (except their sausages which are locally sourced), and diners can expect an ever-changing seasonal menu. The pub has two inviting bars but we love the main bar in the old part of the pub. It has big exposed beams, an abundance of rustic charm and a roaring open fire - perfect for snuggling up when it's cold outside.
8. The Swan, Stratford St Mary
On the picturesque banks of the River Stour you'll find The Swan. The pub has a history dating back as far as the sixteenth century and both the interior and exterior ooze authenticity and traditional Suffolk charm. Exposed timber beams adorn the low ceilings of the pub and the open fires are lit every winter, enticing guests to come in and unwind in the warmth with a drink.
As a Free house, The Swan Inn puts time and passion into selecting a myriad of wonderful beers. These compliment the seasonal menu that features lots of local ingredients from the artisanal suppliers in the area.
9. The Westleton Crown, Nr Southwold
Nestled on the Suffolk coast, you'll find The Westleton Crown situated between Southwold and Aldeburgh. The pub dates back to the twelfth century so you can expect all of the characteristics of a cosy English pub - beamed ceilings, crackling log fires and exposed brick walls.
At the bar you'll find a friendly service and a wide variety of local real ales, fine wines and spirits. Seeing that you're already settled in, you may as well stay for food: the two course Sunday lunch is to die for and a steal at only £21.95.
10. The Ferry Boat Inn, Felixstowe Ferry
Tucked away in the quiet, timeless hamlet of Felixstowe Ferry in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty lays The Ferry Boat Inn. Originally built in the fifteenth century for the Ferry master, the pub has breathtaking views across the River Deben come rain or shine.
Kick back with a pint of Cask Marque ale, a great book and a home cooked meal with the log burner glistening away in the background. Perfection…
11. Greyhound Inn, Pettistree
Just a 10-minute drive up from Woodbridge, this 14th century village inn produces a wide selection of pub classics - many of which they publish the recipe for - from Suffolk produce and gives each delectable dish a distinctly Scottish twist.
Dishes like the salmon cured in Blackwoods Scottish Gin or the beef burger with Isle of Mull cheddar can be wolfed down in the Greyhound's classic timber and brick interior while the fire gradually works its magic. The inn lists a number of walks online, making it easy for you to plan a Suffolk stroll that inevitably ends back at this lovely countryside location.
12. The Fox Inn, Newbourne
An entry in Camra's Good Beer Guide for the last six years, you know you'll be getting a quality pint whether you plump for a pint of Austell Tribute, an Adnams or a Woodforde's Wherry.
With an exterior described as 'beaming with pinkness' it'll be a welcome sight after a winter's day out in Suffolk. Once inside this 16th century pub, you'll get a welcome from the friendly local community as warm as the glow from the fire. Don't be alarmed if you see a fox in the corner, it's not real.
13. The Carriers Arms, East Bergholt
Another pub with a pink exterior, this family run Grade II listed pub has a history running all the way back to the 14 the century. Many of the original features have been kept by owners Sharon and Martin, ensuring its traditional charm - including a large fireplace and beamed ceiling - continue to delight patrons.
Formally known as The Carrick Arms in 1881, this bright pub is in the heart of Constable Country and so the perfect refuge after exploring Flatford Mill and the River Stour. As you prop up The Carriers' wooden and brick bar, relax and ponder the influence this stunning area of Suffolk had on one of Britain's great painters.
14. The Bell Inn, Kersey
In keeping with Kersey's unspoiled village atmosphere, this wonky 14th century pub is as vital a visit as the church or The Splash - a small ford that runs over the main road running through the area.
With a surprisingly broad range of specials - recently they have served steak fajitas and Moules Mariniere - any sort of taste will be kept happy after a day out photographing a place that has been ranked among some of the country's best villages.
15. The White Horse Inn, Stoke Ash
Over the years The White Horse has been a farm house, a coaching inn and even a roadside café so it has inevitably been through some changes since it was first built during the reign of Charles I. The beamed interior and fireplace, however, have barely been touched, giving you an interesting look at exactly what thousands of others will have seen over the years.
Serving food from 8am to 9.30pm daily, there will always be some fresh local produce waiting to be cooked for whenever you decide to drop in. Carrying on this local theme into the drinks department, ales on offer include Adnams, Wherry, Abbot and even Calvors - a lager brewed in Coddenham.